12 Days of Advertising – Day 2

James Polhill – Droga5

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The second guest contributor for the 12 Days of Advertising series is James Polhill. James is a business director at Droga5. He has over eight years experience in client service, working on a number of well known brands including DB Breweries, ASB, Telecom, TVNZ and Hallenstein’s. James’s pick for 2011 a campaign that cleverly walked the advertising line around the 2011 Rugby World Cup… 

Nicole: What was your favorite advertising campaign for 2011?
James: Personally, I don’t think 2011 has been a great year for New Zealand creatively. 
Sure there has been the odd ‘good’ piece of work, but where are the ‘great’ pieces of kiwi work? Here’s hoping Santa brings a few more lions & pencils in 2012! 
My favourite advertising/marketing campaign is the Steinlager ‘We Believe’ campaign. 
It’s creatively sound & more importantly strategically brilliant! And with over 3,000,000 ‘white cans’ sold and the trademark out performing Heineken in the fierce grocery channel it clearly worked (ref: Colmar Brunton).
The communications were well crafted (kudos to Toby, the team at DDB & Weta Digital) and provided a perfect example of how a brand can associate itself with a global tournament without being accused of ambush marketing (take that IRB).

Steinlager “We Believe” TVC
 


Nicole: Why was the Steinlager ‘Believe’ campaign your pick?
James: The Steinlager/All Blacks relationship dates back to the year before the successful ’87 world cup (and coincidentally is the longest standing sponsor). This year marked 25 years of unconditional support. To celebrate the brewery brought back the iconic white cans – stirring memories for New Zealanders; both on and off the field.
The client/agency team took on all the IRB legislation and won in my opinion. They tiptoed around legalities nicely; not using ‘hero’s of the young’ to promote alcohol & blurred the boundaries of the Major Events Management Act (protecting heavyweight sponsors from being undermined by unauthorised commercial exploitations or ambush marketing).
Nicole: Some examples of how Steinlager ‘tiptoed’ around legalisation
From an outsiders perspective it has been successful; as mentioned 3,000,000+ white cans sold, the trademark outperforming Heineken in grocery, solid comms platform built/maintained & their social strategy was sound (high engagement on Facebook/Twitter & the virtual mantel was a nice touch with great consumer engagement).
What can we learn from this? The client had balls and wasn’t afraid to take on a global giants (in both Heineken & Bernard Lapasset). Well done to the team at Steinlager & Lion Breweries.

We believed 
Nicole: This 15 second spot Steinlager released when the cup was won (rumor goes that belief wasn’t 100% though – an alternative was filmed to account for the ‘worst case’ outcome) 



Trends for 2012 

Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012? 
James: Firstly, it was encouraging to hear @ddroga talk last week on Facebook Live on how social is impacting the advertising industry. I expect to see (and hope) more brands deepen their engagement with the consumer in a true social sense – move from push comms, to true pull comms where consumers become true advocates of the brand (e.g. wanting to share more, wanting to participate more & deepen their engagement). No matter how big or small, every brand can now be a true contender – so here’s to kiwi brands pushing their social strategies & moving away from fickle ‘like’ campaigns.
Secondly, I expect to see more investment in ‘true integration’ beyond communications – that is, systems that deliver brand promises & give real meaning based on human needs. For example, Apple has evolved from a computer company to a music retailer, to a phone maker, to a technology giant. They have digitally connected people’s lives across platforms and devices to enable the brand to play a part in every area of a person’s life (not just make ads). Much easier said than done, but when you think about it – there are endless opportunities for other brands to follow suit.

Thirdly, I expect to see continued growth in portable web – that is, creating pieces of content, tools or services that can be accessed across any device at any time. These services/tools will continue to be more meaningful & useful in the everyday lives of consumers (e.g. @ASBBank Virtual Branch, plus both the @SkyNZ and @TradeMe iPhone apps).
Nicole: What do you expect (or hope) to see less of in 2012?
James: I hope to see less tactical activity that isn’t true or relevant to the role a brand plays in our lives. From irrelevant Facebook promotions to social conversations about topical news without any tie to why the brand is talking about it. Brands talk about being authentic but most still aren’t! 

To quote @ddroga ‘brands must start with something grounded in the everyday’ and that will deliver them the best authentic, sincere & strategic solution.

What do you think? Did brands miss the mark in 2011 by failing to be relevant on social media?

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