Advertising and branding inspiration from New Zealand and the world. This is where envy and admiration collide.


19 November 2012

Telling Tales - Stories from Semi Permanent Wellington

I'd heard great things about Semi Permanent Auckland so when a one-day Wellington conference was announced it was the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Secretly I was a little concerned that I would stand out amongst all the proper creative types. Heading along with three super talented graphic designers I did feel like a bit of an impostor.

Upon arrival I half expected a left brain - right brain quiz at the door. Luckily there weren't any admittance tests and I wasn't outted as the only marketer in the room. Semi Permanent Wellington turned out to be well worth the hype and far more relevant to marketing than I'd expected. In fact, the only point I felt out of place was when Jon DRPNZ, Wellington based street artist, used crime scene tape to connect the negative space between a few confused volunteers. I don't think I was alone in this feeling though!

So here's some of the wisdom I gleaned from just a couple of the Semi Permanent speakers (and attendees) - hopefully it will encourage you to attend in 2013... 

25 October 2012

Unlock the 007 in you

It's work like this that made me become a marketer. Bravo Coke!

5 October 2012

A bank with personality

It's not often you think of a bank as having a personality, or better yet a sense of humour. I had to chuckle when I saw this print ad by Kiwibank inviting NZ columnist Kerre Woodham. It's nicely played and a good approach to the bank switching wars currently in progress.  

For those of you unaware - National Bank will soon be rebranded with customer account being switched to National's owner ANZ bank.

With so much potential to draw National Bank customers to change banks it' suprising that most advertising is focused on brand without compelling reasons to make the jump.  At the end of the day, even if customers don't like losing the NB Bank brand, it's still easy to do nothing than actively switch from ANZ.

Here's what some of other NZ banks are doing to get entice National Bank customers across:

5 August 2012

One lonely polar bear

Television will always be one of the most effective advertising mediums for conveying emotion. TV commercials allows brands the opportunity to entertain, amuse, inform or  move an audience like no other medium. If the budget allows a TV campaign is a fantastic way for a charity to tug at the heartstrings and most importantly inspire action. 

I dare anyone to watch Greenpeace's "homeless polar bear" and not be moved. While I'm not the usual Greenpeace supporter, this ad interrupted my TV viewing and made me want to head online and find out more. And yes, as a result I did sign the petition, the power of a TV ad.  

The campaign has some big names supporting it including Sir Paul McCartney, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Radiohead (the soundtrack to the ad is their song "Everything in it's place") and Jude Law (who voices the ad). 

If you too feel moved to action, visit www.savethearctic.org to sign the petition. 

10 July 2012

Westfield Facebook Competition Doubles Page Likes

Westfield recently ran a competition on their Facebook page to give away $10,000 worth of shopping vouchers. What caught my eye was it's spin on the regular giveaway format. The "Show us the likes, we'll show you the money" competition was pretty self-explanatory. Every new like added $1 to the prize pool and entered the visitor to win the total amount. The normal concept of a competition actually discourages organic sharing - afterall you want to win - the less people entered the greater your personal chance. In this case, the more of your friends that enter the greater the prize value.

Enviable Elements
The current number of likes appeared in the clothing so you could see what you could win, no cap was mentioned so their was a feeling that this go keep rising. Unfortunately the competition just closed at 10,000 likes. When I first saw this yesterday the page had around 5k likes - so they have at least doubled their previous likes very quickly through this promotion.

The competition is really simple - no entry form to be completed - just click "like". This did make me wonder though, even though this is housed on an app does the "like to enter" model breach Facebook's compeititon rules? [Update: unfortunately yes this model does break Facebook's competition rules]  

So what do you think - is $1 a good price for a "like"?
A quick look at online information available estimates the cost of one like from $1 (The Next Web) up to $3.50 (Panorama) meaning this actually might be a cost effective approach - but will this engagement last past this giveaway?

7 June 2012

Social Media NZ: Best Use of Social Media Award

There's always a lot of talk about social media and what it can do for brands but it's hard to separate the facts from the hype. I was the guest judge for Social Media NZ's Best Use of Social Media Award for June and decided this honour should go to Whitaker's for their Chocolate Lover's Facebook page. I sat down with Jasmine Griffin, Brand Manager at Whittaker's to learn about what they are doing and what results they are achieving. From sell out product launches to having over 129,000 fans these guys are a shining example of how social media should be done. It was a fascinating discussion with valuable lessons for anyone using Facebook to promote a business or a brand. You can read the full article here.  

I would love to hear your feedback - please leave a comment here or on the Social Media NZ site with your thoughts. 

2 June 2012

Shout an Olympian a Moa

The Olympics is now just a couple of months away and hoping to gain some of the associated glory of the games sponsors are launching their campaigns. Cadbury, Coca-Cola and Sky so far released TV campaigns but brands with slightly smaller budgets need to find other ways to leverage their involvement. Moa, the official beer of the NZ Olympic team have launched a Facebook competition allowing you to shout an Olympian a Moa.

28 May 2012

Seeing is believing - Panasonic "Pro v Am"

Panasonic believes in their Lumix cameras, and are willing to let consumers discover its strengths themselves. But how do you let consumers try a camera? Well by putting two amateurs up against a professional photographer and letting the public judge the results!  

23 April 2012

Say no to wine, yes to great advertising

The Export Dry campaign "Say No To Wine" is definitely one of my favourites so far in 2012. And now the hilarious TV ads have been supplemented with these cheeky print ads. With statements like "the problem with wine, is that it's not wine" these ads have some of the best copywriting I've read (kudos to copywriter Simon Vicars). While campaign is entertaining more importantly it's selling. Russell Browne, marketing manager for DB Export told Stop Press NZ that the newly designed Export boxes sold to shortly after the campaign launched. 
“The best campaigns aren’t only the ones that happen to be funny. This campaign resonates with our consumer target perfectly due to the humour being based on their actual experiences.” ~ Russell Browne, DB
I'm not the only one loving this campaign - it's received high praise from Ad Week who said it is "a beer ad worthy of Super Bowl airtime" and was awarded the NAB (Newspaper Advertising Bureau) Ad of the Month.

(Click on images to enlarge, for more versions click "Read More" below)

21 April 2012

NZTA Personalised Advertising Wins International DM Award

This creative NZTA piece won agency Clemenger BBDO a gold award at the John Caples International Awards for direct marketing. Targeting ferry passengers with cars it makes clever use of the fact the drivers leave their cars during the sailing. A photo was taken as cars boarded the ferry and as the unsuspecting passengers enjoyed the journey, their cars were inserted into personalised flyers. These were then placed onto the windscreen of each car. When the driver returned, likely to be about to embark on a long drive to their final destination, they were reminded about the dangers of driver fatigue.   

I had earlier blogged about this concept in it's billboard format so was particularly interested in seeing this applied in this personally targeted approach. It's the type of advertising I love - incredibly targeted, guaranteed to get the audience's attention and crafted to effectively and memorably deliver the message. 

Envied on http://www.caples.org/sneak-ads

16 April 2012

Sephora & Pantone's Colour Collaboration

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit the Big Apple for a work trip. The iconic Times Square with its myriad of neon billboards was an advertising geek's dream and advertising inspiration seemed to be everywhere in NYC. This pop up concept store particularly caught my eye... 

Sephora & Pantone Universe: NYC Pop Up Store 

I happened to be in town the one week that this collaboration between Sephora and Pantone was alive in the meatpacking district of NYC. The pop-up celebrates the colour of the year for 2012 which is apparently "Tangerine Tango". This left me with all sorts of questions on how one chooses a colour of the year - cue mental images of pantone colour chips with sashes performing a Miss America pagent parade! But the idea is quite clever, Pantone is positioning themselves as the authority on all things colour. Most importantly this means they have the (self appointed) power to inform fashion trends and partnering with brands like Sephora is key to this influence. 

Enviable Elements
  • Friendly experts: Sephora makeup artists were on hand to give free makeovers and offer advice - given that the new season colour is orange/tangerine it's a clever move to make consumers feel comfortable with the products and show the less confident how to work an orange lippy into their makeup collection 
  • Cohesive partnership: a pet peeve of mine is illogical brand partnerships and celebrity endorsements, when two brands combine forces but fail to create more value as a whole than separately. The Sephora and Pantone collaboration makes sense and is not only superficial - everything from the pop-up store design (modeled as a giant Pantone colour book) to the product packaging reflects the partnership. 
  • Integration of technology: There was plenty to see and do while waiting for a makeover at the pop store, on the ends of the store were giant touch screens that you could browse products on and behind each make up station was an iPad so you could share your new look or get friends to come along. 

Pop up stores seem to be in vogue at the moment - do you like the allure of a temporary store or prefer a more permanent shopping experience? 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below this post!

For more images click "read more" below!

6 March 2012

Meet Mr Huntley and Mr Palmer's Risque Combinations

After 190 years Griffin's has brought back Mr Huntley and Mr Palmer to ensure that we all live with a little more with 'savory fare'. The brand's original founders have been reborn and thrust into modern day life to tempt into more 'risqué combinations' like chocolate and crackers. Built around the concept that everything goes with Huntley & Palmer's these humorous ads are both endearing and quirky, a hard line to tread.  

Watch the 60 second trailer below, and view the three 30 second TV advertisements on the Huntley & Palmer YouTube channel.

20 February 2012

Music and advertising - a perfect partnership

"Apple has proven that every time a iPod is created, an indie band gets their wings"~ Taylor Magenheim, Buzzfeed writer (via. Mashable)

While at Wellington's Homegrown festival I noticed certain songs have been well and truly hijacked by the brands who have used them in their advertising. Examples included Op Shop's One Day used by NZ Post, Tiki Taane's Always On My Mind used by BNZ, and The Feelers Stand Up which was used in the 2012 National Election Campaign. It's impossible to listen to these tunes without having the brands and ads pop into your head.

But why? Studies dissecting music’s effect on consumers suggest that songs — more often than not — positively influence responses to advertising. The right song choice can influence how long a person watches a commercial and sway them into buying what’s in the ad.

But it works both ways advertising has also been known to launch music careers and repopularise tracks. Here's a few examples of songs that were rocketed into the charts by advertising:

1. Sony Bravia - Jose Gonzalez "HeartBeats"

12 February 2012

Branding Love - Creative Valentine's Day Campaigns

Valentine's Day - or, as men like to call it, Extortion Day! ~ Jay Leno

If it's a holiday/event/occasion recognised by the masses then chances are us marketers will make it an advertising campaign. In fact, the more cynical would have you believe that Valentine's Day itself was created by chocolate, flower and card selling companies to create additional revenue - along with those other suspect occasions Mother's Day, Father's Day and Boxing Day. 

I'm not complaining though - by now you've probably picked up that I like ads - and therefore applaud any occasion that inspires more advertising creativity (and perhaps ends up getting me flowers!). 

I've gathered a few samples of the most creative Valentine's Day ads this year - take a look and tell me your favourite! Or if you think advertisers should leave love well alone! 

Heineken's Serenade 
The Serenade app builds on Heineken's "The Date" - part of the brand's "Open Your World" global campaign. The app allows users to customise a Valentine's serenade to a Facebook friend. You get to choose "who" you want to ask out, "why" you want to go out with them, "what" the legendary date will entail and of course "why" they should say yes. The details are then incorporated into a song that can be sent to the lucky valentine.

You can create your own serenade on Heineken's Facebook page

6 February 2012

Super Bowl - The Advertising Winners (and losers)

Even if you're not in the ad industry theres a good chance you watched Super Bowl as much for the ads as the game. Super Bowl ads set the standard as the most expensive, creative and wild advertising imaginable. While I couldn't watch them live during the game I've still tracked down the ads and picked my favs. 

Along with lots of cars, beer, dogs and babies one of the interesting trends was the number of really good ads that came from crowd sourcing. Possibly not what the agencies were hoping for but the idea is only half the equation, execution is also key. 

The other key trend was the number of campaigns that were pre-released. While only a handful of ads were available online last year, this year 20 out of 36 advertisers released them in advance. Advertisers looked to leverage ads across social platforms and gather pre-game hype - when you're playing $3.5M for 30 seconds it makes sense to make the ad work harder. 

Kia "A Dream Car. For Real Life"
I didn't have high hopes for this spot after the Adriana Lima flag waving was slowed down into 5 hours of slow mo footage and released as the teaser. In fact, I'd pretty much decided I was going to hate it. Part of me thought - why bother watching?

However I was pleasantly surprised and happily wrong - Kia's spot is everything you want from a Super Bowl ad - it's wildly over the top and slightly insane. 
Adriana Lima isn't the only draw card either - Kia managed to pack in rhino riding, a giant subway, kickboxing... oh and Motley Crue!  

Super Bowl is about advertising - an open letter to Sky

Dear Sky TV, 

I am the person your advertisers dream of. I love ads, I blog about ads, tell my friends about ads. But most importantly - I buy things I see on ads. Truth be told, I pay more attention to advertisements than your programming.  

So you can imagine the gravity of my disappointment then when the Super Bowl, the sporting advertising event of the year, was streamed live without these iconic ads. Instead we had to watch the same rehashed ESPN highlights clip every ad break. Super Bowl and advertising go hand in hand, surly we miss the full experience and a touch of the magic without these ads.

But do not fear the internet has come to my rescue and I have been able to view the ads post game. Hopefully next year New Zealand can get the full Super Bowl experience - ads and all. 

Kind Regards, 

Ad Obsessed 

P.S Sky's own TV ads are awesome - keep up that good work!

Here's the reply from Sky - sounds like I need to tackle ESPN on this - surely there's a way! 

5 February 2012

Shapes - Feed the manchild

Loving these new commercials by Y&R for Arnott's Shapes Roadies - nice use a green screen, traditional Kiwi holiday road culture and man children for a fresh approach on the manvertising trend.  

Which one is your favourite? 

27 January 2012

Fancy an extra day of summer?

Fresh Up National Petition 

We all know that summer in New Zealand can be a bit on the rubbish side - I wore tights and boots to work today! Playing up to the topic/compliant of the moment Fresh Up has taken a a fun approach to this ongoing problem - creating a petition to lobby for an extra day of summer. Visitors are asked to sign the petition and share what they'd do with an extra day of summer on the Fresh Up Facebook page. 

I like this idea but think it's not getting the attention it deserves at the moment - with only 446 fans on the Fresh Up Facebook page it needs some help to spread the word (and some advertising budget). So here's my support - if you think it's a clever idea sign the petition here

But first leave a comment and tell me what you think of the idea!  

18 January 2012

Ice Bar Co's Grown Up Brand Voice

Ice Bar Co ice blocks are designed for and marketed to adults, previously an untapped niche. This interview with Stoppress shows a fair amount of research went into the product, flavors and brand voice. The TV launch late last year was humorous, mature and boutique (promoting recipes developed by chefs even though they're part of the giant Fonterra family). The ads won the November round of Colmar Brunton's Ad Impact Awards and can be viewed here.

To continue building the brand it is vital that the personality created in TV advertising is used as effectively across other media. So far it seems like they're doing a great job in this regard. For example they're currently helping grown-ups keep their Ice Bar's safe by giving away free 'frozen pea packet camouflage systems'. The idea is simple - hide your Ice Bar Co ice blocks in the frozen peas bag and keep them safe from 'curious children and greedy flatmates".   

15 January 2012

Creative Sunday Paper Advertising

When I read the Sunday papers I'm usually reading the ads and the articles equally - that's a true advertising geek for you! Anyway here's some kudos to a couple of creative print ads that appeared in today's Sunday Star Times newspaper (excuse the iPhone photos!)...

8 January 2012

29 Ways To Stay Creative

This lovely poster lists some simple ways of keeping your creativity mojo going. It seemed appropriate as I head back to work tomorrow. It was sourced from Jay Mug - a great design and advertising blog that is a real joy to follow.