The Year in Review: Ben Goodale

As Warner Music’s Eric Morse said at the Marketing Today conference, the growth of the web is now letting brands and agencies target individuals, not just markets. And justONE’s Ben Goodale has been trying to ride that 1-to-1 wave in 2011. Here’s his take on the year that was. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours: Youtube VideoI love the Steinlager ‘white can’ campaign. I’d have loved to have been part of the team scheming that one up, bringing back a classic can and dreaming up an ad campaign that managed to so cunningly circumvent the regulations around the Big Sporting Event with the Odd Shaped Ball. I’m sure there were lots of high fives when they saw the sales figures, and sniggering at Heineken’s expense. Nice marketing, rather than it being just nice advertising.

2) Favourite campaign that is yours: I’ve got two and it’s hard to split. Launching the Farmers Club this year was amazing, a huge CRM project a long time in the making and an instant hit, which is brilliant for Farmers. The fact that we’ve been able to build on the massive popularity of the Farmers Beauty Club and create an all store loyalty programme has vindicated a lot of hard work by a lot of people, not least store staff who’ve really embraced it. And our Party of the Year for Farmlands which just kept breaking records for engagement with staff and customers, and drove a massive sales boost, yet done on a real shoestring over three months. Getting to enjoy the party headlined by the Topp Twins in Dannevirke was a real hoot.

3) Least favourite campaign: Youtube VideoI find the Countdown campaign pretty tiresome, probably mainly because it feels like the same ad I’ve been watching for forty years (cue flashbacks to Fairy Liquid ads etc), and the ‘gags’ are pretty cheesy. That said, I’m sure it does very well for them. I was somewhat surprised to discover when I was in Sydney the other week that Woolworths (same company of course) are using the same ad idea, and not just that, the same Dad actor. In Australia he has a pretty blonde wife, it was quite disturbing seeing his ‘other’ family like that.

4) Best brand: I’d have thought that Farmers Club would be brand of the year, but I could be biased. It’s replaced a well loved brand in Farmers Beauty Club, and already is demonstrating that existing and new members alike love it. Feedback has been really positive. And I think it also proves how strong the Farmers brand is too. It’s really at the heart of NZ.

5) Best stoush: Personally I’ve loved all the debate over the News International/News of the World phone tapping. It’s been an astonishing year for the media. Watching the Murdoch’s testify live to the Commons Select Committee was electrifying. It hopefully sets a bit of a watershed in what is acceptable in terms of media coverage of individuals, and certainly within the UK will hopefully lead to a more robust way of policing the media. More widely, I think it has shown that as we move into an ever more fast/electronic society, and our privacy becomes harder to protect, that there have to be standards and the media have to find a way of doing their job without it simply destroying lives at the touch of a button. Think of the on/off character assassination of the McCanns.

6) Heroes: Given the above, The Guardian gets a big thumbs up from me for pursuing the hacking story, our clients for trusting us, and my team, who make me proud every day.

7) Villains: Some of the appalling pitches that have been run, particularly by some organisations in the public sector, wasting mammoth agency time. Fortunately we dodged these as we try to avoid pitches (for good reason, if not always possible) but it’s not good for anyone. Hopefully the new CAANZ government pitch guidelines will help but time will tell. As an industry there is more work to be done to change the dynamic on agency reviews. As the economics for agencies have changed so much since even before the GFC it seems ludicrous that so much is put into winning accounts that in some cases don’t justify the amount of work requested to demonstrate capability.

Also villainous are the various global corporates who have been hacked for consumer data. Companies who manage consumer data now often ask for so much in order to engage with them, the trade is they need to be 100 percent reliable with it.  Data privacy and IP is going to be one of the looming ‘mega issues’ over the coming years. If people aren’t already protecting their IDs when registering for things, they should be. As a database person, we need data, but we only ask for what we need and are very careful with it. Ongoing corporate responsibility and industry stewardship is really important here.

8) Most memorable marketing moment: Winners falling off the stage at the CAANZ Media Awards. It was a strange narrow stage with a curtain that gave the illusion of a ‘wall’, so there were a couple of very funny stage dives, but no injuries as far as I know.

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