MediaWorks has announced that all primetime series from Fox “will be immediately replaced in the schedules,” meaning that shows like The Simpsons and Modern Family have already been removed from scheduling.
According to Yahoo Finance, Americans spend about US$8 billion on Halloween every year, with the biggest chunk spent on costumes. And while Kiwis are yet to fully embrace the trick or treating culture, there’s definitely a buck to be made. PLUS: MOTAT’s Halloween event lures the ghoul lovers.
Memery is a fickle mistress. One day you’re hot, one day you’re supplanted by people tipping milk over their heads for no apparent reason. And, generally speaking, you know a meme is close to death’s door when people in offices start partaking (or, in the case of flash mobs, when companies implement them as the experiential aspect of a campaign). Given there’s a website dedicated to agencies around the world that have embraced what the kids are calling the Harlem Shake, and given practically every media outlet in the world has collected some of the best efforts, it’s quite possibly in its last throes, but we couldn’t resist the pull of the thrust, so here’s our obligatory post showing local business folk indulging in weird, bacchanalian behaviour.
Clearly not done with just taking our doctors, engineers, aunties and nephs, Australia is now looking to poach New Zealand’s reality TV talent for Beauty and the Geek Australia. FOUR has announced that next season of the gameshow will feature a Kiwi beauty and geek, but applicants must play into some heavy and insulting stereotypes in order to be eligible.
While MediaWorks’ ownership and debt issues continued to bubble away this year, there were plenty of positives for those working at the coalface, including Four’s media brand of the year award and a very successful first run of The Block. Liz Fraser, who moved from MSN and chair of the IAB to take up the role of director of sales and marketing at Mediaworks TV, has her say.
The Australian version of the Newspaper Awards, the Caxtons, took place over the weekend, and the Kiwis more than held their own, with Special Group repeating last year’s effort and coming out on top with four, and DDB, Colenso and Tourism New Zealand’s Australian arm picking up two apiece.
Last night at the Aotea centre, newspaper folk from across the land gathered to show off their wares to media and creative agencies and guest speaker Peter Thomson presented a fairly convincing case for the future viability of newspapers. And this year, the newspaper expo was topped off by the announcement of the newly rejigged Newspaper Advertising Awards, with Saatchi & Saatchi walking away with the $10,000 prize and the ad of the year honour for its very practical Valentines Day ad for Tui.
One of New Zealand’s perennial entertainment bugbears is the fact we have to wait a bit longer for our content than many other markets. It certainly doesn’t seem quite as bad as it once was, but, due to the big spoiler known as the internet, the delay is still bad enough to get Coro St fans riled up. And you don’t want to see Coro St fans when they’re angry. So, to try and remedy this national sense of FOMO (and perhaps limit the associated pirating), MediaWorks has unveiled a new sub-brand called Fast Four that trumpets the fact Kiwis will be able to watch some of their favourite shows on-air within a week of their world premiere.
MediaWorks and Special Group put a bit of effort into promoting the Sunday showing of The Simpsons’ 500th episode. And it worked, with nearly a quarter of a million viewers aged 5+ tuning in to the show, the most viewers since the channel was launched in February last year.
The Simpsons is celebrating the screening of the 500th show and Special Group is doing a bit of celebrating itself because the newspaper ad to promote the milestone that was filled with famous moments from the show has been awarded the NAB ad of the month.
The IAB recently dropped the Bolly from its awards and renamed them the IABNZ Creative Awards in an effort to bring them in line with other international IAB competitions. And the first winner of the newly modified awards is Special Group, with the Mash-up banner for Four.
Last year, Special Group launched a campaign for America’s Next Top Model that featured a naked lady pulling the old hand-over-the-side-boob-on-the-back-of-the-ute trick. It also launched a campaign for Top Chef Just Desserts featuring the words Backstabbing Slut on a cake. Both campaigns were complained about to the ASA, and the complaint about the offensive cake was upheld. And it’s taken a similarly attention-grabbing approach with new poster campaigns for Four’s America’s Next Top Model All Stars and Family Guy.
Nielsen has now implemented its new Unitam model, which takes into account both overnight viewing and time-shifted viewing and also features an expanded panel, so it marks a new step in the way TV ratings are gathered in New Zealand. Added to that, the two major broadcasters are both back into full swing and many of the big new and returning shows that were trumpeted at the vastly different new season launches last year are now on the box. So how is New Zealand watching? And how are the new season ratings stacking up?
Rugby World Cup advertising continued to dominate throughout October, some say to the detriment of both quality and originality. And after being told to ‘touch pause engage’ one time too many, the NAB judges have decided no one deserves the October Newspaper Ad of the Month award. The obvious headlines and groan inducing puns featured across too much of the material – at times to the detriment of art direction.
Put yourself in the shoes of a rugby hater for a moment. Almost everywhere you turn you are bombarded by earnest, emotional ads from sponsors of the All Blacks or the Rugby World Cup talking about long-awaited victory, national pride, unwavering support and inner belief, while the ‘cluster ruck’ of domestic broadcasters (Sky, Rugby Channel, TV3, TV One and Maori TV) screening, repeating and analysing the Big Rugby Event (BRE) means it will probably be quite difficult to escape the tournament when it kicks off. No doubt, there is plenty of excitement in the air, but MediaWorks and Special Group have decided to zig while everyone else is zagging with a cheeky, entertaining new campaign for FOUR that references the overkill and positions the channel as ‘The Home of Not Rugby’.
MediaWorks has been in the news a bit recently, with the unexpected departure of its TV wunderkind Jason Paris and continuing discussion about the sizable debts of its owner Ironbridge. But it’s not all bad: its two-channel strategy appears to be paying off in terms of share, ad revenue is up and general manager of integration Melanie Reece says the “sleeping giant” of branded content and product placement is starting to wake up, as evidenced by the success of New Zealand’s Next Top Model and the inclusion of new sponsors like 2degrees into the show.
It’s obviously a day to celebrate the peddling of sugary beverages. Colenso’s latest V campaign for Frucor just took out the May edition of Colmar Brunton’s Ad Impact Award and, to welcome three new flavours of Mountain Dew to the Frucor stable, the agency also just launched what its managing director Nick Garrett believes is the best thing they’ve done in years: skate pinball.
Back in November, Smirnoff and Special Group launched a campaign to get people to come up with kerrrazzeee ideas for events, with the winning concepts brought to life and the highs and lows of the lead-up and execution filmed for an unscripted reality show that would screen on FOUR. Well, that show kicks off tonight at 10.30 and Special Group creative director Tony Bradbourne is pretty damn excited about it.
New Zealand has a nigh-on unhealthy obsession with oversized novelty items. Carrots, L&P bottles, trout, salmon, sheep, kiwifruit… the list goes on. So what better way to celebrate the arrival of MediaWorks’ new mainstream entertainment channel FOUR this weekend than to set a 12 metre high, 14 metre wide inflatable duck loose on Auckland harbour.
FOUR, TVWorks’ great mainstream entertainment hope for 2011, launches in February and, with a 15 percent boost in ad revenue since the changes were rung to C4 last year, chief executive Jason Paris is pretty excited about what the year might hold for the network. Much to the relief of those who pleaded with MediaWorks to enlist the services of an agency instead of doing its creative inhouse, Special Group got the nod last year and proceeded to get stuck into the promotional work for the launch. And this is what the talented gang have come up with (yes, that is the real number for the BSA).
The New Zealand television scene is already über-competitive. But, with a range of new initiatives from the broadcasters, a slowly increasing sense of economic optimism and an array of new technology that’s changing the game for everyone, things look set to get even spicier in 2011. In an effort to eat into the more lucrative older demographics that have long been the domain of TVNZ, TV Works is changing its focus slightly and is set to launch its mainstream entertainment channel FOUR very shortly. And it’s a decision chief executive Jason Paris says is already bearing fruit.
Special Group has continued its hot run of form in 2010 by nabbing a slice of the MediaWorks TV business. And the first task has been to rebrand and relaunch the youth-focused music channel C4 and turn it into a slightly less youth focused mainstream entertainment channel called FOUR.