The Year in Review: Kate Humphries

After another year of nurturing, moulding and shaping young creative minds and preparing them for a life spent pushing commercial messages/sipping champagne on superyachts, The AdSchool’s course leader Kate Humphries delivers her verdict on 2011’s work. 

Favourite Campaign: Youtube VideoNZTA Legend. Everyone’s heard about it, everyone’s talking about it, its dialogue is effortlessly being used by the target audience, and, with the manic speed of a reckless driver, it managed to get itself all over social media in what seemed like minutes. It is unashamedly ‘new’ New Zealand it its thinking, writing and production. A brilliantly sharp change in direction from Clemenger that’s left the whole Mantrol thing looking a bit girlie in its wake.

Least Favourite Campaign: Youtube VideoBig Save Furniture. I am absolutely at one with Fair Go viewers on this one. It scrapes and screeches like a piece of heavy, old-fashioned, mahogany furniture being dragged across the floor of the mind. Every single time it airs it leaves behind an unsightly mark on the shininess of all that is good, new and strategically sound in New Zealand advertising. I really think that instead of just leaving it to just go on and on, Fair Go should challenge three agencies to come up with an effective campaign that works to the same budget but is kinder both to the brand and, even more importantly, to the soul, mind and ears of its target audience.

Best Brand: It has to be Steinlager for playing a strategic blinder both before and during the World Cup. Tonally perfect, elegantly done and oozing effectiveness from every pore of the campaign. DDB and Steinlager managed to place the white can at the very heart of our biggest do ever, making us all desperate for that can to be opened. Quite rightly then, that in The New Zealand Herald the day after the final, it was the white can that was made to speak of our win by cartoonist Rod Emmerson.

Best Stoush: In a lesson in how not to do the world cup, adidas went storming into the boxing ring with its target audiences and plummeted from the heady heights of a much-loved brand into a bunch of nasty, faceless little money grabbing foreign twats. Astonishing. Heads should’ve rolled.

Heroes: DDB and Marsden Inch for awarding scholarships to two student teams to help them through their placement experience. Even for the very best students the rigours of a placement are a vital part of the learning process. However, placements can be tough to cope with when you’ve already been through a year of hard work with zilch in the piggy bank and have up to another year to face doing the same. Both DDB and Marsden Inch, by giving a financial leg up to two different teams, have shown their good faith in the abilities of talented students to convert placements into jobs. And for that, Sandy, Toby, Chris, Rob, Jeneal and Cindy deserve a hearty round of applause.

Villains: Anyone going by the name of ‘anonymous’ on Campaign Brief who is lazy and knee-jerk in his or her thinking. You are the rotten, carbuncled underbelly of the industry. If you’re going to go anonymous do it constructively, do it intelligently and learn to spell.

Most Memorable Marketing Moment: I hate to repeat myself but for all the reasons outlined above it has to be Emmerson choosing the can of white Steinlager to sign the world cup victory in his cartoon for The New Zealand Herald.

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