Year in Review: James Bickford

  • Year in Review brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • January 21, 2013
  • StopPress Team
Year in Review: James Bickford

As a popular source for journos writing branding stories and the local head of one of the world's biggest branding agencies, Interbrand, which releases its annual report of the world's best brands, James Bickford knows his stuff—and is never short of opinions. Here are a few more. 

1. Favorite campaign that isn't yours

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSA2UsMpinkColor matters. Blue, green, blue green or red? Westpac took the opportunity to deliver a simple message in a fun way. Not telling us how good or bad money is, no long letters, just a colourful moment to question a choice. 

2. Favorite campaign that is yours

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGLiTAUdeWkSky's Father Time. 'Boom!' Great to see a brand that has brought back the art of storytelling. A great story is as old as time itself and in a world where brand stories matter more to consumers this art has become vital.

3. Least Favorite Campaign

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idrKqL9ZEEwSelling a bank to an alien. A rather small target audience.

4. Best brand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwCPcqqJcQsA million reasons. Because they broke a duopoly, started with a zero share and now have over a million customers, 2degrees has earned its stripes. Now that’s impressive for a wee upstart. Its challenge now is to maintain this with its growing size and hope that Rhys Darby’s jokes continue to stay funny and its customers keep smiling.

5. Best Stoush

Love or hate it. Sanitarium flexed its muscles bringing court action against Rob Savage, who imported 1,908 special edition jars of Marmite. The 1,908 jars of UK Marmite, specially labelled ‘Ma’amite’ in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee are said to infringe upon Sanitarium’s trademark. Sanitarium has refused to budge arguing UK Marmite is already available in New Zealand under the name ‘Our Mate’ and the issue was about protecting Kiwi jobs and Kiwi manufacturing. Could 1,908 jars really destroy Kiwi manufacturing? Well I think you can be the judge on that.

6. Heroes

Gold! Our New Zealand Olympic and Paralympics teams representing our nation and its brand on the global stage.

7. Villains

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHfPRBd9dVg“We agree that tobacco is harmful. We disagree that plain packaging will work,” says British American Tobacco in response to possibilities that New Zealand could legislate for plain tobacco packaging. Enough said.

8. Most memorable marketing moment 

Skinny kids and aerosol cans. The organisers of a skate park event kindly supplied teenage participants with spray paint who then went on to graffiti the ‘sponsors'’ names on the ramps of the new council-owned skate park. The organisers generously promoted Skinny to title sponsor, which Skinny denies it was, claiming the organisers used their logo without permission. Skinny has since expressed regret in involvement with the event. Kids these days! 

9. A few predictions for 2013

Brands getting back to basics, enough with the hype, let’s see some great service and experiences again.

More brands will start to deliver from the inside out. Brand will no longer be seen as a communications tool, with it becoming increasingly used as a guiding force for all activities in the business.

Digital – more brands move from short term ‘campaign likes’ to long-term engagement and story telling.

Humanising – brands become increasingly intuitive of people’s behaviours, not just needs and search for more ways to interact in a meaningful way, rather than just driving customers to the cash register. 

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