Year in Review: Claudia Macdonald, Mango Communications

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

Fire and Emergency NZ’s Escape My House – a campaign I’ve heard the office talk about it and share. My measure of a good campaign! Followed by Testicular Cancer’s ‘Go Balls Out’. Good work, brave clients.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

‘Good Enough for Grandma’, a campaign for Naked Local Soups promoted the provenance of the soup’s ingredients though the eyes of two grandmas, delivered across social, nationwide activation, influencers and PR.

3. Favourite international campaign

Not a marketing campaign as such but the movement to out sexual harassment (#metoo) has my vote. While Weinstein is obviously the poster boy and started the rush, I am pleased to see the topic is now being taken seriously at all levels and among all people. It’s ok to talk about it.

4. Least favourite campaign

DB Bottle Sand – for a start, I work in the DDB Group so there are issues of loyalty (Stoppies Best Stoush). Secondly, having read numerous award entries, the results don’t seem to stack up. I’m sure the agencies worked hard but it’s a classic example of style over substance. 

5. Your own biggest success

Winning gold two years in a row for Marketing PR at the PRINZ Awards; nice to be recognised for our speciality The first was for McDonald’s introduction of Gourmet Creations, one of New Zealand’s biggest influencer marketing campaigns, and this year for Orcon’s Designer Series, making something normally ignored (modems) more lovely.

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

Re:Scam – the DDB Group/Netsafe initiative that foxed scammers. A great example of taking a big problem, coming up with a solution and running with it. Proud to be involved and get it out to the world with PR.

 7. What should be un-invented?

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” — Marilyn Monroe.

8. Lamest trend(s)

Too many Givealittle campaigns for not the right reason e.g. The Block. #firstworldproblem

9. Best brands

Aside from all our clients, Jacinda Ardern is pretty strong. She’s already become an ambassador/spokesperson for New Zealand, for women and for the Labour Party. Plus she seems like a genuine person and in this day of authenticity, that counts. We want brands we believe in and emotionally connect with.

10. Best stoush

EY Business Journalism Awards – just bad PR and poorly handled. Peter Williams says everything I would have. Businesses cannot underestimate the influence of the media nor what happens after your brand reputation is damaged.

11. Heroes

The mums and dads of New Zealand. It’s hard sometimes and if you don’t have the right support, it’s even tougher. We work with Ronald McDonald House to run the Red Shoe Ball every year. Listening to the families’ stories is heart-wrenching (but important).  At this year’s ball (our most successful fundraiser ever), there was not a dry eye in the house.

12. Villains

Mark Ritson called out a few and the potential snake oil that is programmatic buying (offshore) could be one of them. 

13. What died in 2017?

Gimmicky VR. Sometimes it’s not good to be an early adopter. The true potential of this technology will be realised in coming years.

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

Not engaging PR early on, not protecting their reputation, not integrating corporate comms with their marcomms. That and piling into Bitcoin when the train’s already left the station.

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

Read Marge Piercy’s Book He, She, and It. Written in 1991 it is a fascinating dystopian look at our world in the 21st Century. Among other amazing technological advancements, transport is by pre-programmed self-driving vehicles and your house talks to you. Sounds fun.

Alternatively, I have been predicting the return of the Hawaiian shirt for summer 2018, which is pretty horrific.

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