• +61 2 9492 1000
  • launch@launchgroup.com.au


launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2012
24 May

TED Curator Chris Anderson to Speak at TEDxSydney 2012

by launch-admin May 24, 2012 0 Uncategorized


Watch TEDxSydney LIVE Online at YouTube.com/TEDxSydney


SYDNEY, Aust., 24th May, 2012 – Annual ideas event, TEDxSydney is pleased to announce that TED Curator Chris Anderson will speak at the event on Sat 26th May.


Chris Anderson will address the TEDxSydney audience ahead of hosting the Sydney leg of the TED Worldwide Talent Search, which will take place on Sunday 27 May at the same Carriageworks venue.


Chris Anderson’s address, together with all of the talks and performances for 2012 can be viewed by either turning up to experience the simulcast in the Carriageworks foyer, or by tuning into the live stream broadcasting from TEDxSydney’s YouTube channel for the entire day. From 9:00AM AEST go to: YouTube.com/TEDxSydney.


TEDxSydney licensee Remo Giuffré (General Thinking) said that Chris Anderson’s presence at the 2012 event would provide insight into TED’s current focus and would likely touch on one or more of the many initiatives that are being explored in pursuit of the mission to spread great ideas.


“Chris is a visionary who drives change. We are delighted that the TED Curator will be taking the stage alongside our 2012 speakers and will be laying down the gauntlet for Sydney’s leading communicators to effect change. I’m sure that Chris will not only inspire his fellow speakers but also the TEDxSydney audience, in person and via the livestream. We are all looking forward to hearing first hand the role that the TED community hopes to play in the ongoing journey to make the world a better place,” said Mr Giuffré.


The confirmed speaker lineup for TEDxSydney 2012 includes: a robotics researcher & developer, an environmental historian, a movement entrepreneur, a leading psychologist on imaginary friends, an award winning researcher of weeds, an expert of on the evolution of Australian English, architects and creative designers, a Nobel Prize winning astronomer, a Professor of Visual Neuroscience, a political theorist and philosopher, a multi-media artist, a world leader in data storage and some truly inspiring musical performers. A full listing of speakers and performers is available at http://TEDxSydney.com



Emily Dahdah 02 9492 1000 or m: 0413743737 e: emily@launchgroup.com.au

Alistair Walton m: 0418251229 e: alastairwalton@me.com


About TEDxSydney: TEDxSydney is licensed by longtime TEDster, Remo Giuffré (REMO General Store) and is being organised by a voluntary network of fellow thinkers and other long time collaborators. For the 3rd year running, the Executive Producer for 2012 is Curator Janne Ryan and the Event Director is David Glover. For a full listing of 2012 organisers visit http://TEDxSydney.com
TEDxSydney is made possible by the generous contribution of its partners, sponsors and volunteers.


About TEDx: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organised events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organised TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organised.


About TED: TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.


For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration


Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED



20 Apr

Launch Group to lead social commerce discussion

by launch-admin Apr 20, 2012 0 Uncategorized

Launch Group to lead social commerce discussion

Social commerce gets Mumbrella360 focus


Social commerce gets Mumbrella360 focus. Strategies for turning customers into brand advocates is to be the focus of a session at Mumbrella360.

Speakers at the “Social commerce – how to turn your fan base into your sales force” session include Kimberly-Clark marketer Michelle Rossier, Wotif MD Robbie Cooke, Rebekah Campbell, CEO of marketing platform Posse and Sharyn Smith, founder of word of mouth agency Soup.

The session is being curated and chaired by Launch Group CEO Fleur Brown. Also on the panel will be interactive strategist Michael Sinclair from Razor Media and sister agency US Sydney.

The session will examine how brands can tap into connected consumers and turn loyal customers into their own sales force. It will also discuss the rise of social commerce, share tips and case studies on consumer co-creation plus offer insights into effective ways of driving word of mouth.

Rossier is Kimberly-Clark Australia’s marketing manager. She joined the organisation in January to manage Kleenex Cottonelle. She has previously worked at FMCGs including SC Johnson, Reckitt Benckiser, George Weston and Nestle. She will share insights from the Kleenex Cottonelle Pinterest campaign – Australia’s first home-grown Pinterest brand campaign.

Cooke is MD and Group CEO of online travel brand Wotif. Campbell is founder & CEO of Posse.com, a marketing platform which rewards and incentivises customers. Sinclair previously worked at award-winning creative shop, Wieden + Kennedy. Smith is founder & CEO of Soup which has worked with companies including Reckitt Benckiser, Lion Nathan, Coca-Cola and the Commonwealth Bank.

Mumbrella360 takes place on June 6 and 7 at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. Early bird tickets – with a $600 discount – are available on the Mumbrella360 website until the end of next week.

Source: Mumbrella.com.au April 20th, 2012 at 11:44 am

12 Apr

Alcohol abuse and suicide on the rise with disadvantaged teens

by launch-admin Apr 12, 2012 0 Uncategorized

Media Release


Noffs Foundation calls for greater community support for vulnerable youth during National Youth Week


12th April 2012: The Noffs Foundation has revealed the majority of teenagers it treats for drug and alcohol use are also suffering mental health issues, with an increasing number turning to alcohol and contemplating suicide.


The findings from the Noffs Foundation’s residential Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM)* in Sydney and Canberra, reveal that three out of four (74.15%) young people at PALM either currently or have previously experienced some form of mental health issues. Worryingly, over one in three (34.7%) have attempted suicide – a marked increase from 25.4% in the same 2011 period.


Noffs Foundation spokesman Matt Noffs said: “What’s quite concerning is that the number of young people we treat suffering from mental health issues has remained consistently high over the last couple of years. On top of this, more teens who are coming to us have suffered so much in their short lives, they’ve attempted to end it.


A lot of these teens with drug and alcohol problems have gone through some kind of trauma. They’ve either been sexually assaulted, suffered physical assault at the hands of someone they know or by a stranger; or they’ve been the victim of severe and ongoing emotional and verbal abuse. With most of these young people, there are serious attachment issues in their history.”


Further findings reveal that trauma continues to be highly prevalent among young people, with physical assault by a known perpetrator being the most common (49.7%).  While the primary drug of concern among youth seeking treatment at PALM is cannabis (58.5%), followed by amphetamine (19.73%), alcohol abuse has risen from 13.9% in the nine months to the end of March 2011, to 16.3% in the same period to March 2012.



Matt said: “The majority of young people we see have yet to complete year 10 and they’re already at a dangerous crossroad in their lives. The work we do with them isn’t just about eliminating drug use, but providing vulnerable young people who have gone through trauma with the right support to put them back on track to reach their full potential in life.


“My grandfather, the Reverend Ted Noffs, used to say to me ‘there’s no such thing as a bad kid’. But there are certainly bad environments that children can be born into and dangerous patterns that can take generations to break out of.”


Key causes for trauma among youth suffering drug and alcohol issues:

  • Physical assault by a known perpetrator (49.7%)
  • Physical assault by a stranger (39.5%)
  • Severe and ongoing emotional and verbal abuse (27.2%)
  • Sexual assault by a known perpetrator (15.65%)
  • Sexual assault by a stranger (5.4%)
  • Torture (2.04%)


Primary drugs of concern among young people seeking treatment at PALM:

  • Cannabis (58.5%)
  • Amphetamine (19.7%)
  • Alcohol (16.3%)


Matt adds: “This National Youth Week we celebrate the contribution young people make in our communities and our families. What they need is the opportunity to deal with the various issues they’ve encountered in their lives, in a supportive and caring environment. This can only be done with enlightened and powerful life changing approaches which the Noffs Foundation specialises in.


“The community and our significant leaders can help by acknowledging and recognising the  needs of these young people, and by supporting the incredible work the Noffs programmes are doing  to assist our disadvantaged youth by visiting www.noffs.org.au.”


*The findings above are from the Noffs Foundation’s Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM) which is located in Sydney and Canberra. Using Noffs’ proprietary data collection technology, TED, the findings were collected between 1 July 2011 to 31 March 2012, involving 147 young people who have sought treatment at PALM. Where period-on-period comparisons have been made, they have been between 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2011 vs. 1 July 2011 to 31 March 2012.


PALM is a residential program for young people aged 14-18 with serious alcohol, or other drug-related difficulties. The up to three-month program (with up to 12 months continuing care) aims to help young people to build the skills to manage their own lives effectively. PALM is based on leading research conducted in partnership with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC).


–       ends –

Media contact: Sarah Tsiros 02) 9492 1034 / 0466 805 364 sarah@launchgroup.com.au

About the Noffs Foundation: The Noffs Foundation was founded by the great Australian humanitarian, Reverend Ted Noffs, in 1970. During his remarkable career of pioneering initiatives for young people, Ted Noffs established Sydney’s first 24 hour crisis centre in 1968, set up the first Drug Referral Centre in Sydney in 1967, co-founded the Aboriginal Affairs Foundation in 1962 and was the co-founder of Lifeline in 1963. The Noffs Foundation today continues the legacy of Ted Noffs by providing essential services for young people and their families who are experiencing drug and alcohol problems and related trauma. Its range of programs for young people are all based on leading research, continually evaluated and government endorsed.

PALM provides a safe, homely environment within which young people are supported through this difficult journey. The program addresses the needs of young people at all levels including personal, social, vocational or educational, living skills and sport and recreation.

23 Mar

MCN scores ASTRA for innovative media first

by launch-admin Mar 23, 2012 0 Uncategorized




Heineken’s Rugby World Cup “Live Kick” app claims gong


March 23rd, 2012: The ASTRA Industry Excellence Awards held last night saw Multi Channel Network (MCN) take home the gong for Most Outstanding Use of STV for a Consumer Advertising Campaign for its innovative work with Heineken during Rugby World Cup 2011.


As a global partner of the Rugby World Cup since 1995 and a broadcast sponsor of the  tournament, Heineken challenged MCN to position the premium beer brand as an integral part of the tournament experience.


With the insight that rugby union fans’ passion for the game is surpassed only by their support for national teams, MCN and Heineken’s digital marketing agency Holler Sydney developed a media first – the Heineken Live Kick iPhone and iPad app.


Anthony Fitzgerald, Multi Channel Network CEO, said: “FOX SPORTS presented us with the perfect media platform to develop the Live Kick app. It was the only channel to cover all 48 games live and uninterrupted in HD, as well as providing ‘around the game’ coverage including historic matches, rugby magazine-style shows, interviews and results.


“FOX SPORTS is also the only sports publisher in Australia with a dedicated in-house stats division which allows it to broadcast its own statistics live as a match progresses. With this in mind, we identified a great opportunity to take the match from the TV screen and place it interactively in the hands of Heineken’s target market of 18-to-39 males.


“As a media first, Live Kick became the ‘must have’ app of the tournament, taking users out of the audience and placing them in the centre of the playing field.”


The app used FOX SPORTS’ live match data to replicate the exact position of a rugby ball prior to a kick being taken and allowed the user to simultaneously take the same kick live on their mobile phone. The app also relayed real-time news, stats and results and incorporated GPS tracking to tell users where their nearest Heineken Clubhouse was located.


The Live Kick app achieved 51,139 downloads and a 4.5/5 star rating in the Apple App Store. Around 10.3 million kicks were taken in the training challenge; while there were over 244,000 live kicks taken during the tournament and over two million replay kicks.


Nada Steel, Heineken Lion Australia Marketing Manager  said: “This MCN activation was a fantastic platform that helped us make fans part of the Rugby World Cup experience regardless of whether they were at home, in the bar or at the game.”









The annual ASTRA awards, which recognises excellence in the promotion and innovation of Subscription TV, was held last night at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre.


MCN was also a finalist in the Most Outstanding Use of STV for a Consumer Advertising Campaign category for its work on the launch of the FJ Cruiser which saw Toyota commission its first ever long-form content.


–       ends –


Further information: Fleur Brown, Launch Group 0419 270 863



About Multi Channel Network (MCN) www.MCN.com.auEstablished in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL, AUSTAR, Premier Media Group and XYZ Networks. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of over 50 national STV channel brands and over 70 channel and independent websites. MCN is the only media company in Australia to offer the complete range of digital interactive television advertising solutions via the remote control – red button, green button and on demand advertising. MCN’s online network is Australia’s 7th largest commercial online network, with a monthly reach of 7m unique browsers.  For more information: www.MCN.com.au

7 Feb

MCN bolsters growth with Melbourne restructure

by launch-admin Feb 7, 2012 0 Uncategorized



New Group Account Managers and two new Account Executives


February 7th, 2012: Multi Channel Network (MCN) today announced a restructure of its Melbourne operations to meet the increased sales demand in that market.


Senior account managers Adam Fiske and Amber Ballagh have been promoted to Group Account Manager roles, joining Adam McConnell and Matt Bartlett in leading MCN Melbourne’s account teams.


MCN Melbourne has also expanded its account executive team with the promotion of Ana Herceg – previously an account coordinator at MCN’s Sydney office. A second hire will be made in the coming weeks.


MCN Melbourne Sales Director, Ben Sumpter, said: “The restructure from three, to four account groups is a response to the revenue growth we experienced in 2011. We continually look at how our business is structured to make sure we’re servicing the market in the most effective and efficient way possible.


“Amber and Adam are exceptional executives with a brilliant track record of client service. They have continually delivered outstanding advertising solutions across all of MCN’s assets including TV, online, interactive, promotions and activations,” he said.


“The restructure puts MCN Melbourne in a stronger position than ever to deliver the best multi-platform solutions and bolster growth in 2012.”


MCN National Sales Director, Mark Frain, said: “Last year, MCN out-performed the market in advertising revenue growth. Our Melbourne operation made an important contribution to this result, and as it enters another significant growth phase, the new structure will allow MCN to maintain its excellent reputation for great service and excellent delivery. What is even more pleasing is that once again we’re able to promote talented people from within.”


–       ends –

Further information: Sarah Tsiros, Launch Group (02) 9492 1034 / 0466 805 364


About Multi Channel Network (MCN) www.MCN.com.auEstablished in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL, AUSTAR, Premier Media Group and XYZ Networks. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of over 50 national STV channel brands and over 70 channel and independent websites. MCN is the only media company in Australia to offer the complete range of digital interactive television advertising solutions via the remote control – red button, green button and on demand advertising. MCN’s online network is Australia’s 7th largest commercial online network, with a monthly reach of 7m unique browsers.  For more information: www.MCN.com.au

6 Feb

Media Release: ANDY X: Andy Warhol’s 40 minutes of fame

by launch-admin Feb 6, 2012 0 Uncategorized

Rocky Horror creator launches online tribute on 25th anniversary of Warhol’s death

World first exclusive online release of art film

19 January 2012: Sunday Pictures, in association with DLSHS and ScreenLaunch announces the global online launch of Jim Sharman’s new visual experience ANDY X on February 22nd, 2012.

ANDY X is a 40-minute musical reverie about legendary artist Andy Warhol. Blending a unique filmic structure of song, verse and montage, Sharman explores Warhol’s life from his death-bed in a New York Hospital on 22 February 1987.

This online film experience marks the return of iconic Australian director Jim Sharman to the screen, albeit an online screen. Best known for pushing conventional boundaries with his theatre, opera and cult cinema creations, including the musical extravaganza The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sharman breaks new ground again exclusively releasing his tribute film online.

On choosing to launch the film in this way, Jim said, “Online movies are a new art form and their potential is evolving, yet cyberspace seems the perfect place to explore the Warhol enigma. I imagine Warhol would have loved the net, and we’ve enjoyed creating this unique 40 minute portrait, or ‘cinematic séance’ with Andy Warhol”.

Given the global audience, the film will be launched 25 years from the very minute of Andy Warhol’s death at 10.21pm in Sydney or 6.21am time in New York at andyxthemovie.com

Esteemed film critic Richard Kuipers has described the film as “a poetic and pulsating eulogy… Sharman takes us on a ride to stimulate and excite everyone from Warhol buffs to those who might have only heard the name and know it has something to do with soup cans.”

Jim Sharman said part of his motivation for creating ANDY X was to explore the world of the most influential twentieth century artist, one whose legacy will continue to inform the future: “Warhol’s ideas still feed our increasingly globalized world and it makes him a fitting subject for online meditation.”

The film was developed and directed by Jim Sharman from a script by Stephen Sewell and an original music score by Basil Hogios, with lyrics by Sewell and Hogios. ANDY X stars rising young stars Akos Armont and Sheridan Harbridge; with Nick Simpson-Deeks, Gillian Jones and David Denis.

On February 22nd 1987 – Andy Warhol died.
On February 22nd 2012 – ANDY X is born.

– Ends –

For further information:
Alexandra Fletcher, ScreenLaunch: alex@launchgroup.com.au
+61 9492 1000 / 0412 666 168.

About ANDY X
ANDY X is an online film adventure that combines a hybrid of cabaret, opera, art installation, portraiture, and the desire to evoke Warhol’s imagery while avoiding imitation. The 40-minute piece is a playful and original exploration of the life and death of legendary artist Andy Warhol.

About Jim Sharman
Jim Sharman is an international stage and screen director whose work has encompassed film, a range of theatre from Shakespeare to Patrick White, operas by Mozart, Britten and Stravinsky and musicals including Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show. He is the author of the memoir Blood and Tinsel and is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most influential and outstanding directors.

20 Jan

MCN leads summer TV ratings race with exclusive new content

by launch-admin Jan 20, 2012 0 Uncategorized




  • MCN is a summer ratings winner with 22.6% audience share (27 Nov – 14 Jan)
  • Wife Swap Australia premiere delivers record-breaking ratings
  • KFC T20 Big Bash League sees 95% year-on-year audience uplift


20th January, 2012: Multi Channel Network (MCN) is leading the summer ratings race, capturing a 22.6% audience share in the first seven weeks of the official summer ratings period¹. The strong performance was driven by STV’s exclusive, first-run content – including the launch of Cricket Superstar and Wife Swap Australia.


MCN channels delivered strong growth across the full 2011 calendar year, with a 7.3% increase in average audience². This growth was extended over the first seven weeks of summer, with MCN channels increasing audiences by a further 4.0% (vs. pre-Summer)³.


Anthony Fitzgerald, Multi Channel Network CEO, said: “Viewers are hungry for compelling and entertaining content all year round, and over the summer they’ve continued to turn to STV for their fix of exclusive, first-run programming.


“FOX SPORTS’ live and exclusive coverage of the KFC T20 Big Bash League has been a standout success this season, almost doubling audience numbers from the competition series in 2010-11.”


Commencing on December 16th, the KFC T20 Big Bash has seen a 95% year-on-year increase in viewers. The first 20 matches so far has delivered an average audience of 286,000, compared to 147,000 in the same 2010-11 period⁴. The highest-rating match so far was Stars V Thunder on December 17th, attracting an average audience of 478,000 – the 4th highest-rating show ever on Subscription Television⁵.


“The big summer of cricket has seen FOX8 launch the new show, Cricket Superstar, premiering on Wednesday January 4th with an average audience of 105,000. The second episode attracted 162,000 viewers and a reach of 313,000 viewers⁶,” Anthony said.


“This month, LifeStyle YOU’s launch of Wife Swap Australia delivered record-breaking ratings for the channel. The first episode attracted so much attention that #wifeswapau was Australia’s top trending topic on Twitter that evening.”


The January 9th premiere of LifeStyle YOU’s Wife Swap Australia attracted an average total audience of 164,000⁷, making it the channel’s highest-rating program to date.


The early successes follows a solid 2011 which saw the combined FTA and STV audiences grow 3.9% over the full calendar year in the key trading 16-54 demographic⁸. STV viewing rose 3.3%, driven by 7.3% growth among MCN represented channels.





The strong 2011 performance for MCN was propelled by sports programming, with the Wallabies V All Blacks match during the Rugby World Cup making it into the record books as the highest-rating Australian STV program in history.


Anthony said: “The ratings successes MCN has achieved so far is only the beginning. Next month we will be launching two new channels. The ground-breaking STV AFL deal has provided the opportunity to launch FOX Footy. The dedicated, 24/7 AFL channel will see all games broadcast live and available in spectacular high definition. MCN will also be launching A&E, a channel aimed at a 25-40 year old male audience.


“Over the next few weeks, we will see the return of hits including the Comedy Channel’s highest-rating program, Balls of Steel, as well as FOX8’s American Idol, LIFESTYLE Channel’s Selling Houses Australia, showcase’s Tangle; and the much-anticipated premiere of W Channel’s new musical drama, Smash.


“Viewers and advertisers will be the big winners as STV gears up to launch more exclusive, first-run content, and more new local productions than ever before,” he said.


LifeStyle YOU’s Wife Swap Australia airs Mondays, 8:30pm. FOX SPORTS’ KFC T20 Big Bash League concludes January 28th and FOX8’s Cricket Superstar airs every Wednesday, 7:30pm until March 14th.


¹ OzTAM Metro All Homes Panel, 27/11/11-14/01/12 Consolidated to Jan 10th, S-S 0600-2400. P16-54, Share to Selected%.

² OzTam Metro All Homes Panel, Weeks 1 – 53 2011 vs. Weeks 1-52 2010, Consolidated, S-S 0600-2359. Total People, P16-54, Projections, Share to Selected %.

³ OzTAM Metro All Homes, Panel, Wks 49-2 2011/12 vs Wks 7-48 2011, Consolidated to Jan 10th, S-S 0600-2400, P16-54, Projections.

OzTAM National STV Panel, 27/11/11- 14/01/12 vs. 28/12/10-29/01/11 Consolidated to Jan 10th, S-S 0600-2400. Total People, Projections.

OzTAM, National STV Homes Panel, Dec 17 2011, Total People, Projections, Consolidated.

 OzTAM National STV Panel, Weeks 04/01/12-14/01/12 Consolidated to Jan 10th, S-S 0600-2400. Total People, Projections, Reach.

  OzTAM National STV Panel, Weeks 10/01/12-14/01/12 Consolidated to Jan 10th, S-S 0600-2400. Total People, Projections, Reach.

OzTAM Metro All Homes Panel, Weeks 1 – 53 2011 vs. Weeks 1-52 2010, Consolidated, S-S 0600-2400. P16-54, Projections, Share to Selected %.

–       ends –


Further information: Camille Alarcon, Launch Group (02) 9492 1089 / 0488 176 188


About Multi Channel Network (MCN) www.MCN.com.au  Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL, AUSTAR, Premier Media Group and XYZ Networks. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of over fifty national STV channels and over 200 channel and independent websites. MCN is the only media company in Australia to offer digital interactive television advertising via the remote control and video on demand advertising. MCN’s online network ranks at number 21 in Neilson’s top 50 online brands, and is Australia’s 14th largest commercial online network, with a monthly reach of 2.7m individual Australians.  For more information: www.MCN.com.au