Year in Review: James Polhill, Hello

  • Year in Review
  • December 21, 2018
  • James Polhill
Year in Review: James Polhill, Hello

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

Lotto. Brilliant storytelling. Brilliant agency effort. Brilliant client. Brilliant production.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

Sky TV. A conversation that rallied the country and crossed continents. A crusade to stand behind Joseph Parker, a good mate, as he laced up against Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight championship of the world. The campaign kicked-off with an emotionally-charged film with Sala, his mother, imploring the country to write messages of support for her boy at

The messages were sent in real-time to the other side of the world to appear on digital billboards in the heart of Cardiff, for Joseph and the world to see. A special thank you to the client, the Parker family, Curious and the team at OMD. Good Health TV with Gemma/Richie McCaw a close second, a conversation that empowered women and stirred healthy debate across the country.

3. Favourite international campaign

Nike. Dream crazy. It renewed my confidence in advertising, divided a country and increased their market value US$6 billion. Nike approached controversy wisely, embraced backlash not running from it, clearly understood who’d rally behind them and never sacrificed their values (nor the values of their athletes). The result? Brand loyalty beyond reason. A remarkable year for W+K. John Lewis ‘The Boy and The Piano’ a close second.

4. Least favourite campaign

The latest safety video from Air New Zealand (sorry, you are still one of our favourite brands).

5. Your own biggest success

Starting again. In less than two years, we’ve established our business with a clear purpose and delivered work we believe can aggressively compete in market. We’re obsessed with the emotions that make people tick, how we make people feel and how our work fundamentally changes people. Hard work has led to 200 percent year-on- year growth. Thank you to our incredible clients for trusting us and our amazing team for believing in our dream.

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

QMS x MediaWorks merger, the combined power of radio and out of home (amongst their other assets). An example of the media landscape rapidly changing again, as the entity is set to become the biggest media company in New Zealand.

7. What should be uninvented?

The Apple Magic Mouse II, poor design, why would you put the charging port on the bottom?

8. Lamest trend

Lime scooters.

9. Best brands

All Blacks – as a threepeat beckons, the boys are on the cusp of greatness, again. Kiwibank – the country’s leading national bank with a unique customer promise. New Zealand – promoting the country on the world stage, great job Tourism New Zealand. 

10. Best stoush

Simon Bridges vs. Jami-Lee Ross, well played National Party.

11. Heroes

Lucan, Kyan, my children – my super heroes, all my strength in two little men, inspiration. Jason Paris, Vodafone – a marketer landing another top job in New Zealand, inspiring. Phil Clemas, Kent Harrison, LUMO, mates who continue to inspire with their success.

12. Villains

Sir Martin Sorrell – an industry godfather, can he rebuild? Kanye West – mixing celebrity, cultural influence and politics isn’t the greatest mix. Mark Zuckerberg – a reputational downfall, the slow demise of Facebook.

13. What died in 2018?

Confidence in the economy. C’mon New Zealand.

14. What’s the biggest mistake marketers will make in 2019?

Neglecting purpose, storytelling and emotion.

15. How far in our future do you think The Handmaid’s Tale is?

One could argue it’s actually now wrapped in a futuristic skin. A subtle reminder of how fast everything can change.

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Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

  • Advertising
  • February 22, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

On Monday, Whittaker’s launched its latest novelty chocolate-lolly mash up with a chocolatey answer to retro bakesale treat coconut ice. The Coconut Ice Surprise chocolate has a twist though, 20c from each block goes to Plunket – a charity which New Zealanders agree is a worthy cause. However, to relate the chocolate to the charity, Whittaker's has built the campaign around baby gender reveal parties, causing a backlash from the public who argue gender norms have expanded beyond blue for boys and pink for girls.

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