Monthly Archives: May, 2014

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Magazine circulation and readership figures: weeklies continue to bleed readers
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Nielsen and ABC have released the latest quarterly results for magazine readership and circulation and, to a large extent, the figures indicate a continuation of trends that have been taking shape over the last few quarters. There was however a shift in the sense that some special interest titles—which have until now have performed well—also showed signs of weakening.

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Mini’s Goodbye Pork Pie remake puts a new passenger through his paces
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To launch its new Hatch, Mini New Zealand recently embarked on a mission to bring a slice of Kiwi cinema history back to life. And after asking Kiwis to show their true Blondini colours, participate in a few challenges and compete to win a place in the passenger seat during the reshooting of Goodbye Pork Pie’s classic chase scene around Lake Hawea, it’s now moved on to the second phase of the campaign and released some behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot.

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BNZ and Fly Buys show how customers can be good with money, even when they’re spending it
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In recent years, Fly Buys has been on a mission to expand the range of things card holders can use their points for, whether it’s music, flights or toasters. And BNZ has been promoting some fairly innovative products lately as part of its ‘Be Good With Money’ brand strategy. Last year, the two collided, with BNZ announcing its KiwiSaver scheme members would be able to redeem Fly Buys points to make contributions to their or another person’s BNZ KiwiSaver schemes. And it’s released an ad via Colenso BBDO to trumpet that point of difference and show that its customers can be good with your money, even when they’re spending it.

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Opening a Coke becomes a two-person job
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In the past few years, the innovative marking teams behind Coca-Cola’s campaigns throughout the world have put our names on cans, created bottle-powered arcade games and taken a cheer-collecting bus across Argentina. And this inventive trend now continues with Bogota-based Leo Burnett’s introduction of the friendly twist bottle, which features a unique lid that can only be opened when paired with another.

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Lies, damn lies and statistics
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Numbers can be spun to prove almost anything, something this industry often seems to be guilty of (thanks, percentage change!). And, in an effort to show that correlation is not causation, ‘statistical provocateur’ Tyler Vigen has created a brilliant data-rich, graph-heavy website.

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Saving lives one song at a time
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Did you know that since 2011, traffic accidents have increased by 300% in China? A big reason for this is that pedestrians listening to music are drowning out ambient noise and getting run over. Thankfully Saatchi & Saatchi and VICE have come up with a clever little solution.

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Yahoo New Zealand soon to get with the global homepage programme, moves towards native advertising
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Since Marissa Mayer took over as chief executive at Yahoo, it’s acquired a whole heap of businesses (largely in the social and mobile space), started creating more of its own content and launched a new, less cluttered homepage in early 2013. And, after a bit of wait, New Zealand consumers and advertisers will get the benefit of that development with the rollout of the ‘new’ homepage in June.

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Online box sets and the on-demand arms race
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On 25 May, after screening the first episode of the second season of House of Cards, MediaWorks made all the episodes for the show available for online viewing via its on-demand service, 3NOW. The new season of the popular Netflix show will be available for 28 days from the release date, giving binge viewers four weeks to squeeze in all 13 episodes. But does this move make sense, given that television has traditionally relied on keeping viewers hooked all the way through? And what is TVNZ doing in this area?

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Google’s automotive autonomy
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Having dominated the digital scene and helped to organise a big chunk of the world’s information, Google is now attempting to connect the dots with the tangible (and then possibly sell relevant ads around that, as evidenced by its recent filing with the SEC that shows its desire to show ads in cars or in the home). Its self-driving car project is among the most impressive uses of Google’s innovative collective brain (and massive warchest) and it’s launched a clip showing volunteers in a prototype vehicle.

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Domino’s travels further down the online road with non-stop social monitoring
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A recent article in Fast Company documented the transition of Domino’s from a struggling pizza chain to a technology company. And transparency, data and utility played a major role in that evolution. As such, online ordering has become increasingly important for the company, as evidenced by the likes of the pizza tracker and various mobile apps (its iPad app even features a 3-D pizza builder). And the same focus on digital customer service obviously exists in New Zealand, because it’s walking its ‘people powered pizza’ talk and investing in 24/7 resource to monitor customers across all social media platforms. Plus: Domino’s domain name stoush.

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Telecom dabbles in the technological witchcraft of the SmartHome
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In a move that could cause a slight tinge of Orwellian panic in some, Telecom Digital Ventures (TDV) has confirmed that it is trialling a SmartHome prototype called DigiLife to determine if it has a place in the Kiwi market. Headed by Will Farrell-Green, the DigiLife team will over the next month monitor 20 to 30 Kiwi homes using the technology.

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Singing from Apple’s songsheet
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Apple has aimed to position its products as essential creative companions through its ‘Your Verse’ campaign, with the last major ad featuring a voiceover from The Dead Poet’s Society. But for the next instalment, it’s ditched the words and focused on the actions of famed conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and deaf travel writer Cherie King to show just how useful the iPad is.

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Gender bender
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There have been plenty of social experiments/hidden camera stunts recently, some that just scare the bejesus out of innocent bystanders, others that show the inherent goodness in humanity. And UK domestic violence charity ManKind is also using that technique to draw attention to what it feels is a double standard when it comes to domestic violence suffered by men.

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Y&R stacks on The Mill
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Y&R New Zealand’s Friday night drinks trolley will be well-stocked from now on because it’s picked up another new piece of business in the form of nationwide liquor retail chain The Mill. Plus: more account move news.

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TVNZ looks on the bright side of Media Solutions and Insights restructure
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As brands aim to ensure consumers’ see their ads on TV rather than take the time to make a cup of tea, go to the toilet, check their phones or push fast forward, they’re inserting themselves into TV shows and creating new content platforms. And that means integration is becoming increasingly important—and adding more to the coffers of the world’s broadcasters. But it’s a fairly new development and it’s a rapidly evolving sphere, so TVNZ has kicked off a restructure of its Media Solutions and Insights team “in order to deliver better solutions to clients”.

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South African tourism ad comes with a complimentary helping of spine tingles
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As many a North Shore expat will tell you, South Africa has limitless expanses of natural beauty, friendly people and an intriguing history. But relaying this story through advertising without making it seem clichéd, contrived and uninspiring isn’t easy. So rather than compiling yet another montage of wildlife shots, beach scenes and smiling faces, Tourism South Africa has instead to combine all these elements into a story that comes with a goosebump-causing twist ending.

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World Cup fever hits McDonald’s, but should fast-food chains sponsor sporting events?
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As one of the FIFA World Cup sponsors, McDonald’s has released several new menu items themed to specific countries participating in the global spectacle. In addition to this Australasian campaign, the fast-food chain has also launched a Kiwi-based competition that will give one lucky future star the opportunity to attend the World Cup in Brazil. But while such initiatives are getting kids to drop the Xbox controllers and head outside, some commenters still question whether fast-food chains should advertise in ways that appeal to children.

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Nigella’s taste test aims to convert chocolate lovers
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There was plenty of media frothing when Nigella Lawson ventured to Wellington recently and shut off part of the train station to film a new ad for Whittaker’s. And now the result of that filming—a taste test that aims to get punters to switch to its five-roll refined variety—has been released across Australasia.

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In your space: DDB leaves the stuffy boardroom
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At the end of 2012, in an effort to step out of the stuffy boardroom atmosphere that typifies the rigid corporate world, DDB’s management team instructed the agency’s then in-house interior designer Campbell Johnson (now owner of Campbell Johnson Design) to renovate the Auckland offices and make the space more inviting to visitors.

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