Major media owners in Australia have banded together for what is touted to be the largest combined campaign in the country’s history, in a bid to encourage c-level executives to put their dollars behind advertising.

The move is an effort to combat a weak advertising market exacerbated by tough economic conditions and low consumer confidence. It aims to give marketers the ammunition they need to win the budget argument in the boardroom.

Called Advertise or Die and sporting the tagline ‘If your brand’s not here, it’s nowhere’, the campaign is complemented by what the companies call “witty, tongue-in-cheek, channel-specific executions”, aimed at challenging the more cautious conditions currently existing in the advertising market.

The ads also include stats, such as one stating short-term campaigns are 50% less likely to deliver large profit growth. The creative was developed in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi and started running across all participating media player’s assets on 8 December.

Supporting the campaign execution is an information portal, which features statistics and information emphasising the power of each respective premium media.

Industry commentator Mark Ritson, who is the spokesperson for Advertise or Die, said there is evidence the industry is already in an advertising recession and there’s genuine concern that Australia’s business leaders will cut back ad spend even further in a tightening economic environment.

“My big concern for next year as we go into 2020, is you’ll see more and more money in that short term ROI being retained. But where you’ll see most money being withdrawn, is what should be the 60 – 70% that should be spent on long term brand building through advertising.”

Ritson said brands need to stop being obsessed with ROI, calling it an ‘unhelpful metric’ that focuses on the short-term only. He said that brands which are creating their marketing budgets by predicting sales for the next year are not investing in growth and that rather than pulling out of advertising when the market gets tough, it will cost less in the long run for brands to stick with their campaigns.

The initiative is supported by a raft of media owners across the media spectrum, including Nine, ACE Radio, Australian Radio Network, Foxtel, News Corp, Nova, Grant Broadcasting, oOh! Media, JCDecaux, Southern Cross Austereo, Seven West Media, Macquarie Media and Channel 10.

It’s also backed by several industry lobbying groups and associations including Think TV, the Outdoor Media Association, Commercial Radio Australia and NewsMediaWorks.

Mumbrella, Which-50, CMO Australia.