The Year in Review: James Hurman

He’s released his first book, he’s chaired the Effies and he’s chewed people’s ears off at Christmas parties all around town about the importance of creativity in business. And now Colenso BBDO’s planning director James Hurman has his say on 2011. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours: The campaign for Auckland. A shitload of cool executions off the idea of ‘Auckland doesn’t suck anymore’. Britomart. Fort Lane. Len Brown’s inauguration speech. North Wharf. The Fan Trail. Stolen Rum. That free pita bread thing they give you at Depot. Every single thing about the Art Gallery. There’s a better campaign than that?

2) Favourite campaign that is yours: This year, as chair of our Effies, I got to be a client. And as I walked through DraftFCB’s halls to the meeting room where they were to present their answer to our call for entries brief I learned about how terrifying being the client can be. All I could think was ‘what if I don’t like it?’, ‘how am I going to put my face?’, ‘they’ll think I’m such an asshole.’ It was horrible. Until they presented the work. And I loved it.

3) Least favourite campaign: This took ages. Because what you have to do is make a list of all your most favourite campaigns and then rank them in order of favouriteness, and then there’ll be one at the bottom, which is still technically one of your favourite campaigns, just your “least” favourite. It’s actually quite misleading, Ben. Anyway, my least favourite campaign was the temperature in Fiji campaign. That was so cool. I loved it. It was only a tiny bit less cool than the white can and the ghost chips. But still super cool.

4) Best brand: Salta Café, Three Lamps. Metro ignores it. But it’s probably the single best service brand in the city. Honestly. You’re thinking ‘oh he’s just being cute about the café around the corner’. No, seriously. Every service brand in NZ should go learn the basics from Salta. Every day they bother to call you by your name and remember what you like and manage to do all of that without the slightest tinge of ennui or obsequiousness.

5) Best stoush: That episode of Close Up where all those old blokes ganged up on Kieren Cooney was pretty full on.

6) Heroes: Millward Brown for having the balls to come out and say that they’d had another look and that actually, high persuasion scores are not necessary for effectiveness, and in fact effectiveness much more closely correlates with the characteristics that creatively awarded campaigns display.

7) Villains: Refer to Toby’s answer.

8) Most memorable marketing moment: The passing of Steve Jobs. May we all learn from his brilliance.

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