The year in Review: Kate Humphries

Another successful year of moulding, shaping and nurturing young minds and preparing them for a life in advertising, with 100 percent of the Media Design School students from 2013 now at agencies. Course leader Kate Humphries shares her thoughts.  

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours

With Westpac’s ‘Old Flatties’, NZI’s ‘Bad’s not going anywhere’, Taika’s ‘Blazed’ and Tui’s ‘Beer Plumbing’ we’re clearly spoilt for choice this year. My personal standout though has got to be Clemenger’s ‘Shopkeepers’ for NZTA. Based on the insight that there’s no one better to observe the reactions of the munchies-afflicted than shopkeepers, it’s a sure bet that snippets of its dialogue (“What’s a grown man want 12 frosty pigs for”) have artfully wheedled their way into the minds of the target audience only to be trotted out when all thought of nipping along to the dairy/bakery/takeaway goes up in a smoke at the paranoia inducing thought of such shopkeeper mirth.

2) Favourite campaign that is yours.

The News Works Student Newspaper Ad of the year winner ‘Pay him back with Love’ for the Farmer’s Father’s Day brief. The team completely ignored our advice to avoid doing a spoof retail ad, and how right they were to do so! A campaign that charmingly makes the point that it’s about time the kids paid back dad for all the money he had spent on them over the years.

3) Least favourite campaign: Reader’s Digest direct advertising. As anyone with an ageing relative who they’ve sunk their teeth into can attest, Reader’s Digest teases and taunts people in inboxes and mailboxes worldwide with their ‘you’re a millimetre away from winning this! Now read through all this guff! Buy this! Reply instantly and you’ll go to the next ‘You’ve almost won round!'” I can’t believe we’ve got to 2013 and they still exist. They’ve been doing it for decades. It’s cruel, it’s old fashioned and someone, somewhere please make it stop.

4) Your own biggest success

Just got back to work after the summer break to hear our last team from 2013 is about to be placed. That is 100 percent of the class all placed in agencies. I’m almost purring.

5) Most impressive performance

DraftFCB. For winning awards all year for Driving Dogs and Prime’s Call Girl radio, then following it up with NZI’s ‘Bad’s not going anywhere.’

7) Best innovation

Colenso’s virtual line fopr Samsung. Instead of leaving fans outside queuing to get the new Samsung they got them inside, in front of their computer promoting it for them.

8) Best brands

Tui, not only for its nifty plumbing job but also for finally ditching their dated Benny Hillesque “gorgeous girls” vibe for something that sits rather more cleverly with the spirit of their billboards.

9) Best stoush

Auckland law students vs. Thicke.

10) Hero

Michael Goldthorpe, for his excellent and heartfelt piece in StopPress.

11) Villains

Charles Saatchi, for the year in which he became a gob-smackingly bad ad for the advertising industry.

12) Most memorable marketing moment 

Our graduates Ben Polkinghorne and Anna Stickley winning a Cannes Gold for Amnesty Timeline.

13) A few predictions for 2014

More of a wish than a prediction, the four year high in consumer confidence, the increased business confidence and our current economic expansion all translates finally into healthier agency employment. Goodness! Was that 12 pink frosty pigs I just saw flying past my window?

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