Welcome to the official SMS Blog! This blog hopes to keep students up-to-date with the latest news and events in the marketing world, give you the tools to take this knowledge and what you learn at the business school, through different marketing subjects and impress when networking, applying and interviewing.

A Look at the SMS Mentoring Launch Event 2014

Salil Kumar

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus for the launch event of the Sydney Marketing Society’s 2014 Winter Mentoring Program.

The Sydney Marketing Society (SMS) based at the University of Sydney looks to connect talented young marketers with leading employers in the marketing sector. The Mentoring Program is a recently launched initiative by the society, currently in its second year, which matches student mentees with mentors from the industry. The aim of the program is to provide students with an opportunity to gain an insight into the real working environments of their mentors, as well as build strong professional networks during their studies.

Find more photos from the evening at the SMS Facebook page
As a Master of Marketing student with a background in accounting, my exposure to the marketing industry has been very minimal to date. I was therefore very eager to participate in SMS’s mentoring program, as it was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the industry, and seek guidance from someone who has been working in a field of Marketing (digital) that is of great interest to me. 

Since having met my mentor, I am greatly looking forward to the next 8 weeks of the program, within which I will be visiting his place of work, possibly shadowing someone from his company for a day, and learning as much as I can within this time frame!

Keep an eye out for more stories of participants experiences throughout the Mentoring Program to come.

Salil Kumar currently writes for the Marketing Matters student blog, where this blog post was originally posted. See other posts by Salil and his fellow University of Sydney Masters of Marketing students- http://mktg-matters.blogspot.com.au/ 

Is Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign Inspirational or Offensive?

Tracy Trieu

‘You are more beautiful than you think.’

As part of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, the powerful and thought provoking short film Dove Real Beauty Sketches has caused controversial conversations. Women were asked to describe themselves to an artist who sketches them based on their descriptions. A second sketch is then done based on descriptions by other people. The heavy contrast between the participants’ self-criticism and the compliments from other people creates a somewhat poignant realisation.

It is the realisation that we can sometimes be our own obstacle. Why do we focus on our negative features whilst seeing the positives in others when, essentially, there is no reason to? Dove tastefully executes a timeless message, undoubtedly relevant to some women, that people need to be comfortable in their own skin. A piece of wisdom is that we should not be self-conscious because other people are also too concerned with their own appearance to notice ours.

However, despite the emotionally charged film, further thought has led to the rise of several stimulating questions: to what extent is this campaign patronising women? Is it a generalisation based on out-dated female stereotypes? It is only focusing on a small group of people? Not all females lack confidence and have low esteem. To some it may be insulting as women are seemingly being portrayed as weak.  To others it may be a much needed beautiful message.

Watch Dove Real Beauty Sketches as studied in the University of Sydney Marketing Unit MKTG3120- Building and Managing Brands and let us know what you think:

Source link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE 

Sponsor’s power amidst FIFA corruption allegations

Tom Cleary

Allegations of corruption following FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar raise important questions about the power of sponsors in the world game, and the extent to which they can force institutional change within the governing body FIFA.

Image Source: http://gulfnews.com/pictures/sport/qatar-s-promised-fifa-world-cup-stadiums-1.732053

A significant number of high profile sponsors, including Coca Cola, Adidas, Sony and Visa have publicly expressed their concerns over FIFA’s handling of the corruption allegations, with fears that it could have negative implications for their brand. Over $2.3 billion will be spent on World Cup TV advertising alone, with many brands attempting to forge an inextricable connection with the world game to leverage its ‘halo’ effect. Moreover, it is estimated that FIFA will generate $1.4 billion from sponsorship revenue following the 2014 World Cup. 

With this in mind, shouldn’t sponsors be able to exert more influence over FIFA? Regardless of whether sponsors still see a financial benefit in supporting the controversial organisation, they should issue an ultimatum for a revote, or withdraw funding on the grounds that it adversely impacts fans and inevitably their customers.

It is also interesting to note that little media coverage has addressed the implications of such allegations on Qatar. Importantly, the World Cup was a chance for the Arab emirate to showcase itself to a global audience. Regardless of whether the allegations are true, they have resulted in a PR disaster, in turn causing irreversible damage to the emirate's image. Suggestions of corruption are compounded by concerns over player and fan safety in extreme weather conditions and inadequate labour conditions.

It will be interesting to see what the next step is for FIFA. However it is clear that fundamental institutional changes are required to restore faith in their governance of the world game.

Explore Your Potential - 5 Reasons Why it's Never Too Early to Take on an Internship

Krystina Batt
Want tips and motivations for landing a marketing internship? Not sure where to start? Want a better idea on what an internship offers? Well then, take a read!
Even if you only have a vague idea about the career path you’re heading towards, an internship or work experience program is the perfect means to explore your interests and gain valuable experience in the workforce, and it’s never too early. 

I recently completed a market research internship for Citizen Watches Australia. My tasks were straight forward, interesting and relevant to my studies in marketing. It involved me researching the internet and various web resources in order to answer a list of questions based on the demographic of young watch consumers. Citizen is in the process of launching a new product line named Independent Watches for a younger consumer market in Australia and it was my job to help them determine how to penetrate this market: a demographic of poor brand loyalty and frivolous spending. I completed the internship over a number of weeks from my computer at home and I partook in regular phone catch ups with my mentor from the company. 

I found the internship extremely valuable for the experience and insight I gained into the field of marketing, not to mention that I received my very own Independent watch as well as a reference for my CV to show future employers.

So here are five reasons why you should consider an internship during university:

1. You will gain valuable insight into the workforce and your chosen field of work.

2. You will create contacts who may lead you to further opportunities in the future.

3. You can spice up your CV with the claim of a relevant internship (let’s be honest, it’s a little more exciting than “I was on the rowing team in year 8)

4. You will be able to ask for a reference. Make sure you chase this up as it can be very valuable in the future and it is the least that they can offer you after your hard work.

5. You may even get paid!

I believe that the more work experience you can gain during your time at university, the higher your chance at employment later on. Whilst a university degree can go a long way, what employers truly seek is a definitive edge, initiative and drive. 
It’s never too early to get out there!

Image Source: <http://www.kauferdmc.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/marketing-intern-help-wanted.jpg>.

Are you looking for other CV boosters, see a list with advice for you wherever you are at in your degree- http://smsusyd.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/the-year-ahead.html

Snickers Builders Catcalling Compliments: Funny or Sexist?

Erin Rooney

The Snickers ad released in March this year has sparked much controversy in its portrayal of Aussie builders, facing accusations of perpetuating sexism against men.

For those who haven’t stumbled across it yet, the ad takes Snickers’ ongoing slogan 'You Aren’t You When You’re Hungry' and shows builders shouting out compliments and encouraging statements to women passing by. It draws on stereotypes of catcalling tradies, weaving their slogan in conveniently.

There have been many negative interpretations of their spectacle, such as the implication that builders are usually sexist and derogatory towards women, and that this is ‘who they are’. An implication that perhaps the directors of this campaign could have changed simply by switching the shouting of positive comments to negative comments, making the reason that some builders catcall ‘not being themselves when they’re hungry’.

Others have suggested that it represents a clever, humorous play on the tradie stereotype whilst delivering a subtle social critique. The fact that the stereotype exists certainly causes concern for the acceptance of catcalling as a normal part of our society.

What’s your opinion? Is the public being too sensitive or is this a serious cultural issue that must be addressed? Leave us a comment below!

Image source: http://gometro.block5design.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/builders-604x332.jpg

Since When Does ‘Ugly’ Equate to ‘Competence’?

Ivan Chan

There exists in society an age old adage that “ugly women are perceived as competent whilst pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead”.

Utter rubbish if you ask me, but apparently such dated ways of thinking have permeated the consciousness of the United States Army. Don’t believe me? Well, an Army Colonel by the name of Lynette Arnhart has urged her public relations department to only use ‘ugly’ or ‘average’ looking women in its promotional photos. She argues that by using a ‘pretty’ female soldier, the “rest of the message” is lost. Instead, a woman whose only makeup consists of messy hair and mud slung all over her face “sends a different message” – that of a woman willing to do the dirty hard yards necessary to get the job done… Not very convincing PR if you ask me.

It seems that ever since the US (and Australian) Army decided to remove all combat restrictions for women and allow them to participate in combat roles, they’ve struggled to wrap their minds around gender integration. Being a soldier in the Australian Army Reserve, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside women in the Defence Force. Regardless of rank, appearance or ethnicity, they have all proven to be worthy compatriots. The aesthetic appeal of an individual should never be used as a yardstick for an individual’s ability and competence. An emphasis on merit above all else should be used instead.

Source- http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=132887156

Windows Phones & the Law of Relative Popularity

Jasper Roberts

Paid product placements are on the upswing. Window's Phones and Bing are everywhere but in reality. There is no surer indicator of a creative work with a corporate sponsor than the presence of a Lumia or someone “binging it”, it’s the least coy marketing method we have ever seen, and I'm growing tired of it. At least with the viral video approach I am interested in trying to pick out who has sponsored the video. With Bing it's like entering the twilight zone.

Cool is still king and there isn't anything less cool than someone flashing their phone towards the camera or a not so deftly placed Bing tab in focus. As soon as the placement is consciously acknowledged by the audience any cache of cool is gone. At a certain point, companies have to realise that not everyone uses their products. You can't litter fictional worlds with Lumias and expect this ideal to be mirrored by reality.

Here is a freebie, I call it: the Law of Relative Popularity. It refers to the fact that you can't increase the expected popularity of a product within a work of fiction beyond two standard deviations from its popularity within reality's general population. Microsoft breaks this law repeatedly!

House of Lies contains the most blatant breaches of this law. Even ignoring the fact that everyone chooses to have Bing as their homepage, the Lynx level misogyny on display in the show is ridiculous. We go from a woman performing a hand job to a Lumia taking up the entire frame. The message is clear, keep a Lumia at hand and women will keep your member in theirs.

House of Lies, a fitting title
Source- http://imgur.com/a/yRF5f
It all just rings so hollow: an infomercial done wrong, and it doesn't have to be. In a world where the Lego movie exists – and is good –  Microsoft's product placement appears lazy and ineffective in comparison.

Microsoft Supports the 99%
Source- http://imgur.com/a/yRF5f