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


12 December 2013

Presents for the advertising geek in your life

With Christmas closing in quickly here's a few gift ideas for the advertising person in your life. Given that several of my family members are subscribed to this blog I must also add a caveat - this is not a xmas hint list! I'm lucky enough to have been given a few of these items already this year. 

1. Extra battery life

Advertising people tend to be addicted to social media and inseparable from their smartphone. Make sure they never have to endure a moment without checking the latest status update or what's being shared about their brand with a Mophie Juice Pack. It's a slim phone case that is also an extra battery. 

More ideas after the jump! 

29 November 2013

Mother Earth Uses Taxi Sampling For Product Launch

Overseas it is commonplace for cabs to have small TVs installed to play advertising on a loop. However in New Zealand taxi advertising hasn't reached that level... yet. Cabs frequently have advertising signage on the outside but this was the first example I had seen inside the car. 

The signage caught my eye poorly due to it's novelty factor. What was really clever was that the cab the driver also offered me a product sample. Having just jumped off an early morning flight and having skipped breakfast I was actually pretty pleased to accept it. If I hadn't seen the advertising my reaction may have differed. Accepting food from strangers isn't something I make a habit of. What's even better was the sample tasted great and I'm planning to purchase as a result. Honestly, I wouldn't have looked twice at the product on the supermarket shelf. 

The targeting of time poor business travellers during the morning was spot on. Well done Mother Earth! 

28 November 2013

Auckland Airport Through Ad Geek Eyes

For most people an airport consists of check in, security, gates and planes. However, this is a couple of snaps of a recent trip through Auckland Airport. The opportunity to market to higher income business people seems to inspire more creative advertising. Advertising is often the only part of an airport that changes regularly so brands can make an impact by interrupting the familiar landscape of frequent travellers. 

The following brands have done a great job by ulitising unconventional spaces for their advertising messages. Auckland Airport is doing a great job of working with brands and maximising the possibilities for advertising space to be sold. 

Do you have any unusual places you find advertising inspiration? I would love to hear them! 

BMW - X5 4WD  

This image is from BMW New Zealand's Facebook page as it's far better than the distance shot I took
Click read more for other photos.

23 November 2013

Digital Billboard Interacts with Passing Planes

Installed in London's Piccadilly Circus this digital billboard by British Airways interacts with passing planes. According to British Airways it is designed to remind us how magical flying is from the perspective of children.  

According to The Drum the billboard uses "custom-built surveillance technology" to track incoming BA aircraft, prompting the screen to display a child pointing directly at the plane as it passes overhead. The text reveals the flight number and origin/destination, along with a custom message, such as the lowest fare for that route or the current weather where that plane is headed. 

“This is a first, not just for British Airways but for UK advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them. 
We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be.” 
Abigail Comber, British Airways’ Head of Marketing

It's a clever combination of technology and advertising that creates a sense of amazement and wonder. 

Do you think this is the future of billboard advertising or a one off success? 

9 October 2013

Should movies and advertising really mix?

We've become familiar with brands slipping product placements into movies, mixing brand names into our favourite characters lives. When done in a subtle and logical way we're usually accepting of this practice. Lately I'ved a new trend that leaves me wondering how close should entertainment and advertising mix. Both Anchorman 2 and Super Returns have partnered with brands to release advertising campaign which also act as movie trailers. 

Essentially these are ads for movies inside ads for products. I'm assuming it allows movie promoters to push their new releases at a reduced cost - but could this negatively affect a movie release? Do you risk your audience tiring of your lead character before the movie even hits cinemas? And does your opinion of that character change when they become associated with a brand?

How the movie name or characters are used will determine the resulting impact. While I think the following adverts work well, the approach should be used sparely by promoters. It won't always work. And it may just alienate your audience.  

Take a look at these examples and then leave a comment letting me know if you are more or less likely to watch these movies? 

1. Ron Burgundy Sells Cars 

See more Ron Sells Cars Ads on the Dodge Youtube channel.

2. Superman Returns for Carls Jr  

Thankfully Carl Jr choose to have Superman as a background character rather than actually holding a burger! Maybe the promoters knew that would be a step too far.

How did these ads affect your desire to see Anchorman 2 and Superman Returns?

26 September 2013

Make Me Famous! Attention Grabbing Personal Marketing

There's something about humans that makes us love seeing our own names in print. It makes us feel special. Noticed and appreciated. 

My attention was grabbed by NZ Marketing's personalised cover:   

Here's some other examples:  

1. Nutella Personalised Jar Labels 
A Facebook app allowed Nutella fans in Belgium to personalised their jar labels. A limited number were available each day and they went quick. The promotion was extended due to the begging of Facebook fans. People were encouraged to share photos of their jars on Instagram also - I particularly liked this version: 

Similarly Coke has also released named bottles and cans in several countries:

2. Westfield Valentine's Day Billboards 
This competition to have your Valentine's message made into a billboard resulted in two marriage proposals but I thought this was the best winner:

3. Porsche "Closer than you think" Campaign 
A Toronto Porsche dealership came up a brilliant direct mail concept. While it's not exactly "named" it's certainly personal marketing. They parked a new Porsche outside affluent homes and took a photo then left a flyer saying "It's closer than you think". Resulting in a 32% response rate - even if this is a little creepy it was effective! 

Photo source: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/great-direct-mail-piece-puts-porsche-your-driveway-142230 

30 August 2013

The Nike ad that's not for Nike

At first, I was certain this was a Nike campaign. High production values, beautiful slow moment capture and an intriguing script. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was actually for retailer Rebel Sports (on second watch I spotted the Puma and Adidas clothing). It's quite a departure from the usual weekend sale ads and good to see them layering with a brand building campaign.   

Have a watch and let me know what you think of the new direction, you might even learn a bit about sprinting. I did. 

11 August 2013

Fly Buys Billboard Surprises and Delights

Fly Buys have installed an interactive billboard at Wellington Airport that truly delivers on their brand position "Everytime you swipe, something a little bit good happens". It was great fun watching the genuine surprise and delight as people swiped their Fly Buys card to dispense a blue gumball. The concept captured the attention and imagination of adults and children alike and I'm sure will improve the brand perception for anyone who interacts with it. 

The billboard is an evolution to one that appeared the same time last year which was covered in lollipops. I like that they have added the need to swipe your card which brings the concept back to the brand proposition. 

A similar billboard also appeared in Britomart in Auckland this month and humorously dispensed Jaffas.

And while we're on the subject of Fly Buys I'm also loving their Dream Machine Kombi which is currently touring the country. 

Here's a quick video of the Dream Machine in action - spreading delight across New Zealand. 

To keep up with Fly Buys fun marketing ideas you can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter

25 July 2013

Top of the Pop Ups - Lasting Impressions, Temporary Stores

Pop up stores cater perfectly to our short attention spans and fascination with the new. A pop store can provide a brand access to high foot traffic locations, integration with large events and flexibility from retail leases. When well executed a pop up store can become a powerful brand statement and create a lasting experience for customers. 

Here's a few of my favourite New Zealand pop ups:

Rekorderlig's Winter Lights Bar
This week Rekorderlig launched their "Winter Lights" bar in Auckland. Complete with a pine forest and fireplace the pop up bar cost $400,000 to create and promote.

Emma Rock, Rekorderlig Brand Manager, describes the pop up as "a winter wonderland that delivers an immersive experience and brings our Beautifully Swedish mantra to life” (Stoppress.co.nz). 


27 June 2013

ASB Succeeds On Facebook

ASB's current marketing campaign "Succeed On" is all about celebrating successes, large or small. I think creating a Facebook app that trades "likes" for a lower home loan rate is a success worth celebrating. Other than being a great idea, the execution is pretty envy worthy. 

25 June 2013

Effective Bus Advertising for St John

Some effective bus advertising for St John that made me stop and think. The illustration of a relatable and easy to comprehend statistic makes this a powerful message. 

It's St John's appeal week, you can donate on their website.

What do you think? Does this approach make you more likely to donate?

26 May 2013

Cadbury takes over the Sunday Star Times

It was impossible to miss Cadbury's take over of the Sunday Star Times this morning. A full cover wrap was used to promote the 'news' that you can now buy more chocolate for the same price. An expensive advertising vehicle to say you're now cheaper. The 10% extra applies to Cadbury Dairy Milk blocks which have increased from 200 grams to 220 grams. 
As I'm a Whittaker's fan an extra 20 grams of chocolate (or as Cadbury would say "10% extra joy") won't change my purchasing habits. The headline does give the overall impression all Cadbury's chocolate is now better value. Cadbury's 220 grams is still smaller than Whittaker's 250 grams, but price-wise Whittaker's has always been more expensive. I've always seen price as a reflection of quality, which is obviously key when it comes to chocolate!   
That said the newspaper takeover was eye catching and the current imagery has a nice "Charlie and Chocolate Factory" whimsy. It clearly got my attention... I'm yet to get past the first page of the paper.   

I'm keen to hear - what do you think of this advertising? 

Front page of the Sunday Star Times (More pictures after the jump)

10 March 2013

Do teasers set your brand up for failure?

Recently a few NZ brands have been spending large on teaser advertising. Designed to create suspense, intrigue and of course hype - the teaser is a difficult and risky move. With social media making "buzz" a bigger part of product launches, brands hope to generate extra momentum by making their teaser a talking point. 

One of the biggest teaser campaigns we've seen in NZ was BNZ's Good with Money campaign. The advertiser was kept anonymous for a month before the bank was revealed. Almost everyone had an opinion on who was behind the billboards and TV ads. From an earned media point of view it was a success, it even inspired a Twitter troll and spawned multiple news articles. After the reveal BNZ's chief marketing officer Craig Herbison said  
"...it wasn't undertaken to tease anything about the bank. It was about starting a conversation." 
So with that in mind BNZ views the teaser campaign as a success.   

What's harder to gauge is what happened after the reveal. Were consumers pleasantly surprised or disappointed that a bank was behind the campaign? Has BNZ been able to live up to expectations and continue money conversations now that the advertising hype has faded? And the big question - would the money invested in the teasers been better spent on branded advertising? 

While the entertainment and technology industries use teasers successfully on the whole teaser campaigns can set a brand up for failure. The question has to be asked - is it really worth the wait? 
A teaser campaign requires a substantial investment in promoting the unknown. The theory being that the mystery and excitement created attracts a greater level of interest in your news. This is the approach Domino's NZ is taking - with their CEO fronting a national TV campaign to hype up tomorrow's announcement of a "game changer"... 

Teasing your fantastic new product's arrival is one thing but claiming you are revealing a "game changer" is a bold statement. It can't just be a game changer in the eyes of Domino's management or Domino's staff, it has to mean a game changer to the NZ public.

You can pretty safely rule out 'world peace' and 'a cure for cancer' as Domino's "game changer" and a wise bet is it's pizza related. So given these assumptions, will Domino's announcement really constitute a "game changer" for anyone outside their own company? And if you over promise and under deliver, have you done more damage than good in the end? Are you setting your brand up to disappoint your toughest critics - the public?

Twitter already seems a little skeptical of Domino's Game Changer... 

Given that the hashtag #gamechanger also includes tweets about the news that a child was cured of HIV, it's use by Dominos seems a little silly. 

While my expectations of Dominos' #gamechanger are low, I am interested to see whether consumers feel excited or disappointed when all is revealed. Consumers are pretty savvy and if they feel like Domino's is making a big deal over nothing it may just back fire. 

What do you think? Should brand's create teasers or are they just marketing gimmicks? 

10 February 2013

NZ Post QR Code Coffee Cups

It took me a few minutes to realise my takeaway coffee wasn't in it's usual branded cup. On closer inspection I saw it had been taken over by NZ Post's "First Page" campaign...

"First pages are the very beginning. The initial, tentative step of an epic journey. The gateway to another way of thinking, or the portal to a brave new world."
~ Introduction on NZ Post's readwritegrow.co.nz

The campaign include the opening lines from a range of books such as Suzanne Collin's "Hunger Games" and Andre Agassi's autobiography "Open". A QR Code allows the reader access the full first page and then links to book sellers who stock the actual book.

It's a clever idea that caught my eye and makes good use of the contextual environment the audience will view the ad in. It's literally in your face for the time it takes to drink the coffee and you're more likely to scan a QR code on a coffee cup than if you were walking past a billboard or flicking through a magazine. It will be interesting to see if QR codes ever become widely used in New Zealand. According to QRStuff.com - New Zealander's QR code is on the rise but still sits at a measily 0.8% of the population. Wisely NZ Post accounted for this by also including a written weblink on the cup.

Do you scan QR Codes or ignore them?

9 February 2013

Nu Zealund Ad Humour

This cheeky billboard from Ace car rentals made me smile... 

Thanks to Amy (@hellomisspotter) for spotting this gem! 

27 January 2013

Supermarket wars heat up

The NZ supermarket wars have stepped up a notch with Pak'n'Save releasing this TV spot directly comparing shopping prices between one of it's own stores and Countdown.

As many people will know, supermarkets in NZ are part of a duopoly with the three chain owned by two corporations Countdown (Progressive) and Pak'n'Save and New World (Foodstuffs). 

Pak'n'Save's 'Stickman' advertising has always been controversial. Last year offending vegetarians with "meat week" and recently poking fun at Lance Armstrong's doping confessions. This bold ad takes things to a new level and is the first direct mention of the competition. 

It will be interesting to see how Countdown respond to this attack in the coming weeks!

On a side note - I don't think the mix of animation and real life footage works well. And the girl's voice is a bit random until you later realise it's an interview.  

What do you think? Does comparative advertising improve your impression of a brand or detract?