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Emma Lawrence is an online PR and marketing expert based in Gisborne, New Zealand. Emma helps small businesses make a big impact using creative, social and engaging communication. She shares practical advice on PR and social media on her website - check it out here. You can also follow Emma on Twitter and Facebook.
NZTA's 'Legend' aka 'Ghost Chips' started off the 12 Days of Advertising series and Emma picks another government campaign related to alcohol use as her favourite of 2011.
The Best of 2011
Nicole: What was your favourite campaign of 2011?
Emma: A stand out for me this year is the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand's 'Ease up on the drink' campaign.
"Instead of focusing just on the drinker, we are also trying to reach the potential influencers of those drinkers who have the opportunity and motivation to do positive things that help themselves and the people they care about avoid drinking too much.” ~ ALAC Chief executive Officer Gerard Vaughan
'Ease Up On The Drink' Campaign
Nicole: What made this campaign your favourite?
Emma: All the ads in this campaign have a strong message and are easy for everyday NZers to relate to. Everyone knows what the ""just don't bring your mates along this time"" line refers to and even though you often hear it being used jokingly, it's a gentle reminder of the damage alcohol can do. Those ads have made a serious issue easier to talk about.
Trends for 2012
Nicole: What do your expect to see more of in 2012?
Emma: More campaigns that integrate social media to actively engage their audience and encourage a two-way conversation. There's definitely a shift towards more relationship marketing, which Seth Godin says best in his quote:
"Turn strangers into friends. Turn friends into customers and then… do the most important job: Turn your customers into salespeople.”Nicole: What do you expect (or hope to) see less of in 2012?
Emma: I hope I never have to see another Big Save Furniture TV ad or anything like it again (not likely, I know). But I see there is even an 'Annoying Big Save Furniture Girl Anti-Fan Club' page on Facebook with 674 likes at present - another example of how social media is making it harder for companies to get away with old-school, in-your-face advertising with a complete lack of creativity.
That said, some people may argue that all the extra attention Big Save gets for winning the worst ad awards etc is still free publicity; but personally I don't think positioning yourself as the most annoying brand is a good thing!
What do you think? Are bad ads actually effective because they are memorable and talked about?