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Year in Review: Dan West, Stanley St

Every year, StopPress asks players in the local industry for their reflections on the year that was. Here’s what Dan West, Head of Strategy at Stanley St, had to say.

  1. Favourite local campaign

It’s a bit of a shameless plug, as they’re a client, but I’m a big fan of the Tourism New Zealand work to invigorate domestic tourism and help fill the gap left by borders closing.

  1. Favourite international campaign

There are quite a few from this year. Barclaycard showing us the funnier side of lockdown and KFC mocking fan’s attempts at making zinger burgers are both brilliant, but my favourite was Childline’s beautiful ad tackling social anxiety – all the more important in these trying times, for both children and adults alike.

  1. Least favourite campaign

The mouldy burger. Creatively I get it, but Burger King are making one of their most famous brand assets, the Whopper, look dreadful. It just doesn’t make me want to eat one.

  1. Pick three words to describe 2020

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

  1. Most memorable moment from lockdown? 

Ashley “The Kiwi Ken Doll” Bloomfield becoming a national sex symbol has got to be something we have never seen before and are unlikely to see again.

  1. First thing you did in Level 1? 

Put a lock on my bedroom to stop my 2-year-old interrupting me while I worked. I was desperate not to repeat a Prof Robert Kelly moment.

  1. First place you’ll travel to when borders open? 

Melbourne, to visit my brother and his new baby (they had to do something with all that lockdown time).

  1. Heroes of 2020

Front line staff, Captain Tom Moore and Jacinda Ardern.

  1. Villains of 2020

Jeff Bezos and anyone else who has profited off the lockdown and not shared the love (e.g. simply paid taxes).

  1. What have you learnt about the world this year? 

No-one knows how to use the mute button on a conference call properly. On a serious note, that people are inherently kind. We saw this with the support for front line staff and parents with children, and that it’s not too late to do something about climate change if we make a real effort.

  1. What personality trait got you in the most trouble this year? 

Stubbornness.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of this year? 

Stanley Street winning the Domestic Tourism New Zealand media business. It was an all-agency effort and we’re incredibly proud to be helping the New Zealand tourism industry through this tough time.

  1. Silver lining of 2020? 

Trump is (almost) out. #SorryTiffany.

  1. Best brands of 2020 

Local brands have had the spotlight this year. Brands like Vickie’s Funky Cushions, Māu Designz, and Jade Art Carvings have seen huge spikes in sales as New Zealand looks to support local.

  1. Lamest trend of 2020

The new normal. It was on everyone’s lips until we realised that we’ve just gone back to the old normal but with a bit more time online (which was happening anyway).

  1. Best innovation

Hopefully the vaccine.

  1. What died in 2020? 

Hopefully family fights over Christmas as we’re just thrilled to see each other. Watch this space…

  1. Guilty Netflix obsession? 

Right now? Any Christmas movie going. I still can’t get used to a hot Christmas #BritAbroad.

  1. Twitter or Instagram? 

Instagram. For me, Twitter is the place you go to listen to the ravings of a madman or rave yourself.

  1. What should be uninvented? 

Netflix’s “are you still watching” message. Judgey [email protected]

  1. What’s the biggest mistake advertisers will make in 2021? 

Short-termism. In the attempt to recover from this year, brands will chase immediate sales, and risk not tending to their brand and long-term emotional connections with their audience.

Year in Review is brought to you by Discovery New Zealand.

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