Year in Review: Ben Rose, NIB

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

Testicular Cancer New Zealand’s ‘Go Balls Out’ campaign from April. 

What’s not to love? It completely upturned the norms of the charity category. It grew huge awareness of a serious issue which kills more young Kiwi men than any other cancer. It harnessed the power of social media beyond simply collecting likes. And it was very funny.  

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

Our partnership with KidsCan. They’re doing incredible things to help disadvantaged children in New Zealand, and the opportunity to make a difference to so many Kiwi families was too good to pass up.

3. Favourite international campaign

I’m a massive fan of ‘Fearless Girl’, the placement of a bronze statue of a young girl standing defiantly in front of the charging Wall Street bull.

It was done by a United States investment fund to promote a fund it had launched made up of gender-diverse companies with high percentages of female leaders in their ranks. It came accompanied by a plaque that read: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference,” (SHE is the NASDAQ ticket symbol for the new fund).

This powerful piece of work cut through globally and generated untold amounts of earned media (although I’m sure it’s been totted up for the award entries by now!). It did this by combining a commercial message with a confronting truth that is increasingly a defining theme of our zeitgeist: the growing unease around lack of gender diversity in business leadership around the world.

Not only was the messaging on point, but so too was the placement. Guaranteed to create a stir and get noticed.

And finally, the execution was beautiful. The craft, care and love that went into the statue itself were flawless and combined with a great strategy, outstanding placement to deliver what I believe is a once-in-a-generation piece of work.

4. Least favourite campaign

Kendall Jenner for Pepsi. Just so, so bad. 

Whichever planner thought of leveraging the #blacklivesmatter movement to sell more fizzy drinks should be fired. As should the creative who cast Kendall Jenner and then executed this car crash of an ad. As should the client for signing it off. Firings all round.

5. Your own biggest success

I’m really proud of the nib team for such a massive 2017 – launching new health insurance products, new online sales process, new advertising, new multilingual sales and service, and even launching our customer service chatbot, Frankie, and 2018 will be even bigger!

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

Amazon coming to Australasia will be a game changer for all of us. In pretty much every category.

7. What should be un-invented?

Glitter (I have three daughters). That stuff never disappears.

8. Lamest trend

Millennial bashing. Every new generation always gets criticised by the next one and right now, Millennials are copping it. Like with all generations, there are great people and average people but this whole ‘stop eating smashed avocados and you can buy a house’ shtick is ridiculous. Young people coming out of university right now are doing so with massive debt, finding it almost impossible to find jobs, and the prospect of owning a home is a pipe dream for many. I reckon we need to cut them some slack and recognise the huge value that they can add to businesses. They have grown up adept at quickly accessing, synthesising and creating insights from information.

They’re one of the most driven and entrepreneurial generations we’ve ever seen and they’re looking for meaning, impact and purpose. So perhaps we should recognise this, stop telling them how much avocado to eat and harness their huge potential?

9. Best brands

Lewis Road Creamery – quite simply, they have the Midas touch. Love what they do. Tesla – ambitious, audacious, restless. I’m in awe. New Zealand Police – doing some great stuff with Ogilvy this year, topped off by their recent recruitment ad. Plus our cops’ moves beat all the others

10. Best stoush

Bill vs Andrew vs Metiria/James which turned into Bill vs Jacinda vs James which then turned into Winston vs Bill vs Jacinda vs James. Quality MMP action.

11. Heroes

Alexia Hilbertidou – still in her teens, Alexia has built a movement to get more girls into STEM and leadership careers. And she’s only just getting started. 

Elon Musk– what can’t this man do?

Michelle Dickinson – doing amazing things for kids. She has a seemingly limitless supply of ideas and energy and is making New Zealand a better place for kids to grow up in.

12. Villains

The referee at Tonga’s shock loss to England in the Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final. I’d say he’d be taken off a few Tonga supporters’ Christmas card lists this year.

13. What died in 2017?

Retail status quo across Australasia. Welcome, Amazon.

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

Underestimating and undervaluing New Zealand’s growing migrant community. It amazes me how slow brands are to get this. Join us. 

15. What’s the most Black Mirror/sci-fi horror thing likely to happen in the near future?

This. We’re all going to die.

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