Awards! Canines! Gambling! Viral books! Chuck! Water! Boats and cars! Internetty stuff! Robin Hood! Hoardings! Largesse!

This newsy concoction is light and frothy on the nose, with undercurrents of naivete, overcurrents of aniseed, cassis and forest floor and aftercurrents of squash changing room. Can be served either brucewarm or lukewarm.

Starring role

Independent Kiwi experiential agency AmbientX has been selected as finalist in three categories at this year’s APMA Star Awards, to be held in Sydney on 1 July.

The APMA recently merged into Australia’s peak advertising body, The Communications Council, and has created a focus on experiential marketing “to change behaviour, build brands and deliver results”. And the Star Awards are designed to honour the year’s most outstanding promotional, tactical and experiential marketing campaigns. The awards are open to APMA member and non-member agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Arnott’s Velish Soup Kitchen activation was placed in the ‘Best Event or Experiential Marketing Campaign’ and ‘Best Campaign Generating Brand Awareness and Trial’ categories and last year’s Vodafone Homegrown Sponsorship Leverage Campaign was nominated in the ‘Best Small Budget Campaign’ category.

Mark Pickering, partner and creative strategist at AmbientX, which was a founding agency of EMANZ (The Experiential Marketing Association of NZ) and a member of the CAANZ Marcomms Leadership Group, says: “This is a great opportunity to watch another David vs. Goliath battle against the big lads in Aussie and we hope to show what a small agency on this side of the ditch can do for clients. The experiential marketing channel is gradually catching up with our friends across the Tasman and the Arnott’s Campbell’s Velish Soup campaign was also recently nominated in three categories at this year’s CAANZ Media Awards, showing that experiential marketing is becoming a vital and accepted tool in the marketer’s toolbox.”

More information and images of the campaigns can be found here and at the Ambientx Facebook page.

Barking up the right tree

The Pond digital creative director Matt Campbell has won Best in Show at Financial Awards, USA for a campaign he created with Willoughby Partners in New York for Barclays Capital.

Inspired by the acronym from the company’s suite of trading platforms’ BARX, Campbell’s team at Willoughby Partners developed the idea of The Trader’s Best Friend. And he got to work, only he got to work remotely from his office in Auckland.

This canine breakthrough gave them the creative license to play on the superior qualities of the dog and empower the BARX brand with ‘persuasive emotional attributes’.

The global online campaign also won a gold for best campaign and best execution at the awards. And, more importantly for Campbell, it’s also boosted brand awareness and given complex products a direct visual and emotional appeal.

Instant Grat

Youtube Video

DDB NZ, Good Oil and Images and Sound have put together a musical epic for Instant Kiwi. And it almost rivals the latest Tourism Australia spot. Ah, sweet gambling, how you bring everyone great amounts of joy.

Ross gets viral

Youtube Video

Geoff Ross and Justine Troy are still walking the talk with this viral, quintessentially 42 Below approach to marketing their new book Every Bastard Says No. Just a pity that the VO keeps getting the title of the book wrong.

Chuck it in

Chuck Porter co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky USA has been nabbed by the NAB as this year’s chairman of judges for the Newspaper Ad of the year awards, continuing the tradition of selecting global creative leaders to chair the event. Previous chairs include Tim Delaney and Sir John Hegarty. And one has to wonder whether Mr Porter will have an opinion on the onslaught of Australian entries that have made it into the final this time round. NAB general manager Robert Munro seems to.

CB+P was named 2009 USA Agency of the Year by Advertising Age, Adweek and Creativity magazines and most recently was selected as Agency of the Decade by Advertising Age.

Australasia’s largest cash prize for creativity, the $10,000 Newspaper Advertisement of the Year, will be announced on 15 July at a function being organised at Hopetoun Alpha. Porter will talk about the winning work in a video presentation at the function.

“We’re stepping up the event this year by including a Client of the Year award which will be included in the Call for Entries sweep going out mid-June. But, we’re not sitting back waiting for submissions to trickle in. Chuck will be upping the game by inviting people to respond to his forthcoming blog about the competition on Campaign Brief New Zealand next month. He also plans to call some agency chief executives and executive creative directors to encourage them to get their submissions in,” says Munro.

The big 50

Whether you thought it was naff or not (and it seems most did), the figures don’t lie: The Cheers for 50 Years gameshow cringe fest was the highest rating programme of the year to date in New Zealand, with 760,170 viewers. Only five episodes of ONE News have rated higher this year, including the edition on the night of the show on 1 June.

Team YouTube

Youtube Video


Youtube Video

YouTube and Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival announced the winners of the viral ad competition to promote WaterAid. Andrew Dobbie (25) from JWT Manchester, United Kingdom, and Rachel Wolak (28) from Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Colorado, USA, were the winners and will become ‘Team YouTube’, the 40th team to compete in this year’s Young Lions Film Competition in Cannes.

WaterAid, which works to bring safe water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities, was revealed as the 2010 competition’s charity partner and unveiled a brief on 15 May for young creatives across the world to create a short ad of up to one minute and upload it onto YouTube to promote their ‘Don’t Let it Drop’ campaign.

Creatives were given 48 hours to submit their ad and then had a further two weeks to make their YouTube ad go viral by any means necessary and obtain as many votes as possible.

The competition received 530 entries and over 75,600 votes in two weeks and a panel of worldwide creative leaders assessed the quality of the ads.

Chris Baylis, executive creative director of TribalDDB Amsterdam and one of the contest judges said it was “inspiring and exciting to see how, in just 48 hours, well executed creative ideas can be concepted and produced.”

Fat gold Dukes

Flying Fish director James Soloman took home the Grabaseat Best Music Video gong at this year’s Juice TV Awards for The Dukes’ track ‘Vampire’. He’s already done a couple of TVCs and also shot a Mojo Xmas Appeal for Auckland City Mission.

Youtube Video

Tag and release

A glimmer of light for the traders perhaps? Or an unnecessary new gimmick? Trade-A-Boat magazine claims to be the first magazine in New Zealand to use the Microsoft Tag Reader, which allows readers to view video straight off the page onto their phones.

Readers use their phones to download an application, scan an image of the Microsoft Tag on the cover of the next issue of Trade-A-Boat and be taken directly to a video of the boat in action.

“We pride ourselves on being an innovative operator and we are thrilled to be the first magazine in New Zealand to feature a Microsoft Tag on a cover,” says Adrian Pickstock, general manager of Trader Group. “But more importantly than that is what it offers our readers. This is a great way to engage with our audience but on their terms. We give them the choice of the magazine, the website, mobile access and now a combination of all three. But crucially, they choose how they engage with our brand.”

Patrick Kouwenhoven, head of software solutions, Gen-i, the company championing this technology and a long-term ICT partner with ACP Media, says this is a very exciting time for publishers and Mobile Tags are a great way to bring print to life.

And, onto dry land, The New Zealand Herald and ACP Media Ltd have announced a content partnership between their heraldcars.co.nz and autotrader.co.nz web sites.

From 30 June, heraldcars.co.nz will stream autotrader.co.nz’s used car dealer listings, a move which they say not only benefits users of the site but will also drive more traffic to advertiser listings.

Chris Jagusch, general manager of The New Zealand Herald says the addition of 24,000 used car listings to heraldcars.co.nz will give our users a better experience and a wider choice of vehicles to consider when searching for their new car”.

Pickstock says autotrader.co.nz strives to put dealers’ listings in front of as many potential buyers as possible. So syndicating the used car content to heraldcars.co.nz’s 116,872 unique browsers helps achieve that goal.

Club night

Marketing through Facebook is the topic of Social Media Club Auckland’s June event, which takes place at 6pm next Tuesday 8 June. This time it’s being hosted by Ogilvy, 22 Stanley St, Parnell, and speakers include Paul Webster from Facebook, Tom Osborne from Wag The Dog and Rowan Schaaf from Ogilvy NZ.

They’ll be delving into topics such as effective ways to integrate Facebook into an overall Marcomms campaign, facebook audience/consumer behaviour, how businesses can better leverage the Facebook platform, social advocacy and brand lift, as well as an update on the 2degrees Facebook strategy.

Men in Tights

The Annual Prime Ministers Social Heroes Awards is urging the creative industries to stand up and be applauded. The annual awards acknowledge business doing good in the social sector and previous winner have ranged from bankers, retailers, agricultural firms, food manufacturers, ITC providers to small restaurant owners.

This year the Robin Hood Board, who manage the awards, are urging the communications industry to enter to receive the same accolades.

“If your company has done good by supporting a charity or those that needed help, tell us about it. There is no reason why communications agencies shouldn’t enter their social heroism when every other business category does,” said Jude Mannion Robin Hood’s chief executive.

Awards will be held July 23rd 2010 at ST Mathews in the City and nominations close 10 June. Go to www.robinhoodfoundation.org.nz to enter.

Clickety click

Rising demand for cost-per-click advertising has spurred MSN New Zealand to expand its local stock of performance-based advertising inventory.

The online media property has recently inked deals with US-based online advertising sales giant Gorilla Nation and international gaming site Runescape.com, which, when combined, add 24 million Kiwi-made ad impressions per month to MSN stocks.

The new deals are hot on the heels of a recent MSN partnership with media conglomerate Viacom Inc, which added 33 million impressions to MSN New Zealand’s local CPC advertising stocks.

CPC advertising is sold on a cost-per-click basis, with ad impressions optimised across the network, whereas CPM offers advertising on the basis of impressions, which are targeted according to advertiser audience requirements, such as demographics or content.

MSN business manager Liz Fraser says bookings on MSN’s local MSDR performance network have grown 42 percent month-on-month since its July 2009 launch, and for this reason, the search for additional network partners is ongoing.

“We’re simply giving advertisers what they want. The size and reach we now offer is hard to look past and offers highly sensitised campaign optimisation.”

Avenue Q

A bright pink hoarding with a splash of yellow that’s been placed on Queen Street, Mayoral Drive and Greys Avenue in Auckland signifies that construction of the city’s new Q Theatre has begun after more than a decade in the pipeline.

The hoarding features images of performers and the message ‘Moving You Closer’, which, apparently, offers insight into the vibrant entertainment to be unleashed upon the city when the new venue opens its doors in late 2011.

The hoarding also marks the first visible sign of the work of Dow Design who have worked as consultants on the project for five years, creating the Q Theatre name and brand vision.

“Together the hoarding and website re-launch mark a truly significant milestone for this projec,t” says Dow Design’s creative director Donna McCort. “It is the public’s first visual introduction to Q so we need to set the scene of what to expect. The colours represent the energy and the dynamic, creative and inclusive qualities of the theatre. These qualities will also be carried through to the theatre interiors.”

Dow Design’s long commitment to Q Theatre came about through Dow Design’s Director, Annie Dow working with the ‘New Theatre Initiative’ to establish a contemporary performance arts space after the closure of the Watershed Theatre in 1998. Over the next 12 months, the company will develop the brand concept to cover many points of public interaction, from the signage to brochures, posters and tickets.

“It’s going to be an exciting creative space to be enjoyed by all and the simplicity of the name ‘Q’ struck that chord, Q for Queen Street, Q for queue, Q for theatre cue,” says Dow. “We designed the brand to be fluid, agile, vibrant and diverse just like the theatre space. It’s been a huge honour to be part of the development of what will be one of Auckland’s central entertainment venues and a place that the city can be proud of both architecturally and artistically.”

The centre, which has a capacity of up to 460 people and a flexible freeform performance space, is planned to open in October 2011.

Cisco largesse dished out

130 companies submitted 60 words describing how winning the Cisco Communications Makeover would enhance their business and help it grow. But there could be only one winner of the $100,000 prize and it was MoleMap, the early detection skin cancer health company.

Now in its third year, the Cisco Communications Makeover competition offers New Zealand businesses the chance to transform the way they operate through the use of smart and targeted collaboration technologies. In 2010, Cisco doubled the competition prize package to $100,000 worth of Cisco Collaboration solutions.

“As the winner of the Cisco $100k Communications Makeover, the opportunity we see for them is to improve collaboration across their mobile workforce, their clinics in New Zealand and Australia, and with the internationally-based dermatologists they work with,” says Cisco country manager, Geoff Lawrie. “The Cisco Communications Makeover is all about offering businesses technology-based business solutions to gain productivity and efficiencies to support growth and innovation. MoleMap fits that brief extremely well.”

MoleMap chief executive Adrian Bowling was looking forward to seeing how the technology infrastructure under-pinning MoleMap’s business could be enhanced.

“We know that video and web conferencing could improve our internal collaboration and patient interactions, so we are excited to look at the possibilities that can offer our business. Mostly, we look forward to having the chance to really consider how the right technology can better enable our business to reach its goals.”

Inching forward

After 14 years overlooking the Brewery in Newmarket, Marsden Inch, New Zealand’s advertising focused recruitment specialist, is relocating to new premises: behind the pub in Freemans Bay.

From Thursday 3 June, they’ll be up the road from Auckland’s Drake Tavern, on the corner of Drake and Vernon Streets.

“With the economy picking up, upgrading offices is a reflection of the new confidence and exciting new opportunities out there,” say partners Cindy Mitchener, Jeneal Rohrback, and Rob Roydhouse. “Use the old phone number for now, and we’ll tell you the sparkly new one shortly.”

Emails will stay the same and full details will follow next week.

Brand Brown

Australian high performance athletic apparel brand 2XU, or for those who don’t like acronyms, Two times you, has welcomed Kiwi ironman and triathlete Cameron Brown to its stable of brand ambassadors.

Under the exclusive new Agreement, he will train, race and recover in 2XU’s apparel through to May 2013.

37-year-old Brown has won the New Zealand Ironman and New Zealand Half Ironman nine times with 10 international Ironman wins, and 25 podium finishes from 30 Ironman races.

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