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The Great Reopening: Abby Parkin and James Davidson of PHD

After an uncertain and pandemic tainted 2021, New Zealand is now in a phase of transition and recovery. To celebrate this, the country’s largest Out of Home media company, oOh!media, has partnered with StopPress on The Great Reopening. A series focused on New Zealand’s recovery and the return to life OOH.


Here, Abby Parkin, General Manager and James Davidson, Group Planning Director at PHD talk changing consumer behaviour, mapping media consumption and investment in talent.

The changes in consumer behaviour that we see impacting the industry as a result of lockdown are no different to what we saw during the first one. Most of the ‘trends’ were due to circumstance and/or an acceleration of changes already in motion vs. fundamental shifts.

So, with that in mind we expect behaviour to largely normalise as restrictions ease, for example socialising, traffic and playing sport. We’ll continue to see sustained growth in e-commerce and perhaps more local shopping due to greater work / life flexibility.

Advertisers are mostly optimistic, looking forward to what 2022 holds, where hopefully there will be more certainty allowing for longer-term planning, rather than reacting and ‘pivoting’ which I think we can all agree isn’t sustainable.

How will your client’s approach to consumer engagement change as summer continues and an increase in in-store shopping and socialising is predicted?

Summer is the time of year where we see behaviours and routines change the most dramatically due to the movements in population that create more audience fragmentation. Ensuring we map those changes in media consumption and develop our channel plans accordingly will be key to gain attention and deliver business success.  

James Davidson.

How do you think the marketing industry will adjust to the new normal?

It will be important for marketers to question what has changed and perhaps more importantly what hasn’t, to ensure their focus is in the right areas. It can be easy to get caught up in the hype of everything being different, where in fact many of the trends (in marketing and advertising) aren’t as dramatic or impactful as they’re made out to be. Furthermore, the way humans make decisions haven’t changed in over 100,000 years, we’re still highly irrational and intuitive.

We’re excited about 2022, hopefully the industry will focus more on fundamentals and how data & technology can enhance them, rather than replace. Our focus will be on advertising gaining attention versus simply delivering impressions and continuing to work on campaigns that prioritise business effects, rather than just the easy to measure media effects.

How have your marketing/business priorities changed? 

Our business priorities remain the same, however an even greater area of focus for 2022 will be investing in our talent. This goes beyond training and development; at PHD we are continually building on our talent programmes and are evolving how we support our people in enjoying their workplace, manage challenging situations, achieve effective work life integration and offer support with mental wellness.  

What are yo looking forward to most with more freedom?

We will be keeping a close eye on Air New Zealand deals to escape somewhere warm once the boarders open! 


For more on The Great Reopening brought to you by oOh!media, click here.

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