messagesonhold

Scammers Love On Hold Messages

“Come on, do on hold messages really work? Sounds too good to be true!” We hear this from prospects from time to time and when we do, we share this story with them.

About a decade ago, a male contacted us looking for an on hold production for his phone system. With no reason to suspect he wasn’t running a genuine business, we supplied him with our service after he’d paid for the first three months on his credit card. Then things went awry.

The bank declined the second credit card payment. Our original contact wouldn’t take our calls and requests for payment went unheeded. Then, a short time later, we realised we’d been scammed.

Of course, every business is at risk of falling victim to scammers e.g. Nigerian ink-marked banknotes, outstanding tax bills payable by iTunes cards etc. But this scammer merely wanted our tried and tested services to convince other potential patsies that he was running a legitimate business.

He had convinced a number of businesses (hotels, limousine hire companies, restaurants etc.) that he was going to use and market their services to his “clients”. He’d hit them up for free rooms/cars/meals under the guise of research but he realised that he needed to sound established and professional when those people called his fake “office” if he was to glean ongoing freebies from them.

That’s where we came into the equation. When he spoke to those business owners, they would often be placed on hold and would hear slick sounding messages (sometimes promoting their business) which impressed and reassured them. Immediately, the scammer instilled confidence in the poor businesses being taken for a ride—a level of confidence they wouldn’t have gained by listening to elevator music or FM radio.

Once we worked out what was going on, and realised we weren’t going to get our equipment back, we contacted all of the businesses mentioned in the production and gave them the heads-up. At first, they were hesitant to believe us. “No, he’s such a nice guy!” “He bought our office girls flowers.” But when they delved deeper, they realised they’d been duped, just like we had been.

Every year we still receive calls from a dozen or so no-gooders wanting Messages On Hold to give callers the impression they operate a reputable, sizeable, and legitimate business. Unfortunately for them, we’re awake to the ruse.

When it comes to reinforcing your brand values and assuring callers that you’re a strong, successful organisation, on hold messages are a no-brainer. Just ask the scammers!

Stand Out Marketing: Highlights from Advertising in 2017

Every business is dependent on successful marketing. Throughout 2017 we were treated to some of the most ingenious advertising and marketing campaigns yet, from which we should all take inspiration.

Unless you employ a staff of creative minds who are dedicated to marketing your brand, coming up with unique and effective advertising ideas can be a real challenge. What’s more: keeping these ideas straightforward and managing to not blow out your budget is key.

So here’s a list of simple but effective advertising campaigns released this year from all over the world that pack some real punch. See if they inspire you!

Radio Ad – KitKat (UK)

Getting your message across on the radio is tricky as you want listeners to engage and not switch over stations. This is why this radio ad from KitKat (UK) is so effective – you’re drawn in by the abstract content and the tone of voice, and you want to know where on earth it’s going…

TV Ad – Road Safety Commission (Aus)

Here in Australia, amongst our cringe-worthy government-sponsored public service announcements is the odd gem—like this one from the Road Safety Commission. The tagline itself is short, sharp and memorable, and the scenarios and characters created are relatable and humorous while reinforcing the serious point.

Print Campaign – Pride Month (US)

During the world celebration of Pride Month a group of art directors in New York created pamphlets that resembled official Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) posters, and distributed them throughout the New York subway.

National Billboard Campaign – Škoda (UK)

In the UK, Škoda Auto came up with a unique way to entice window shoppers to think about a Škoda vehicle. Across Rye, Wales, the Lake District and Norfolk, digital billboards showcased live journey times to local holiday hotspots, encouraging city dwellers to get off-road and rediscover nature.

Print Campaign – Royal Life Saving (Aus)

This Western Australian campaign proposes a powerful message from Royal Surf Life Saving Western Australia, whose lifeguards noticed a growing trend of poolside parents looking at their Smartphones instead of watching their children in the water.

Geico (US)

US auto insurance conglomerate Geico had an astounding $1.1 billion budget for their yearly advertising, but it seems to have paid off. Here we have Geico’s “Not Surprising” campaign which makes the brand stand out in its highly competitive industry, through pure goofiness and silliness.

The News Literacy Project (US)

As a response to a growing trend of readers only reading headlines before sharing articles, News Literacy Project teamed up with a New York agency to create a whole new typeface. This font is so difficult digest, the viewer is forced to slow down their reading pace, and take in every angle to get the whole picture.

At Messages On Hold, we understand that coming up with a clever advertising campaign isn’t as easy as simply getting out the old butcher’s paper and felt tips. Brainstorming can sometimes take weeks, which is why our creative team heavily research your brand and industry to consistently provide you with fresh new ideas.

No matter if your advertising sits on public billboards, is thriving through social media, played on TV, or primarily within an aural on hold production, placing your creative brainstorming in the hands of creative experts (such as Messages On Hold) saves you from a world of creative blocks and going with last-minute clichés.

Luckily, all it takes is a little left-of-centre brainstorming by the right creative team. Let’s put you at the forefront of your industry – request a demo today!

Do Messages On Hold Affect The Customer Experience?

When a caller contacts your business the customer service they experience will undoubtedly affect the likelihood of them using your services in the future.

Need some rock-solid proof?

Take a look at this: The Customer Experience Leaders in the Customer Experience Index at Forrester Research are the top ten rated public companies. At the end of the period between 2007 and 2013, the S&P 500 Index was up 14.5%. The performance of equity-weighted, annually readjusted stock portfolios of the Customer Experience Leaders was up 43%. The performance of the Customer Experience Laggards—the bottom ten rated public companies—was down 33.9%

What does that mean in plain English?

The stock price of a public company literally falls when customers are disappointed with their experience with that company. The stock price of a public company rises when customers are delighted with their experience.

A customer’s experience is made up of every interaction your company has with them: face to face, via email, and, of course, on the phone. If a caller experiences long wait periods on hold listening to bland music or—shudder—silence, isn’t directed to the right department, or isn’t given the information they need quickly, then they have not had a good customer experience.

On hold messages offer a hassle-free avenue to enhance your callers’ experiences. They provide the opportunity to use the time a caller is on hold for productive and entertaining purposes with fun marketing messages. They ensure your caller knows exactly what menu options to choose or how best to reach you if you’re currently unavailable. They can even be used to provide answers to commonly asked questions. All of this genuinely enriches the customer’s experience and leaves them with a positive impression of your company.

Imagine this hypothetical example:

1) Tom Johnson calls your company (let’s say a financial firm) and is greeted by a polished welcome message which includes a run-down of an upcoming seminar he didn’t know about but would be delighted to attend.
2) He then hears clear, concise menu options and knows exactly what number to press if he wants to make a consultation appointment. (It’s option 4, for the record.)
3) He then speaks with a member of the consultation team who books his appointment without a fuss.
4) Now Tom wants to enquire about that amazing seminar he heard about, so the team member transfers him to the staff member organising the seminar.
5) While on hold, Tom hears an attention-grabbing on hold message that reminds him that the end of financial year is fast approaching and another message about life insurance—a service he didn’t know Finance “R” Us offers—before the phone is picked up again without him even realising he was waiting.
6) Tom hears about and registers for the seminar, puts down the phone and spends a good long while smiling about how successful a call that was.

Every phone call offers the opportunity to provide a positive or negative customer experience. And every customer experience offers the opportunity to enhance or detract from the reputation of your company.

So, the real question you should be asking is: how good are your on hold messages?

How to Write for the Ear Without Getting Lost in Language

If you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith, you may be surprised to learn that writing for the ear and writing for the eye are two very, very different ball-parks.

When writing essays, stories, love letters, poems or emails, the writer understands that the reader will interpret the text through the reader’s own voice, tone and intonations. But what about when writing advertising copy for the ear?

How do you ensure your message is being translated from the page into sound waves just as you imagined it?

The English language is a complex and sometimes cruel mistress – here are some examples showing how easy it is for your words to be misinterpreted and muddled.

The weathered rock was given a mean rock, putting it at quite a handicap.

Presently, the Left left, leaving only the Right left.

At lunchtime, we seeded the lawns before seeding the tomatoes. We then stoned the peaches while the local police were stoned by stoned youths.

They couldn’t help but help their peers by puzzling the puzzle, with a discursive apology.

If those statements made you feel a little like this…

Tripping Homer Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Then you’re not alone.

Frustrations over the complexities of the English language have been baffling writers and readers for centuries, with William Shakespeare himself breaking all the grammar rules and inventing entirely new words, just to tell a story.

In English, you’ll find contronyms – words with contradictory meanings; homonyms – words that are said or spelled the same but have different meanings; and synonyms – which ironically has three different definitions, so let’s not go there.

When it comes to writing copy for your brand, you want to ensure that your message is not only clear and to the point but also engaging and memorable. After all, consumers are exposed to a multitude of advertising collateral every day, so it’s vital your brand stands out for the right reasons.

As a business owner, you likely have enough on your plate as it is, so you don’t want to get caught in the trap of using the right word in the wrong context. This is where the dutiful, good-looking bunch of copywriters at Messages On Hold come in…

Hilarious Kermit The Frog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

We copywriters are all too familiar with the hair-pulling nature of our craft. So when clients come to us with no idea how to start their productions, we embrace the challenge!

We think outside the box to create unique, bespoke productions that perfectly reflect our clients’ brands. What’s more, our copy is short, sharp, and unforgettable – after all, you don’t want to place your callers on hold for too long, so the messages we write don’t mince words.

So keep your eyes on the prize of growing profit margins and delighted customers, and let the writing pros from Messages on Hold take the right words right out of your mouth.

Semi Final Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, September 16, 5.25pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R22, 2017: GWS 12.9 (81) def West Coast 9.6 (60) at Spotless Stadium
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

2017 has been a season of fantastic games and close finishes, with none more enthralling than West Coast’s extra-time, after-the-siren victory over Port Adelaide on Saturday night. If the Eagles aim to keep their finals dream alive, they’ll need to recover well before another big interstate trip. Will those 10 extra minutes hurt the Eagles’ chances?

Season-ending injuries for Shane Mumford and Jeremy Cameron will force Leon Cameron’s hand at the selection table this week. Dawson Simpson is the obvious replacement for Mumford, but what will the Giants go for up forward? GWS were one-dimensional against the Crows, and if there’s one player who’s anything but one-dimensional, it’s Steve Johnson. Stevie J simply must play this week.

A straight-sets exit would be a disaster for GWS, but their premiership window isn’t closing anytime soon. For the Eagles, a premiership in 2017 would mean four-straight interstate wins on the trot, including their last two at their bogey ground, the MCG.

TALKING POINTS

1. The Eagles faded late against the Giants back in round 22, managing just 1.1 to the Giants’ 4.3 in the fourth quarter. If Saturday night was any indication, the Eagles may have solved their fade-out issues. Adam Simpson will be looking for another big effort down the stretch.

2. Eric Mackenzie’s fourth-quarter heroics against Port Adelaide reminded West Coast fans why he’s such a crucial cog in the Eagles’ machine. While Big Easy may have saved the day for West Coast, he can’t allow Jonathon Patton to get on top of him like Charlie Dixon did on Saturday night.

3. Josh Kelly tore the Eagles apart back in round 22. The star midfielder finished with 43 touches and goal in a best-on-ground performance. Will Adam Simpson give Mark Hutchings a run-with role on this time around?

4. In his last three games, Matt Priddis has averaged 28 touches, one goal and 8.3 tackles. A few more big performances like that and the Brownlow Medallist might just play himself out of retirement.

5. If Luke Shuey was underrated heading into last weekend, he certainly isn’t anymore. Following 32 touches, 11 tackles and two goals against Port, Shuey now sits at a career-best 15th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Elliot Yeo.

Elliott Yeo and Toby Greene went head to head in round 22. Yeo was superb, finishing with 30 touches and eight marks; however, Greene managed to get of the leash to snag three crucial goals. If Yeo can keep Greene off the scoreboard, West Coast will win this one comfortably.

TIP: West Coast by 13.

SECOND TIP: Mark Hutchings keeps Josh Kelly to under 20 touches.

First Elimination Final Preview: Port Adelaide v West Coast

WHERE: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, September 9, 5.50pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R16, 2017: Port Adelaide 18.12 (120) def West Coast 13.10 (88) at Domain Stadium
R7, 2017: West Coast 15.7 (97) def Port Adelaide 12.15 (87) at Adelaide Oval
R9, 2016: West Coast 14.10 (94) def Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015: West Coast 11.12 (78) def Port Adelaide 10.6 (68) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2014: Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) def West Coast 7.14 (56) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It’s been two very different roads to September for Port Adelaide and West Coast. The Power finished the year strongly with three-straight wins to cement a home final in week one. On the other hand, West Coast narrowly edged out Melbourne to sneak into eight spot on percentage alone.

Port Adelaide hasn’t played finals football since 2014, so Ken Hinkley’s men will be eager to impress on the big stage. For West Coast, the memory of last year’s humiliating 47-point loss to the Western Bulldogs should be all the motivation they need.

The Eagles have struggled to get supply to their potent forwards this year. Which team have they struggled against the most? Port Adelaide. While the teams may have split their two games so far this year, Port Adelaide has smashed West Coast 128 to 81 in inside-50s. The Eagles’ midfield will need to be working overtime to overcome Paddy Ryder’s influence around the contest.

TALKING POINTS

1. Is Luke Shuey the most underrated player in the AFL? The reigning John Worsfold Medallist currently sits 16th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings, just seven places behind Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray.

2. Paddy Ryder dominated West Coast back in round 16. The All-Australian ruckman finished with 17 touches, 39 hit-outs and two goals. Can Drew Petrie and Nathan Vardy make a contest this week?

3. West Coast has a fantastic record at Adelaide Oval, having won five of their six games at the venue. The Eagles were successful against Port in round seven at the venue, and they’ll need to be at their best in front of a hostile Adelaide Oval crowd to do it again.

4. While the Eagles may have an impressive record at Adelaide Oval, the city hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the big birds during finals time. West Coast has managed just one win from four finals in Adelaide, with their only victory a stunning come-from-behind win back in the 2006 Preliminary Final.

5. Jack Darling will play his 150th game in the blue and gold on Saturday night. While life membership is a fantastic achievement for the versatile forward, he’ll need to be at his dynamic best with Josh Kennedy destined to get some close attention from Port’s backline.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Brad Sheppard.

Brad Sheppard has flown under the radar once again for West Coast. For keen observers, however, the lively small defender has put together another fantastic year for West Coast. Sheppard was crucial in the Eagles’ victory back in round seven, holding Robbie Gray to just 15 touches and no goals. If Sheppard can stop Gray again, the Eagles might just steal this one.

TIP: West Coast by 8.

SECOND TIP: Jeremy McGovern takes 10 intercept marks.

Goodbye Subi Oval: Stories from Behind the Post By An MOH Hand Waver

This past Sunday, we had to wipe away a tear with our giant, yellow, foam hand as we bid au revoir to Subi Oval. For 25 years, West Coast Eagles’ spectators have slept soundly at night knowing that a) the Dockers have yet to win a premiership and b) the iconic Messages On Hold hand will be waving behind the goal posts every game.

Trevor Watson, a hand-waiver of MOH’s for 17 years, shares some behind the posts memories from his time at Subi.

Prime Positioning

Ever wondered how, no matter where the angle of the camera was pointed, or where the umpire stood, you could ALWAYS see the MOH hands? That’s because while the players were warming up, we’d spend ages checking how tall the goal umpires were, where they were standing, and where the cameras were placed in the stand. You’d be surprised what a big difference it made!

FYI: A big pet peeve of mine were the umpires who’d stand all over the place making me have to constantly shuffle trying to line up with the camera!

Sabotaging Security Guards

Every so often, a security guard (or even the spare-ball kids) would sit directly between the camera and me, and stand up every time a goal was scored! I was not happy with this arrangement! I asked, begged and pleaded, and sometimes even resorted to bribing them to move. This got—as you can imagine—mixed results.

Friend Goals Behind The Goals

While we weren’t always initially the best of friends with the rows behind us (something about a giant, yellow viewing obstacle may have contributed to that), soon we became fast friends. After some friendly chat and game analysis (somehow we all knew exactly what the Eagles were doing right/wrong), we became good friends. Maybe the spare ticket we once gave to their grandkid had something to do with it as well! Anyway, since then we’ve actually watched finals together at our house with some people from the row behind us!

The Great Flood

While some Eagles’ fans don’t love getting their wings a bit wet, nothing could ruffle my feathers. In 2003, the Eagles played North Melbourne and it rained so hard the goal umpire was ankle deep in water. It didn’t take too long before I found that I was the only person in the entirety of Block 116 that hadn’t run for cover! I sure hoped TV viewers could see the MOH hand through the downpour. The 20-minute walk back to the car was not fun that afternoon.

190 Games

I’ve enjoyed almost every game of the approximately 190 home games I’ve waved signs at. Even when I got sick, and spent the entire game with my head on the fence, I had my wife shout to me every time I needed to lift the sign. Luckily, I married an Eagles-nut like me!

Thanks Kym and Messages On Hold for the last 17 years at Subi. It’s been fun!

Trev

Trev’s last game at Subi Oval.

AFL Round 23 Preview: West Coast v Adelaide

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, August 27, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R23, 2016: West Coast 14.16 (100) def Adelaide 10.11 (71) at Adelaide Oval
R12, 2016: Adelaide 15.15 (100) def West Coast 11.10 (76) at Domain Stadium
R22, 2015: Adelaide 19.12 (126) def West Coast 10.9 (69) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2015: West Coast 22.15 (147) def Adelaide 14.7 (91) at Domain Stadium
R19, 2014: West Coast 20.16 (136) def Adelaide 16.9 (105) at Adelaide Oval

OVERVIEW

It has been a season of missed opportunities for West Coast. Coming into round 23, the last thing a team wants is to not be in control of your own destiny. However, that is the exact situation the Eagles find themselves in. The Eagles need one of two huge upsets to go their way — Collingwood to beat Melbourne or Fremantle to somehow beat Essendon. Even if the unlikely does happen, West Coast will still need a healthy percentage boost against Adelaide to sneak into the finals.

Sunday will be the final AFL game ever played at Domain Stadium, and the Eagles will be hoping to farewell the ground, Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell in style.

The Crows blew a major opportunity to seal top spot last week. Now, with GWS breathing down their neck, they don’t have the option to rest players for an extra week before the pre-finals bye.

TALKING POINTS

1. Sunday will be West Coast’s 326th game at Domain Stadium. It’s been an intimidating venue for rival clubs over the years, with the Eagles boasting an all-time record of 221 wins, 103 losses and one draw at the ground.

2. Since returning from injury, Josh Kennedy has kicked 26% of the Eagles’ goals. Josh Kennedy leads the Coleman race with 64 goals. Jack Darling is the Eagles’ next best with 38.

3. Tackling continues to be an issue for the Eagles. Matt Priddis (6), Luke Shuey (39), and Jack redden (44) are the only Eagles players in the league’s top 100 for average tackles. Jamie Cripps (150) is their next best averaging 3.9 per game.

4. Before the first bounce, Josh Kennedy will know how many — if any — goals he needs to kick to win his third-straight Coleman Medal. The big forward enters round 23 with a four-goal lead over Joe Daniher.

5. Despite being the Eagles’ best-on last week, Matt Priddis will play his final game in the blue and gold on Sunday. The Brownlow Medallist hangs up the boots after 238 AFL games.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell.

By the time Sunday’s game rolls around, the Eagles may very well be playing for nothing but pride. However, the retirements of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell should add some fuel to the fire. It’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting off-season for Adam Simpson and the Eagles.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: No one actually misses the mess that is Domain Stadium.

 

AFL Round 22 Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, August 19, 2.35pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium
R9, 2013: West Coast 23.17 (155) def GWS 8.7 (55) at Spotless Stadium

OVERVIEW

Following an unconvincing win against the Blues last Saturday night, the Eagles find themselves back in the top 8. However, they’ll need to win at least one of their last two games to secure a finals birth. Unfortunately for Adam Simpson’s men, they’ll have to go through both GWS and Adelaide to do so.

The last time these two teams met at Spotless Stadium was one of the greatest finishes in football history, with Nic Naitanui stealing victory with the last kick of the game. The Eagles may need another miracle to get over the top of a hot GWS team away from home.

Toby Greene was dynamic against the Eagles in round 10. The fiery forward narrowly avoided suspension this week, and the Eagles look set to get under his skin on Saturday.

TALKING POINTS

1. At 61%, West Coast is ranked second for time in front this season, only Adelaide at 63% has held the lead for longer. It may be a painful statistic for West Coast fans, but the silver lining is that the Eagles are clearly not too far off from getting things right.

2. Luke Shuey was incredible in the Eagles’ last win over GWS, amassing 38 touches, 13 clearances, six tackles, six inside-50s and two crucial goals. They’ll need another huge performance from the reigning John Worsfold Medallist.

3. Back in round 10, GWS managed their first ever win over West Coast. It was an ugly day for the Eagles, losing Josh Kennedy to a calf injury and getting smashed 54-31 in the clearances.

4. While there’s much speculation surrounding Josh Kelly’s future, his form is undeniable. The talented midfielder had a day out against the Eagles in round 10, collecting 29 touches, six tackles, seven clearances and a goal. Will Mark Hutchings go to Josh Kelly?

5. The Giants are ranked number one in the AFL for clearances, with an average of 24.9 per game. On the other hand, the Eagles average just 36.4 in that area. The return of Shane Mumford should only hurt the Eagles cause.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Nathan Vardy.

Shane Mumford is one of the AFL’s most feared big men. Adam Simpson will be looking for a strong contest from Nathan Vardy in the ruck. Vardy can’t compete with Mumford in the strength department, but he can make him accountable by running him around the ground all day.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: The Eagles win with the last kick of the day.

AFL Round 21 Preview: West Coast v Carlton

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Saturday, August 12, 5.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R17, 2016: West Coast 12.10 (82) def Carlton 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R2, 2015: West Coast 20.11 (131) def Carlton 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R6, 2014: Carlton 14.8 (92) def West Coast 12.17 (89) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013: Carlton 12.17 (89) def West Coast 7.23 (65) at Domain Stadium
R12, 2012: West Coast 10.19 (79) def Carlton 10.9 (69) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It has been a rough week for West Coast following yet another fourth-quarter fade-out. While last week’s score line may have been somewhat flattering for West Coast, the stats were a completely different story. From contested possessions to tackles and clearances, all the crucial numbers from last Sunday suggest a serious lack of hunger from the Eagles’ midfield.

There is no denying that the lack of a full-time ruckman has hurt West Coast this year, and the job does not get any easier on Saturday night against Matthew Kreuzer. Recent images of Nic Naitanui on the training track may have Eagles fans filled with hope of a late-season return, but there is no point in a return if there is nothing to play for.

While Carlton may be in the race for the spoon, some of their performances this year suggest they are making progress as a playing group. They have pushed Melbourne, Essendon and the Dogs in recent weeks, but simply pushing teams will not cut it for much longer.

TALKING POINTS

1. 2017 has been a year of missed opportunities for the Eagles, losing five games less than 10 points. Throw an 11-point loss to Richmond into the mix and the Eagles have lost six games by a combined 42 points.

2. The Eagles’ midfielders lowered their colours last week losing the clearances 42-30, the contested possessions 162-128, and the tackle count 83-51. Matt Priddis’ return should help their case in tight around the contest.

3. While most visiting teams struggle at Domain Stadium, Carlton has won 38% of their games played at the venue. Silver linings, right?

4. Another week, another bag for Josh Kennedy. The two-time reigning Coleman Medallist is averaging five goals a game since his return from a calf injury, and now only two goals, Joe Daniher and his filthy moustache stand between the big forward and his third Coleman.

5. When you are fighting for a finals spot, the last thing you need is to finish off the season against quality teams. For the Eagles, however, that is exactly the position they find themselves in. Saturday night is a must-win, with GWS and Adelaide to finish off the home-and-away season.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Josh Kennedy.

Team success is all well and good. However, it is not often that someone wins three Coleman Medals in a row, especially after missing five games through injury. With GWS and Adelaide to come, Kennedy should be looking to cash in against the struggling Blues.

TIP: West Coast by 38.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy kicks 10.