High ground sought as news flood ravages marcomms landscape

Let this raging torrent of information wash over you and be cleansed by tales of NZ Herald iPad upgrades, new Tiger beer websites, Air New Zealand’s new charity promotion, DraftFCB’s tremendous victory, creative bangers getting mashed in Make Something, Down to the Wire looking for your e-memories, Telecom’s new roaming offer, #Markchat delving into a debate about agency collaboration, DSA awards deadlines and someone slapping design in the face.

I, Pad, take you, upgrade.

After a hugely successful launch back in July 2010 and more than 25,000 downloads to date, the NZ Herald iPad App has been upgraded “with new functionality and faster access to the latest news”.

“The three-month launch partnership we had with Mercedes and our other advertisers, Air New Zealand, Vodafone and Yellow, enabled us to release the App as a free download,” says Spencer Bailey, general manager and publisher. “This new version of the App can still be downloaded free of charge but we’ve made some changes to ad placements, including removing the 30 second pre-roll video, which means readers can dive straight into the news.”

APN Online will be sticking with a limit of four brands, sold on a monthly tenancy for now, and it is offering category exclusivity.

The upgraded App gives readers access to the latest news from the Herald and now also allows readers to share articles via Facebook, Twitter and email. At present, the NZ Herald’s iPad app is sitting at number 14 on the most downloaded free app chart, with Stuff’s recently released iPad app at number ten.

Easy Tiger

Tiger Beer has taken its penchant for creative collaboration online and, not too long after launching its old website (which was made by new Interbrand creative director Lorenz Perry), it has launched its new website. And it goes by the name of Hey Tiger!

Hey Tiger! is a hub that delivers “socially intelligent, genuine and refreshingly unexpected content direct to your brain hole” and, of course, a place to find all the artists and events Tiger Beer is associated with.

Running with Scissors were on ‘actualisation’ duties and, in keeping with the website’s ethos, it was a collaboration involving artist/designer/Tiger Translate contributor Jon Chapman Smith of Fuman, digital producer Shane Eriwata of Creative Organism and a handful of other contributors, including an array of words from Hot Grits singer and actor Barnie Duncan.

“Tiger Beer is a brand that encourages freedom of expression and has a great deal of respect for genuine artists,“ says Running with Scissors’ Eddy Helm. “We wanted to create a site that reflected Tiger’s passion for art and music, and allowed the real talent to shine. That’s why we selected creative practitioners to make the site happen.”

Mike Stribrny, brand manager for Tiger Beer says it is a very progressive brand and he has been impressed by Running with Scissors understanding of the brand and its strategic lead in the project.

“Tiger Beer has the confidence to let artists adapt and interpret it on our behalf. Not many brands can do that,” he says.

The site has been launched to promote the Tiger Translate event, which will be held this year at the Wellington Opera House on Friday 26 November. The event will be produced once again by RJX and the inaugural issue of the bi-monthly Hey Tiger! e-magazine, which has been introduced by Barnie Duncan, with contributions from musician Chris Cox and illustrator James Stewart, is dedicated to Tiger Translate. New content will come in on a regular basis, keeping the site fresh, current and relevant.

Through the Hey Tiger! site, there is also the opportunity for creative types to apply for support of their gig, opening, performance or exhibition.

“There are plenty of talented people out there who are so focused on their art that they leave the search for sponsors until the last minute,”, says Stribrny. “Supporting creativity is what Tiger’s all about, so we’ve set aside a little beer to help as many emerging artists as we can to get their events off the ground.”

By the balls

Advertising folk hard at work

A brief conversation at the Effies between DraftFCB’s head of planning David Thomason and Daniel Barnes from Barnes Catmur led to the gauntlet being laid down for the first ‘Balls of Steel’ inter-agency Table Tennis challenge. And a riotous evening in the DraftFCB Thunderdome on 29 October ensued.

Despite many close games, DraftFCB were the clear victors on the day, winning four out of the five matches.

“The trophy is up for grabs for any agency that can put together four doubles teams,” says Thomason.

Barnes Catmur has already vowed to seek revenge, a dish that is apparently best served deep and to the backhand side.

Something’s in the making

Take a few design industry veterans and add a splash of creative variety and what do you get? ‘MAKE SOMETHING’—a creative, genre-defying mash-up, which seeks to creep beyond regular commercial boundaries.

Founded by graphic designer Bevan Tonks and joined by five other leading New Zealand graphic designers, MAKE SOMETHING participants have been thrown a challenge: given absolute free reign, who would you choose to work with from the creative industries and what would the results of that mash-up be?

The collaborations blend a mix of New Zealand creative talents across architecture, product design, fashion, music and visual effects. This is the first exhibition in what Tonks hopes will become an annual event, within Auckland and further afield.

The 2010 collaborative partnerships are:

  • Brogen Averill (Designer) and Jamie McLennan (Product Designer, ex Tom Dixon, UK)

  • Xanthe Harrison (Designer) and Anja Harrison (Assistant Runway Designer, House of Balenciaga, Paris)

  • Tana Mitchell (Designer) and Julia Deans (Singer/Songwriter, ex Fur Patrol, NZ)

  • Dean Poole (Designer) and Mechanical Turk (Amazon-based crowd sourcing initiative)

  • Bevan Tonks (Designer) and Davor Popadich (Architect, Patterson Associates)

  • Leonie Whyte (Designer) and Angela Jackson (Visual Effects Producer, NZ)

When: 26 – 28 November

Where: Achilles House, Cnr Custom Street East and Commerce Street, Auckland.

Time: 10am-4.00pm daily

You shouldn’t have

Air New Zealand is teaming up with children’s charity Make-A-Wish New Zealand to give people a chance to make up for life’s little mistakes (overlooking a friend’s birthday, causing a fender bender, sneaking that last piece of chocolate, creating an innuendo-loving mascot etc etc) and help a great cause that works to grant the cherished wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions.

So whatever it is that makes you think “I wish I hadn’t”, you can now balance the ledger by sharing your un-wish at www.iwishihadnt.co.nz and donate to Make-A-Wish at the same time.

You can also check out the moments that others would rather forget, including some classics from high profile New Zealanders such as:

  • “I wish I hadn’t given those drums to Max!”
    Mils Muliaina – All Black
  • “I wish l hadn’t delivered those letters myself”
    Hon Chris Carter MP, Te Atatu – former Labour Cabinet Minister
  • “I wish I hadn’t taken so long to realise my parents were so cool”
    Sara Tetro – New Zealand’s Next Top Model judge
  • “I wish I hadn’t put all those interesting names on my blog”
    Cameron Slater – WhaleOil Blog
  • “I wish I hadn’t given him my phone number”
    April Ieremia – TV sports presenter and former Silver Fern
  • “I wish I hadn’t run the lawn mower without any oil”
    Bevan Docherty – Olympic Triathlete

You can also text your name and wish to 3181 to make an automatic $3 donation. And limited edition “I wish I hadn’t …” t-shirts are also available for purchase from the website.

Does collaboration between creative agencies work?

Twitter debate #markchat is back again at 12.30pm today and the topic is: ‘Brothers in marketing: does collaboration between creative agencies work?’ Here’s what the instigator, Bullet PR’s Alex Erasmus has to say:

“First things first, it would be wise to list what I deem to be ‘creative agencies’. The following fields are what I am principally referring to: PR; advertising; marketing; design; web development. So, in the broad modern world there are lots of creative entities ready and willing to promote a brand. But can marketing agencies really work collaboratively with design agencies and can media agencies work in blissful unison with advertising agencies? And what happens when a PR agency has to work alongside a web agency to deliver a project? From experience, this is sometimes a very rewarding process as you get input from people with different skill sets. That said, it can also be a frustrating process when the other party doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand, how your contribution fits in. In some cases, large media entities have absorbed every facet of the communications spectrum into a one-size-fits-all offering. But does this provide a better solution for clients? In some respects it does, as there is one place where the creative buck stops. There is also, typically, one main point of contact on the agency side. On the other hand, having one entity handle the whole process can be very costly and there can be the same creative frictions within a company as there can be between companies.

In a country like ours, there is perhaps more collaboration between agencies than in many other nations. The key reason being that it limits overheads to not have to hire an internal web development consultant, for example. It makes sense to have friends in overlapping fields who you work with regularly as it can deliver great results. You also get the chance to work with a wider range of clients, which is beneficial for all involved. What we want to debate is whether you should get the marketing agency to do the marketing, the advertising agency to do the advertising, the PR agency to do the PR and so on. Is this even possible in the homogenised media landscape we occupy?

If you’ve got opinions on the matter (and on what the best model/structure is), bring them to #markchat on Twitter at 12.30pm.

Totally Wired

Down to the Wire, the digital project created by HeyDay that told the story of New Zealand’s Internet, reached its 21st anniversary milestone when it published the content for the year 2009 a few weeks back. And it is now calling on its fans to write the current 2010 year chapter.

Each day for 21 days, starting in 1989 with the nation’s connection to the internet, Down to the Wire published annual content and built a chronological account of the internet’s impact on Kiwi lives. And using video, editorial, statistics and a wealth of contributions from site visitors, it has grown into a rich and entertaining resource for all New Zealanders.

To keep those contributions coming and to grow the resource, Down to the Wire wants people to tell the story of 2010 themselves. They are also being asked to recommend internet personalities of the year who should be filmed for the chapter. Previous years’ personalities, more than 50 in all, have included Geoff Ross, Richard MacManus, Helen Baxter and Alastair Thompson.

“The contributions we’ve received from visitors for each year have been fascinating and insightful and have added tremendous depth to our coverage,” says project lead Thomas Scovell. “We’ve said that Down to the Wire is New Zealand’s resource and now we’re out to prove it again. We want 2010 to be told entirely by New Zealand’s netizens. And that really means almost everyone these days.”

When in roam

For all you holiday wanderers, Telecom has announced new data pricing for XT customers heading to Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom that gives customers 100 megabytes (MB) of mobile data for $100. The press release also helpfully points out it is the equivalent of $1/MB.

Customers will be charged $8.00/MB for the first 12.5MB and a remaining 87.5MB worth of data for the rest of their billing month will be free.

The new pricing is available to all XT customers, both prepaid and postpaid and will be applied automatically to their bill without them having to do anything to activate it before they leave New Zealand.

“This means our customers get the equivalent of $800 (in Australia) and $1000 (in the US and UK) worth of data for only $100,” says Telecom’s head of mobile roaming, Niki Chave. “This will not only make it more affordable to use data while roaming but also give our customers more clarity around the cost of data use before they travel … When travelling overseas the majority of our customers, more than 88 percent, roam to Australia, the US and the UK, so we have started by introducing new pricing to the most popular travel destinations first, with more to follow later.

100MB is equivalent to approximately 1000 text based emails or 2000 m.facebook pages. Any usage over the 100MB total will be charged at an overage rate of $8.00 per MB.

“We think 100MB is a good amount of data for our customers to not feel too restricted when using mobile data abroad and we are excited to give them more freedom to be able to stay in touch while travelling,” Chave says.

Digital deadline

Digital strategists have until this Friday to enter Yahoo!Xtra’s third round of Digital Strategy Awards. So if you want to be recognised for the role digital strategy plays in the success of on-line campaigns, get them in by close of play, Friday 12 November.

Entrants need to submit an entry in 800 words or less summarising the overall campaign, the challenge, the solution, and the results at the Yahoo!Xtra website.

The four quarterly winners will be eligible for the overall Y!X DSA Annual prize of $10,000 of media on Y!X plus free entry into the CAANZ Media Awards Best Use of Digital category. The first annual winner will be announced in March 2011.

Paid in pizza

And finally, whoever said design was undervalued obviously hasn’t seen this dream job, which offers occasional free pizza as compensation.

About Author

Comments are closed.