Year in Review: Arnaud Calonne, Verizon Media

Every year, StopPress asks players in the local industry for their reflections on the marketing year that was. Here’s what Arnaud Calonne, New Zealand sales director at Verizon Media had to say.

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours?

Kiwibank’s ‘I am Hope’ social campaign. Creatively executed, highly effective (it was the talk of the town), a win-win for both parties involved (raising over $100k for the Gumboot Friday fund to provide young Kiwis free counselling services) and at the end of the day, brand love and genuine intentions came out on top (as they should).

2. Favourite campaign that is yours?

Vodafone’s ‘Prepaid Free Data Nights’ Summer campaign. We had a lot of fun engaging new native ad formats that respected the consumer whilst building brand love for Vodafone. The creative responded in real-time to Vodafone’s free data giveaway, building intrigue and securing conversion of the target audience of students and gamers. 

3. Favourite international campaign?

‘Renault Clio: 30 years in the making’ by Publicis Poke. Brilliant storytelling that shows exactly what advertising should be – captivating, imaginative, great delivery and memorable. Plus, it’s French like me – oui oui!

4. Least favourite campaign? 

No specifics come to mind however in general, I’m not a fan of campaigns that lack imagination. Tell me a captivating story and capture my attention to make viewing worthwhile!

5. Your own biggest success?

2019 has been full of highlights but my biggest success has been seeing my team grow and achieve unprecedented success (and of course visiting Queenstown for the first time and overcoming my fear of bungee jumping).

6. Most significant launch/innovation/thing of the year?

Programmatic DOOH launched in a number of international markets offering marketers the opportunity to be more impactful with their campaigns and the creative they use. It’s set to hit New Zealand shores in 2020 and is bound to be the next marketer’s delight – I’m keeping my eye on this!

7. What should be uninvented?

Clickbait and pop-up ads! Any ad that creates a terrible user experience and at the same time doesn’t serve the brand purpose. These types of ads might serve a short-term goal but are detrimental in the long run. 

8. Lamest trend

As a keen kite surfer and all-round nature enthusiast, I’d have to say the lamest and most disappointing trend is ongoing water pollution locally at Auckland beaches, as well as worldwide.

9. Best brands 

The best brands are the ones that place the planet and future at their heart and not in a flashy way but truly integrated into everything they do. There’s still a gap for larger players to get on board and take the leap to become forward-thinking.  

10. Best stoush 

The Commerce Commission reviewing the mega-merger between NZME and Stuff. It didn’t happen in 2018 but I think it could be on the cards again in 2020…

11. Heroes 

Shoutout to Alysha Delany, Sean McCready and Matt Bale who I believe all of the New Zealand market has huge respect for. After nine years of hard work culminating in MBM becoming agency of the year and being sold to Publicis, it goes to show they’re clearly doing something right!

12. Villains 

The Poms for kicking the Black Caps out of the Cricket World Cup and stealing the win!

13. What died in 2019? 

Opaque data models. If you want to earn the trust of consumers, you need to be completely transparent. It’s as simple as that.

14. What’s the biggest mistake marketers will make in 2020?

Spending more money on attribution modeling… Marketers need to stop buying into the illusion that people are 100 percent trackable 24/7 and believing that there is one singular, unbiased solution. This needs to be addressed and fixed next year. 

15. If there were no laws for 24 hours, what would you do?

I’d gather together a group of people in need and take them to a department store to have a free for all. 

Year in Review is brought to you by oOh!media.

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