Over the course of the last year, StopPress attracted 1.6 million unique page views. And while we don't necessarily cover depressing war stories, political scandals or the latest nude photo leak, it has been encouraging to see that those in the media, marketing and advertising communities deem it worthwhile to click on a few of our stories once in a while.
In 2014, Spark's rebrand was arguably the biggest story in the marketing world and, as would be expected, two stories featuring the telco made it into the list of the top ten most-read posts of the year. But, the telco interest evidently wasn't limited to Spark, with Vodafone also landing a pair of spots for articles written on two of the more bizarre ads released this year.
In addition to this, two massive fads—chocolate milk and collectibles—also made an appearance, standing as testament to the fact that sometimes the smallest, simplest ideas resonate best with audiences. And any Kiwi who has stood in a line for chocolate milk or ignored the nag of a toddler will vouch for the strong pull of both of these ideas.
It was also a big year for the radio industry, with both sides of the network divide introducing a host of changes in an effort to carry their platforms into the digital age. These updates to one of the traditional stalwarts of media intrigued the audiences, meaning that many of these stories often ended up in our most popular lists. And as we draw the curtain on the year, it comes as little surprise to see a radio story feature in the top ten list.
Enough rambling. Here's a rundown of the stories that StopPress readers afforded the most clicks to in 2014:
Actor James Rolleston put in a host of endearing performances in 2014—most recently seen in Vodafone's Christmas ad—but his decision to don a bowl cut and criticise his friend for not doing the same proved to be one of the more well-shared efforts of the year.
This story was actually published in 2013, but many readers still seemed quite keen to have a look inside the well-guarded fortress of the tech juggernaut.
Twice annually the radio survey serves up a great stoush, which has both NZME and MediaWorks claiming victory in a host of remarkably specific categories. This year was no different, and readers gathered around to watch the action unfold.
Lewis Road Creamery, which was founded by Assignment Group's Peter Cullinane, and chocolate manufacturer Whitaker's sent the nation into a frenzy this year with a chocolate milk. Kiwis queued, stores sold out and media—much like customers—simply couldn't get enough of the sugary delight.
Called annoying, cringe-worthy and racist by some and brilliant, hilarious and entertaining by others, Telecom's 'Giganaire' spot was arguably the most divisive piece of creative released all year. And while the verdict's still out on whether it was entertaining or a dire excuse for an idea, the spot certainly attracted an audience.
On account of collectibles fatigue, the team here at StopPress almost didn't write this piece. But, as it turns out, even after a host of other similar campaigns, Kiwis still hadn't quite had enough of the little things in life, and this story steadily moved up the most-read list.
Advertising agencies rarely advertise, but earlier this year FCB used its skills for some gratuitous self-promotion to produce a delightfully entertaining clip featuring a rasta sheep singing about being sheared.
StopPress covered various aspects of the Spark rebrand, but none of the stories were read quite as well as the one on the Automated Thanking Machine, which was sent around the nation in a show of gratitude to the telco's customers.
Rebecca Black's song has for quite some time lain in the mass online graveyard of past viral hits, but when Vodafone released a spot featuring ageing rock star Jordan Luck singing a cover, the annoying track made a brief return to Kiwi pop culture. And while the ad was tremendously cheesy and slightly bizarre, there was just something that made it stick in the mind.
Buoyed by the immense sharing prowess of the millennials it featured, this article quickly became the most well-read piece on StopPress for 2014. And given the dollars that YouTube is currently throwing at its content creators in the shape of promotional live events and other advertising efforts, it's likely that these young faces—or others on the platform—will return again in 2015.
So, dear readers, what was your favourite StopPress story of 2014?