By Dylan Beach

As a part of the 2017 Awards, we approached POPAI, a global leading association in retail marketing to judge the Mens and Womens Marketing Campaign. General Manager Carla Bridge has put forward an extremely well rounded and experienced judging panel to judge the 2017 Marketing Campaign Awards. We took a few moments out of Carla’s extremely busy schedule to find out a little bit more about POPAI and their work in the retail marketing space.

Can you explain to the reader a little more about the background of POPAI?

POPAI ANZ is the local chapter of a global not for profit association advocating exclusively for excellence in shopper and retail marketing. Our members cover retailers, brands, agencies, and point of purchase display POP producers and suppliers, as well as research houses and several other disciplines. When POPAI started out, POP display was our focus, however, as the Australian retail market has grown and evolved over the years, we now cover all aspects of retail marketing, from the traditional POP displays to digital, social, VR, and any other retail marketing vehicles.

You yourself have had a lot of experience in the retail and marketing fields. Can you provide us with a little bit about your background?

I’ve been in the retail industry for more than 15 years, starting out as a journalist retail trade publications for Inside Retail and Foodweek magazines, which was where I first fell in love with retail. Since then, I’ve continued to work with retailers and brands, having held roles in boutique PR companies, as well as at Mango, part of international advertising agency, DDB. I returned to Octomedia as Managing Editor at Inside Retail & Inside FMCG magazines, and most recently, I was head of media and communications at the Australian Retailers Association.

What are POPAI’s goals and objectives in the broader marketing and retail spaces?

POPAI is focused on the health, success, and growth of retail marketing activities in Australia. This covers everything from in store displays in supermarkets, to experiential activations in shopping centres and retail stores, digital, and everything in between. Our members are all experts in the retail & shopper marketing space. We try to foster relationships and activities for the benefit of the industry, including networking, sharing of insights, innovations and trends, education, and research, among other things. Each year we run a very successful awards program to recognise and celebrate outstanding marketing initiatives and programs in the retail space, and host a two day Summit addressing key issues and trends in the market.

This is the first time any third party has judged any award for the SBIA Awards. Can you tell us why POPAI were interested in being involved in judging the marketing award categories? How do you see this as a benefit for both the SBIA and POPAI?

Excellence in retail marketing is POPAI’s key remit, and as a result we’re keen to foster this wherever possible. The need for quality marketing by retailers and brands is more important than ever with the growing competition from international brands and contraction of the number of players. Marketing has a huge part to play in the awareness, growth, and reputation of companies. If we can help some of SBIA’s members to be recognised for, grow or improve their marketing efforts, then we’re doing our job.

You have put together an extremely experienced judging panel judging the 2017 Marketing Categories that spans numerous action sport and retail marketing roles. How do you see their experiences play out through the judging process?

Our judging panel is incredibly well rounded, and between us covers off most aspects of marketing and retail. Zita Watkin of Active Display is an expert in POP marketing and industrial design, and has worked across a huge number of companies and brands, including Myer, Nutella, Lego, 7-Eleven, while GfK’s Norrelle Goldring brings an analytical insights and research eye. Bryn Marriott is head of category at Red Bull, arguably one of the world’s best brands when it comes to marketing.


Thanks for taking the time out Carla.

For more information on POPAI head to their website: