Year in Review: Jens Hertzum, Blacksand

In keeping with an ongoing tradition, a few industry players gave us their take on the year for our annual opinion harvest. Here’s what Jens Hertzum, executive creative director at TVNZ Blacksand, thought about 2014.

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

‘Mistakes’, the New Zealand Transport Agency ad. This had such an effect on me as we’ve all had moments in life that you wish you could just rewind or reset. Masterful storytelling in every way. The ‘Twilight Zone’ narrative and ticking clock execution keeps you on tenterhooks until the final frame. The casting of the boy in the back seat is just one of many moments that give this spot an emotional kick.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

Loved what we did with the launch of ‘The Amazing Race: Australia vs. New Zealand’. The trans-tasman tug of war (a world first) with its online component, striking billboards, through to the bonkers on-air campaign with Millen Baird playing a deranged patriot. Every element invited the audience to get behind New Zealand in an entertaining way. 

3. Favourite international campaign

The Pillion Trust’s ‘Fuck the Poor’ campaign. A great social experiment in itself delivering video that brings into sharp relief a contradiction many of us live with. This digital and in-cinema campaign packed a punch showcasing our attitude when confronted with prejudice towards poverty and then our indifference when asked to help.

4. Least favourite campaign

War is an ugly thing and the Sainsburys Christmas advert is even uglier. It’s the sanitised, Downton Abbey-ish portrayal of the First World War that initially got my goat and then the horrific memory that Paul McCartney had referenced that same historical event already in his cloying ‘Pipes of Peace’ pop video.

I know that Sainsbury’s have been affiliated with The Royal British Legion for 20 years, I know that each little blue wrapped chocolate bar sold raises a pound for them and I know ‘official historians’ were used to consult the production company but I don’t really give a stuff. I cannot help feeling that Wilfred Owen and his peers are spinning in their shallow graves wondering how the deaths of over 37 million people could be used to sell Christmas cake. Perhaps if the Sainsbury’s logo hadn’t been in the spot, perhaps if Sainsburys had donated the cost of this bloated three and a half minute extravaganza to The Royal British Legion or, better still, made the commercial about The Royal British Legion, it wouldn’t have affected me so badly.

5. Your own biggest success

TVNZ getting an honourable mention from Transmedia Storytelling Godfather, Jeff Gomez. Oh, and getting a dog, Alfie.

6. Favourite magazine/website/TV show/radio show/podcast/news service/app/song/other

Starburst Magazine, denofgeek.com, Mayo and Kermode Film Podcast, Vice News, NZ Tides App, Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’, Kasabian ‘Eez-eh’ ‘Boyhood’, and I’m probably the last person listening to the podcast ‘Serial’, but it’s quite brilliant.

7. Most ridiculous buzzword

Hygiene. Why would you use this word in a meeting about our homepage? Unless you work in a kitchen, hospital or lavatory, please don’t use it. It’s just off-putting. It implies bacteria, dirt, filth, blood, poo and wiping it all up, not lovingly maintaining something.

8. Best innovation

Graphene. I’ve been reading a lot about it recently and I believe it’s what flying saucers are made of.

9. Most over-hyped ‘innovation’

Another iphone.

10. Best brands

Disney is cooking with gas. And I’m looking forward to the Star Wars reboot.

11. Best stoush

Packer vs Gyngell. Media heirs scrapping like crack whores in Bondi. 

12. Heroes

Russell Brand for supporting and helping bring the E15 group to victory.

13. Villains

Rupert Murdoch. His recent tweet during the siege in Sydney was as heartless as one would expect.

14. Predictions for 2015

TVNZ will move back into their refurbished headquarters by the end of the year, that’s for sure … 

  • According to Font’s recent survey, 43 percent of marketing professionals in New Zealand are looking to change jobs next year and 65 percent will be re-evaluating career plans over the Christmas period. So check out some of the roles Font has on offer here and have a gander at the infographic based on the survey results here

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