Brands are normally seen as the bullies; corporate monsters taking advantage of the little guy. But they aren’t just a logo, a uniform or an ad. They are made up of multiple individuals working in different branches on different levels. And often it’s the people lower down the chain who bear the brunt of angry customers, as any front of house hospo worker or call centre operator or social media manager will know. So in light of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill passing its third reading, and following some recent anger directed at the likes of Nestle, Cadbury, Ticketek and many others, we decided to ask a few New Zealand companies with 'passionate' followers a potentially stupid question: have they ever felt like they've been bullied online?
Marketing, advertising & media intelligence
Mitre 10 general manager Dave Elliott gave a full and frank insight into his business at the IAB Vertical Snapshot event on May 27.
There was a time when people seemed to get angry about autoplay video, with Fairfax in Australia getting a kicking a few years back. Now it seems to be part of the online furniture. Instagram and Facebook launched auotplay video in 2013 and Twitter has also just announced it. But as those videos don't play with sound unless users click on them, brands and publishers are adapting to an era of silence—and, just as some have done with pre-roll ads, they're starting to find some creative solutions.
Future Tense: Fairfax's Simon Tong on bloody noses, the fallacy of clickbait and the benefits of scale
Jamesons was reportedly the first brand to embrace the nascent realm of 3D videos on social media when it slid a sponsored shot across the bar for St Patricks Day. Now AMP Capital, which owns four malls across New Zealand, is using the multi-dimensional technology across its social media channels to create a series of short, innovative videos showcasing its food and fashion. PLUS: five brands embracing cinemagraphs on Instagram.
From Telecom hate to Spark advocacy: Be Counted campaign rallies the troops to fight against price rises
It wasn't too long ago that Spark was a company to be railed against; a monopolistic monolith using confusion as a marketing tactic to suck money out of consumers. One Spark staffer tells of a focus group attendee from South Auckland before the rebrand saying that if an 027 number came up on their phone they knew it was either telemarketers or debt collectors so they'd just ignore it, which is a good indication of the level of disdain for the brand in that part of the country. But since then, there's been a lot more openness from those inside the company and a lot more love shown by consumers, and this change in approach manifested itself in the Be Counted campaign, which was created by Touchcast and managed to get over 50,000 New Zealanders interested in regulatory process.
The human psyche is seemingly embedded with an unrelenting draw toward buttons—something illustrated in the exasperation of a parent begging a toddler to leave random switches alone. And this base impulse is something that brands are looking to capitalise on by putting 'buy now' buttons just about everywhere (those with koumpounophobia are advised to look away now).
After one accelerator programme, a spell in a start-up incubator and a tonne of two minute noodles, digital venture Mish Guru, which has developed software designed to help businesses get bang for their marketing buck on Snapchat, has a springboard of nearly half a million dollars to break into the US market.
We live in visual times. We also live in an age of showoffery, where the experiences we now seem to crave over material goods are enhanced through sharing (and social validation). Brands and agencies have figured out a few clever ways of getting in on the rise of user-generated content, whether it's Instagram printers at events or social media-enabled photobooths, but Hamilton-based app developer Kapja has launched a new app called Biz Brand Cam, which it says is the first fully customisable app of its type available to download directly from the Apple App Store.
Devin Graham, an American videographer who produces adventure and extreme sport videos under the name Devin Super Tramp, has become one of social media's biggest names, with more than 2.9 million YouTube subscribers and over 530 million total views. Tourism New Zealand got him to come for a visit and it ended up being the most successful social influencer work it has done to date.
The Air New Zealand lollies are something of an institution in this country and many a Kiwi kid has had the pleasure of delivering them at the end of a flight. Now it's planning on adding a new rugby-themed flavour to the roster so it played a bit of an early April Fool’s day prank on a few All Blacks in the form of a taste test.
The rapidly growing 'better burger' segment has brought joy to the mouths of many New Zealanders—and some concern to the cheaper, more quotidian fast food incumbents (in a classic case of if you can't beat them, join them, McDonald's is attempting to ride the premium train with some new 'create your own' options). Burger Burger has quickly become one of Auckland's favourite posh burger establishments since Mimi Gilmour, she of Mexico fame, launched it last year and Motion Sickness Studio (MSS) has helped make that happen.
Messaging apps are coming of age and Colenso BBDO's Neville Doyle has some suggestions for marketers who want to test the waters.
The perils of Twitter, a telco on Snapchat and online communities: Socialites founder Wendy Thompson on why brands need a social media agency
So risky is Twitter that Wendy Thompson, the founder of social media agency Socialites, advises clients not to dabble in platform. And while this might sound counter-intutive coming from someone who pays the bills thanks to social media, Thompson's company has already generated some impressive results for major brands such as Mitre 10 and Spark, and she has just penned House of Travel into her ledger. So is this a case of digital smoke and mirrors or is a social media agency something that more businesses should think about bringing onboard?
For the first time since public relations company Edelman first ran its trust barometer survey, which gauges the levels of trust societies have in various organisations, search engines have overtaken traditional media as the most-trusted source for attaining general news and information.
Online users have long suffered from social media messaging overload. But Kiwis have wizened up to the power of the mute button at their disposal, says Katie Byrne.