Snapchat has fast become a popular way for brands to reach out to a younger audience. ASB, Vodafone, Spark the NZTA and a number of other brands and organisations have seen merit in using the platform and have reported successful results. And while a little late in the game, Stuff has just jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon and only three days since launching its account, it already has a few thousand ‘friends’, and counting.
For better or worse, the gravitational pull of the mobile phone has become remarkably strong. That has its drawbacks, of course, and, in a recent US study on nomophobia, the clinical description for the fear of being out of mobile contact, 63 percent of respondents said they checked their phone for messages or calls once an hour, nine percent said they checked their phone every five minutes and 63 percent said they would be upset if they left home without their smartphone. Now Spark is ensuring that those tethered to their phones don’t have to shower without them either after announcing a prototype dock designed to work with Sony’s new waterproof Xperia M4 Aqua.
Brands are normally seen as the bullies; corporate monsters taking advantage of the little guy. But they aren’t just a logo, a uniform or an ad. They are made up of multiple individuals working in different branches on different levels. And often it’s the people lower down the chain who bear the brunt of angry customers, as any front of house hospo worker or call centre operator or social media manager will know. So in light of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill passing its third reading, and following some recent anger directed at the likes of Nestle, Cadbury, Ticketek and many others, we decided to ask a few New Zealand companies with ‘passionate’ followers a potentially stupid question: have they ever felt like they’ve been bullied online?
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.
To simplify the process of scouring through apps to find the best ones, Spark Digital has introduced a new offering called Spark Digital Apps that gives small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to the core digital tools they need to run their businesses. StopPress chatted to the recently appointed Spark Digital marketing manager Mark Redgrave about the thinking behind this move.
Speaking at the second IdealogLive event of 2015, Spark Ventures chief executive will discuss the thinking behind what he refers to as the smallest but “grooviest” part of the telco.
After an eight-year partnership, Spark has parted ways with its direct marketing agency Rapp and appointed Clemenger-owned Proximity to the account “following a review of agency requirements”. PLUS: ASB general manager of marketing Ana Curzon to start her new role as Spark’s general manager of digital first on 18 May. UPDATE: Air New Zealand Airpoints has appointed Rapp to its account following a competitve pitch.
Justin Bieber said he was going to repeatedly do it on people in his track Boyfriend; Jay Z claimed to have invented it; journalists have predicted the death of it since 1982; it has made it onto various lists of words that should die immediately; and now Spark has added the word swag—derived from swagger—to its marketing vocabulary via an ongoing campaign that now includes two new spots.
Yup, it’s that time of year again (already?), when FOMO-suffering tech lovers get all wound up about another new gadget. And this time it’s Samsung’s turn, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge released in New Zealand over the weekend. Here’s how Samsung and the main telcos are ensuring the upgrades continue. PLUS: the environmental perils of obsolescence and the idea of modular phones.
Nielsen data from 2014 shows interest in cycling is increasing across all our major cities, with Christchurch showing the highest interest relative to its population size at 32 percent (since 2010 Auckland’s interest in cycling has increased the most, at seven percent to 29 percent). This is leading to a few tense discussions about safety and appropriate infrastructure to inspire more of it. But Spark has decided to tap into that interest and, in another slightly surprising marketing initiative that it says aligns with its ‘Never Stop Starting’ tagline, has announced it will be helping to launch a public bike share scheme in Christchurch in June.
Last year, Spark announced it was teaming up with Kiwi NBA player Steven Adams on a project dubbed ‘The Boroughs’ which would see it partner up with Auckland City Council to open five high-tech basketball courts. And today Spark and the Ōtara-Papatoetoe local board started construction on the first court at Otamariki Park in South Auckland.
Huzzah! It’s reporting season. So here’s a selection of financial results from some of the country’s major media
Since December, Vodafone and Spark have been at each others throats in an ongoing battle about which telco has New Zealand’s largest 4G network. And Vodafone’s announcement that it has referred the issue to the Commerce Commission has coincided with some fresh blows.
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?
According to Spark Home, Mobile and Business chief executive Chris Quin, fewer than 40 percent of small businesses have a website. And of those that do, only a quarter have a website that’s mobile responsive. So, in an effort to remedy this problem, Spark has released new promotion that offers business customers 24 months’ access to a Putti mobile-responsive website.
Over the past five years, chief executive Nicky Bell, the recently departed Antonio Navas, head of planning Murray Streets and many others have helped Saatchi & Saatchi regain some of its former glory after what they all admit was a fairly rough patch. It’s won some big accounts, it’s put a few big awards on the mantelpiece and it’s lured a few big names across its newly renovated offices on The Strand. But due to a reduction in client spend—particularly from Spark—and an evolution in the kind of work the agency is being asked to do, it has had to restructure the business.
New Zealand’s main telco superpowers are butting heads after a billboard war, with both companies claiming to have the country’s largest 4G network. The skirmish has resulted in lawyers’ letters, threats of ASA complaints and general back-and-forth bickering, and a resolution still isn’t on the cards.
Witnessing a grown man with an impressive girth pouring what is hopefully chilled coffee all over his topless body isn’t necessarily an aesthetically pleasing experience, but this hasn’t stopped Bigpipe from featuring this bizarre scene in a new spot that promotes its unlimited broadband packages.
Late last year, when the aroma of summer barbecues was starting to coax workers away from their desks, subscription video on-demand service Lightbox and Coliseum Sports Media (CSM) announced a joint partnership, which will see the pair of companies bring their programming portfolios together. And now, following on from this, Spark has announced that all of its approximately 600,000 home broadband subscribers (and those who sign up before 30 April) will be given 12 months’ access to Lightbox free of charge. So do these moves make business sense for a telco in a very competitive market?
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.
Facing what Spark says will cost it $60 million per year more than anticipated, the company is, in the public eye, in a state of shock and turmoil. But some are saying the shock should have, and possibly would have, been anticipated.
The winners of the NetGuide Web Awards were announced earlier this week, and Spark and NZME both came away with a triple treat and TVNZ Ondemand took two.
The last year has seen subscription video on demand (SVOD) become a major talking point, with various players vying to become the Netflix of New Zealand. However, claiming this title will now be difficult now following the recent announcement that the actual Netflix plans to launch in both Australia and New Zealand in March next year. PLUS: we look at Neon’s lineup.