We’re geared up to give a casual nod of approval to everything that made 2017 another great year in the industry – and there’s still tickets available.
At Previously Unavailable’s breakfast event this week, Air New Zealand’s head of innovation Scott Bishop spoke about the difference between companies with an offensive mindset (like, unsurprisingly, Air New Zealand, or Tesla, which took its patents open-source and backed itself to stay ahead of the competition) and companies with a defensive mindset. The defensive companies generally fail because they’re trying to protect a legacy and tend to force customers to adapt to their business model, rather than looking at what their customers actually want and solving their problems. While we’re not deluded enough to place ourselves in the same category as Air New Zealand or Tesla, the same binary choice applies to us: try to create the new, or try to maintain the old. So, after much chin-stroking, spreadsheet-staring, brow-furrowing and distance-gazing over the past few months, we’ve decided to take the offensive.
This week, people across the country will be trading beach sands for office chairs as they return to the daily slog at work. And while we all chew on air-conditioned air together, StopPress would like to welcome all our contributors, industry experts and snitches back to the real world. Here’s to doing it all over again for another year.
Over the course of the last year, StopPress attracted 1.6 million unique page views. And while we don’t necessarily cover depressing war stories, political scandals or the latest nude photo leak, it has been encouraging to see that those in the media, marketing and advertising communities deem it worthwhile to click on a few of our stories once in a while. Here’s a rundown of the pieces that attracted the most clicks this year.
To spare online shoppers the chore of scouring through scores of deals featuring massages, fairy lights and costume jewellery in the lead up to Christmas, GrabOne has launched the Giftinator, an online tool that allows users to narrow their searches to find gifts that match their interests. As New Zealand’s biggest daily deal providers, GrabOne publishes over 1,700 deals a week, which means that there might be more than 1,600 offers available on the site at any given time. And while choice is a good thing, it can be frustrating for time-pressed gift-buyers to scour through everything available to find what they want. By launching the Giftinator, GrabOne now enables customers to streamline their search for gifts in terms who the gift is for, the amount they’re willing to spend, and the age group and interests of the recipient. PLUS: we look at some of the risks that come with brands recommending items.
We live in a world where targeting individuals is becoming increasingly attainable, where streaming and ondemand services (and, in many cases, illegal downloads) give viewers much more control over what they watch, and where online video has become a major sucker of people’s time. As such, the sceptics tend to believe traditional, primarily ad-funded TV is an anachronism. But, according to NZ on Air and Colmar Brunton’s recent media consumption study, Kiwis are still watching plenty of linear TV; according to ASA ad spend figures, brands are still spending up large on TV advertising; and according to pretty much everyone, good video content still has the biggest emotional impact when it comes to branding. So, once again, we’re aiming to celebrate the efforts brands, agencies and production companies put into changing perceptions and/or selling more stuff over the past year and a bit with our annual StopPress/MediaWorks TVC of the Year.
Back in the day, StopPress used to be an insert in the monthly NZ Marketing magazine until we put it online in 2009. Since then, the son has started eating the father and, like many publishers, a lot of the action has been online, which isn’t entirely surprising given the digitally-savvy sector we cover. We publish columns and some other content from the magazine on StopPress from time to time but, as the site was developed for news and short, snappy pieces, it wasn’t really suited to displaying the longer features. But now we’ve launched a new section dedicated to bringing some of that long-form content from the magazine to life online. PLUS: even more gratuitous self-promotion!
Earlier this week StopPress published a story on the Q1 readership and circulation statistics for the nation’s newspapers. While the circulation figures sourced from ABC’s website and the majority of the readership figures were all accurate, the readership figures attributed to some of the provincial papers served up a series of anomalies that didn’t seem to correlate with statistics from previous surveys.
This industry generally isn’t backward in coming forward about its achievements and there are many opportunities for those achievements to be acknowledged. But we’re sick of writing about you, so, as we often do on the last day of our publishing year, we’re taking the opportunity to talk about what we’ve done this year and what we’ve got planned for the next.
While things have certainly calmed down a bit since the ’80s, this industry still has an undoubted penchant for lunching—and especially so over the silly season. It also has the skills required to draw attention to things and DineAid, a charity that helps feed the homeless and hungry, is joining forces with Pead PR and StopPress to combine these two elements into one competition, with creative Kiwi types being asked to produce a short video that tells the DineAid story.
It shrunk its weekend edition back in 2000 and it joined an exclusive club when it implemented a paywall late last year. Now The Ashburton Guardian has continued to forge ahead and made the switch to a compact format for its Monday to Friday paper after 134 years in broadsheet.
To celebrate the yet-to-be-born heir to the British throne, Monteith’s has created a limited edition ‘Royal Series’ and is sending it off to Windsor. This fits into the StopPress philosophy of buying gifts for parents, not babies, and the Princes have previously sampled some of the West Coast brews on trips to New Zealand over the years.
As a wise man once said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. So, given all the opinions that have flowed forth over the past week from a range of marcomms cutters and thrusters (never fear, we’ve got a few more up our sleeves to ease you into 2013), it seemed remiss of us not to do a bit of reflecting ourselves, both on the industry we cover and on the evolution of StopPress and NZ Marketing.
Mother always said not to dwell on the past. But what would she know? She doesn’t even have an iPad. So, once again, we will soon be flying back through the mists of time for our ever-popular Year in Review series on StopPress. We’ll be lining up some of the industry’s most vigorous cutters and dastardly thrusters and asking them a few questions about the goods, bads and uglies of 2012. But we thought we’d ask our dear readers who they wanted to hear from most. So add your suggestions in the comments section and we’ll see what we can do.
Back in September 2009, we sent StopPress into the wild. Almost three years later and, with steadily rising audience numbers and what we think is a fairly well-established position as an important source of news, views and hullaballoos for the marketing, advertising and media community, we’re pretty proud of our e-baby. But, as everyone in this industry knows, laurel-sitting is not recommended, so, with the help of our digital agency and ‘creative co-conspirators’ &some, we’ve spent the past few months redesigning the site. Rest assured, we’ve kept all the good bits, but we’ve given it a good spruce up, shifted from WordPress to Django, installed a better comments engine, added the ability for users to submit jobs (an events uploader will be coming in the near future), made the design more responsive so it will work on iPads, tablets, smartphones and big browsers, and basically tried to ensure we took care of what &some’s head nerd Matt Cooney calls ‘the whole platform-for-the-future thing’.
On March 27 StopPress published a story about a BNZ campaign by its outgoing agency Sugar. A comment ostensibly authored by Jasmine Wilkinson was published under that story that took aim at Sugar, BNZ and other partners. We can confirm that Jasmine was not the author of this comment and that another user posted this comment using Jasmine’s name and email address. The comments were inaccurate and in no way representative of the views of Jasmine nor of StopPress, and were thus removed. We regret that both StopPress and Jasmine were implicated in this malicious use of the blog. We have reviewed the commenting system and will implement a new system in the near future.
Television viewing in New Zealand is at its highest ever level and television advertising took the top spot off newspapers for the first time ever last year according to the ASA ad revenue figures. So reports of its death appear to be, as the saying goes, greatly exaggerated. Of course, recording technology means interruptive advertising ain’t what it used to be and you can’t just buy attention like you used to, but despite the many digital distractions that are now available to brands and agencies, the power of a good TV ad is still unquestionable, primarily because it is one of the best ways for brands to convey emotion, tell stories and, in most cases, get their messages in front of as many humans as possible.
One of our dear readers had an embarrassing experience yesterday. And, by sharing his painful story, he hopes others can avoid a similarly embarrassing fate. He was using his iPhone to show some female colleagues a story on StopPress. They looked on in wonderment at the digital dexterity on display as he started typing the name of the esteemed vessel into the browser. But their eyebrows were soon raised when the list of search terms appeared, leading to an uncomfortable explanation about the fact that ‘stop premature ejaculation’ came up as a result of auto-complete, not because of his recent search history. Forewarned is forearmed.
Huzzah! The Great New Zealand Slow-down is upon us once again, which means this is the last StopPress newsletter of the year. And what a year it’s been. There was plenty of RWC excitement/enthralling RWC brinkmanship, an array of gripping PR disasters, a host of amazing award-winning campaigns, many terrible, non-award-winning campaigns, some good old fashioned stoushes, a fair bit of interest/controversy over some very large pitches, unrelenting consumer and media evolution and, as per usual, no shortage of ship-jumping and big recruitment announcements. And we–and you news-hungry marcomms beasts—wouldn’t want it any other way. StopPress has continued to grow steadily since it was launched in 2009 and we’ve added a few new strings to our bow this year (progress never sleeps, of course, so we’ve got a few more irons in the fire for 2012). Thanks to the team, our readers, our sponsors, our contributors, our advertisers and, yes, even our anonymous commentators. We couldn’t do it without you (well, we could, but it would be pretty average). We’ll be back on deck with our first newsletter on January 17 and inbetween sausages we’ll try and put up a few nuggets on the website. So, until next year, may your turduckens be moist this Christmas.
A couple of weeks back, a group of ridiculously good looking, extremely important and intimidatingly intelligent advertising, marketing and media folk from Skyline Garages, Barnes, Catmur & Friends, ThinkTV and StopPress took a wee trip to the new and particularly classy Auckland Viaduct establishment Snapdragon to celebrate a famous, if slightly controversial, victory in the inaugural Think TV TVC of the Year competition with a good old-fashioned long and fairly wet lunch. We promised some photos of this auspicious event to inspire jealousy (and possibly even vitriolic comments), so fill your boots. And if you’re looking for a venue for your next event (or power lunch), we can assure you Snapdragon is a very good option.
In what some marketing experts claim is the best thing since sliced bacon, Colmar Brunton has joined forces with StopPress to bring you a new—and particularly useful—addition to the website. So, dear readers, let us introduce you to the Ad Impact Award, a monthly honour that will be bestowed on the TV brand ads that are proven to have the biggest impact on consumers—and therefore get more bang for the client’s buck and better results for the brand.
This is the last official StopPress day of the year. Thank God, we—and probably you—say. We’re off to gorge ourselves to within an inch our lives over Christmas, tip over a few cars and throw bottles at the police as we celebrate a traditional Kiwi New Years and try valiantly to avoid getting sunburnt tops of the feet. Hearty thanks to all our readers, advertisers, sponsors, contributors, commentors and team members. It’s been a great first year for us and, as per usual, an interesting year for what really is a pretty damn exciting industry to work in (imagine being an accountant? Borrrring). It was a helluva lot of fun writing about it all and we look forward to more frivolity, tomfoolery and cheesy puntastic headlines next year, starting 17 January (well, as much as you can look forward to getting back to work just before you go on holiday). Have a good’un, StopPressers. And make sure you fill in our survey, which will be up over the break.