Year in Review: Ben Sharp, AdRoll ANZ

Every year, StopPress asks players in the local industry for their reflections on the marketing year that was. Here’s what the managing director of AdRoll ANZ, Ben Sharp, thought about 2015.

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

Air New Zealand always have stand out campaigns and this year’s Men in Black themed in flight safety video is no exception. Clever, fun and educational. It made me want to pay attention to the safety announcement!

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

We worked on the international Movember campaign last month. Working on a home grown idea, like Movemeber, that’s made some huge impacts is a pleasure and an honour.

The agency worked closely with their account manager on using clever segmentation to encourage both sign ups and donations.

3. Favourite international campaign

It’s hard to go past this year’s Snickers Super Bowl ad. A clever mix of nostalgia and celebrity had me laughing from the beginning.

4. Least favourite campaign

Anything to do with toilet rolls and puppies – See this year’s Gruen, Episode 7:

5. Your own biggest success

Launching the AdRoll business into Australia and New Zealand over the past two years has been an absolute career highlight. Growing an awesome team of highly intelligent and driven people, growing the AdRoll brand and getting heavily involved in supporting and educating both the Australian and New Zealand markets has been a joy and a great personal challenge.

6. Favourite magazine/website/TV show/radio show/podcast/news service/app/song/other

Magazine – what’s that?  I vaguely remember buying one for my wife once…

Website: There’s a couple:

The local version of the Huffington Post – a great blend of rich editorial content, social debate and they cover issues with a broad range of views
The Roar – to get my fix of all things sport, especially Rugby this year, even though we lost the final to what will likely be remembered as the strongest and most successful rugby side ever (yes, it’s the All Blacks I’m referring to…).
For all things tech I still lean towards Gizmodo. It’s the site that I launched Allure Media with in 2007, and is the strongest place for tech news, reviews and suggestions anywhere online.

7. Most ridiculous buzzword

Big Data. What does this actually mean? and what are you going to do with something so big? Is there small data out there?

Second to that would have to be ‘the year of mobile’ – we’re well and truly beyond that.

8. Best innovation

The further growth of marketplace apps such as Uber and ​Airbnb.  Uber is now the world’s largest consumer transport company but doesn’t own any cars and Airbnb is the world’s largest room booking business but owns no hotels or real estate.  These are amazing and disruptive businesses.

9. Most over-hyped ‘innovation’

The Selfie Stick….. please, put them away and use your arm.

Also, it would be great if we could go back in time and un-invent the Segway. It promotes laziness, looks weird and can’t see that there’s been massive uptake.  What’s the legalities around it – do you drive it on the road and treat it like a car, or on the footpath and treat it like a bike or someone walking?

10. Best brands

I’m an Apple fanboy and have absolutely bought into the whole ecosystem and own several Macbook Airs, iPhone, Apple TV, iPads, iPods, Apple Watch. I basically have the whole range.

11. Best stoush of the year

The Biscuit War! Coles v Arnotts over a range of biscuit pricing.  Love it.  Would love to know how this negotiation got to the media and who leaked it.  The relationship is obviously so toxic, one of them thought the only way to further influence was by pushing this to the press.

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