StopPress readers’ picks of 2016: the mannequin challenge, Tokyo Dry, Kevin Roberts and My Food Bag in the mix

Last year StopPress collated some of the standout moments of 2016 in the annual ‘Year in the Rear‘. Voting kicked off with our final newsletter and you went hard to make sure your opinions were heard. We returned from sun-soaking and surfing to find over 2,500 completed surveys, which were then meticulously analysed by our team of voter fraud analysts to ensure there was no rigging. While some categories saw a standout winner others were tight, and with that, Spark deserves a special shout-out for being pipped at the post in all three of its nominated categories.

Where the voting was almost too close to call, we’ve listed the runner-up to ensure all those deserving receive credit.

The Ricky Baker ‘Skuxx’ Campaign of the Year Award

Tokyo dry

In what feels like an epic campaign for a big international brand, Steinlager launched its Tokyo Dry Beer with DDB. The 90-second spot sees Kiwi hip-hop dance crew The Bradas transform into origami, bonsai trees, robots, lanterns and sumo wrestlers. The Japanese vibe was then continued into a series of stories in a branded content campaign with Vice Media.

The ‘jandals and speedos’ Client-agency Partnership of the Year Award

Lotto NZ and DDB

On the one hand you have a client that still believes in large-scale storytelling, and on the other hand, you have an agency adept at delivering just that. This symbiosis last year delivered the acclaimed ‘Pop’s Gift’, which was more recently followed up with the equally epic ‘Mum’s Wish‘. DDB chief creative officer Damon Stapleton has spoken about the importance of shifting focus from the picture frames to what’s actually inside them, and the quality work the agency does for Lotto is clearly a testament of this.

Runner-up: My Food Bag and Pead PR

A slightly left-field entry, but it’s difficult to look past the impact Pead has had on My Food Bag since the company was founded. From the first clever campaign featuring New Zealand influencers to the decision this year to kick the Chiefs rugby team to the kerb, My Food Bag has consistently played a very smart PR game—which certainly contributed to the company’s massive pay day in October. 

The Russell Brand Award for Best Brand

My Food Bag

Healthy and convenient food services have taken the grocery world by storm and My Food Bag has added to that hype, going from strength to strength this year. Not only has it built up its original offering, it called in Julian Dennison to launch a new ‘bargain box’.

The Russian athlete award for biggest whoopsie

Kevin Roberts

In what he later described as a “miscommunication” (in an interview with Sunday) former Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts landed himself in hot water for saying the debate is over and there is no gender bias in the advertising industry. For the comments, he was called out for being ‘sexist’ and he stepped away from Saatchis.

The ‘#KimexposedTaylor’ Stoush of the Year Award

Old flag vs new flag

There was a period at the beginning of this year when it seemed as though New Zealand might break out in a civil war between those who wanted the new flag and those who wanted to stick with the banner we already had. But the social media furore and news media excitement eventually fizzled out in the most anti-climactic way as we stuck with the flag we’ve had since 1902. 

The Buck Shelford Ripped Scrotum Award for Bravery

Chloe Swarbrick

Not only was the 22-year-old mayoral candidate in Auckland’s local body election taking on the age and political experience of her fellow candidates, she was doing it with next-to-no funding. When she first announced her candidacy, she spent less than $500 on social media to generate traction and received a few donated posters from Phantom Billstickers, but all reach after that was organic.

Runner-up: Spark

The telco got emotive this year with Shine and Colenso BBDO. And while many criticized its ‘Big Tony’ hero video, the campaign kept coming in the form of shorter, bitesize pieces.

The ‘build a wall and make them pay for it’ Idea of the Year Award

Harvesting tears for breast cancer

To raise awareness for breast cancer, Rialto ran a quirky activation that had scientists collect the tears of moviegoers watching sad films. The idea came about after a DDB copywriter read about an American research firm, which has discovered that tears can be used to detect breast cancer with up to 90 percent accuracy.   

The ‘melting iceberg’ Move of the Year Award

BNZ takes Colenso off retainer

While Colenso remains the lead creative agency on the BNZ account, this move took a sizeable slice out of the agency’s annual revenue. It will be interesting to see how this story evolves in the coming year.  

Runner-up: Media mergers

With Vodafone courting Sky and Fairfax and NZME setting their differences apart, this was undoubtedly the year of the mergers. Nothing is set in stone yet and there are no guarantees that either of these moves will come to fruition, but we may well be looking at a very different media landscape by the middle of 2017. 

The Jeff Jefferson Pitch of the Year

Air New Zealand

Ending 2016 with one of the biggest media pitches of the year is our local airline, which has the choice of OMD, PHD and Carat. Air New Zealand has been with OMD since 2007 and since then, there have intermittently been rumours of the client doing due diligence on the account.

Runner-up: 2degrees

Following Roy Ong’s appointment as chief marketing officer, the telco put its creative account up for pitch in July, which saw incumbent agency Special Group placed in a pool alongside Saatchi & Saatchi and the Dentsu Aegis Network. While most estimates suggest a company only stays with the incumbent five to 10 percent of the time, Special Group proved it had the sticking power and won.

The ‘crying Michael Jordan’ Best Mascot of the Year Award

Julian Dennison for everyone

Following his appearance in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Julian Dennison has leant his big personality to a number of brands, most notably Air New Zealand and My Food Bag. He’s a natural in front of the camera, has razor sharp wit well ahead of years and we can expect to see a lot more of him in the future.  

The Man Bun Award for Naff Trend of the Year 

Mannequin challenge

Okay, we get it: People can stand still. So far the viral video trend has resulted in YouTube delivering 3,970,000 results when ‘mannequin challenge’ is searched. There’s even an official ‘Mannequin Challenge Song’.

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