April’s top five most -read stories
Brands unleash April Fools’ Day trickery They’ve got the whole bridge in their hands: 2degrees and Special Group get set to light up Auckland Axis 2015: DDB named agency of the year, Clemenger’s ‘Mistakes’ nabs Grand Axis Sky brings Game of Thrones back to Aotea Square, asks Kiwis to choose between Iron Throne and British Monarchy Read a magazine, nobody die: Bauer and FCB attempt to breathe life into Woman’s Day —and help modern women cope—with bold $1.5 million campaign
Colenso BBDO and Google collaborated to develop Found, an app that assists dog owners in finding their lost pets by sending out customised ‘lost dog’ ads via the search engine’s ad network as well as push notifications to those signed in. It’s a clever digital solution to a problem that previously had dog owners posting sheets of paper to lampposts. To put the Kiwi spotlight on the 6.5 million people who have been displaced in Syria due to the ongoing civil war, the NZ Herald and World Vision combined to produce a content-led campaign called the ‘Forgotten Millions’, which ultimately raised more than $300,000 for those in need. Burger King took the moral high ground and threw the toys out of its kids’ meals as part of an “ongoing commitment to the Advertising Standards Authority’s children’s code for advertising food”. Kath Dewar, the managing director of ethical marketing services company Goodsense, welcomed the move and sees it as an opportunity for Burger King to position itself as a leader in the category. Neon promised a simulcast stream of the premiere episode of season five of Game of Thrones. Set to start at 1.30pm, the stream failed and didn’t get going until 3.30pm—by which time the promise of a simulcast had turned into a Twitter nightmare for Sky. MediaWorks confirmed that Campbell Live was under review due to low ratings, causing Kiwi viewers to sign online petitions, jump on social media soapboxes and actually tune in to watch the show for a change. It’s yet to be determined whether the show will be cancelled, but the fact that MediaWorks is reviewing the time slot illustrates that legacy alone does not guarantee safety from the axe. Across the ditch, Woolworths’ attempt to attach its brand to Anzac Day backfired when the company was accused of exploiting Anzac heritage for commercial gain largely due to the “Fresh in our memories slogan”. Social media users then hijacked the campaign imagery and produced a flurry of inappropriate memes, leading Woolworths to pull the initiative entirely. But the online damage had already been done, and this once again served as reminder of the fine line that commercial entities tread when latching onto good causes.
ex-creative director at Media Design School and author:
“When I saw this ad it made me: A) want to see the exhibition. B) be pissed off it’s in Wellington. And C) want to go to Wellington to see the it, flying Air New Zealand, of course. Don’t let the fact that the creatives here had to use existing footage disguise the fact that this is a well-crafted, entertaining and informative piece of work. A cheap as chips production I’d be happy to have done myself … I would also argue that there is plenty of insight in this because at any given time Air New Zealand, like all airlines, is a reflection of that time.”
associate creative director at Y&R NZ:
“I’m pretty sure this was about Air New Zealand announcing that they’re bringing back whole lobster as a meal option. Bon appetite?”
general marketing manager at Mitre
“If you’ve got it then spend it. The idea to leverage the brand further into the national psyche and perhaps introduce a whole new generation to it was well achieved and even if you don’t head to Te Papa to see the exhibition, Air New Zealand’s brand equity is getting further absorbed into your own being through the use of heritage footage. Air New Zealand was and is us.”
Agency: BrandWorld Client company: Cerebos Greggs Brand: Orb Coffee Media: TV, social media Campaign Description: “Capturing the art of really great coffee takes an artist. BrandWorld partnered with Kiwi artist-actor Dwayne Cameron to showcase Orb Coffee’s amazing award wins and to let consumers know they can now buy Orb coffee themselves from their supermarket. In just 30 seconds and a few beautiful brush strokes on BrandWorld’s Discover platform.”
Agency: The Goat Farm Ltd Client company: Invivo Wines Brand: Invivo Media: TV, outdoor, online Campaign Description: “After last year’s campaign helped land Graham Norton as a shareholder (and winemaker!), Invivo wanted to open winery ownership up to everyday Kiwis. A Snowball Effect crowd equity campaign supported by social, PR and billboards helped #InvestInvivo crush its $500,000 target and set a new New Zealand record at $2 million.” Agency: Joy Client company: Hallenstein Glassons Brand: Glassons Media: TV Campaign Description: “Glassons is an institution in Australia and New Zealand, but there was a real danger of losing its identity in a market saturated with international competitor brands. We needed to remind consumers that Glassons isn’t just another faceless corporation in the crowd. Glassons isn’t like everyone else. They’re the locals that made it. They embody the fighting spirit of New Zealand and Australian women everywhere. They’re different, proud and defiant. We felt the best way to restore Glassons’ homegrown, strong image was with different, proud and decidedly defiant advertising. And a little less (or more) bull… depending on how you look at it.” Agency: Sugar & Partners Client company: Daikin Australia & New Zealand Brand: Daikin Media: TV
HW: I think that other products like fast food and soft drinks are products that people consume as part of their everyday diet. When consumers start to replace water with soft drinks, this is where the problem arises. But with chocolate it’s something you have on the odd occasion as a treat. There are times when a birthday cake is allowed or a glass of Champagne. It’s about a sense of occasion. PP: We’re the only company in New Zealand that does the whole manufacturing process from bean to bar: importing the cocoa beans, roasting them, refining them, and doing the whole nine yards until the final product. We could import cocoa liquor, but we don’t do that because we want to maintain the quality. Andrew and Brian have built up a huge knowledge in terms of where to source the best ingredients from, be it cocoa, almonds or macadamias. HW: I just had a bit of look today and spoke to our media strategist. Going back five years the split was 90-10. That’s 90 percent in traditional media and ten percent in digital. And now the split is 60-40, so 60 percent in traditional and 40 percent in digital. And that shift toward digital is likely to continue. PP: Most of this digital spend goes toward Facebook, YouTube and Google, but television is still very important for us. The emotional values of a brand are important, and I think TV is still very successful in communicating these to consumers. PP: This industry is very competitive, but we have a clear strategy that has been very successful for us over the past ten years and that has seen our market share grow. We will continue that, but the competition isn’t going to go away. That’s why we’re still completely focused on being the best, and that’s what we work towards. We have a relatively small group of very hardworking and smart people working towards that. HW: In terms of a small team of people, we also have very strong relationships with our advertising, media and sales agencies. These are all long-term relationships that have contributed to the success. PP: We currently use Assignment Group for our creative work, MBM is our media agency and Tell works on the digital side. Creatives Howard Greive, John Plimmer and Chris Bleakley have worked with the business since the mid 90s—at different agencies, but the people are still the same. [This is also the case] for Matt Bale who drives the media at MBM. PP: In terms of the brand, we’ve got significant plans to continue building the brand, but anything we do will always be measured against whether it’s adding to the quality of the brand and the quality of the product. That is always our focus. PP: I think pressure is a good thing. It gets the adrenaline running. And we’re lucky in that everyone that currently works on the Whittaker’s brand really enjoys it. I don’t think we would be successful if we didn’t enjoy what we do. And we enjoy what we do and we will continue to do that. HW: Fortunately, in chocolate-making, it is very vast and there are many directions we could go in. There are always new ideas coming to the table from marketing, export, the directors, and so on. Everyone is always very forthcoming with new ideas. So, we’re stuck in terms of innovation. It’s generally a question of how we’re going to do it. That’s really exciting and it gets everyone working toward the goal. PP: The short answer is ‘yes’. And the next one is: ‘I can’t tell you what they are’ … We do have something coming and when it’s released, we’ll send you [ NZ Marketing] samples of it … Strangely enough, we have the agency outside the meeting room at the moment and they’re going to present the next campaign for us.
Of course, having a desire to do world-class work is a lot different than actually doing it. But Bradbourne quickly reels off a list of campaigns that he believes back its claim up: Orcon’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning ‘Iggy Pop’ campaign; the giant duck to launch MediaWorks’ channel Four; ‘The Smirnoff Night Project’ and #PurePotential campaign; Unitec’s documentary series ‘Change Starts Here’ and the follow-up ‘We make the People who make it’; and 2degrees’ ‘Play the Bridge’.
As a result of all this work—and the concerted effort to raise its profile by entering and winning awards for it—it attracted plenty of attention, both here and overseas, and from clients and staff. And it developed a reputation as one of the region’s hottest new agencies, becoming the first independent agency to win NBR Agency of the Year and the first independent agency to dominate Axis. But that creative reputation wasn’t always a good thing in the early days.
“We were getting meetings with clients who said ‘we love your work but we think you’re too creative for us’,” says Bradbourne.
He felt that was an inaccurate perception and he says its early work was “really commercially mature”, pointing to the Green Party campaign and the Orcon work, which both won multiple Effies. But perception is nine tenths of the brand. And, generally speaking, the bigger an agency gets—and the bigger the clients it works with—the better its systems and processes need to be. So it worked really hard on promoting its strategic thinking and bolstering its account service capabilities.
Redwood’s experience has certainly helped in that regard, and he’s also helped the agency navigate the often choppy seas of running a booming business (it was rated New Zealand’s 16th fastest-growing company in 2011’s Deloitte Fast 50). But whether it’s DDB, BBH, TBWA, BBDO or any other advertising acronym, he says all of the great agency brands have at least one creative partner in their name. Special has three and at its heart, it is still creatively obsessed, which was another reason he was confident about buying in.
“As the Ad Contrarian says, ‘creative people make the ads, everyone else just makes the arrangements.’”
Now the agency has 30 clients, including 2degrees, NZTE, AA Insurance, TSB and Smirnoff. And it’s in a fairly enviable position.
“We’ve had clients come to us because they’ve seen some of our innovative work but, if it’s been the right thing to do for their business, we’ve actually had to work quite hard to sell them a traditional advertising solution,” says Redwood. “And that still works when it’s done well.” Redwood says the lack of hierarchy allows “anyone to get access to anyone immediately, rather than having to wait a week to get a meeting with the creative director in a larger agency” and that’s an appealing part of working for and with a smaller independent agency. But that brings us to the old chestnut of the senior members of a fast growing agency not being able to maintain the connection to clients that sold them »
of 64 percent each year, revenue has increased by an average of 67 percent each year and profit before tax has increased by an average of 58 percent each year.” As with any business, there are certain watershed moments that take it to the next level. Special Group has had a few of them. But winning 2degrees against the incumbent Whybin/TBWA, Colenso BBDO and similarly successful indie Barnes Catmur was one of them and sent a signal that it was now a genuine threat to the big boys.
Malcolm Phillipps, 2degrees’ chief marketing officer, says he liked a lot of the work Special had done for other clients. And despite being known for its creativity, he says it was the strategy and planning offer that really impressed him.
Special also has a broad and compelling range of skills, with a particular specialty in design. Not too many agencies have been able to succeed at both these disciplines and they believe ad campaigns made by agencies without a design sensibility often don’t have the aesthetic appeal or focus on user-experience, while design agencies don’t tend to communicate quite as effectively with people like great advertising can.
“We win a lot of clients for our advertising and a lot of clients for design. They buy the story,” says Bradbourne. “They know the days of solving every marketing problem with an ad are long gone. So we can think about things like brand experience, product design, packaging design, retail experience, all the way through to an ad. Design helps because we look at the whole customer experience.”
And with Phillipps admitting the changes to media consumption have decreased the power of TV, which it used so effectively to launch the brand, he says you need to change your approach to marketing. And, as evidenced by the ‘Play the Bridge’ campaign, which brought its new plans, its connection to Google Play and its desire to be seen as more than just a challenger brand into one idea, he says that’s something Special has been able to do. When Cannes Lions chairman Terry Savage visited New Zealand a few years back, he showed a few clips of senior clients advocating for creativity, including Diageo’s Andy Fennell, who said the company believes “you sell more at higher prices if you’re creative”.
James Hurman explored this idea in his book, The Case For Creativity, and discussed research by Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall that tracked the performance of Cannes Lions’ Advertiser of The Year winners like P&G, Nike, Volkswagen, Swatch and Honda during the lead-up to their success. And they all enjoyed their highest share price when they were producing their most creative work.
Lindsey Evans, who ran the Campaign Palace, Happy Soldiers and TBWA London before becoming founding partner and chief executive of Special Group Australia, says the agency’s goal is to “remove the barriers between magic, logic and decency”. And she thinks those three things can co-exist.
“Often you can have the magic without the logic,” she says. “[That philosophy] feels really true to what they’re doing in New Zealand and how we behave. And the same goes for clients.”
Bradbourne believes smart clients understand this concept entirely. And he says there’s no client that wouldn’t benefit from a dose of creativity.
“You can do exceptional work on any big brand. You just need the right people with the right attitude working on it.”
2degrees understands its importance. Unlike its bigger competitors, Phillipps says its budget is comparatively small. So it needs its campaigns to work harder. And Bradbourne says the agency’s origins mean it knows “how to make smaller budgets do extraordinary things”.
“The Smirnoff Instagram campaign was done on a limited budget, but it’s done great things for sales. Every year in our existence you’ll see campaigns like that. Maybe it comes down to the leanness of our structure, but our belief is that every single brief is an opportunity to do extraordinary work for a client.”
But just because it can work with small budgets, it doesn’t mean Special classifies itself as a cheap option.
“We’re definitely not cheaper than the big agencies,” says Redwood.
Bradbourne: “We think we offer great value. We know what agency rate cards around town and we’re in that band, but we offer some exceptional people for a similar price to average people.” It hasn’t all been beer and skittles, of course. Agency life is full of failed experiments, ups and downs and comings and goings. But Bradbourne says it never
the global network, which isn’t surprising given the agency’s impressive recent track record. But it’s fair to say the emphasis will always be on fighting fires in the homeland.
But because they’re shareholders, Bradbourne says there is an incentive to support them and work on Australian business—and pitches—where appropriate. It even has a financial agreement called the ‘play pool’ where they put a certain amount of time aside to help each other. Although, as the “standing army” is in New Zealand, there hasn’t been quite as much assistance flowing in the opposite direction.
So has the fact that the partners’ attention has been elsewhere alienated any New Zealand clients? Redwood doesn’t believe so. In fact, just as some of its staff have been working over in Australia, Redwood says some of the Australian heavy hitters have been able to bring benefits to New Zealand. Phillipps agrees and says it has had a presentation from Heyde on the creation of O2’s brilliant ‘Be More Dog’ campaign. While Australia and New Zealand both have stellar creative reputations and generally perform well in international advertising awards, Bradbourne says there hasn’t been much creative excitement in the Australian agency market since Droga5 and The Monkeys started up almost ten years ago. In the early days, Special entered a number of awards in Australia, largely in an effort to attract staff but also with an eye on future expansion, and it won B&T’s emerging agency of the year title in 2011. So it already had a profile there. But they say they’ve been surprised by the excitement over their arrival. And now, when pitch doctors are asked by clients to add a wildcard to the list, Bradbourne says Special is filling that role.
All advertising is a leap of faith. But for an established brand like Qantas, which is currently going through a major turnaround and looking to cement its future brand strategy, signing up with an agency less than one year old seems like a pretty big one. So how did it happen?
“Fundamentally, what it comes down to is talent, fit, culture and track record,” says Bradbourne. “Have they got the smartest people in the industry working on it, do they believe in the passion, and if all those boxes are ticked, that’s who you have to go for.”
Evans says Australia is still a very competitive market so it certainly didn’t just walk in. It had to prove itself.
“All the senior partners have worked all over the world on big global brands,” she says. “Matty and Dave could be ECDs anywhere in the world. It’s not easy, but we’re all hands on and we’re all solving clients’ business problems … A lot of agencies get so big it’s hard to be agile and nimble, so they organise around departments and advertising briefs rather than problems and ideas. They’re encumbered by legacy systems and structure.”
Bradbourne says it has tried to remove those layers and, as a result, he believes they have created a highly successful model. He says it’s also an enjoyable place to work and while the early stages were generally about looking out, or looking towards the next deadline, it has started to look in a bit more now and try to maintain the culture.
“[In New Zealand] we all have a communal Friday lunch and sit on the steps outside [the Freeman’s Bay office].” And Redwood says they’ve even had boot camps on those same steps.
“Being inside is a relief after that.” So can that culture be exported? Bradbourne admits it’s far beyond the four New Zealand partners. But Redwood says it looks to micronetworks like Wieden + Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein and BBH as examples of agencies that were able to retain their independence for a couple of decades, have always done great creative work and seemed to have been able to replicate their cultures in other markets. Evans adds Droga5 and, in its heyday, Naked to that list, although, as the failure of the New Zealand arm of Droga5 showed, success in other markets is certainly not a given.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re residing,” Evans says. “If you’re not constrained by silos and individual P and Ls and if you’ve got a genuinely flexible model and allow talent to be liquid and move around, it will all come back to talent and timing. That’s what has to drive it. And I think the way New Zealand guys have set up Sydney is testament to that. You’ve got to find the best local partners and empower them so they can call it their own. That’s the main thing. I don’t think you can just open an office and put your name on the door.”
Bradbourne and Redwood didn’t want to discuss future plans in detail, but it has had some discussions with people in other markets and the trade winds appear to be blowing them in the direction of the West Coast of the US and Europe. And, as they’ve been doing for the past seven years, they’re backing themselves. “Why couldn’t an office in Auckland or Sydney work on the global campaign for Adidas, Nike or Stella Artois? We can, we could and it would probably be, undoubtedly in my opinion, better than what they’re doing now.”
I look forward to receiving a few more suggestions for story angles when that happens.
fantastic work for them across their different divisions, from retail campaigns and brand development through to their annual reports.”
As a creative, Libby thrives on this project diversity and says that the agency prides itself on being able to deliver effective work throughout the creative cycle.
“We build brands so our work varies from identity creation and rebrands through to advertising, packaging and digital solutions,” she says.
She points to Harvest Oil as an example, saying that the agency led the brand’s process from packaging development through to launching their new range of premium oils via a nationwide campaign. And she adds that the agency is able to deliver at every stage of the brand journey because of the team’s focus on ensuring a consistent story is told no matter where a brand and customer come into contact with each other.
“We’re intentionally recruiting creatives who have broad skill sets, are great storytellers but have different backgrounds. So we can provide clients with a range of concepts that address their brief from a variety of angles.” Given the quality of work produced for these clients among others, the creative agency is catching the eye of other high calibre players in the industry at a rapid pace, such as the AA, Stirling Sports and TOWER Insurance.
“We were recently asked to pitch for a body of work for the AA to relaunch their Vehicle Inspections product,” says Ben. “To win the job against some large agencies was a great way of reinforcing to us that our model is attractive to clients and the resulting campaign is something we’re really proud of.”
Libby points out that many new clients are drawn to the core principles of the agency.
“We have clients coming to us saying that they’re deliberately seeking a smaller agency for its fresh ideas and nimbleness. They’ve been working with bigger agencies and they’re getting to the end of that relationship”
And this approach is also proving lucrative. As the agency clocked in its second full year of business, it doubled its year-on-year revenue. And while this is impressive, neither founding partners are ready to slow down and rest on their laurels.
“For us, it’s about continuing the journey that we’ve started,” Ben explains. “It’s about becoming New Zealand’s most well-regarded independent agency. To continue on our growth trajectory over the next 12 months without sacrificing our core principles.”
And given how far the agency has already come in such a short space of time, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see them achieving just that by the end of this year.
many as 20 different reports coming through as part of a campaign. It’s punishing.”
For this reason, a slew of companies have entered the market, offering automation technology capable of informing decisions and expediting previously arduous processes. And as the programmatic market continues to grow (it is still just a sliver of the total online ad spend, here and around the world, but it accounted for nine percent or $3 million of the total $31.4 million spent on online display in the third quarter of 2014 and, according to SMI data, in 2014 in Australia it accounted for just shy of 14 percent of all digital dollars), it’s creating a technology arms race. In the last two years, Twitter has acquired MoPub for $350 million, Facebook has picked up LiveRail for $500 million, Yahoo forked out $640 million for BrightRoll and Google bought Adometry for an undisclosed sum. And all of them indicate that the quality of the ad tech will play a major role in the future.
At its simplest programmatic ad technology gives the user a central control system through which online campaigns can be bought, sold, monitored, modified and measured, instantly and remotely.
As explained by AdRoll’s APAC marketing manager Cat Prestipino: “Brands can access inventory from over 200 different exchanges and supply sources, including on mobile and tablet, as well as Facebook and Twitter all through the single AdRoll interface. They can see exactly where their ads were shown, how much they paid for them and what the ROI for that campaign is. Our customers also have complete control to edit their campaigns and to pull reports at a moment’s notice.” In most industries—and life in general—the promise of automation is treated with at least some level of mistrust. And this is also the case with programmatic ad buying.
The Magazine Publishers Association chair and Bauer chief executive Paul Dykzeul has previously criticised programmatic, saying it puts advertisers everywhere and nowhere at the same time, in reference to the fact that ad buying decisions are often made in terms of audiences no matter what sites they might be visiting.
“This can be true if the approach of the trading desk is to simply optimise spend to the cheapest inventory while ignoring the environment that the ads are running in,” says Andy Wylie, the group general manager of advertising operations at NZME. “However, local media owners are increasingly making quality inventory available via programmatic channels, which allows marketers to influence the percentage of their budget that is delivered on quality local sites.”
Internationally, the Guardian, CNN, the Financial Times, Reuters and The Economist are attempting to circumvent the problem of low-quality inventory—and compete against the networks—by forming the Pangea Alliance, which allows clients to purchase ads programmatically that run across these major publishing brands.
“The Pangea alliance offers marketers an efficient way to reach high quality audience in trusted environments at scale,” says Wylie. “These factors may result in media buyers »
“you can be absolutely sure you’re serving an advert to the right person, on the right device, in the right format, at the right time, but if the creative doesn’t appeal to them, they still aren’t going to engage with your brand.” Furtado says that by 2017, programmatic is expected to be the only way media is bought in advanced markets. That seems unlikely, but it’s clear the influence of ad tech is only going to increase over the next few years.
As things stand, media owners are becoming increasingly comfortable using in-house ad tech (NZME works very closely with digital sales house Adhub) and they’re also regularly selling digital native advertising products directly to clients, bypassing media agencies in many instances. So, if programmatic ad buying is set to continue growing and if the technology becomes more user-friendly, then does this threaten the longevity of media agencies and the sales people that facilitate communication with them?
Media agencies aren’t just sitting around and waiting to find out what happens. They are quickly positioning themselves as programmatic experts by investing in staff and technology aligned with the changing industry. They are also in a good position because clients continue to rely on media agencies to manage the buying process for them.
“Globally, we’ve seen clients taking technology in-house, but in most instances they get close to the technology, but they get their agencies to manage it for them,” says Smith.
Baker doesn’t think media agencies are facing obsolescence either, saying that they will continue to play a vital role in the industry because “creativity and strategy can’t be programmed” and someone will still need to lead these responsibilities.
However, some would argue against this. In the stock market, complex algorithms are already being used to effect trades automatically and it isn’t far-fetched for this to start becoming more common in an ad-buying context.
Also, late last year, Google Creative Lab’s Tom Uglow told NZ Marketing that creation is simply a “very, very complicated pattern recognition algorithm” and we’re now getting to the phase in history where AIs are stepping close to the ability to intuit or create.
In response to this, Baker jokes: “The next thing you will be suggesting is algorithms creating editorial content based on big data. Oh, wait ...”
Christie says there are a number of issues behind the lack of mobile advertising uptake in the Kiwi market, not just the memory of more difficult economic times. There’s also a talent deficit and shortage of New Zealand-specific research, both inevitable results of a small population that leaves us short of people able to guide us to the bleeding edge of mobile advertising practice. “It has made a market that is more hesitant to look at mobile as aggressively as perhaps other markets have—and most of those reasons are perfectly understandable.”
To be fair, New Zealand marketers aren’t alone in their underutilisation of the mobile toolbox. The IAB’s American counterpart released figures comparing percentage of time spent with various media types versus their percentage of advertising spend for 2013—and the results, though perhaps unsurprising for those paying close attention, do serve as a good illustration of the point. Despite consumers spending 20 percent of their time with mobiles, it accounted for only four percent of ad spend. The story is better for the wider internet, which accounted for 25 percent of consumer attention and 22 percent of ad spend (likewise, radio attracted slightly more attention than ad spend). Both print and television, on the other hand, attracted significantly more spend than attention. The effectiveness of banner ads are being questioned. And the same is true of mobile banner ads. Back in 2012, a study by Goldspot showed 50 percent of clicks on static mobile banner ads were accidental, although Google made efforts to address ‘fat finger syndrome’—and ad fraud—by adding an extra step when users clicked around the edges of an ad. This is leading to different solutions, such as rich-media ads or, increasingly, native ads. Companies like Facebook are actually increasing their overall revenue on the strength of mobile ads, largely through sponsored posts and the rapid growth in mobile video consumption. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the social media stalwart actually reduced the amount of mobile ad inventory to create scarcity. Advertising Age reported this move, while controversial internally, forced it to focus on quality over quantity, and enabled it to charge a premium for it. So effectively, it sold less ad space for more money. Mobile ad revenue currently accounts for 69 percent of its total overall revenue, and all indications are that will continue to grow.
The typically low ad spend on mobile (Facebook notwithstanding) in relation to time spent indicates hesitancies about the medium for many of the reasons Christie outlined. Combine that with its relative infancy as a channel and the seemingly lacklustre offering of ad formats, and it’s understandable why marketers might not
Mobile devices aren’t used as much as the desktop internet to complete online purchases (yet) but they are often used to begin the research process, often when out and about. And this is partially why search-related, location-based advertising is so important: businesses need to be able to guide consumers to their points of purchase—digitally or physically—in a location and device-aware way. But that means businesses need to be out in front of consumer desire to search, interact and complete purchases on mobile devices. If an omni-channel approach hasn’t been part of your business’ strategy before now, it’s probably time to reconsider (a change to Google’s algorithm in late April has already punished websites that aren’t mobile-optimised by pushing them down the rankings).
Ellis says businesses that hesitate to implement responsive omni-channel strategies across devices, ones that stay seamless across mobile, desktop and in-store experiences, will lose out. “Your bricks and mortar is becoming more and more dependent on having a mobile experience for your product,” she says. “Because if [customers] are researching online and they can’t find you, then they won’t look for a store. You’re missing out on the foot traffic now as well.”
And a few years down the line, as the Internet Of Things gains a foothold in our daily lives and mobile devices become the equivalent of a remote control for the real world, Ellis says mobile will become less relevant as a device description. She says we’ll talk more about screens than televisions versus tablets, and where to push the content we want to access as and when we want to access it.
“What marketers and businesses really need to consider, as a whole, in a world of connected living is that consumers will ultimately choose the best experience they get—probably starting from a mobile device,” says Ellis. “Everything else is an extension thereof.”
Outdoor had a good year, up from $76 million in 2013 to $83 million last year. That brings it back to the peak experienced during the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
OMANZ says the 9.2 percent year on year growth was generated by a wide selection of advertisers across numerous categories, most notably telecommunications, council and government agencies, grocery, breweries and media. And with an increase in share to 3.5 percent and declines at the top of the table, it is confident it can reach its objective of achieving a total market share of five percent eventually.
Addressed and unaddressed mail were both up by $1 million to $61 million and $54 million respectively. And cinema, the smallest chunk of ad revenue, was also up by $1 million, finishing up with $9 million.
It has been rumoured that the ASA will stop collecting ad spend data from industry bodies as it doesn’t see that as a central role and there are also other sources available, such as SMI and Nielsen’s AIS. So how do the ASA figures compare?
SMI doesn’t claim to capture the entire market and doesn’t factor in direct sales, but it does capture 95 percent of the media agency spend in New Zealand. As such, its overall number is lower than the ASA’s, with its 2014 figures showing a total of $882 million.
This was down 3.7 percent on the same time last year (this compares to a five percent increase in total spend in 2013). But when adjusted for the top ten categories, which make up 71 percent of total spend, it was down by 1.3 percent. And SMI’s global director, analytics, Tristan Masters admits that the decrease in total spend could show a “certain element of spend migrating away” from agencies to direct relationships.
Across all categories, SMI data showed digital in second spot with $179 million for the calendar year 2014, up 16.6 percent or $25.6 million. That was behind TV on $414 million and well ahead of newspapers in third place on $82 million, although Masters points out that some of the digital revenue generated by publishers goes into that digital pot.
Nielsen’s AIS figures are based on ratecard value, which many classify as works of fiction, and it says it uses them more at a brand level. Its 2014 figures totalled $3.36 billion—around $1 billion more than the ASA’s total. That’s up from $3.3 billion in 2013 and $3.2 million in 2012.
connection between campaigns that use multiple channels and the effectiveness of the campaign. Multi-channel campaigns offer advertisers deeper interaction with customers and provide consumer connection through content, interest and passions.
“We know the media landscape has changed, and the relentless focus on volume metrics like readership and circulation provides an overly simplistic and dated measure of today’s campaign performance,” says Fairfax Media NZ marketing director, Campbell Mitchell. “The evaluation model should be based on engagement with customers delivered through a range of channels and effectiveness; the result. It’s not just about a reach number, but that the audience is passionate, engaged and motivated to act.”
Mitchell adds:“Our multi-channel media business provides a quality total audience offering for our advertisers across our products, ensuring they get their message to the right people at the right time—and delivering hard results.”
In addition to media schedules, content plays, event alignment and digital services, sponsored marketing promotions can be incredibly effective in boosting reader engagement in an advertiser’s campaign. Fairfax Media tailors marketing promotions to its customers’ business and campaign objectives ensuring all activity works hard for them and delivers results.
The recent ICC Cricket World Cup campaign is a great example of this multi-channel approach, serving audience needs through up-to-the-minute live coverage, photo galleries, statistics and videos, as well as stories tracking the action on and off field.
In addition to editorial content, there were social elements through Stuff Nation assignments; a school content programme; nationwide media schedule across print (newspapers and magazines) and digital, including cover wraps; and several marketing promotions, including retail promotions and eDMs that drove fan engagement and ticket sales.
In Fairfax Media’s view, it’s not about the effectiveness of traditional versus new media, it’s about the audience. It’s crucial to integrate all available media and innovations to connect with audiences in the way they choose to consume content. Targeting audiences by location, behaviours and interests allows advertisers to get the right stories and brand messages in front of the right people at the right time.
Make it real
In relation to sponsorships, this all means brands must facilitate the fan experience. Their participation must enhance the experience for the audience and in so doing, hopefully earn some love from the fans. That holds true whether the sponsorship plays out at live events, through media, quietly at community gatherings around the country, or via a combination of platforms. So there are really two parts to any good sponsorship: the deal with the sponsored property itself, and how you activate it with the audience.
“What you’re trying to do with a great sponsorship is attach to a property people love and have that love reflected onto you,” says Chris Brown, managing director at Sputnik, a PR agency specialising in amplifying experiential and sponsorship campaigns. “If you do it right and it goes really well, people love you. If you do it poorly you get the opposite of love, which is indifference.” And, occasionally, annoyance for interrupting something special.
Brown says the onus is on brands to “earn” their place as a sponsor, through activation. Take ANZ for example, which Sputnik has worked with on several sponsorship activations. The bank backed the Black Caps (a partnership that dates back to the National Bank days) and sponsored the ICC Cricket World Cup, but that was just one facet of its support. As part of its Dream Big campaign, deserving community cricket clubs were asked to tell their story and a few were selected to get the things they needed in terms of gear, uniforms, spruced up pitches and clubhouses. Watch one or two of the accompanying videos on YouTube and you’ll see genuine emotion and gratitude evident from grant recipients. While each specific grant may not have garnered national media attention, they did attract plenty of local press and social media, especially in rural areas. That’s an approach Brown reckons people appreciated—and thereby earned ANZ the right to be associated with Kiwi cricket. “[Sponsorship is] a portrait painted with a thousand brushstrokes,” he says. “You’ve got to [activate it] with a complex range of activity that proves to the consumers that you have the right to have your logo on a property they love.”
Tui’s Catch a Million campaigns, which offered cash to spectators who caught a clean one-handed six and saw the nation’s stadia filled with orange Tui t-shirts over the past two seasons, have been great examples of a sponsor enhancing the experience for fans. It was a simple idea that captured the imagination of the nation—and the commentators—and it showed why activation is so vital: it works hard to make the investment in a property pay off; it reminds punters why a sponsor deserves to be there; and, in rare cases like this, it takes on a life of its own and gains a fair swag of media attention.
In the past, the general rule of thumb was that brands should dedicate three dollars to activation for every dollar spent on the sponsorship. But some believe that ratio has increased to five or maybe even six to one now. Very few brands announce how much their sponsorships or endorsement deals cost. But to service them, brands are now turning to hybrid PR agencies that amplify the activations on the ground as well as through the paid, owned and earned media model.
Not just sport
Despite Gemba’s internal research showing sports only take up two of the top ten spots on the list of Kiwis’ national passions, twothirds of sponsorship dollars are directed there. So what else is there? Charity and community initiatives can often be successful, again, as long as the sponsorship is engaged in genuinely. So while a bank like ASB has the clout to sponsor a