The Year in Review: Dan Robertson

As commercial director of Mi9 and chair of the IAB, Dan Robertson is at the business end of digital (and as a board member of the Advertising Standards Authority, he’s sometimes at the arse end of advertising). Here’s what caught his eye in 2013. 

1. Favourite campaign  

ASB’s Brian Blessed – no biggy, yes biggy! Loved it. Blessed’s thespian roar made me smile every time. A good point nicely made.  

Drug Driving shopkeepers also gets my vote. I mean, who can resist a dozen frosty pigs after a bender (joking).

2. Least favourite campaign 

I sit on the ASA complaints board and see plenty of questionable advertising. Amber beads for babies topped the list of unproven therapeutic claims. Also remarkable for the wrong reasons was magnet and crystal “technology”. The ad for Carl’s Jr. featuring busty women barbecuing burgers sparked a flood of complaints. Campaigns I truly dislike prey on human insecurities about weight, looks and health.

3. Your own biggest success 

This year I was appointed to chair the IAB. I am extremely proud to share a boardroom table with so much talent. New Zealand’s digital marketing industry is in good hands.

4. Most impressive performance 

The growth of mobile marketing. That was quick.  

5. Biggest move  

Telecom moves to Dynamo. I remember cutting my teeth on the Telecom account at Wellington Newspapers. Back then Telecom and Saatchis were the final word in advertising. They were the reason I fell in love with this industry. Well done, Dynamo.

6. Best innovation?

The Cronut.

7. Best brands 

Air New Zealand. Betty White delivers safety video; ground crew dress as dragon tamers; plane flaps wings. Magic moments in advertising. 

8. Best stoush

Len Brown. What a fighter. Blimey.

9. Heroes 

ASA’s Hillary Souter – wickedly cheeky, funny and yet the consummate professional. Always makes time for everyone and is generous with guidance and advice.

Alisa Higgins, general manager of the IAB – tenacious, opinionated, and genuinely gives a damn. She keeps the IAB in a straight line.

10. Villains 

The haters. Celebrate diversity; packaging counts for nothing.

11. Most memorable marketing moment 

Team New Zealand. ‘Nuff said. But you won’t hear Emirates or Nespresso lamenting their sponsorship.

12. A few predictions for 2014   

Programmatic buying is looming as the dominant form of buying digital media (and people). Viewable impressions (and the ones you don’t see). We will hear more about dark data.

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