So risky is Twitter that Wendy Thompson, the founder of social media agency Socialites, advises clients not to dabble in platform. And while this might sound counter-intutive coming from someone who pays the bills thanks to social media, Thompson’s company has already generated some impressive results for major brands such as Mitre 10 and Spark, and she has just penned House of Travel into her ledger. So is this a case of digital smoke and mirrors or is a social media agency something that more businesses should think about bringing onboard?
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For the first time since public relations company Edelman first ran its trust barometer survey, which gauges the levels of trust societies have in various organisations, search engines have overtaken traditional media as the most-trusted source for attaining general news and information.
Online users have long suffered from social media messaging overload. But Kiwis have wizened up to the power of the mute button at their disposal, says Katie Byrne.
Last year, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) exhibited its interest in digital technology with the production of the Force Fit app, which provided a very modern solution to the growing problem of unfitness among young people. But the NZDF doesn’t only dabble in digital technology for the purposes of marketing. The military organisation also sees it as integral to the sovereignty and safety of New Zealand. So, given the changing landscape, StopPress recently chatted to a spokesperson at the National Cyber Policy Office about the government’s approach to digital security.
Late last year, puppy lovers everywhere shed unnecessary tears on account of the supposed death of Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. This tragic news story was widely circulated via Facebook, until Millan stepped in and released an official statement via his Facebook page that he was still alive and well. This faux news story was by no means an exception, with countless similar celebrity deaths and other outrageous stories being shared through the channel. However, it seems that Facebook wants to bring an end to the falsehood. A report on Wired says that the social media juggernaut will soon release a new feature that enables users to flag hoax articles.
Brands hoping to reach a generation that’s turning away from traditional media and getting their entertainment in different ways are increasingly joining forces with influencers who can spread their messages to existing social networks. And for the past year communications company Spark PHD and hair care company TREsemme have been doing just that with a campaign that claims to seek remediation for our country’s (supposed) lack of innovation in the hair styling department.
Every year around this time, banks attempt to grease up the young’uns heading off to expand/erode their minds at University. But banks are rarely at the top of the priorities list at this stage of life and erecting a makeshift tent and handing out branded pens at a festival or over Orientation Week just doesn’t cut it anymore. So ASB is running a Snapchat campaign called Snap Scholarships—replete with the obligatory prizes—to try and lure them in.
Twitter is an amazingly fluid and responsive medium for brands. But understanding when it’s appropriate to join the conversation is the difference between a good brand and a great one, says Katie Byrne.
Speight’s comically masculine southern man campaign idea had a long and very successful run, and its previous agency Shine attempted to bring the idea into the modern era with the ‘Knowing What Matters’ campaign. DDB took over late last year and, in one of its first major campaigns, it’s moved it even further away from ‘Good on ya mate’, with its ad for Speight’s Alchoholic Ginger Beer featuring some major self-deprecation from ex-Shortland St star Karl Burnett and a massive pun.
McDonald’s has been fighting back against some of the more pervasive myths and legends about its business in recent years. One of the first things the Canadians explained as part of the first Our Food, Your Questions campaign is why the food never looks as good in real life as it does in the ads—and they did a good job of it. But the local outfit appears to be favouring the advertising vérité approach, because some of the pics it’s been posting recently on its Facebook page are much closer to the real thing than they are to over-stylised glamour shots.
There have been a number of recent campaigns that employ digital tools to get the audience to do something, from ASB’s Like Loan to Sky’s ‘Bring down the King’ to Vodafone’s sailing game to Bonus Bonds’ longerconga.co.nz. Now Emirates is joining in the fun and asking Kiwis to use social media to propel three charities to Australia. PLUS: Potentia asks charities to submit films for the chance to get $10,000.
For those of you that thought social media was just for sharing selfies and pretending your life’s way better than it actually is, think again. New Zealand brands and their fans are using the medium for a lot more than that. They are using it together to make things happen. PLUS: we look at examples of crowd-sourcing gone wrong.
Spark is on a mission to win over the Kiwi masses by offering deals that match the changing habits of its audiences. This started with the telco giving its subscribers access to Spotify Premium, and it is now being continued with a new offer, dubbed Socialiser, that gives social media consumers one gig of free data per month to use via the Twitter and Facebook apps.
Lady Gaga may not have performed in Rangiora (yet). But she is using some visual marketing software from a company that’s based there. PLUS: how the company is expanding into the US market.
Interactive is an expanding piece of the ad spend pie here and around the world, and Magna Global has predicted it will overtake TV in the US by 2017. Facebook is a big part of that ecosystem and it reckons it can offer both scale and granularity. So we caught up with Facebook head of New Zealand Stephen Scheeler to find out what’s happening here and how House of Travel has harnessed the social network and is moving away from traditional media.
In 2010, Number One Shoes dropped the word ‘warehouse’ from its name in an effort to shift the brand from being associated with large storage facilities. And now, in a continuation of this move away from all things utilitarian, the chain is revamping its stores to create an improved shopping experience for those that walk through the doors. The Albany store, located in the Westfield shopping centre on Auckland’s North Shore, was the first store to be relaunched, and the shop at St Luke’s will follow suit next month. And to draw attention to the changes, Number One Shoes has launched a quirky series of campaigns via PR agency Starseed.
There are a huge range of new—and very popular—social platforms, and where consumers go advertisers will follow, says Neville Doyle. But brands need to focus less on being first and more on creating high quality, relevant content.
Most marketers involved in comms work are becoming direct marketers by stealth, reckons Ben Goodale. So how can an old discipline be harnessed for these new channels?
It’s no secret that football has become a massive business enterprise, which relies on the appeal of handsomely paid sports stars to drive revenue. And while Cristano Ronaldo’s abs and Neymar’s consistently changing hairdos are successful at attracting interest from fans, Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo has something that no other player has: a sullen face that seems incapable of being pleased. And in a move that shows it’s possible to even capitalise on things conventionally considered undesirable, Pirlo’s Turin-based club Juventus has now launched a campaign that encourages viewers to send in videos that might be able to impress the player.
In moves parallel to Nextdoor in the US, Kiwi private neighbourhood website Neighbourly is shacking up with councils. Last month it signed an agreement with Rotorua District Council to be an official communications platform to complement existing channels, and Neighbourly says it’s in discussion with a further 26 around New Zealand.
Colenso BBDO has long worked on Fonterra’s major brands like Anchor, Tip Top, Fresh ‘n Fruity and Mainland and it’s gradually been adding new chunks of the business to its roster, with the most recent being the addition of some smaller brands after Shine shacked up with Goodman Fielder. Now it’s added some more after the agency was appointed as the social media partner for all of Fonterra’s brands after a competitive pitch.
After a few seasons with MediaWorks, Sky managed to grab the rights to one of the best shows on television, Modern Family. And to promote the launch of the politically incorrect show on its free-to-air station Prime, FCB has created a Facebook app that claims to detect favourite children.
One fact that has stuck with me over the years—and flashes up in front of me occasionally when I’m deep in a time-sucking online/social media rabbit hole—is that the same part of the brain that responds so favourably to pokie machines is the same part of the brain that responds so favourably to the constant arrival of notifications on your phone, in your inbox or on social networks. So, like digital meerkats, many of us are constantly popping our heads up and looking for the next information fix. And, as a recent Victoria University study has shown, the online realm is having an impact on our reading behaviour.
Whittaker’s and Griffin’s have colluded in sugary goodness to produce a limited edition product mashup called the ‘100s and 1000s Bar’ that combines Cookie Bears, chocolate and a significant sprinkling of hundreds and thousands. And to promote their product fusion, which was released on 21 July and will be available for only three months, the co-conspirators have launched a competition via a Facebook-hosted microsite that encourages Kiwis to cover random items in hundreds and thousands and then send in images of the results.
Lydia Ko took out her fourth professional win yesterday, making the 17-year-old golfing phenom the youngest ever player to make it to US$1 million in prize money. ANZ sponsors Ko (and the ANZ Golf Show) and it’s celebrating her win with a simple social game via Whybin\TBWA that offers Facebookers a chance to win $2000 if they can guess where she’s hit her tee shot.