Countdown has been going hammer and tong on the marketing front recently. But New World has come steaming back into view. And its new brand campaign is about as far as you can get from animated shopping baskets and fruit and vegetable musicals.
Many of the world’s award shows require client approval, the dates campaigns ran and minimum media spend to ensure scam ads aren’t honoured. But The Chip Shop Awards are “about fostering and recognising creativity with no boundaries and no rules”. The work does not need to have been broadcast, printed or mailed, the clients don’t have to be yours, and you can even make up your own categories. So, since its launch in 2002, the website claims the awards “have produced some of the cleverest, funniest, worst taste advertising and design ever seen”. Some, like M&C Saatchi’s Dave King think they’re grubby and worthless; a blight on the industry. Others like Leo Burnett’s John Jessup embrace the unrestrained creativity on display. Here’s a collection of this year’s finalists (including .99’s Safe Distance), so you can make up your own mind.
.99’s had a very tough few months. It lost Air New Zealand and Vodafone to DraftFCB and, as far as we’re aware, it’s not on the pitch list for the brand work for Westpac, although whether it retains the retail business seems dependent on which creative agency the bank goes with. So a few alarm bells went off when we heard Colenso and Special Group were doing work for one of its remaining big clients New World.
After BNZ’s parent bank NAB recently shoulder-tapped Clemenger Group and asked Colenso BBDO to hop into bed with BNZ, Westpac was pushed out onto the floor and swiftly put its account up for pitch. At present, the Clemenger-owned .99, which recently had to show around 15 staff the door after the loss of Air New Zealand and Vodafone to DraftFCB, is Westpac’s retail agency but this new regional alignment and other agency changes for BNZ means it might be pretty tough to keep it that way.
“The review will be completed by mid-October 2011.” Those were the words used in a statement sent by Vodafone in late July last year after it decided to shift from its agency of four years Colenso and move the troops up the road to .99 during the RFP process. Now, almost seven months later, and after a pitch was held in December, no decision has been made. So what gives?
Sponsors Wetspac attracted entries to the NZ Dairy Industry Awards with a newspaper ad appealing to the innate sense of style dairy farmers are renowned for. And the creative culprits behind the ad, .99 have been rewarded for their efforts by taking out NAB’s Decemeber Newspaper Ad of the Month award.
It’s tough being a charity at the moment. More charities mean there’s a heap of competition for the donated dollar, a drop in the level of donations seems to show that givers may be suffering from a form of ‘compassion fatigue’ that makes them immune to charitable overtures and, in many cases, there’s confusion about what the charity actually does, something evidenced by the story of the newly rebranded Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand.
There was both joy and despair when Air New Zealand announced it had killed off Rico. And whether or not you liked the fur and fang, the digital trickery employed by .99 and the cute tie-in with Cluedo was a clever way of sending the non-specific spokebeast off. Now his murderer has been found and in a merging of mascots, Richard Simmons is back in front of the camera for Air New Zealand, along with the very talented puppeteer behind/inside Rico, Tyler Bunch.
Rico, the furry, double entendre-loving puppet, was a polarising mascot for Air New Zealand. Some felt his lewd conduct was ‘off’brand’ and a bad look for a premium airline that had lost its marketing way. Others felt it wasn’t aimed at New Zealanders and was a smart, fun way of gaining a heap of international attention via the airline’s social media channels. He was cerainly one of the most talked-about marketing things of the year, but now, in typically dramatic fashion—and with a smart digital tie-in to the boardgame Cluedo—Rico has been killed off.
Overseas, interactive catalogues are well-established and many large brands such as Tesco and Morrisons in the UK are complementing—and usually reducing the cost of—their printed material by producing something akin to a regular digital magazine. Some local retailers have already dipped their toes in this water, but .99 and Farmers believe their new interactive catalogue is something unique in the New Zealand market.
We’ve seen Rob Fyfe and various staff prancing about in the nude, the puerile puppet of indeterminate provenance and the All Blacks and Richard Simmons in the safety videos. And now we welcome Mason & Jason, “the truly inseparable sheep twins”.
Vodafone’s been on a bit of a horror run with bureaucratic entities recently. It’s already been pinged twice for misleading advertising and there are four more court dates with ComCom for separate offences on the horizon. And now it’s been pulled up by the ASA for an ad made by .99 that featured the always dodgy fork and toaster combo.
With the help of .99, justONE and the marketing team led by last year’s marketer of the year finalist Dean Cook, Farmers has undergone a fairly remarkable business and brand transformation in the past few years. And now, in an effort to build on the success of the Farmers Beauty Card, which boasts over 700,000 members, it’s just launched the Farmers Club to extend the loyalty and rewards offering storewide.
The big news from the past few weeks was that Vodafone has decided to review its agency partners, which left the role of incumbent Colenso up in the air and led to speculation that a decision had already been made to move the account elsewhere without the agency being involved in a pitch. And while Clemenger Group chief executive Jim Moser admits Colenso is now out of the picture, resources have been shifted to .99, which will be the epicentre of the account for the next three months and is “going to participate aggressively” in the upcoming pitch.
Ah, the food chain. It’s good to be on top. And .99’s creative interpretation of the marine pecking order in the ‘Predator and Prey’ Babushka doll print ad for Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World has also come out on top in the July NAB Newspaper Advertisement of the Month, with Saatchi & Saatchi’s Women’s Refuge Trade Me ad receiving an Honourable Mention.
Questions are hovering over the Telecom account as a result of its planned demerger, and there’s some fresh uncertainty surrounding one of its main rivals, with Colenso BBDO’s hold on the Vodafone account seemingly up in the air.
Ahhh, babies. So cute, so cuddly, so much potential, yet so financially illiterate. To help remedy that—but mainly to celebrate 150 years in New Zealand—Westpac, with the help of .99 and Robber’s Dog, has launched a new campaign called Gen W that’s offering 150 small Kiwi humans ongoing financial support and advice until they turn 18.
The pitch for the Super Council account is well-underway and it’s now a three-horse race between Ogilvy, DDB and Colenso/.99 after DraftFCB pulled up lame last week.
Who’s it for: Sky by DDB and Thick as Thieves
Why we like it: Sky and DDB are making themselves pretty comfortable in the TVC of the Week La-Z-Boy of late, with a very consistent display of top notch work. And just as TVNZ announced a $15 …
Air New Zealand is making a habit of creating memorable inflight safety briefings. First it was the tasteful nudes, then came a cast of All Blacks, followed by a rather puerile puppet. And .99’s latest 80s inspired effort, which features Richard Simmons, Paul Henry, Phil Keoghan, Temepara George and, as expected, a little cameo from Rob Fyfe, has continued that trend and looks set to add a few million more views to the seven million the airline’s previous safety videos have already garnered on YouTube.
…as .99 snaffles an experienced Aussie campaigner as operations manager; APN Outdoor adds two more to the roster; Independent Liquor bolsters its marketing team with a new Boundary Road Brewery marketing manager; Adhub aims for digital world domination with three newbies; and The Pond adds its most experienced member yet to the freelance database.
Neil Livingstone has decided he will hang up his boots in June this year, officially bringing to an end a career in the ad industry that has spanned 33 years.
DDB head of copy Paul Hankinson has been named creative director at .99 following the resignation of deputy creative director Craig Pethybridge in November last year.
2010 was a pretty damn good year for Air New Zealand and, whether it was picking fights with magazines, dreaming up the next borderline marketing campaign or collecting one of its many prestigious awards, there was certainly never a dull moment. Having recently snapped up a sizable stake in Virgin Blue, won a Wallpaper Design Award for its snazzy premium economy spaceseats and, after more than four years of design and development, taken delivery of the first big Boeing bird to be fitted with the much-drooled over economy sky couch, dullness has been avoided at the start of 2011 as well. But what about that strange furry Count von Count-esque spokesbeast Rico, we hear you ask. Well, he has been busy travelling the world, offending and delighting in equal measure. And his latest polarising performance for Australia Day, once again created by .99, seems to have continued that trend.
As part of its big brand launch, New World staff, with the help of .99, recently breathed some life into vegetables (literally, to the tune of ‘Slice of Heaven’). And they’ve followed that up by breathing some life into the humble shopping basket, with its cutesy animated mascots, the Cleverbaskets, assuming their position as the new faces of the supermarket’s retail marketing.
Humans have always strived to find new and exciting uses for fruit and vegetables (orange cannons, apple bongs and every kind of alcohol ever invented, for example). And New World, which now claims to be “different, just like you”, is the latest in a long line of grocery tinkerers, with a big new brand ad out of .99 that shows the staff band playing the likes of carrot recorders, cabbage guitars, pumpkin drums and other innovative musical instruments to the tune of Dave Dobbyn’s ‘Slice of Heaven’.
There were over 1,000 entries from around the world, but there were just 16 golds awarded at the US Direct Marketing Association’s Echo awards and two of them went to New Zealand agencies, with .99 continuing its Midas touch with Air New Zealand’s ‘Nothing to Hide’ in the Consumer-Travel & Hospitality/Transportation section and RAPP Tribal winning for its ‘Thank You Notes’ campaign for Heinz Wattie’s Gourmet Dog in the Production Manufacturing and Distribution category.