Staff Reporters
Aug 16, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Melissa Hopkins, Optus

From innovative metrics to memorable brand-building tactics, it’s no wonder that Hopkins is one of Australia’s most prolific marketers.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Melissa Hopkins, Optus
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Melissa Hopkins

VP of marketing (chief marketing officer)
New member 

One of the most prolific marketers in Australia, Melissa Hopkins’ work is evidence that a brand will always flourish with brand-centred marketing. To position itself next to competitor Telstra in the telco category, Hopkins set out for Optus to be seen as an enabler rather than a utility. In 2020, her task was to transform Optus into a ‘fabric brand’, a brand that would eventually become part of the fabric of everyday life for Australians. 

Thereon, a new brand positioning was born: ‘It starts with yes’. This new branding was launched with a 60-second TVC—in partnership with Special Group—that features a charming set of children determined to pull off a complex project. It was one of the best ads of that year, according to Campaign’s editors, and it also went on to pick up a Gold at Campaign’s Agency of the Year for ANZ Agency Marketing Partnership of the Year. Understandably, CMO Melissa Hopkins was crowned Marketer of the Year and Optus won Brand of the Year. 

The ‘It starts with yes’ positioning has been extended each year with equally effective films, including this one about a man who takes a risk to fulfil his musical dream, and this one featuring an adorable set of sugar gliders. Last year, the brand launched a TikTok campaign with ambassador Ian Thorpe to show users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with yes’.

In an interview last year, Hopkins said Optus has elected to focus on a different creative and media metric—called ‘brand memories’. She said that this metric aims to balance share of voice with advertising awareness, and despite Telstra spending three times as much on media, Optus is on par if ‘brand memories’ are used as a metric. Hopkins could be on to something, as according to Brand Finance’s annual Australia rankings, Optus’ brand value grew 5% in 2022, clocked in at AU$4 billion (US$2.8 billion).

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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