Year in Review: Arnaud Calonne, Yahoo Platforms

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

The New Zealand Police recruitment campaign did a stellar job in communicating its message this year. In fact, it is the most entertaining police recruitment video that I have seen. The video has gone viral and delivered more than seven million views to date – staggering, considering that’s almost twice our population! The police are encouraging diversity, wanting to attract more women, Māori, Pacific Islanders, and people from all other ethnicities and backgrounds to better reflect the communities in our country. I believe they have done a great job alongside Ogilvy and have over exceeded their recruitment target.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

At Yahoo Platforms, we pride ourselves on our work in native and programmatic advertising, both areas that are continuing to grow rapidly in the New Zealand market.

Our work for Arnott’s with Steve Hansen (All Blacks coach) is a great piece of storytelling that we have been able to amplify through Yahoo Platforms’ Gemini in-stream video ads, targeting specific audiences natively using our first party data. The campaign was planned and organised by Y&R, and our role was in generating and directing traffic to the website. The native elements of the campaign performed very well and both we and the client are happy with the results.

3. Favourite international campaign

I’m going to have to nominate two – given the millions of campaigns that hit our screens in 2017.

Firstly, Game Of Thrones – Selfie Lens with Snapchat. This was a great campaign using Snapchat, to promote the seventh season of the show, as if it needed any more hype! To do this, HBO bought a sponsored selfie lens that enabled fans to turn themselves into a dead-eyed, ice-breathing White Walker.

Key cast members Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau took part using the app, in addition to the global fanbase, producing a record number of impressions on Snapchat for a TV show-sponsored lens. Pretty astonishing, though not at all a surprise given the staggering interest in the show around the world.

According to results published on Variety, over the course of a week, the “Game of Thrones” lens saw over 122 million total impressions, with more than 45 million individual users posting or viewing the sponsored selfies.

My second choice is the Airbnb diversity campaign. Airbnb used video to promote their full support for acceptance of people from different places and backgrounds. The close up shots of each face showcased in the video was truly powerful.

4. Your own biggest success

In November 2016 we relaunched in New Zealand as Yahoo Platforms, and now as we celebrate our first birthday I can look back and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been a mammoth year at Yahoo Platforms but we’ve truly cemented our positioning as a leader in native and programmatic advertising.

Navigating our business successfully through an ever-changing digital landscape has been challenging and rewarding. Through it all, I’ve been working with a great team that we will be expanding in the new year which is very exciting. As the only AdTech brand with a local team on the ground in New Zealand, it’s a phenomenal feat to be able to further grow our business.  

Positioning Brightroll as the number two programmatic buying platform in New Zealand would also have to be one of our most rewarding achievements of the year too.

5. Most significant launch/innovation/thing of the year

This year Yahoo Platforms launched the Audience Insights tool to market. It’s running on a managed status at the moment, however, clients are getting very excited about it. It gives them an idea where and when they are over or under indexing and really gives them insights they were unable to attain before.

6. What should be un-invented?

Intrusive ads on mobile need to go! When you’re searching on your favourite news or sports app every morning you don’t want to have to shut down an ad that takes over your screen before accessing the content that you love. It’s the same with ads interrupting videos while you are watching and enjoying.

There are ways to deliver in ads in a way that isn’t so intrusive and marketers need to consider this in the overall brand experience for the consumer.

7. Latest trend

Terms like AI and ML are going to be even bigger in 2018. Artificial intelligent (AI) technology, and how this will power people analytics and business analytics is growing. As is machine learning (ML). These formats will start making headway in the new year and start to be better integrated in the customer experience journey, beyond chatbots. It’s this type of technology that’s even being integrated into creative now too. For example the use of VR in the recent Hagen Daz ad which was extremely captivating:

8. Best brands

Brands that are able to capture our imaginations or that can capture our emotions are the best performing. For me, that’s Air New Zealand, Spark and Airbnb.

9. Heroes

The heroes of the past year that I’ve worked quite closely with (and continue to) are organisations such as the IAB, ANZA and the Marketing Association. Those that are promoting education and more transparency in the digital ecosystem with new initiatives are keeping New Zealand creative work strong and New Zealand talent excited about what’s to come.

I’d also like call out the bold and brave clients that genuinely innovate and pioneer and work with us on that journey.

10. Villains

I’d have to say ad blockers that are putting the free internet and ad fraud at risk. Or invalid traffic which is not always easy to detect and can cost marketers.

11. What’s the biggest mistake marketers will make in 2018?

Not embracing digital advertising through programmatic and native advertising would be the biggest downfall of marketers in the next 12 months. You cannot simply rely on the last click attribution to understand the effectiveness of campaigns anymore.

It’s likely programmatic and native aren’t always tapped into as part of integrated marketing campaigns because not everyone understands them. We are making great headway at Yahoo Platforms in educating our clients around the successes of using these tools, hosting regular hands-on workshops. 

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