At StopPress, our goal is to showcase the best work from and the most interesting issues in the marcomms industry. But we’re largely leaving our editorial view out of it this time and letting the analytics do the talking with a new section dedicated to social media success: The StopPress + Zavy Social Scoreboard.
Author Ben Fahy
Paper Plus is thought to have moved its creative and media accounts to Contagion after more than five years with FCB.
Rave reviews, impressive sales, celebrity endorsements, a Purple Pin at the Best Awards … The Wool Runner from Allbirds has tapped into the growing desire for ‘anonymous luxury’ and is riding a wave of popularity. But it’s no overnight success. In the presence of about seven years’ worth of prototypes, co-founder Tim Brown and designer Jamie McLellan tell Ben Fahy about the long and winding road they had to travel to bring their vision to life.
Following the resignation of Simon Tong from Fairfax, we revisit Ben Fahy’s comprehensive 2015 interview with him to get a sense of what he was trying to achieve at the media company during a period of enormous change.
However you say it, and whatever you think of it, Cannes has become the high water mark of global commercial creativity and pretty much every agency (and, increasingly, every tech company) worth its salt seeks validation through victory at this huge annual festival in the South of France. This year, there were more than 43,000 entries and more than 15,000 attendees, celebrating both the best ideas and the fact that the company is paying for their potentially debauched and very expensive trip. Contagious, which, according to its blurb, helps brands across the globe to achieve the top 1% of marketing creativity, was there, as it is every year, and Simon Kemp, the head of its consulting division Insider in the Asia Pacific region, looked at some of the themes linking the award-winning campaigns. He visited recently as a guest of FCB and he sat down with Ben Fahy, the publisher and editorial director of StopPress and NZ Marketing, to discuss the impact of technology, advertising as a fashion show, the declining impact of creativity, the idea of purpose washing, and plenty more.
In the first of an irregular series of podcasts where we interview an assortment of highly creative, annoyingly successful and sometimes completely mad humans from across the marketing, media and advertising industries, we’ve set the bar pretty high: Bob Hoffman, AKA The Ad Contrarian.
At Previously Unavailable’s breakfast event this week, Air New Zealand’s head of innovation Scott Bishop spoke about the difference between companies with an offensive mindset (like, unsurprisingly, Air New Zealand, or Tesla, which took its patents open-source and backed itself to stay ahead of the competition) and companies with a defensive mindset. The defensive companies generally fail because they’re trying to protect a legacy and tend to force customers to adapt to their business model, rather than looking at what their customers actually want and solving their problems. While we’re not deluded enough to place ourselves in the same category as Air New Zealand or Tesla, the same binary choice applies to us: try to create the new, or try to maintain the old. So, after much chin-stroking, spreadsheet-staring, brow-furrowing and distance-gazing over the past few months, we’ve decided to take the offensive.
There’s no shortage of international experts being flown in to New Zealand to spread their wisdom to us New Zealand savages. But very few of them are as interesting and energetic as Faris Yakob, a dreadlocked ‘advertising philosopher’, author of Paid Attention and co-founder of Genius Steals. He was brought out by OMD to speak at its annual conference. So Ben Fahy sat down for a wide-ranging discussion about everything from the myth of originality to the fallacy of the impression to the musings of David Foster Wallace.
A few months back we asked Fairfax if rumours that its magazine portfolio was on the block were true. Given the company had just put its magazine content under the Stuff umbrella, it seemed like a surprising move. But while Fairfax said no at the time, an email to staff today from group executive editor Sinead Boucher has confirmed six of its “smaller niche” titles—including reigning magazine of the year NZ Life & Leisure—have been sold as it continues to focus on its “core audiences and verticals”.
Kiwi menswear brand I Love Ugly launched its new men’s jewellery range yesterday with a lookbook that many social media users accused of objectifying women. And it’s the latest brand to feel the ire of the angry mob—and, potentially, the perverse benefits of being slammed in an era where attention has become a currency.
Facebook appears to be steadily eating the internet and, in August this year, it took over from Google as the biggest driver of web traffic to news sites. It’s a bit of a love/hate relationship, however, with many publishers relying on the network for traffic, ad revenue and validation/stimulation, but also fearing that they are vulnerable to a tweak of the algorithm or demands for more money to reach its audience. Earlier this year, Facebook announced the arrival of Instant Articles, which let selected media brands publish content directly to Facebook and display it in newsfeeds without requiring users to leave. And, as part of a regional deal with Fairfax, stuff.co.nz will be the first local brand that gets to play with it in New Zealand.
Visions of the future are fertile territory for psychics, science fiction writers and highly paid consultants. And as Spark attempts to move from dumb pipes to digital services, it’s joined in the fun and created Spark Life 2025 to show what life might be like ten years from now. And NZME has helped bring its vision to life online.
In New Zealand, as around the world, the amount of time spent watching linear TV is on the wane. So how have the five major free-to-air channels performed this year? And, with ondemand services continuing to grow (and with Fox following in the footsteps of cable networks HBO and FX and moving away from overnight ratings as industry currency in the US) is the current ratings system an accurate reflection of performance?
While showers can be vicious killers, water on the neck can also create moments of clarity, so it’s generally worth the risk. And last night as I sat in the corner of the shower weeping, scrubbing myself down after another day spent working in trade media, I started thinking about Rachel Glucina—and, more generally, the folly of big media trying to get down with the internet kids.
Humans love a good origin story. And, in the business world, the power of the overnight success narrative often means the extremely difficult period of starting and growing a business is conveniently overlooked in the mythology. The latest Kiwi business to join that club is Stolen Spirits, which was started around five years ago in a bedroom in Mt Eden and this week sold a controlling interest to US company Liquid Asset Brands and Spirits Investment Partners for $21 million. And it’s another great example of a Kiwi business that has understood the power of marketing to create a huge amount of value in a short amount of time.
The outdoor industry is in the middle of a golden run in New Zealand, with 11 consecutive quarters of growth and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ten percent since Jan 2013 making it second only to online as the fastest growing media channel. Digital screens are driving most of that growth. And things are changing rapidly as all the big players invest heavily to try and get a piece of the pie, so here’s a rundown on what they’re all up to.
While it’s tough to top Whittaker’s when it comes to socially savvy FMCG brands, Griffin’s has also had a fair bit of success in that field, with its Choco-ade campaign from a few years back the stand out. And to capitalise on the festive I-need-to-get-them-a-generic-gift-but-it-can’t-be-too-expensive biscuit rush (which is closely related to the chocolate gift giving Cadbury has been promoting for a few years), Griffin’s and its agency Assignment Group are asking Kiwis to provide some rules around appropriate summer Sampler consumption.
The holy grail of content marketing is to create a win-win-win: something that’s good for the consumers, good for the brand and good for the ambassadors/publishers. And Fonterra Brands, Annabel Langbein and Milk reckon they’ve done just that with a new content-led campaign/’inspiration platform’ called ‘We Are What We Eat’, which aims to provide Kiwis with the tools to cook more often and more simply—and, at the same time, promote the surprisingly large benefits of getting the family around the table.
The mode of delivery for audio has changed markedly in the past few decades, to the point where young folk tend to see a cassette tape as the modern-day equivalent of a gramophone. And a PwC report into the contribution of the music industry to the New Zealand economy shows that while the total retail sales are down significantly on 2012 as a result of shifting listening habits and illegal downloading, the significant growth in online streaming is making up some of the lost ground.
In the first of two stories, Ben Fahy talks with MediaWorks chief executive Mark Weldon about the thinking behind its unified news brand Newshub, which has required a multi-million dollar investment, is modelled on the BBC and is set to kick off in Q1 next year.
TRA broke the champagne on its fancy new office in Britomart this year (and developer Peter Cooper called “the best fit out in the precinct”). And it’s about to do it again, this time in Wellington.
Back in 2013, Attitude Group, which has been telling the inspiring stories of New Zealanders living with disabilities, recovering from injuries and dealing with health problems since 1992 and broadcasting on TVNZ since 2005, moved into the online realm with Attitude Live. The site runs versions of its broadcast content, offered live streaming of the Sochi Winter Olympics and has been steadily growing its audience. And for its troubles, it beat competition from 86 countries to win the “inclusion and empowerment” category at the United Nations-based World Summit Awards and was also named by the Grand Jury as “best and most innovative digital innovation with high impact on society 2015”.
Following the news that Volkswagen New Zealand was set to part ways with its agency of around two years, Colenso BBDO, and the recent discovery of dodgy software that cheated on emissions tests, FCB New Zealand has been handed the creative business—and been given a pretty big challenge to help the brand win back people’s trust.
When it comes to corporations, history shows that consumers tend to forgive accidents—and even stupidity. But willful deception is another kettle of fish. And Volkswagen inventing technology to cheat on its emissions tests is about as willful and deceptive as it gets (if it wasn’t so evil, you could almost applaud their inventiveness). So far, it has had a major impact on Volkswagen’s share price (and other car brands’ share prices), it is getting ready for a recall of 11 million cars, billions of dollars in fines are on the cards and the first of what could be many lawsuits have already been filed. Some believe it could bring Volkswagen to its knees. So can the company recover from this reputational car crash? And what can marketers learn from the saga?
Whether it’s paying stars to show off diamonds in public, paying stars to mention a brand in their latest song, paying stars to talk up your new product to their fans, or paying for the host of a podcast to read out your ad, brands have been using the power of endorsement to influence perceptions since ages ago. In the world of hospitality, having the right people at your establishments is important if you hope to lure the crowds. And it’s no secret that Skycity ‘incentivises’ a range of famous Kiwis to do just that. But now it’s taken that one step further by getting them to write—or at least put their name to—long copy ads that wax lyrical about the company’s assets and its impact on Auckland.
Lewis Road Creamery’s Peter Cullinane says the premium dairy brand he founded in 2011 has re-energised the white milk sector and now has over 50 percent of the organic milk market in New Zealand. Now Goodman Fielder has taken the cow by the teats and released its own range of three premium organic milks under the Puhoi Valley brand. But Cullinane has come out swinging, saying it is “pathetic plagiarism” and shows a “staggering lack of imagination”.
Judging by the numerous rugby-related office discussions and the blanket media coverage—from the above board chat on outlets like Radio New Zealand to the below board banter inside a giant scrotum as part of the Alternative Commentary Collective’s Champagne Rugby, you could be forgiven for thinking the nation has a collective ‘code boner’ over the Rugby World Cup at present. But is rugby losing its lustre in New Zealand? And is there a limit to the All Black appropriation?