Friday, September 04, 2015

digital advertising. where did it all go wrong?

By 1971 Manchester United’s Irish star George Best's hectic off-field celebrity life style had began to take its toll on his effectiveness on the pitch.

Arguably the most talented footballer of his (or just about any) generation George had lost interest in the game, developing a reputation for general unreliability and missing both training sessions and matches.

This erratic behaviour was connected to Best's developing problem with alcoholism. He eventually parted company with United (and football) during the 1973/4 season, at the end of which Manchester United were relegated.

George Best was only 27 when he quit - an age when most players are usually regarded as being at or near their peak – and the ‘wasted genius who threw it all away’ narrative was never far from the tabloid headlines.

Without the distraction of football, George was free to pursue his other interests – namely drinking, gambling and glamorous women.

One night in 1974 George spent the evening in a casino with a former Miss World.

They won a silly amount of money, went back to their hotel room and ordered the hotel’s best champagne which was shortly delivered by an Irish room service waiter.

The waiter looked at George, Miss World, the piles of money scattered all over the bed, the vintage champagne and said to Best:

“So tell me now George…
 Where did it all go wrong?”

On the surface, George didn’t look like he was having too many problems.

Similarly, looking at the numbers, online advertising seems to be in rude health.

PwC forecasts that global total internet advertising revenue is set to grow from (US) $135.42bn in 2014 to $239.87bn in 2019, a Compound Annual Growth Rate over the period of 12.1%.

They go on to predict that as the segment captures an ever-larger portion of advertising budgets, it will exceed TV to become the largest single advertising category by 2019.

Here in Australia the digital advertising market also continues to grow with the latest IAB/PwC Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) noting that it generated $1.15 billion during the March quarter, another 5% increase year on year.

That’s a lot of money scattered over internet advertising’s bed.

It’s had a few good nights at the casino but the real problems are only now starting to unravel.

A basic problem is the widespread acceptance and assumption in the industry that ‘advertising online’ almost exclusively means ‘highly targeted direct response advertising’.

Where did it all go wrong?

There is also widespread acceptance and assumption among web users that ‘advertising online’ must mean tracking.

It’s easiest to point the finger at adtech (or programmatic) the spoiled problem child of direct response marketing, given far too many toys to play with.

Adtech’s parents (Direct marketing) knew their role. They were there to make the phone ring after brand advertising had done it’s job.

But that wasn’t good enough for for the adtech brats. They wanted the whole game, and the internet – led by their big brothers and sisters Google, Facebook et al,  allowed them to play it.

But if - as adtech asserts - people are demanding and responding to more personalised and relevant ‘advertising’ , why isn’t ad-blocking adoption going down instead of up?

It turns out that people don't like the idea of being tracked and profiled.

They don't like being followed around the web by ads for stuff they have already bought (this has a knock-on effect in that it harms those brands that are doing the following. It looks desperate, it’s creepy and does nothing for ‘signal’)

And people don’t like their mobile data allowance being spunked by ads.

So naturally they start installing adblocking software.

And everyone loses.

While adblocking solves one consumer problem – they don’t see intrusive ads – it doesn’t solve any privacy problem.

Even if a human user doesn’t see the small portion of ads served that are actually viewable (most of the page views and clicks reported are fraudulent anyway) they are still being tracked, for the most part, and the adblocker may have done a deal with ‘white-list’ adservers anyway to allow preferred ads through.

From an advertisers point of view, and also for agencies and publishers; the failure with ad tech (aside from fraud, data-leakage, invasion of privacy) is that it is simply not able to deliver the necessary brand advertising part of the equation.

The internet’s inability to deliver on brand advertising means it is (today) no place to be if you want to build a brand over the next 10 years, and no amount of adtech is going to fix that because we have set up the web to only deliver direct response marketing in advertising clothing in the form of impressions and clicks - coincidentally the easiest things to fake and to track - and an ecosystem that rewards crap.

Brand advertising creates demand, direct response fulfils it.

A model in which the high quality sites, with high quality audience do their own deals with high quality brand advertisers, extracting (at least) the highest quality parts of their available inventory from the programmatic space might be a start.

Publishers could restrict their premium inventory, creating scarcity and an opportunity for ‘signal’.
A bit of brand-building conspicuous waste.

(I pitched for work a couple of years ago and this was their exact model. There was no way they were going to sully their web presence with anything other than premium ads or premium native – same strategy as the print mag).

And us in agencies need to stop pushing adtech and data-driven as the answer to every digital advertising problem for fear of looking not-up-to-date.

A final thought...if account planners still cared about being representing the minds of consumers rather than the latest gizmo then we would never have got into this mess in the first place. 

Stanley Pollitt is turning in his grave.

George Best famously noted:

"I spent most of my money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

We've squandered a lot of advertising money on dubious adtech and direct response advertising that's created no value for publishers, advertisers or consumers.

Time to spend some on booze, birds and fast cars.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I see you baby...shakin' that ass

Lions have a couple of principal hunting methods.

The first is one in which the lion stalks, undercover, getting as close as possible to the target, saving vital energy for a final burst of speed at the end.

Lions can’t run very fast over distance.

The second method involves find a bush close to a water hole, for example, hiding in it and waiting for unsuspecting dinner to appear.

This second approach is double-good for the lion who can also have a snooze whilst technically ‘out hunting’.
A bit like ‘working from home’.

Our Lion wakes up and sees a young gazelle taking a break by the water.
Lion tentatively moves out of the bush, but the alert young gazelle clocks him straight away.

But gazelle doesn’t run.
Nor does he crouch or try to hide.
Instead he turns to face the Lion.

Standing up straight he barks and stamps the ground with his hooves, all the time staring-out his potential attacker.

The Lion comes a bit nearer.
Surely the gazelle should get off his mark now?

Nope. He stands his ground, then begins a series of repeated jumps, using all four legs, a kind of dance known as ‘stotting’.

After a number of these jumps he then begins a somewhat leisurely run, shakin’ his ass and short black tail at the Lion in a kind of gazelle version of ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.’

The Lion steps back into the bush for another nap.

Why would the gazelle waste time and energy jumping up and down in front of an extremely dangerous predator instead of legging it as fast as it can?

And why does the Lion not go for him?

Biologist Amotz Zahavi asked this same question, and published the findings in 1975 in a study called The Handicap Principle.

(I recommend this one to young planners when they ask for reading material.)

Zahavi suggests that the gazelle is 'signalling' to the predator that it has seen it; and that by 'wasting' time and by jumping high in the air rather than running away, it demonstrates in a reliable way that it is able to outrun the Lion.

‘Even parties in the most adversarial relationships, such as prey and predator, may communicate, provided that they have a common interest: in this case, both want to avoid a pointless chase.’

The gazelle is communicating – implicitly - to the Lion as if to say:
‘Look at the amount of energy I can waste, and still get away from you.
Let’s not waste each other’s time.
Go and find something to eat that you might have a chance of catching.’

The Handicap Principal in a nutshell states that - to be effective - signals have to be

1. Reliable
2. And in order to be reliable, signals have to be costly.

It’s an elegant idea: waste makes sense.
‘Conspicuous’ waste in particular.

‘By wasting [conspicuously], one proves conclusively that one has enough assets to waste and more. The investment -the waste itself- is just what makes the advertisement reliable.’

The waste itself is just what makes the ‘advertisement’ reliable.

Researchers Tim Ambler and E. Ann Hollier wondered if the same thing applied in brand advertising and published their findings in The Waste in Advertising Is the Part That Works.

The pair devised a number of signalling tests including showing respondents showing ‘expensive-looking’ and ‘degraded’ versions of the same TV commercials to experimental subjects, and found that the perceived expense was influential in reported perceptions of brand quality.

 ‘The perceived extravagance of an advertisement contributes to advertising effectiveness by increasing credibility. It draws especially on the Handicap Principle in biology: animals use wasteful characteristics to signal their exceptional biological fitness. It hypothesises that excesses in advertising work in a similar way by signalling brand fitness…

…High perceived advertising expense enhances an advertisement’s [persuasiveness] significantly, but largely indirectly, by strengthening perceptions of brand quality’

The most important fact about a signal is that both senders and receivers benefit from its use.

At the core of signalling is the idea that businesses are constantly communicating through their actions, even when they are not intentionally communicating.

Over time, we implicitly learn that heavily advertised brands are of a high quality, and because advertising causes salience of the brand name, most times we can infer high quality from recognition alone.

It is the increasing absence of such signal that is becoming one of the core problems we have with digital advertising today.

Faris has spoken of it in terms of a Malthusian trap

‘Every time some new space opens up in culture, we rush to fill it, create an arms race, destroy the space in our self created Malthusian Trap.’

Bob Hoffman adds this, in his inimitable fashion.

‘I can think of nothing that has done more harm to the internet than adtech.
It is a plague. It interferes with virtually everything we try to do on the web. It has cheapened and debased advertising. It has helped spawn criminal empires. It is in part responsible for unprecedented fraud and corruption. It has turned marketing executives into clueless baboons. And it is destroying the idea of privacy, one of the backbones of democracy.’

Also Don Marti (who has been on the case about signal longer than most)

‘But when advertisers try to target users individually, signalling breaks down. Targeting turns an ad into the digital version of a cold call. Targeted ads tend to “burn out” the medium in which they appear, through a Peak Advertising effect. Each new targetable medium falls in value and popularity as users figure it out, filter it, or get their governments to restrict it.

The question remains.

At some point soon we are going to have to figure out how the hell to build brands on the internet, because we haven’t done much of a job so far.

But more on that later...

'I know you all know what I'm talkin' about,
Don't be lookin' at me like that now,
I see you baby shakin' that ass'

Monday, June 08, 2015

aim for fame

James Norrington: 'You are without doubt the worst pirate I've ever heard of'.

Capt. Jack Sparrow: 'But you have heard of me'.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

how to win at 'chicken'

Two cars head toward each other. 

The first driver to swerve loses the game, along with some stature among his adolescent peers. 

On the other hand, if neither driver bails out, both lose in a bigger way. 

What to do? 

Toss your steering wheel out the window in full view of the other driver. 

Once convinced that you’re irrevocably committed to your course, he will, if rational, do the swerving himself.

Friday, May 22, 2015

aberrant salience meets rosser reeves uptown

The term 'salience' - in marketing speak - refers to the likelihood that a particular brand will ‘come to mind’ easily in buying situations. 

In How Brands Grow, Professor Sharp uses the term to describe the idea of ‘mental availability’.

The easier a brand is to remember, in more buying situations, for more potential buyers, then the higher the overall mental ‘availability’ of the brand, ergo the more likelihood that the most salient brand will be bought.

Salience is also widely used in cognitive science, to describe the attention grabbing quality of things in general.

This is where ad people often get slightly confused.
While a campaign may be salient in the cognitive sense – its content is eye catching or entertaining for example – its effectiveness as a branding vehicle depends of how easily it is for those who view or interact will 'remember' which brand it was at an appropriate buying opportunity.

This requires subconscious (and conscious) brand cues throughout, fuelling the content-addressable memoryBranded neuro-richness, if you prefer.

Therefore ad salience and brand salience are two halves of the job.

Much of the so-called branded content out there seems to fail on these points.

It’s neither ad salient (i.e. brand content that is pitched as ‘comic’ is nowhere near as funny as regular unbranded comedy therefore does not stand-out) nor is it brand salient (assuming one has the mettle to stick it out through five or six minutes of sub standard 'entertainment' the branding itself may fleetingly appear only on the end frame).

Medical conditions such as psychosis and schizophrenia are also now widely believed to involve, at least in part, a problem with the mind’s regulation of salience.

In states of psychosis ordinary or commonplace things appear more important or alarming than they should.

In extreme cases this can take the form of delusions or hallucinations.
More than being mistaken or perhaps mild confusion they can include disturbing states such as believing that your thoughts are being manipulated by aliens, somehow external forces are controlling your actions, or believing that people want to engage in meaningful relationships with brands.

This idea, ‘Psychosis as a state of aberrant salience’ was popularised by the psychiatrist Shitij Kapur.

Kapur’s Aberrant Salience Theory connects delusions and hallucinations to differences in dopamine function.

He argues that dopamine is crucial in highlighting which things are ‘motivationally important’, how they stand out from each other.

Dopamine plays a critical role in the function of the central nervous system, and is also linked with the brain's complex system of motivation and reward.

Dopamine release can be artificially stimulated through the use of drugs like MDMA (Ecstacy), whereas instances where dopamine release would naturally occur include during sex, or when hugging your child, or when a Twitter campaign delivers a 1500% ROI.

Advertising’s adaptation of Aberrant Salience theory is known as the Rosser Reeves Fallacy.

Reeves was one of the most famous ad men of the 50s, and also inventor of the ‘unique selling proposition’.

We can hang him for that one in another post, for this one we want to focus on his equally flawed method for measuring ad effectiveness

In simple terms Reeves method involved taking a sample of your target customer, show them your advertising and see how many of them recognise it.

Compare scores for yay vs nay and there’s your effect.

The Reeves theory is grabbing the wrong end of the stick, the problem is that people are far more likely to notice and remember advertising for the brands they use and like.

And a brand's Facebook fans or social media following tend also to be heavier buyers.
Of course they are, that's why they become fans in the first place.
They become fans of brands that they already know, already like and already use.

As Les Binet and Sarah Carter explain in their Mythbuster series:

‘These new digital incarnations of the Rosser Reeves Fallacy are particularly dangerous. Because they focus on heavy buyers, they lead to a flawed emphasis on loyalty over penetration, targeting over reach, and price promotion over brand building – all strategies proven to be less profitable’.

Just this week the annual Sensis SocialMedia Report asserts:

‘Marketers are failing to give consumers what they want on social media after mistakenly believing the public are keen to have a two-way conversation with their brand.’

All good so far.

84% of marketers are looking to open a conversation, [but] most punters want discounts (45%), give-aways (35%) and coupons (30%).

Exactly, customers don’t want to engage they just want to get the brands and products they already like and use, for cheaper.

Except, the Sensis report seems to indicate that this is what they should be given.

‘[its] important for brands to take a softly, softly approach when first building an audience base before moving to a more sales-driven message. People are engaging with businesses and once they have established a relationship they are absolutely open to…offers and incentives.’

Aberrant Salience Meets Rosser Reeves Uptown.

A problem with the mind’s regulation of salience.
States of psychosis in which the wrong things appear important.

Like the focus on heavy buyers,
The flawed emphasis on loyalty over penetration,
Tight targeting over broad reach,
And price promotion over brand building.

All strategies proven to be less profitable.
And yet still widely practiced and recommended.

Friday, May 15, 2015

catenaccio, totaalvoetbal, tiki-taka

'That’s the essence of strategy: to outperform rivals, who are trying to do better than us' 

Phil Rosenzweig ‘Left Brain, Right Stuff’ 2015 

On the evening of 31 May 1972 in Rotterdam, Ajax of Amsterdam defeat Internazionale of Milan 2-0 - via two second-half goals from Johan Cruyff - to win the European Champions cup for the second successive year.

The Times reported ‘Ajax proved that creative attack is the real lifeblood of the game; that blanket defence can be outwitted and outmanoeuvred, and by doing so they made the outlines of the night a little sharper and the shadows a little brighter.’

This game is often said to be totaalvoetbal’s finest moment.

The Dutch press trumpeted ‘The Inter system undermined. Defensive football is destroyed.’ 

The Inter system, or catenaccio was a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence.

The system had been employed most notably and successfully by Helenio Herrera, coach for the great Internazionale team - known as Grande Inter - in the latter half of the1960s.

Inter dominated domestic Italian football during this period and when they won three Scudetti, two European Champions Cups and two Intercontinental Cups.

Herrera adapted the traditional Italian 5–3–2 formation known as the verrou (door bolt) - a parking-the-bus approach focused on preventing opponents goal-scoring opportunities - to include the new idea of the swift counter-attack.

Counter-attacking being a rapid back-to-the-front tactic typically beginning with long passes from the defence catching opponents out of position while they are focused on attacking manuevers.

Key to the catenaccio system – and rapid counter-attacking - was the introduction of the role of a libero or sweeper. The libero is a free creative defender who operates behind a line of three defenders, ‘sweeping up’ loose balls, double-marking and setting up counter-attacks from behind the defence.

The Grande Inter team were captained by libero Armando Picchi.
Though perhaps the most famous sweeper of all is the German, Franz Beckenbauer.
The irony of this fact shall become apparent.

Herrera was also notable introducing motivational psych tactics and was good for a few one-liners.

‘Class + Preparation + Intelligence + Athleticism = Championships’ 

But while Inter and catenaccio were dominating European football a new development began to emerge in the Netherlands.

Totaalvoetbal, (total football) pioneered by Ajax of Amsterdam, under the guidance of coach Rinus Michels emerged from around 1965, flourished between 1970 and 1974, and that one night in May 1972 appeared to have effectively killed Herrera's catenaccio stone dead.

To observers at the time totaalvoetbal, seemed to be the antithesis of catenaccio.

For a start, totaalvoetbal is an attack-oriented strategy.

A pro-active approach. There is no counter-attacking, total football works by constant positional interchange among the players, pressing hard to gain and keep possession while preventing the opposition from having the ball.

The genius of total football was its agile approach.
NO player is fixed in his role; anyone can assume the role of an attacker, a midfielder or a defender, depending on the nature of the play.

In the 1970-73 era Ajax dominated the domestic Dutch league and won three successive European Cups. In 1972, after Ajax defeated Inter 2–0 in that European Cup final the experts confidently announced the victory as the ‘destruction of catenaccio’ .

The final nail in the catenaccio coffin was the following year as Ajax destroyed Milan 6–0 to lift the European Super Cup.

While seemingly polar opposites in approach - catenaccio being defence oriented, totaalvoetbal attack based – there are commonalities.

The Dutch striker Johan Cruyff, for example, was totaalvoetbal’s poster child.

Cruyff was officially a centre forward, however he played all over the pitch, starting attacks from wherever he could collect a pass.

Cruyff's teammates had to adapt themselves flexibly around his movements, regularly switching positions so that the team kept its shape, although the positions were filled by anyone.

In a sense the Cruyff role was the attacking free role version of the defensive libero of the Grande Inter era.

Cruyff summed up his (total football) philosophy:
"Simple football is the most beautiful. But playing simple football is the hardest thing." 

The 1970/71 Ajax coach Michels was later appointed Dutch national team coach for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

Unsurprisingly, most of the 1974 squad were players from Ajax and rivals Feyenoord (who also played a style similar to the Ajax totaalvoetbal).

The Dutch cruised through their first and second round matches, defeating Argentina 4–0, East Germany 2–0, and holders Brazil 2–0 to set up a final with hosts West Germany, which they were expected to win.

So, when Johan Neeskens scored from the penalty spot to give the Netherlands a 1–0 lead within 80 seconds of play (and before a German player had even touched the ball) totaalvoetbal’s moment on the global stage seemed to be imminent.

However, the German defenders Beri Vogts and – in a throwback to the Inter catenaccio system – libero Franz Beckenbauer, were able to snuff out Cruyff's influence, dominate midfield, and went on to win 2-1.

Using the same strategy, the Dutch reached the 1978 World Cup final only to fall once more at the final hurdle, this time to Argentina.

Perhaps totaalvoetbal could be countered?
Perhaps defensive football was not destroyed?

Though neither the ’74 German side, nor the ’78 Argentina team would be described as defensive, in the catenaccio sense.

Even Beckenbauer, in his sweeper role, often played further up the pitch into midfield.

While both the park-the-bus and counter-attack of catenaccio, and the all-out-attack of totaalvoetbal, had each delivered success in the short term it turns out that neither strategy was enough on its own .

Just like how ‘performance’ based direct digital marketing that seeks to capture intent and convert will not deliver long term effects on its own, without the presence of brand building work, conducted consistently over time to create demand.

Just this week, Amsterdam’s own Martin Weigel addressed this very issue, in a long piece - that is worth taking the time to digest in its entirety – a section of which is quoted below..

‘Under pressure to account for our activities and to show that they are having an effect (any effect) and hooked on the crack cocaine of the short-term, we seize on intermediate metrics…like crazed junkies desperate for the next fix. 

This data might be exciting, it might be highly responsive to communications activity, it might be easy to measure, and it might give us impressive sounding numbers to use in case study videos, but it is short-term data that tells us nothing about the long-term business effects of our efforts. 

Worse, our holding up of short-term metrics that simply measure the exposure of consumers to our ideas as evidence of our success relegates our contribution to the mere distribution of content. And so – such is our appetite for evidence that something happened in the short-term – we relentlessly conspire to render the creation of enduring ideas, the building of memories, the shaping of perceptions, preferences, and behaviours a trivial side-show. 

The very things which that are the source of our value as an industry, and the generators of sustainable value for brands and businesses.’

The way forward is not this OR that, but this AND that.

Johan Cruyff, at the end of his playing career now knew this.
He took over as coach of Barcelona in1988 and continued through to 1996.
During this time Cruyff introduced a new theory.


Cruyff’s revelation incorporated the purism of totaalvoetbal and the pragmatism of catenaccio.

Not this OR that, but this AND that.

Characterised by zonal play, short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession tiki-taka is associated with Barcelona from Johan Cruyff's era through to the present, and also the Spanish national team.

Crucially, Tiki-taka is "both defensive and offensive in equal measure" – the team is always in possession, so never needs to switch between defending and attacking. 

Tiki-taka – as employed by the Spanish national team has won them Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

And also continues to be used by arguably the greatest club team in the world, Barcelona, which have won two European Champion’s League titles in recent years while also co-dominating Spanish domestic football (alongside the slightly more pragmatic Real Madrid).

Tika-taka has been described as the most difficult version of football possible: an uncompromising passing game, coupled with intense, high pressing.

To the same token, combining direct response with long term brand-building - 'brand response' - is not easy either. In fact it's perhaps the most difficult form of marketing possible.

Further in Martin Wiegel’s article he points out:

‘The short-term is invariably easier to manage and measure than the long-term…what is important, and what is easy to measure, are not always the same thing. We forget the distinction between the important and the easy at our peril.’

Cruyff, similarly is wary of being data or performance driven at the expense of all else.

'I find it terrible when talents are rejected based on computer data. Based on the criteria at Ajax now I would have been rejected. When I was 15, I couldn’t kick a ball 15 meters with my left and maybe 20 with my right. My qualities - technique and vision - are not detectable by a computer’.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

football's not a matter of life or death, it's nudge more important than that.

I’m not sure if this story that I heard at the weekend qualifies as a nudge or a full-on behaviour change intervention. Or something in between.

My 6-year-old boy and I were listening to the keeper talk at the giraffe enclosure in Melbourne Zoo, who gave us the gist of the following story.

The giraffes in the zoo have come from the Melako Conservancy in Northern Kenya, one of 26 community conservation areas managed by the Northern Rangelands Trust.

This area covers about 1500 square miles and, alongside the giraffes, it is home to approximately 40,000 Rendille people, semi-nomadic groups who’s main livelihood revolves around rearing of livestock.

In traditional Rendille culture, young men between the ages of 13 and 25 went through initiation to gain status and become a warrior.

Among the rituals the hunting and killing of the native animals such as giraffes, zebras and oryx.

The traditional role of the warrior had been to protect the community, acquire livestock and, as a by product, demonstrate their 'fitness' and gain subsequent status and reproductive advantages. 

The top boys would obviously become tribe leaders of the future, with all the perks that go with that role.

Times have changed, there’s less imperative for young Rendille men to become traditional warriors however old habits die hard and the lads tended to still cause trouble with rival gangs, hunt the wildlife, to jostle for group status.

The bigger problem now is that certain species including Beisa oryx, Grevy’s zebra, giraffe and gerenuk are now becoming endangered.

So the NRT people and representatives from Zoo’s Victoria came up with an intervention that they hoped would work with the need for the nascent warriors to compete for group status but divert it away from the behaviours that put the animals under threat.

It turns out that the Rendille boys other principle interest other than the activities mentioned, was soccer*.

So the NRT and ZV set about bringing in the kit needed to set up pitches, balls and strips.

The Melako league now consists of 16 teams.

The nudgey bit is that the teams are named after the wildlife that were previously under threat and incorporated into the team badges printed on the team shirt.

The NRT are measuring the impact of this in a reduction in what they call flight distance. 

When wildlife is feels stressed or harassed it is more difficult for humans to get close to them, resulting in longer flight distance.

When wildlife feel less wary of humans then the flight distance is shorter and it is easier to get closer to them, and to count the numbers.

According to our zookeeper friend, the numbers are improving.

*I'm using the term soccer so as not to confuse with the strange game that passes as football in Australia, ok?