Hello, we are social. We’re a global conversation agency with offices in Sydney, New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore & São Paulo. We help brands to listen, understand and engage in conversations in social media.
We’re a new kind of agency, but conversations between people are nothing new. Neither is the idea that ‘markets are conversations’.

We’re already helping Optus, eBay, Kia Automotive, Nivea, Expedia, Sony, Roadshow Films, Seven Network, Open Universities Australia & Adidas.

If you’d like to chat about us helping you too, then give us a call on (02) 9046-3700 or drop us an email.

Mobiles Surge Ahead in APAC

by Jason Mander in News

The team at GlobalWebIndex joined forces with We Are Social again for our new APAC Digital report, which we published recently. In this guest post, GWI’s Jason Mander shares his take on one of the hottest digital trends in APAC, and what it means for marketers.

As We Are Social’s new Digital, Social and Mobile in APAC 2015 report makes clear, Asia still lags (considerably) behind regions like North America and Western Europe when it comes to internet penetration rates. In places like India, for example, fewer than 1 in 5 adults are going online – which means internet populations in these countries tend to be skewed towards young, urban and affluent segments.


These demographic trends are one of the major reasons why fast-growth markets are typically at the forefront of many digital behaviours such as social networking engagement and mobile internet usage. But it also shows why mobiles are so key to the future of this region: each year, tens of millions of APAC consumers are coming online for the first time, and many will be doing so via mobile.

Of course, the migration away from PCs and laptops towards mobiles has been much documented. But GlobalWebIndex’s long-term data on this area shows just how rapidly the switch is occurring in APAC; as our chart below makes clear, the average time per day that digital consumers in APAC are spending online is on the rise, but this is being driven almost exclusively by mobiles.

In fact, while the last three years have seen little change in the amount of daily time captured by PCs/laptops, the figure for mobiles jumped from 1.44 in 2012 to 2.21 hours in 2014. In terms of share, that means mobiles now account for 34% of time spent online in APAC, up from 25% in 2012. This pattern shows no sign of slowing: each year, mobiles are becoming more and more important gateways to the internet.


Age-based patterns are particularly telling, here: the younger the individual, the more time they typically devote to the mobile web (with smartphones now accounting for 39% of total time spent online among 16-24s versus just 19% for 55-64s). In contrast, time devoted to linear TV and traditional radio increases in line with age, so it’s not simply that 16-24s are ahead for all media consumption behaviors. Rather, it’s that they’re leading the charge towards anything digital, and toward mobile usage in particular.

As always, generalisations are a dangerous thing, here. Across APAC, average time on the mobile internet per day is typically lowest in places such as Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea – where high internet penetration rates mean that online populations have much more balanced age profiles. But that mobiles are the devices carrying all the momentum in this region is beyond doubt.

Read the full Digital, Social & Mobile in APAC in 2015 report here.


tagged: , , ,

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune Up #182

by Dhanuj Selvaraj

Happy Netflix day!
It is finally here – the day people down under have been waiting for. Netflix has launched in Australia and New Zealand. Go forth and binge! The announcement was first made on Netflix’s Twitter and Facebook pages just past midnight today. The hashtag #NetflixDownUnder started trending countrywide this morning and eventually making a worldwide impact as shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.27.42 pm

Ahead of the launch party, the Netflix cast are in town. Over the weekend YouTuber Natalie Tran took over Netflix’s Instagram channel whilst taking the cast around the Sydney landmarks.

Pay your friends through Facebook
Facebook has added free, friend-to-friend payments via its Messenger app. Certain Facebook users (currently in the US only) can add a Visa/Mastercard debit card to gain access to a $ button, by which they can transfer money. The launch was announced in the below video, featuring one Steve Davis (though sadly not the snooker legend).

Facebook to beef up Messenger
Inspired by the likes of WeChat and Line, Facebook is planning to expand its Messenger app into a platform that does more than facilitate conversation. The first step is finding ways for third parties to build on Messenger, though we’ll be expecting further moves in the future.

Youtube replaces Annotations with Cards
YouTube is replacing ‘Annotations’, which allow creators to add clickable overlay to videos, with a new feature: ‘Cards’. The updated system benefits from mobile optimisation and a new visual style; cards will appear to the right-hand-side of the video, and can include different images/text depending on which card is used. The six announced thus far are: Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.45.42 AM

LinkedIn acquires ‘Careerify’ startup
LinkedIn has purchased Careerify, a startup that creates software to aid the hiring process. Careerify uses connections across social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to automatically discover potential ‘recommendations’ for an open position. As LinkedIn looks to use data to create connections between users and potential jobs, the move could prove very useful.

Jameson lauds the shot for St. Patrick’s Day
Last week was St. Patrick’s Day, in case you’ve forgotten (for whatever reason). Jameson Irish Whiskey used #LongLivetheShot as the basis for a multidimensional social campaign during and after the event, involving a feature called ‘Shots Eye View’ that asked for pictures through the lens of a whiskey glass, videos that celebrated bartenders and geotargeted location-specific Facebook ads.

Red or brown? Heinz and We Are Social settle the debate
Heinz and We Are Social are determined to find the answer to the age old question: Tomato Ketchup or HP Sauce? The FMCG brand is pitting two of its products against one another in a content-led campaign that includes propaganda from both sides, driving to a vote on a dedicated microsite.


Tinder bot promotes sci-fi AI film
Ex Machina, a sci-fi film about artificial intelligence, has been using Tinder as part of its promotion. Users who match with ‘Ava’, whose profile picture shows the film’s star, Alicia Vikander, end up conversing with a bot that asks a series of odd questions. She then says ‘you’ve passed my test’ and links to an Instagram account for the film. Alan Turing, eat your heart out.

Ava Tinder bot

tagged: , , , , , ,

How STA Travel added social currency to domestic travel

by Lisa Collins in News

Marketing Magazine recently published this case study of our wok for STA Travel Australia. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.


STA Travel influenced a 22% uplift in domestic travel sales with this campaign, which linked the brand to young Australians’ love of photography and social media. This case study with agency We Are Social goes through the campaign step-by-step.

Campaign: ‘Wander Australia’

Client: STA Travel Australia

Agency: We Are Social

Young Australians have been putting their homeland very far down their travel priority list. The allure of overseas locations combined with a limited of knowledge of Australia’s unique destinations has led to dwindling domestic travel numbers and the idea that local holidays lack the ‘social cachet’ of travelling abroad.

To change that perception, We Are Social created a socially-led campaign for STA Australia that encouraged young Australians to travel domestically and #WanderAustralia.


Young Australians have been putting their homeland very far down their travel priority list. The allure of overseas locations combined with a limited of knowledge of Australia’s unique destinations has led to dwindling domestic travel numbers and the idea that local holidays lack the ‘social cachet’ of travelling abroad.

To change that perception, We Are Social created a socially-led campaign for STA Australia that encouraged young Australians to travel domestically and #WanderAustralia.


The campaign objectives were:

  • Increase domestic travel bookings by 18% on the previous year,
  • achieve at least 10,000 entries for the #WanderAustralia promotion, and
  • increase the STA Australia Instagram following by at least 20%.


We Are Social developed the campaign based on the insight that young Australians find the thought of travelling in Australia a little boring and believe a domestic trip will not provide the same level of social currency (social bragging rights) they can get from an overseas holiday.

We Are Social recognised that tapping into the audience’s individuality and allowing them to take control of and personalise their intended Aussie experience would help to alter this perception.

To boost the social cache of domestic travel and to create a context that would illustrate an array of Australian travel experiences in a way that would resonate with the audience, the campaign made use of social media influencers popular with the audience.

The resulting #WanderAustralia campaign was developed as a way to showcase Australia in a way that would be representative of the target audience’s lifestyle and reflect their popular culture via the people that hold influence with them.

STA PR pack

Social Insights

Nearly every marketing campaign these days contains a hashtag, but not many of them resonate with their intended audience. Many focus entirely on what the brand wants to talk about with little relevance to the wider audience. The essence of social media marketing is conversation – tapping into existing audience dialogue around topics that are of interest to them – therefore, in order to succeed, any use of hashtags in a campaign needs to be tied to the wider audience conversation.

By listening to how the target consumer group was already communicating and interacting in social, We Are Social developed insights into what made up that group’s popular culture. Listening to what they were already saying in social about the industry niche, the brand and competitors, revealed what brand themes might resonate with them. The goal here was to understand how to integrate the brand campaign with the pre-existing popular culture of the audience.

The #WanderAustralia hashtag was developed based on research that revealed a key audience insight – #wanderlust was the most popular term being used by young Australians in social media when talking about travel. We Are Social wanted the campaign hashtag to be fundamental to the audience and the campaign – to infiltrate popular culture by providing social currency when shared. In essence, We Are Social wanted to create a campaign that would help make the act of sharing Australian travels cool and to allow natural dialogue to flow around it.


Creative Concept

The #WanderAustralia campaign was designed to capture the imagination of the target audience with a unique take on travel photography. The focal point of the campaign was the #WanderAustralia m-site (wanderaustralia.com.au) where iconic images by some of Australia’s leading Instagram influencers received a retro refit with a digital twist via the #WanderAustralia digital viewer.

Referencing the classic stereoscopic 3D viewer, a popular childhood toy originally created to promote travel, We Are Social created a unique digital #WanderAustralia viewer to showcase some of the best Australian travel photography.



To kick-start the campaign, four of Australia’s most popular Instagrammers – @miannscalan, @matttully, @mrweekender and @loveassembly – were sent on bespoke holidays to key locations around Australia. They documented their trips on Instagram, introducing the #WanderAustralia hashtag to their followers. Their photos were regrammed from the STA Australia Instagram account as further teaser activity in the lead-up to the campaign.

The influencers were handpicked for their resonance with young Australians and their unique style, which helped reframe domestic travel to their followers and the wider STA Travel Australia audience. These images were then featured on the m-site along with images from Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign.

The #WanderAustralia Instagrammers encouraged their fans to visit the #WanderAustralia m-site where users could view the adventure of each influencer, get inspired and create their own ‘Ultimate Australian adventure’ image reel by adding their choice of #WanderAustralia images to their very own digital viewer reel. Once their reel was full, users could get inspired to travel Australia by viewing the images as if looking through the eyes of the retro viewer.

The #WanderAustralia campaign ran for one month. Once users had created their own customised ‘ultimate Australian adventure’ they could then upload their own personally designed #WanderAustralia reel to enter the STA Travel Australia competition for a chance to win their own ‘ultimate Australian adventure’. They could also share the reel on Facebook, further amplifying the reach of the campaign.

Throughout the campaign, to increase salience around the #WanderAustralia hashtag, further peer-to-peer sharing of great Australian images was encouraged through an additional Instagram-based competition. Users who uploaded their own #WanderAustralia travel photographs to Instagram were eligible for the chance to win a real- life #WanderAustralia viewer and reel.

STA Travel Australia supported the campaign across all of its 72 retail outlets with multimedia campaign assets and boosted the campaign reach by promoting #WanderAustralia across all of its marketing channels. There was even a fleet of customised kombi vans, vehicles synonymous with Aussie road trips, helping to boost the campaign reach. The campaign had minimal media support, with a small number of promoted Facebook and Twitter posts.

We Are Social knew that the audience loves sharing holiday photos on social media and so used that insight to advantage, boosting the social cachet of domestic travel in a way that resonated with the audience, via the people that hold social influence with them – proving that young Australians did indeed love to #WanderAustralia.

STA in store support


  • STA Travel Australia saw a 22% year-on-year uplift in domestic travel sales (22% above target),
  • there were 14,167 entries for the promotion (40% above target),
  • the #WanderAustralia campaign m-site received 22,109 visits with an average session duration of three minutes and 46 seconds,
  • influencers helped generate over 1.9 million potential impressions across Instagram and Twitter, driving over 96,000 engagements with #WanderAustralia messaging,
  • STA branded content accumulated 1.1 million impressions with nearly 45,000 brand engagements,
  • STA’s Instagram following grew by 30% while one-third of competition entrants converted to Facebook fans, and
  • even @Australia wanted to #WanderAustralia, regramming one of the campaign images to its 600,000-plus followers.

tagged: , , ,

Oz Dean’s Adfest Diary – day two

by Lisa Collins in News

Campaign Brief recently published this diary post by We Are Social creative director Oz Dean, about his experience judging the Mobile Lotus at ADFEST 2015. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.


This morning began with a good double dose of buffet breakfast, in the hotel opposite the one my room is in. Local knowledge deemed this restaurant the place to go for breakfast and they were right. Check out this watermelon. That’s a Craft entry right there!

Following breakfast, I met with my fellow jurors to tackle mobile, on this second and last day of judging, and we wasted no time in reviewing borderline finalists, deciding whether or not they should hit the list.

There was really only one piece of work in Mobile that I thought, “I wish I’d done that.” The general consensus (and we discussed this at length through the day and over lunch) was one of disappointment. The calibre of work in mobile was not “so undeniably good it can’t be ignored.” The distribution of metal will reflect this and can be seen either as an opportunity for others to raise the game next year or as a sad reflection of the support of mobile campaigns and utility in APAC.

Looking at the following slide there are over 219 million users (of social mobile phones) in APAC. And 375 million mobile connections have been made since Jan 2014.


So why aren’t marketers and brands getting behind mobile when mobile penetration and use is off the chart? I think this is a topic in itself that should be explored further.

With regards some of the specific entries there was definitely more conversation around the authenticity of the work today, compared to yesterday. The wearable tech space seems to be a hotbed of suspect work that may or may not be real. It certainly makes things challenging when deciding whether to award it or not.

Once the work had been awarded metal, we covered off the category breakdown and talked about whether there should be additional categories in mobile. For example, there is a prototype category in interactive and why shouldn’t there be a prototype category in mobile?

One concern with adding a ‘prototype’ was that it could attract more suspect work created purely to win awards. We also looked at the social category in interactive and asked ourselves whether it should be, not one, but possibly three or four categories related to the type of work emerging in this field?

Another suggestion was, should mobile be a part of interactive as any campaign should, by default, contain a mobile component (and we were judging the two together but separately)?

We finished up earlier than expected and took a group shot before retiring to the pool to cool down. Sadly Rei was collared for more Grand President duties and whisked back inside the convention centre.


tagged: , ,

Oz Dean’s Adfest Diary – day one

by Lisa Collins in News

Campaign Brief recently published this diary post by We Are Social creative director Oz Dean, about his experience judging the Interactive Lotus at ADFEST 2015. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.

Adfest 2015_1


I am at Adfest in Pattaya, Thailand, representing Australia on the Interactive and Mobile jury presided over by Rei Inamoto (CCO & VP of AKQA). This is my first time at Adfest and I am honoured to have been asked to select this year’s best work in the region. On my jury are representatives from Tokyo (Nadya Kirillova from Dentsu and Tatsuro Miura from Hakuhodo), Singapore (Vinod Savio from Tribal DDB), Hong Kong (Sami Thessman from TBWA DAN) & Thailand (Atawoot Wesaranurak). An ex colleague of mine, Brett Mitchell of Pollen, also joined us as one of the Adfest collective ‘observers’.

As Pat mentioned yesterday, as Grand Jury President, Rei’s guiding principle for this year’s selection should be work “so undeniably good it can’t be ignored”.

That’s a phrase that rings true with regards the remote judging round which occurred a few weeks back. Some of the work during that round could easily be ignored or forgotten. Furthermore, having spent 3 years in Singapore, I can now spot scam entries a mile off. I quickly dismissed flaky and suspect campaigns that stood out as work entered purely to win awards. There was also work that employed technology without an insight or good brand fit/truth behind it.

As a jury we have two days ahead of us to get through the entries. Today we decided to tackle the interactive entries. We spent the morning finalising borderline work into finalists and then moved onto awarding metal in the afternoon. Thankfully I didn’t have to touch the PC (*shiver*) in front of me as we sifted through the work as a group.

We were, as history dictates, in a dark room in the convention centre (Peach) with just one window. The air con was way too enthusiastic for a room that small and we experienced conditions worse than a cinema in Singapore. Later in the day, the jury got creative and worked out the optimal (warmest) spots to sit. Tomorrow I will bring a jumper.

Onto the work. If I am brutally honest, the work wasn’t as high a quality as I had hoped for.  If any scam got through we didn’t pick it. Some larger network agencies in Asia were noticeably absent. There was a good amount of healthy debate about whether certain campaigns belonged in the category they had been entered in.

Having joined We Are Social last year, I was keen to see whether there were any truly social by design campaigns. There weren’t many but the ones entered were pretty solid. You’ll see those recognised on Friday at the awards ceremony.

The day went without any real lengthy discussions or disagreements until we came to the final Grand Prix decision. We mulled over this one for a good hour and a half, possibly lengthened because of the slip up of one unnamed jury member who forgot he should have abstained leading to some confusion and a recount/revote/tie that needed to be resolved before we could finish for the day. We landed upon the chosen one by asking ourselves what sets the bar high for next year and is the work pushing us forward?

Tomorrow we tackle mobile.

(Pictured: Tatsuro Miura, CD at Hakuhodo Tokyo; Vinod Savio, CD at Tribal DDB Singapore; Oz Dean, CD at We Are Social Australia; Rei Inamoto, Global CCO & VP of AKQA New York; Sami Thessman, Global ECD at TBWA DAN HK and Nadya Kirillova, CD at Dentsu Inc Tokyo)

tagged: , , , ,