It wasn’t too long ago that Spark was a company to be railed against; a monopolistic monolith using confusion as a marketing tactic to suck money out of consumers. One Spark staffer tells of a focus group attendee from South Auckland before the rebrand saying that if an 027 number came up on their phone they knew it was either telemarketers or debt collectors so they’d just ignore it, which is a good indication of the level of disdain for the brand in that part of the country. But since then, there’s been a lot more openness from those inside the company and a lot more love shown by consumers, and this change in approach manifested itself in the Be Counted campaign, which was created by Touchcast and managed to get over 50,000 New Zealanders interested in regulatory process.
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With the trials and tribulations of Quickflix and Ezyflix, the arrival of Premier League Pass and Lightbox, the impending arrival of Sky’s Neon and murmurings that Netflix will launch in Australia next year, there’s plenty of action in the subscription video on-demand market at the moment. And that’s good news for content consumers. But one of the major impediments to uptake is the hassle—or perception of hassle—in getting that content on the main TV. So, following in the footsteps of Quickflix and the free-to-air broadcasters, Lightbox has launched an app that offers its service through Samsung Smart TVs.
Telecom has announced that it will emerge as Spark on 8 August. But the powers that be say the new name is just one aspect of the company’s transformation into “a confident, forward-looking technology company”. In an edited version of an article originally published in the May/June edition of NZ Marketing, Ben Fahy looks at the thinking behind one of the country’s biggest-ever—and most controversial—rebrands and the important role chief operating officer Jason Paris played in the process.
Ever since Telecom did the splits back in 2011, there have been rumours that the ‘New Telecom’ might not stick with its name, which carries with it a fair bit of equity but also a fair bit of monopolistic baggage. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire, because Telecom has announced that it will change its name to Spark later in the year.
‘Tis supposedly the season of giving, and The Telecom Foundation (the telecommunications company’s charitable arm) is making it slightly easier to for Kiwis to do just that after buying online giving platform Givealittle.co.nz and making the fundraising service entirely free.
Since it was formed in 2003 and was quickly noticed for its stellar work on 42 Below, Consortium has been an ad agency happy to fly under the radar and steer clear of the media. But after finding some renewed vigour for the ad business and deciding to refocus his energies on the agency he founded, Paul Shale has decided to pin his more strategic colours to the mast by announcing a few changes, including the addition of former director of home at Telecom and director of Yahoo!Xtra Ralph Brayham as a 50 percent shareholder and director.