We’re now in Queensland

Bastion Amplify acquires Promedia.





We’re now in Queensland

Integrated communications agency Bastion Amplify has acquired south-east Queensland’s leading full-service public relations firm, Promedia, as Bastion embarks on a strategic move into Queensland under its major Australian and international expansion program. 

One of Queensland’s longest-established and most respected agencies, Promedia has been operating on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane for 39 years and will be incorporated into Bastion Amplify’s existing operations spanning Australia, New Zealand and the United States. 

The agency is the first in a series of Queensland acquisitions planned by Bastion across the communications, creative and experience sectors which founder and Group CEO Jack Watts says will see Bastion expand across south-east Queensland over the next six months. 

“Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are experiencing an unprecedented surge in population and economic growth which are driving record levels of private and public sector investment in development, infrastructure and consumer business,” Watts said 

“With a 10-year runway to the 2032 Olympics, the region is just getting started – without doubt, it’s going to be a major growth hub not just for Australia but the Asia Pacific. 

“We want to be in the thick of that action. The opportunity for Bastion to partner with an agency such as Promedia, which is woven into the business fabric of the Gold Coast and Brisbane and is synonymous with many of the most iconic development and nation-building infrastructure projects delivered in both cities as well as in northern NSW – it’s the beachhead we’ve been looking for.” 

Bastion Amplify in Queensland will provide clients with access to the full suite of integrated communications services under Bastion’s ‘Think Wide’ model, which brings together best-in-class service offerings and experts across the spectrum of communications disciplines from research and insights through brand and creative to advertising, reputation, digital and customer experience, sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, Asia marketing and communications and data analytics.  

Bastion is Australasia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA, employing more than 350 staff across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, SE QLD, Auckland, Wellington, Los Angeles and New York City, as well as offering agency partnerships in 10 Asian markets.  

With its acquisition of Promedia, Bastion Amplify – the group’s public relations, social and influencer arm – now has more than 90 staff across Australia, New Zealand and the US. 

Bastion Amplify Queensland will remain headed by Promedia Managing Director Jeremy Scott, who has been with the firm since 1989. Scott says integrating with Bastion Amplify positions the business to offer an entirely new depth and breadth of services for its clients across the property, health, education, tourism, lifestyle and consumer sectors. 

“We’re coming up to 40 years in business and still retain clients who have been with us for more than three decades,” he said. “Joining forces with Bastion Amplify is about setting us up for the next 40 years, bringing a global independent model and new capabilities to South East Queensland with all the benefits that that offers to our clients and key people. 

“Bastion’s values and principles are completely aligned with ours – genuinely putting the client first, a focus on solutions, commitment to innovation and creativity – so it’s a privilege to be able to saddle up with the largest independent communications group that thinks like us and which is driving real change and world-leading service delivery in the communications space. 

“Until now Brisbane and the Gold Coast have been missing an agency that offers independence at scale – an international communications reach and capability complemented by a highly experienced local team with an in-depth understanding of South East Queensland’s demographic and economic drivers. Bastion now fills that need.” 

Promedia’s existing client list includes Mirvac, Brookfield, Consolidated Properties, Cedar Woods Properties, Bond University, Healthscope and Feros Care. 

Bastion Amplify MD Richard Chapman says the agency will offer Queensland and northern NSW clients a unique mix of PR, digital, social and influencer services, with a particular focus on implementing Bastion’s earned and owned model of publicity, social media, community management and influencer engagement to provide holistic communications services to brands across an array of industry verticals. 

“South-east Queensland is an incredibly dynamic place to be right now and it is only going to get better with the development and population growth and in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games,” explained Chapman



Four lessons when communicating with consumers 

Our out-takes from Mumbrella 360.





Four lessons when communicating with consumers 

Recently, five fabulous members of the Bastion Amplify team attended Mumbrella 360 to take the pulse of an industry in flux. Professional marketers and communicators need to have a deep understanding of how consumers are taking in information, and how changes in these behaviours will impact the future of consumer engagement. 

That’s why our team here at Bastion Amplify loves attending events like Mumbrella 360 – we are continually looking for new information and insights that give our clients the cutting edge. So, what were biggest lessons we took away from the event? We’ve brought together four insights that everyone in the business of communicating with consumers should know.    

Lesson Number One – The Metaverse has arrived, get used to it!  

Is the metaverse the newest market for digital OOH? 

According to Phill Hall from Ocean Outdoor UK and Industry legend Anna Parsons, the Metaverse is expected to contribute $3 trillion to global GDP by 2030 and ultimately be the new digital OOH. 

But let’s take a step back… don’t know what the metaverse is? The metaverse is a virtual reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. Plenty of us (mostly Gen Z’s) are already big users, and brands are starting to get on board.  

It is said to be a far less cluttered space for brands to push their product and activate their brand in a really creative, engaging and far more cost-effective way. Just imagine going into the metaverse, seeing something that you like, and going and purchasing it in the real world? This could be anything from fashion, food or retail, to land / property which showcases how your future home could look.  

As we move from viewing content to immersive content, the latest in virtual technology is bringing brand new media opportunities and an entirely new realm of DOOH to life.  

The Metaverse is cool, but how can brands use it now?  

A lot has been said about the potential for brands to utilise the Metaverse, but a lot of these ideas seem way too far in the future or too fanciful to even get off the ground. However, what was really insightful from the conference, was the potential in the Metaverse right now for brands to do something innovative and unique.  

Brands shouldn’t be afraid of embracing these new frontiers, especially as there are rich territories for brands to be first-in-market within the metaverse. How do you get started? Talk to your agency partners, you’ll be amazed at how many brand campaigns and concepts can transfer into a digitised landscape, which can also greatly broaden the reach and engagement of your campaign. 

Lesson Number Two – The consumer is now in charge!  

Sustainability Goes Local 

According to a new global survey conducted by WE, Australians are bringing their sustainability values down to the grassroots level. While they align with global standards of demanding action from the business community on creating a greener future, Aussies specifically want tangible community action from businesses that seek to minimise or address issues related to climate change.  

What does this insight look like? Well, it’s a business committing to helping the NSW North Coast rebuild post-floods or businesses implementing financial support for farmers experiencing drought. It’s all about how businesses are actually helping address the human impact of climate change – while also delivering on broader goals to lower the world’s carbon footprint. In fact, Bastion Amplify recently helped facilitated media at the Forktree Project and tree planting working bee at Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia – a perfect example of exactly the type of action Australians want to see. 

How to Design (and Grow) Your Brand for Trust 

Many big brands in the last two years have lost a lot of trust from their audiences. Sure, a pandemic hasn’t helped, but a lot of big brands also didn’t help themselves when they were given opportunities to rebuild it. 

Trust is the foundation for any lasting relationship, yet many brands still struggle to build it, which reduces spend, loyalty and advocacy. This comes from a lot of brands putting in place reactive measures to managing feedback and complaints, not having enough resources on hand to tackle the growing number of enquiries and also not implementing trust internally. Ensuring trust between a brand and its customers actually starts from within the team itself, allowing employees to manage their own responsibilities / strategies without having everything micromanaged by their senior leaders.  

With the mistakes made by bigger brands in the last two years, this lends opportunities to smaller / middle sized brands or start-ups to learn from these mistakes and engage the customers who are considering making the move to use their service instead by building a new relationship based on trust from the outset. 

WeAre8 and the New Way Forward for Social Media 

Over the past few years, the roles and responsibilities of social media platforms has been thrust into the spotlight like never before. We’re talking everything from fake news, hate speech, and ads – so. many. ads. Those same ads have also become a race to the bottom, with ‘best practice’ being to make shorter and shorter video ads to match our waning attention span. 

Founded by an Aussie tech entrepreneur, WeAre8 is marketing itself as a new age social platform that is seeking to harness the best things from social media while leaving out the worst. For 8 minutes a day users are shown ‘inspirational’ content and then the idea is they get out and live their lives instead of endlessly scrolling. Also, instead of users being shown an indiscriminate amount of ads, they choose to view ads on their own terms (results are really strong compared to traditional social ads) – and the kicker is for every ad they view, money is donated to charity and to offset carbon.  

Lesson Number Three – More so than ever before, make it relevant, cool and contextual!  

The State of Shared Experience in a Time of Hyper-Personalisation 

The algorithms driving today’s streaming services have changed the way we seek out and consume content. What we want, when we want it, even when we didn’t realise we wanted it, on whichever device we choose – it’s all there, and it’s all laid out specifically for us according to our tastes, moods and time of day.  

In this session we explored the ‘magic’ of why collective cultural moments are so powerful – for example why watching a big sporting match live on tv is so much more fulfilling than watching a replay at your own leisure after it’s happened, or the watercooler conversations happening the day after a Married at First Sight episode airs (as opposed to bingeing the whole season in a day). This talk was great in the sense that it highlighted the boundaries of our hyper-personalised world and reinforces that brands can still very much leverage shared cultural moments to drive recognition and impact.   

All That We Cannot Leave Behind: How Nostalgia is the New Cool 

From Millennials’ obsession with the ‘90s, to an endless stream of TV re-runs, to millions flocking to watch aging rock stars in leather pants, nostalgia is one of marketing’s most powerful yet under-appreciated devices. 

Tyler Greer, Head of Strat @ Mediacom shared some incredible insights into how nostalgia, when used correctly, can provide consumers with an emotional experience – most interestingly, often with people who weren’t alive in (or old enough to properly remember) the decades they’re reminiscing about. 

It’s impossible to ignore the nostalgia impact major franchises recreated – Star Wars: The Force Awakens was essentially a retelling of 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope – with enough of the original to bring audiences new and old along for the ride. Stranger Things put Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill at the top of the Billboard 100 almost 30 years after it flopped on release. Metallica has a wave of new fans who’ve only ever heard Master of Puppets because of the Netflix Series. 

The children of the ‘90s, fresh off the Wall Street fuelled excesses of the ‘80s, Desert Storm and Reagonomics, who created their own post-punk counterculture of music and anti-establishment moments – there’s a parallel between them and Gen Z of today. These kids were born and raised into an era of social-media capital C “Celebrity” excess, have only ever known the world post-9/11, and economic uncertainty that has them relating to and pining for the idealised versions of ‘90s life as if they were actually there. While we often see fashion as cyclical, it may, in fact, be that it’s this same nostalgia that carries it forward. 

Lesson Number Four (more of a reminder) – In agency-land, expectations are everything!  

Client Longevity = Better Brand Outcomes 

Is it better to stick with your retained agency or go out to pitch? This is a quandary that faces many clients and drives many comms agencies up the wall. Well, we got close to an answer for this question! Or at least acknowledged agency turnover as a pressing issue for the comms industry.  

Spark Foundry did a sweeping study on the effectiveness of client longevity on actual brand outcomes and found that sticking with an agency definitely brings better brand outcomes as the years go on, but agencies need to get better at closing the gap between expectation and reality to lower client dissatisfaction.  

The findings outlined that average retainer time periods have reduced from 7 years in the 1980s to 2.5 years in 2022, with brands much more frequently shopping around in recent years. This can be traced to the fracturing and explosion of agencies but has also parleyed into a culture of ‘comms FOMO’, with brands thinking their missing out on something.  

The solution? Well, it’s pretty simple – we need to be more honest and upfront with clients about the likely outcomes of their preferred strategy. Interestingly, this gap was significantly more impactful on a client relationship than staff consistency – brands can manage the release of old staff and acceptance of new staff members if honesty is at the core of the relationship. 


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The new news – owned journalism

How to leverage your story to build your brand: owned news




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The new news – owned journalism

Today there are more brands than ever trying to tell their stories to drive commercial outcomes – be those sales, reputational gains or something else entirely. To do so soley relying on media misses an opportunity to build your own follower base long-term. 

Building your own group of fans to continue talking to sits at the heart of what we believe is the best in PR strategy. 

We believe in the power of earned media to inform and inspire audiences and deliver results. Earned media’s reputation and objectivity can’t be beat. 

But news production today is a different beast to years gone by. The stories that news desks seek, tell, print, broadcast and air each day have fallen into a pattern of promoting just the information needed to go about one’s daily lives in a COVID world.  

What does that mean for you? Once, where there would have been an opportunity or space in a newspaper, online publication or even two minutes of the news bulletin for a brand or PR agency to take and show the world an incredible brand story, there’s now only room for health, political or event coverage. Thousands of brands are now left fighting for the same one spot in any given publication.  

That’s where owning your own news is critical. Your PR strategy should not only be targeting journalists, but also be building newsworthy content for your own channels. Because if you can bring your audience to your channels, you have a chance to retain them and directly convert or influence them.  

A great example of owned journalism – Australia 108’s topping out

Our team is filled with ex journalists and brand specialists who create content for brands to broadcast across social media, websites and EDMs among other channels.  

But it isn’t the case of just filming an interview. Consumers can sniff out a branded marketing piece. That’s why media works so well – it is intensely non-commercial. The art and science is in crafting your story as a journalist would, balancing your message with the news agenda and adding value to the audience. 

A dual owned and earned approach gives brands more bang for buck and means that if they invest in a key event or moment and media are called elsewhere, their story can be packaged up for their channels and also distributed to media – meaning they can still get that coverage. 

So next time your brand has something newsworthy to say, consider how to tell it not just to media, but also on your channels. Video, written assets, photography – all amplified via smart targeting to build your audience. Now that’s great PR. 


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Navigating a return to work

What does the new office look like? We explore our client Unispace’s thinking.




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Navigating a return to work

Is the traditional office obsolete? Is working from home the new norm? Is there a generational shift at play propelling us forwards? Our Senior Account Director Katya Ginsberg shares some of the insights from our client Unispace.

With Australia and New Zealand now ahead of the COVID-19 curve and other nations looking to the Trans-Tasman bubble for benchmark business solutions as the world starts to gingerly reopen, global workplace experts Unispace are championing a new office model to help businesses navigate their return-to-work roadmaps.

The strategy, build and design firm has developed a hybrid framework that coalesces the benefits of the collaborative office hub with the merits of one’s home for focused work – coined the Propeller Workplace.

The Propeller Workplace

Last year, a survey undertaken by 237 of Unispace’s clients, including ANZ Bank, Optus, Coca Cola, EY and Deloitte, concluded that businesses across the globe are looking for workplace solutions that improve employee retention, inspire collaboration and knowledge sharing, and normalise the true definition of flexible working.

The Propeller framework does just this; it encourages employees to seek out their place of work due to its culture and curated experiences, while also enabling employees to do their best work at home or close-to home in personalised spaces devoid of distractions.

This year, Unispace predicts that employees who are unable to work from home will adopt the ‘hub and close-to-home’ hybrid model which will see pop-up desks emerging in fringe commercial precincts available for booking online so that workers can avoid a lengthy commute while still reaping the benefits of a defined workspace.

For businesses, it is now about creating office environments that employees gravitate towards because of the curated, collaborative, and social experience it offers. Moving forwards, it is likely that the office will be seen as a complement to home-based working which will be used for concentration, learning and recharging.

As a result, office design will inevitably change, from occupancy levels in meetings rooms to a reduction in the number of single desks. This might mean a reduction in real estate for some and a redistribution and reinvestment in space for others to create a destination workplace centred around collaboration and enhanced technology.

Unispace’s workplace design thinking in action

Using predictive analytics

Global workplace experts Unispace have also developed a predictive analytics tool that models expected occupancy levels across different industries to help inform future workplace usage.

The tool leverages 3.2 million data points from the Bureau of Labour Statistics to help businesses decipher how their workforce will return to the office and on what basis. The tool is able to forecast the specifics of how many people can be expected back (i.e. headcount), when and how often they’ll be in the office and as a result, the spatial requirements of the office down to the square metre. It is customisable to different market sectors and uses an algorithm to produce augmented workplace data to help inform business decisions.

Across all industries, Unispace’s predictive analytics suggests 37% of the workforce will continue WFH 3+ days a week, even once a vaccine is readily available.  

Some other high-level insights include:

  • 40% of workers will work from home up to three days a week from 2021
  • 20-60% percent of the workforce will continue to work remotely as a result of COVID-19 protocols
  • 10-30% of office space will remain unoccupied (in addition to the 40-50% that was already typically unoccupied)
  • Therefore, at any given time in future, a workpoint could remain unoccupied 60-80% of the time

The year of the pilot

While 2020 was the year of the survey, Unispace says 2021 is the year of the pilot – time to test new workplace concepts, draw people back into the office and measure performance to validate the new purpose of the office. 

But with businesses re-examining how office space is occupied and looking to restructure space to accommodate an agile workforce, one of the biggest ‘return to work’ challenges that Unispace has identified is the power balance between physical and virtual collaboration.  

Blended collaboration

In a post-COVID workforce it is no longer just about collaboration; it is about blended and inclusive collaboration to create a level playing field both at work and at home.

Customer feedback confirms that employees often feel disenfranchised when they enter videos calls inhabited by a large group of office-based team members, and even more challenging is deciphering how two or more groups operate harmoniously on Team’s Meetings in the same space at the same time. 

As workplace experts, Unispace is committed to resolving these workplace semantics and rectifying the various power dynamics and nuances at play so that businesses can effectively champion inclusive collaboration techniques and triage physical and digital collaboration this year and beyond.

Unispace Auckland

First to rise out of COVID-19, Auckland presented Unispace with an opportunity to administer its turnkey methodology to itself and deliver a post-Covid workplace at pace to showcase its industry-leading Propeller framework for clients and prospective customers alike.

In a nod to effective blended collaboration, the newly built Unispace Auckland studio features custom-designed video conferencing ‘Teams’ pods with high-performing acoustic treatment and technology capabilities that operate as a cost-effective alternative to built-in meeting rooms. These pods enable two or more groups to work uninhibited in the same space at the same time, as does the room booking system, desk and room occupancy sensors, 52 ergonomic work points, and open space technology that empowers employees to work to their potential, anywhere.  

Riding the wave

Unispace asserts that the user (employee) and visitor (client) experience are important influencers in productivity, culture and wellness, and initiatives such as hospitality offerings, social events, and wellness activities can take the workplace experience to the next level. More so, the office space is reflective of the values that an organisation offers its users and can be leveraged as a strategic asset to encourage employees to return to work in 2021. 

But for now, it is about riding the COVID-19 wave together and redefining flexible work for future generations.

One thing that is for sure, the office is here to stay.



Influencer marketing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Influencer campaigns aren’t going anywhere – here’s how to do them well.





Influencer marketing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

For better or worse, the impact of COVID-19 has been felt widely – within our industry, marketing budgets are under scrutiny, campaigns are in limbo and brands are doing their best to navigate through these unprecedented times by pivoting, pausing, or in some case cancelling campaigns altogether.

Among this uncertainty it has become evident that digital marketing is on the increase, as consumers spend more time on devices, get more comfortable buying online and marketers look for efficient ways to move inventory.

It begs the question as to where influencer marketing sits in all of this?

While most of the world has come to a halt, the collective craving for community and authenticity has only increased. Social influencers have become more relatable. Just like the rest of us, they are self-isolating and sharing very personal experiences – directly from their loungerooms to ours. As marketers, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of this. 

Influencers doing it well are building stronger, deeper connections with their audiences, making their endorsement more valuable than ever before. For brands, this presents an opportunity to grow their share of voice online and connect with consumers in a more meaningful and impactful way. If done right, the connections made now will last well after the crisis has passed. 

However, it is important to consider your approach to messaging with influencers. Sales based campaigns aren’t quite right for now. Consumers are increasingly looking for helpful and hopeful content and seeking out a sense of “community” to help satisfy their longing for personal interactions – be it with friends, family, colleagues and even influencers. They are hungry to know more and eager to find ways to cope. In fact industry research shows 70% of influencers’ audiences are turning to them for guidance during the crisis.

While the basic Do’s and Don’ts of influencer marketing remain, brands do need to navigate through this carefully. Below are a few key considerations marketers need to keep in mind when looking to implement a successful influencer marketing campaign amidst the current environment. 

Understand your customer’s mindset 

Influencer marketing is about understanding your customer’s mindset – what drives them – and being able to generate a positive message and feeling while delivering content that is unquestionably genuine and not generated purely by self-interest. Timely, purpose-led and empathetic storytelling is key.  

Influencers’ reach does not trump relevance and authenticity  

You need to re-evaluate your mindset in terms of what metrics are most important to you and what authenticity and relevance means to your brand. Don’t be blinded by the number of followers an influencer has as this doesn’t necessarily translate to authenticity and credibility. First and foremost, you need to foster relationships with influencers who have a natural brand alignment and shared ethics. 

Brands need to put a higher focus on social responsibility 

While brands are in the business to sell, social responsibility has never been more important than now.  Brands are responsible for supplying consumers with content in a moral, conscientious and transparent manner. It’s important you re-think the way your brand would traditionally work with influencers to seed product and messaging, because transparency is critical in times of uncertainty.

Consider your messaging and tone of voice 

Don’t be silent or tone deaf through all of this and avoid using language that can be perceived as negative or scary. Instead, provide context to the situation and work with influencers to offer solutions and inspirations – this can really help “humanise” your brand.  You can acknowledge the situation at hand by using hashtags like #StaySafe and #StayHomeWith[insertbrand] and stickers that raise awareness, for example Instagram’s “Stay at Home” sticker. 

Continue to reassess, always 

Just as the Coronavirus situation is evolving rapidly, so should your brand’s influencer strategy, creative and messaging. Don’t be left behind – what was relevant one week ago might not be appropriate today. When engaging influencers, do your due diligence upfront and keep the brief flexible to allow for any necessary amends. 

No doubt, the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak will last for a long time. Through this, influencer marketing shouldn’t come to a standstill, but rather, brands should embrace this as an opportunity to harness authentic relationships and connect with consumers through purpose-led content – whether it’s educating or bringing them laughter, joy or inspiration. After all, we are all humans, full of emotions and desire to form meaningful connections, even in times of crisis.



COVID-19 Marketing Lessons from China

Why brands should be investing in content as Aussies spend more time at home.





COVID-19 Marketing Lessons from China

For the past several months China has been grappling with what the rest of Australia is now facing – a health pandemic, orders to stay home and fears for our loved ones, particularly those in ill health.

By no means out of the woods, China is starting to get back to its old self. People are returning to work, luxury malls are reopening and shoppers are returning to the market. Store traffic is up after falling as much as 80 per cent and some are saying the recovery could accelerate, driven by “revenge spending”.

At our sister business Bastion China, we’ve been monitoring the landscape for some time and can share some insights for brands in Australia wondering what’s next?

Turn to content

With a shift to a ‘homebody economy’ the brands that adapt their strategies to the current environment will be the most resilient. In China we saw more people on their smart phones – in fact Weibo usage grew by 31 per cent and TikTok by 102 per cent, while content consumption skyrocketed.

Food, fitness and comedy were three areas that saw spikes in engagement as people sought to be entertained to relieve boredom and try to forget about the situation.

Some of the smartest brands in China pivoted their content strategy quickly to continue to drive engagement, just under different circumstances, such as:

…China’s top fitness platform Keep brought all of its offline classes online (and saw their TikTok following increase 18% in five days)

…Absolut Vodka launched a one-off live stream event through Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) featuring local DJs

…Sales associates at the Chinese department store INTIME live-streamed daily to develop relationships with chattier-than-usual viewers, to get them in store later

…Mercedes Benz let customers see a 360 degree view of the GLB SUV, while other automotives delivered cars for test drives and shared content on how to properly sanitise your vehicle

…Various universities streamed courses online for free for those wanting some mental stimulation

The lesson here is to think about what your brand can offer consumers over the coming months.

Think about moving your ad spend from out of home (since no-one is out of home…) to digital formats and invest in great content. This will allow you to maintain a relationship with your consumers and build brand equity in these times.

Consumers will come back, after all. What we have for the first time in forever is an audience with time. The attention span is back. It’s an opportunity to deepen your storytelling and invest in better content, rather than click-bait, short-form.

It’s not the time to sell. It’s the time to educate, inspire and entertain.

Game it

With whole cities on lockdown in China, online gaming increased. Esports tournaments might have been cancelled but downloads went up. Some gaming companies actually had to apologise due to wait times on games.

Can your brand create online games to seed out to fans? How can you build an interactive online community?

Show support

Finally, simply showing support counts. Now isn’t the time to disappear from your customers lives.

Consider what advice, talents and resources you have to share with your community, how you can show up for them when they need you most.

Think long-term

We don’t know what’s ahead and how bad this will get, or how long it will last. And certainly history shows that after recession and financial crisis, purchase behaviour changes. McKinsey found after customers tried cheaper products during the US recession, they liked them…not great news for premium brands.

In China, marketers are now looking to what’s next. According to Jing Daily, the advertising industry is expected to begin recovering in late Q2 and some are predicting a boom in Q3. With so many brands wanting to make up for losses, the space will be cluttered and probably expensive.

This is coupled with the fact that many influencers in China have actually seen their followership go up. Why? Because without commercial agreements they posted more personal content. And you can bet they’ll be charging more for access.

The steps Aussie brands take now to build a deeper and more authentic relationship with customers can insulate them for the future. What brands do now will cement their fanbases for when the market returns.

So what are you going to do?



Cannes Lions download

A look at what stormed Cannes Lions in 2019.





Cannes Lions download

Some highlights from Cannes Lions by our consumer comms specialists Rhiannon Kenyon and Chris Stenta, who recently attended the B&T Breakfast Club: Cannes Lions Download.

Hosted by the editorial team at B&T, this Breakfast Club session revolved around the best and brightest integrated communications campaigns recognised at the International Festival of Creativity with a Cannes Lion (or two, or three, or a Grand Prix). 
Panellists included:

Some of whom judged the actual entries in various categories. 
So, without further ado, please see below some of the most amazing communications campaigns from last year – with a few insights.


Expensify created the first ever expense-able Super Bowl ad. Viewers could take a photo of 2Chainz’s digital receipt for the ice car in the music video and enter for a chance to win its equivalent cash value (over $200,000)

The creative for the spot was led by JohnxHannes New York, with Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit Filmworks directing

A reverse appearance of the TV ad jingle – where the advertising is now appearing in a music video and takes advantage of pop culture to reinvent the product experience from ‘boring’ accounting for employees to a trendy and interactive experience

Translated into a 1400% increase in Expensify customers and airing in 500 media outlets worldwide

Watch the vid here


Ikea’s “ThisAbles,” a suite of product adaptors that make the company’s furniture and goods accessible to those with disabilities, took home the Grand Prix for Health and Wellness

The campaign, created out of McCann Tel Aviv and produced by Craft London, also features a film promoting the goods

The product innovation began in Israel and is available for 3D printing worldwide, placing the customer at the centre of the design experience.

Unifies the brand promise with the customer experience, aligning Ikea’s mission to provide accessible furniture with reality, and proving that doing good will increase sales

Achieved 37% sales increase on products with add-ons, and a revenue increase of 33%

Read more and watch the vid here from copywriter and star of the campaign, Eldar Yusupov from McCann Tel Aviv.


Burger King sold its Whopper hamburgers for $0.01, but only to customers within a 600-foot radius of a McDonald’s. To access the deal, people needed to download the Burger King app and journey to their closest McDonald’s. When they’re close enough they can order a one-cent Whopper through the app, which will then direct them to the nearest Burger King for pick up

To accomplish, the team geo-fenced 14,000 McDonald’s sites over the US

Virtually no media spend, however tech costs and man hours made up for this

The stunt drove 1.5 million Burger King app downloads by letting fans unlock a 1-cent Whopper—but only if they went to a McDonald’s location. Picked up by news media around the world, the campaign generated 3.5 billion earned media impressions and a 37-to-1 return on investment, according to the chain

Made the Burger King app rise from #648 to #1 in 48 hours

Burger King has backed up this ‘trolling competitors’ strategy with Burn That Ad campaign

Watch the vid here.


The Lion’s Share is an initiative from film director, Christopher Nelius and Rob Galluzzo, founder of FINCH, a production company based in Australia

It is co-founded and fully supported by the UN Development Programme who will manage the fund and conservation impact through its vast network of NGOs, civil society and governments on the ground worldwide

Mars, Incorporated is a founding Partner and the first global brand to sign up. Award-winning advertising agency Clemenger BBDO is a creative partner

The Lion’s Share is an initiative that sees brands commit 0.5% of their media spend for any ad featuring an animal into funding that goes towards the conservation of wildlife and animal welfare

The fund has already raised $16 million from 6 major organisations, and signed David Attenborough as spokesperson

Watch the vid here.



What I learned during my internship

A must read for anyone considering a PR internship.





What I learned during my internship

The final in our three part series on interning, Bastion Effect intern Cara Gates shares what she learned while with us.  Cara is currently in her fourth year of a double degree in Business (Marketing) and Arts (Communication and Media Studies) at Monash University. Thanks so much for everything Cara, you are a true superstar!

Looking to intern at an agency? Here is what I learnt from my time with Bastion Effect:

  1. There will never be enough hours in a day, and tasks are endless and frequent. Agencies deal with numerous clients, which means that there is always work to be done – as an intern this is great as people will happily keep you busy all day and you’ll learn a lot.
  2. Agency life sees you warp into whatever your client needs – your tasks are not limited to what you have been taught, instead you adapt to do whatever needs to be done.
  3. Your traditional sense of who clients might be goes out the door.
  4. Being proactive is the best approach to agency life in every sense. Seek out work, be inquisitive, and help where you can.
  5. The team will celebrate each other’s successes and helping out where anyone needs, so you’re never riding solo.


5 things to know before you start your internship

Our intern Cara shares her tips on transitioning to intern life in a PR agency.





5 things to know before you start your internship

The second in our three part series on interning, Bastion Effect intern Cara Gates shares her tips and advice for finding and landing your dream internship!  Cara is currently in her fourth year of a double degree in Business (Marketing) and Arts (Communication and Media Studies) at Monash University. Take it away, Cara!

As an intern, you hit the ground running, so here are some tips to make your transition a little easier:

  1. You will be a little fish in a big sea, but don’t worry the sea is more like the bay and everyone was once a little fish.
  2. Although you may feel like a nuisance, everyone is thankful you’re here. An extra set of hands is an asset and no one can take that away from you.
  3. Be prepared to take on any task. Yes, that might include mundane data entry but it will enable you to familiarise yourself with the media and build your confidence in a workplace environment. Plus, that data entry is often an important part of an account – if you weren’t doing it, someone else would be!
  4. If you don’t know, then ask. This one might seem simple, but you’d be surprised. Your colleagues would much prefer you ask them a million questions than complete a task incorrectly.
  5. Once you are given a task you are left to work independently. It is always good to follow through until the end, completely it 100 per cent of the way and let people know when you’re done. 


5 things to note before applying for an internship

Tips to help you land your dream workplace by our intern, Cara!





5 things to note before applying for an internship

The first in a three part series, Bastion Effect intern Cara Gates shares her tips and advice for finding and landing your dream internship! Cara is currently in her fourth year of a double degree in Business (Marketing) and Arts (Communication and Media Studies) at Monash University and loves to see how brands are able to adapt within a constantly developing digital environment. Take it away, Cara!

Thanks team! Applying for anything in life can be daunting, however, an internship is your first taste of professional life, so here are a few tips to help you land your dream workplace.

  1. Set yourself apart, show your personality in your application – Agencies sort through hundreds of applications from interns, so what makes you different? If you have the option to submit a video then get creative, and leave the formalities for your resume and cover letter.
  2.  Be honest with yourself about time commitments – Especially if you’re still studying. You won’t be able to give your internship or your studies the time they truly need if you don’t manage your time. 
  3. Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile that is up to date – Ideally, by the time you are looking to apply for internships your LinkedIn account should be flourishing, you should have connected with colleagues and updated your previous job history and be engaging with relevant content. Having an updated LinkedIn is particularly important if you want to work in communications!
  4. Research the places you are considering applying for – Look at the clients they work with and the campaigns they have run – this will give you an idea of the tasks you might be working on if you intern and give you some great things to talk about during your interview. Showing you know the agency you want to work at will help you stand out from the pack.
  5. Finally, ask yourself: what am I looking to get out of this internship? This self-reflection will allow you to be honest with yourself about what you expect to gain from the experience as a whole, ultimately setting you up to make the most of the internship.


Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.

We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.