Year in Review: Simon Wilson, Metro

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 Simon Wilson, editor at Metro, thought about 2014.

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours.

New Auckland Transport branding for all their public transport. Now, it’s called AT Metro, in a sans serif font that’s remarkably like our own. Thanks, AT, for putting our name all over town.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

We did a “pop-up magazine” at Big Day Out this year, with music, debates, cartoon selfies and a whole bunch of fun, all in a big tent. Magazines are more alive than you thought, ok?

3. Favourite international campaign 

Stop Awkward Viewing with HBO Go. When TVCs are funny, it’s usually because we’re supposed to laugh at some guy being a dork. These ads capture the funny while rising above stupid. 

4. Least favourite campaign

Green Party election billboards. I’m all in favour of taking risks and rewriting the rules, but there’s a reason billboards should be designed so we enjoy looking at them.  

5. Your own biggest success

Best Restaurants – always sells well but this year it was easily our best seller relative to same issue in previous years. Why? It broke most of the rules: lots of food items spread out on a gunmetal grey background, no eye contact (not even a face), no bright colours, no focal point or predominant image. And some really small coverlines. Breaking the rules can work.

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

Apart from Metro, magazine and online and app? For media zeitgeist: gotta be Buzzfeed. For great long-form journalism: online it’s Longreads, Longform, The Browser and more; in print it’s still the New Yorker, also The Atlantic. On screen, I’m still working my way through Scandinoir thrillers (favourite: The Bridge). And here’s the thing: a commitment to really good storytelling lets you make TV the whole world will clamour to see, and America will remake. What are we waiting for?

7. Most ridiculous buzzword

Most liveable city.

8. Best innovation

Integrated smart card for public transport. I know it’s not new in the world, but the AT Hop card is one of the keys to making Auckland better, and it’s working well. 

9. Most over-hyped ‘innovation’

Uber. It’s the DVD of transportation: an advance that will be redundant within a few years because a much bigger advance is coming. In this case, driverless cars we can call up with our phones, which will be better, cheaper and safer than Uber. Ten years max.

10. Best brands

All those companies we display in the front pages (and many of the other pages) of Metro. Advertisers who know where the action is, oh yeah.

11. Best stoush

Lorde vs. everyone dumb enough to criticise her. What a monster of talent and smarts—and what a great advertisement for co-ed state schools too, eh?

12. Heroes  

Lorde. And architectural guy Nat Cheshire, who is brilliant, so hard-working, cocky enough to want to tell us about it and so committed he’s stayed to work here. These are all quite rare and remarkably good qualities. And Brendon McCullum, redefining awesome.

13. Villains

Cr Cameron Brewer, for whom everything is terrible, and yet he has no good ideas. And Nimbys. 

14. Predictions for 2015

It’s what won’t happen. Cameron Slater will not blackmail the prime minister, Len Brown will announce he is not seeking a third term, the Blues will not win many games. On a happy note, rail patronage will grow by 25 percent (up from 18 percent growth this year).

  • 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

About Author

Avatar photo

One of the talented StopPress Team of Content Producers made this post happen.

Comments are closed.