Come get your free ads! Jenene Crossan on why NZ Girl is banishing the banner and focusing on content creation

  • Digital
  • October 2, 2013
  • Jenene Crossan
Come get your free ads! Jenene Crossan on why NZ Girl is banishing the banner and focusing on content creation will no longer charge for traditional display advertising. We do not wish to play the CPM game anymore. We don’t believe in the measurement currency in practice and we are prepared to make a stand and back our view that successful digital media campaigns are not about banner ads.

Display advertising will remain available for customers to use free of charge. We have completely re-imagined our whole commercial proposition. We have taken the time to ask marketers what their biggest challenges are, and we have identified that brands need authentic content to share. The benefits of the social era are immense, but it needs constant feeding.

For 14 years we have helped brands create content and our restrategising has brought us clarity to focus on this as our key point of difference to general content based websites. We help agencies and clients bring to life a brand's values and messages in smart and subtle ways. Collaborating with our extensive network of “real people” bloggers and peer influencers and providing ROI beyond just “vanity metrics”.

We have a large and loyal female community (110,000+ members mostly, 25+ years old) and we continuously invest in evolving the model to be ahead of the curve. We moved from being a plain ‘online magazine’ to a ‘social magazine’ in the last two years and our user-generated content platform has been a stellar success. Our Bloggers Club use the numerous easy-to-use templates on nzgirl to create beautiful content that can then be repurposed on any other platform.

This strategy of providing a place where women can create great looking content that can then be repurposed and distributed across multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, etc), has worked well for all parties. We see ourselves not as a publisher or media, but an insight into where the future of ‘publishing’ lies: a content creation engine that curates and redistributes content.

Women are not interested in insincere marketing campaigns – ads plastered overtly all over the place – they tune them out. Don’t you? Women are incredibly savvy consumers and smart brands can create engagement and loyalty through transparent content that helps connect dots and make lives easier. This is not advertorial.

It was a debate we held for many months internally and the end result was simple: we want to be the change we want to see in our industry and we’ll put our money where our mouths are.

The adage of 'content is king' rings more true than ever. The platforms that make it the easiest for the audience to find rich and relevant content—and start a movement with it—will be the ones that thrive.

So come and get your free ads, but let’s talk about content marketing.

  • Jenene Crossan is the founder/director of, the chief executive of and a director of Actual Dialogue. 

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Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

  • Advertising
  • February 22, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

On Monday, Whittaker’s launched its latest novelty chocolate-lolly mash up with a chocolatey answer to retro bakesale treat coconut ice. The Coconut Ice Surprise chocolate has a twist though, 20c from each block goes to Plunket – a charity which New Zealanders agree is a worthy cause. However, to relate the chocolate to the charity, Whittaker's has built the campaign around baby gender reveal parties, causing a backlash from the public who argue gender norms have expanded beyond blue for boys and pink for girls.

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