Category Archives: 12daysofads

12 Days of Advertising – Day 12

Day Twelve: Jasmine Griffin, Whittaker’s

Jasmine accepting the Reader’s Digest award for
Most Trusted Confectionary brand in 2011

Welcome to the final day of the 12 Days of Advertising series! In the war of the chocolate giants we are tied 1 – 1 with guests Jen Corbett and Steve Dimakis, choosing Whittaker’s ‘Swear by the Slab’ and Cadbury’s ‘Share the Joy’ respectively, as their favourite campaigns of 2011. 

To settle the score our final guest is Jasmine Griffin, Brand Manager of Whittaker’s. I first heard Jasmine speak at a digital conference in Auckland earlier this year. I was particularly struck by the way Whittaker’s integrating digital and traditional advertising campaigns. Whittaker’s is a great example of what can be achieved when you have an overall brand strategy – not separate traditional and digital media approaches. 

Growing up Jasmine wanted to be a ballet dancer, while she still dances now, she switched career paths at the last minute and studied Marketing at Victoria University in Wellington. Turning out to be a natural she stayed and achieved First Class Honours. 

Having a sweet tooth she struck it lucky landing the dream job of marketing assistant at Whittaker’s straight from university. It didn’t take long until Jasmine’s skills in digital and branding meant she was promoted to brand manager. She has led the way for Whittaker’s to embrace an integrated social media strategy. 

Don’t forget our Puma giveaway closes 20th December – so leave a comment and tell us what you think to enter! 

The Best of 2011 
Nicole: What was your favourite New Zealand advertising/marketing campaign for 2011?  
Jasmine: While I am just a little bit biased, I would have to say the Whittaker’s “Swear by the Slab” campaign would be my favourite for 2011.

This campaign included our most iconic product, the Peanut Slab, which was first launched in the 1950s in an unwrapped form, and then in its wrapped form in 1984. So it’s been around for a long time! We hadn’t actually done any television advertising for the Peanut Slab in over 10 years.

Our aim was to produce an eye catching campaign that was fun and exciting for the young male audience it was targeted at, and also integrate both online and offline communications seamlessly. We knew that we needed something that would capture this audience effectively (as they tend to have quite high creative wear out rates) so we produced multiple executions to keep the campaign fresh and interesting. 

The creative concept was simple yet effective. Much like a bible in court, you had to ‘Swear by the Slab’ which resulted in some very honest and occasionally awkward situations…there’s nothing better than good honest chocolate right?

We wanted to entertain our audience, give them the chance to participate and be creative, and also create conversations that drive engagement. The television advertising created brand awareness for the campaign and the interactive component that was run through the Whittaker’s Peanut Slab Facebook page provided an excellent platform for engaging fans with the Whittaker’s brand. To watch the montage of ‘Swear by the Slab’ clips check out Day Seven’s guest post by Jen Corbett here

Not only did we ask people to submit their own scripts, we also took this a step further to extend the hype producing 4 of the fan generated scripts and putting them out to the community to vote on. The winner scored a year’s supply of Peanut Slabs and this was the video he posted on our page, which was a great end to a successful campaign.

Nicole: The type of brand love that most of us dream of! The winner of the “Swear by the Slab” competition created this stop-motion video from his prize – a year’s worth of peanut slabs!

Jasmine: In the end I think we managed to successfully integrate both our traditional offline marketing and our digital touch points, revitalising the Peanut Slab brand and building a digital community for the Peanut Slab which we are looking forward to utilising in years to come.

Nicole: The Swear by the Slab is a great example of what can be achieved when traditional marketing and new media is integrated rather than addressed separately. 

As Julie Roulston said on Day One of the 12 Days of Advertising series said: “don’t publish work that is too finished, and publish it in such a way that you optimize people’s ability to borrow it and make it their own”. 

Whittaker’s sowed the seed with their TV campaign and then invited the public to reinvent and create their own versions. Few restrictions were placed on the creative process and the competition spread through Facebook as friends and fans were encouraged to vote for their favourites. Handing control over to your fans is a risk – but one that definitely paid off for Whittaker’s. 

If there’s anything for us to learn in this is – don’t kid yourself when it comes to the integration of your campaign. Whatever the medium or the market – keep it honest. ~ Jen Corbett, Flitter [12 Days of Advertising – Day Seven

Whittaker’s also recognised that the “swear by the slab” campaign and brand had a different “voice” than the rest of the Whittaker’s communications. They started a new Facebook page that has a cheekier, youthful tone (with posts like “If you love someone let them go, they might come back with a Peanut Slab!”). The Peanut Slab Facebook page currently has over 18,000 fans (the main Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers page has over 72,000). The Peanut Slab ads have been viewed over 80,000 on the Whittaker’s YouTube channel. But most importantly, the campaign led to an impressive increase in sales of Peanut Slabs and recently a brand extension into the ‘mini slab’ range. To quote David Ogilvy “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative”. 

Trends for 2012… Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012? 
Jasmine: I think campaigns that work are ones that can leverage off both offline and online communications. Digital is a new and constantly evolving form of media and at times can be quite hard to keep up with (just look at all the changes Facebook have recently made). 

Inevitably brands are going to be incorporating digital into their strategies but the key thing to remember is that nothing happens in isolation. You can’t have an excellent online strategy without the support of your traditional media. Digital is a key component of any brands overall strategy but it must be integrated with all other communications and it must provide a consistent brand message. 

Nicole: What do you expect (or hope to) see less of in 2012? 
Jasmine: I would like to see more brands understanding the importance of engagement on social media. A large fan base on Facebook/Twitter is beneficial, and many large and established brands pay a lot of money to acquire those fans, but there is no point in spending that money unless you have the right people committed to interacting with those fans on a daily basis, providing knowledgeable and timely responses.

Which chocolate company do you think won the branding battle in 2011? 

Don’t forget that every comment goes into the draw to win a pair of Puma hi-tops – closes 20th December 2011 so get in quick!  

12 Days of Advertising – Day 11

Day Eleven: Steve Dimakis, MEC Wellington

The guest contributor for day eleven is Steve Dimakis, a Senior Media Planner at MEC Wellington, the media arm of Y & R. You can find out more about MEC New Zealand here and globally here. Steve has had over 10 years experience working in the advertising industry comprising of time spent working in agencies, for media providers and directly consulting to brands. His pick for 2011 demonstrates how a brand can successfully utilise their “essence” and he has some wise insights on the matter.

Best of 2011
Nicole: What was your favourite New Zealand advertising/marketing campaign for 2011?

Steve: I really would love to be able to list one of my own clients here, but the campaign for 2011 that really struck a chord with me was “Share The Joy” for Cadbury New Zealand

Nicole: What made Cadbury’s “Share the Joy” your pick? 
Steve: I have spent a significant amount of time working with brands in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector and feel that many could learn from Cadbury’s campaign.  Like most in the FMCG world, Cadbury will operate on low margin, high turnover and are quite often subject to retailers’ pricing demands in a market where switching costs between brands is nil.

What I like about this campaign is that it is all about giving Kiwi’s a reason to love the brand again and so when they are at the shelf, they have a reason to pick Cadbury ahead of any other offering, regardless of price point.

Cadbury Snow Globe

Nicole: My personal favourite in the Cadbury “Share the Joy” series is the Snow Globe created in Auckland last Christmas.

The tactics of the campaign are truly integrated and all work to embody the essence of the campaign.  From a house in Auckland that spectacularly light up when people clapped and made joyful noise to a song made entirely from the unique noises of joy in New Zealand as well as the traditional, and not so traditional, media channels used to generate awareness of each tactic.  Everything works together nicely.

However, regardless of the executions and their relative success, what I truly love about this campaign is that it moves away from selling based just on the products under the brand halo and sells based on the essence of the brand.  It harks back to when Charles Revson – one of the founders of Revlon – appealed to the sales force, asking them to explain what they were selling.  As expected, none of the answers provided by the sales force got to the essence of what Revlon was actually about.  Revlon was not a company that sold nail polish or beauty products in general.  According to Charles Revson, Revlon was selling hope… Hope that by using these products, I could be closer to living the life portrayed in their campaigns.

Cadbury, it may literally be chocolate, but sharing joy is the essence.

Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012?

Steve: The biggest trend for 2012 that I can see is the continued emergence of mobile. Increasingly, brands and their agencies are realising that in the current climate of fragmented consumption and technology, nothing has really changed.  If we want to get our message in front of our target audience and engage with them, then we need to be where they are. This is as true today as it was in 1952. Our challenge is to understand the audience, empathise with the audience and engage the audience.  It therefore makes sense that mobile advertising, while already growing, will continue to grow as more members of each target audience continue to spend more and more time engaged with their mobile devices.  Content is and always will be king, the important thing is to understand how and why that content is being consumed by your audience and leverage that knowledge.

Nicole: What do you expect (or hope to) see less of in 2012?

Steve: There are so many things that come to mind here, but I need to be careful not to land myself in trouble 🙂

I would hope to see more brands treat Social Media the way it should be.  I would hope to see more brands realise that the greatest way for them to sell their products or services is by word of mouth or “peer to peer recommendation”.  Again, something that hasn’t changed since day dot.  

Social Media is nothing but a grouping of software applications that let people stay in contact with each other and get closer to the things they are passionate about.  There is nothing scary or difficult about using social media to your advantage, you just need to keep in mind what each social media tool was designed for. 

How do you think social media should be treated in 2012?

12 Days of Advertising – Day 10

Day Ten: Tom Reidy, Catalyst90

Tom Reidy is the Founder and Managing Director of Catalyst90 – a social media agency that agencies use. Tom describes Catalyst90 as a group of “bright, creative and passionate geeks” which is probably why they also started the Wellington chapter of the Social Media Club. Tom has more than a decade of technical sales and marketing and more than three years social media experience behind him.  

If you’re based in Wellington, I’d highly recommend popping along to the next Social Media Club event in the new year and in the meantime get a fix of social media new on Catalyst’s blog.  

Leave a comment to go in the draw to win a pair of Puma kicks (closes 20th December 2011)! 

Best of 2011
Nicole: What was your favourite New Zealand advertising/marketing campaign for 2011? 

Tom: Mammoth Dips – Real Man Food, Man.

Nicole: Why was Mammoth Supply Co. your pick? 
I liked this most of all due to the good humor and the fact that no man likes nibbles! The humor content was the winner on this, simple and effective. No frills or flowers just straight to the point. This is a great example of work focusing directly on the target audience with no compromise or softening of the message. A bit of a missed opportunity in the social space, but a great campaign never the less.

Mammoth Dips “Real Men” TVC
Nicole: According to Stoppress the original strategy was to appeal to men but without alienating women who were still considered the product purchasers. 

Trends for 2012…
 Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012? 
Tom: Overall I’d say we will see a continual rise in digital marketing, especially in the social space with many NZ brands exploring things such as FB apps, naturally I’m a little bias here. I’d like to see more ads such as the Mammoth Dips that understand the audience and the best way to communicate to them.

It’s also time that we realise that in social media “quality bets quantity”. The latest CatalystEnigma stats demonstrate that the number of engaged Twitter users in New Zealand is hovering around just 20,000 people. But according to Tom, this group of people are characterised as being early adopters, “These are smart and tech savvy people who have an increasingly large influence on mainstream media channels. If you manage to excite and inspire even a small proportion of these people, your message will spread through Twitter to other social media, then offline and, if it’s compelling enough, through to mainstream media. After all, Twitter is where traditional media now looks for breaking news”. Read more on this here

Nicole: What do you expect (or hope to) see less of in 2012? 
Tom: Ha without doubt I’d love to see less brands trying to control social, more should focus on how to empower through social. I also hope to see less of brands having little or no content through the social networks and more of smart positioning.

Were you also a fan of the Mammoth Dips campaign? 

12 Days of Advertising – Day 9

Day Nine: John Lai, Social Media NZ 

John Lai is the Malaysian born, Auckland bred, founder of Social Media NZ. Social Media NZ is an influential digital and tech information hub. John is passionate about business and technology. John is also involved in a startup in Palo Alto, California called ChattrspaceHe’s also a big sports fan and die hard Liverpool FC supporter. 

You can check out John’s blog here and the latest digital and tech news on Social Media NZ’s site

Read what John’s pick (well picks) were for 2011 and leave a comment for a chance to win a pair of Puma hi-tops

Best of 2011 
Nicole: What was your favourite New Zealand campaign of 2011?
John: Alright! First off I can’t choose between two, so I will have to have two choices:

  • Air New Zealand’s Rico
  • The NZTA’s Legend aka Ghost Chips

Nicole: So what made these two campaign your favourites?
John: Well, let’s start with Air New Zealand’s Rico… before people go and criticise the little critter I must say it needed to do what it’s intention was to make New Zealand appeal specifically to the American market. So one could argue that the marketing campaign knew it’s market and the American entertainment culture, where cheesy factor and borderline comedy is accepted.

Just recently Air New Zealand and the world said their goodbyes to Rico as the character was murdered! Air New Zealand teamed up with the board game conglomerate Hasbro to implement the popular crime solving game Cluedo allowing people to solve Rico’s murder for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles.

The campaign definitely challenged the ‘PC’ culture New Zealand is known for and the campaign had its critics and likers. As someone who likes to see the status quo being challenged it, I found the campaign very interesting. And let’s be honest – how awesome if your HR policy included a game if a staff was fired or left the company!?!

Rico’s murderer busted!
Nicole: After letting people solve Rico’s murder through a digital version of Cluedo, the murderer was recently revealed in the confession video below – an engaging, and suitably dramatic, way of closing a campaign! 

Now onto the NZTA’s Legend ad. Who would have guessed that giving away ghost chips could save lives right?

The NZ Transport Agency’s campaign targeted the right demographic and not only that it created an internet meme, the video as it stands right now has over 1,400,000 YouTube hits.
One could argue drink and driving is no laughing matter, but the ad used a fresh perspective from the usual brutal look at what the outcome is when one drinks and drives.

The question that I am sure everyone is still asking is….does it saves life? Does it return the right ROI?

I personally think the message had more of an impact due to the fact of how the message have been repurposed on social platforms and while still sharing the “don’t drink and drive” message.

The NZTA’s Legend was also chosen by another 12 Days of Advertising contributor Julie Roulston of NZ Fashion Week – you can read her thoughts on the campaign here.

Trends for 2012 Nicole: What do you think we’ll see more of in 2012?

John: Next year we will see less social networks and more local networks. This means more interests centric groups will pop up more beat example of this if you look at a new startup call letterboxd. This where movie buffs come to together to talk all things movie related. This is just one example but we will see more of these sort of social networks that concentrates on quality over quantity.

Next year we will see more social media integration into TV. This year in New Zealand we saw channels like U live, TV3, TV1 integrate interactive elements within their programs to get the audience engage but it’s still most using Facebook as a medium. In 2012 we will see these channels explore further and being more creative in ways of using other networks like Twitter, Youtube and etc.

Nicole: What do you think (or hope) to see less of in 2012?
John: I hope to see more brands being smart and knowing your company first and whether social media is a good fit or not. Don’t be on social media for the sake of being on it!

Have you engaged with a TV show through social media this year?

12 Days of Advertising – Day 8

Day Eight: Emma Lawrence, Emma Lawrence PR
(Don’t forget that just by commenting on this post you are in the draw to win an awesome pair of Puma kicks!)   

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? 

12 Days of Advertising – Day 6

Day Six: Shane Harmon, Rugby New Zealand 2011
(Don’t forget that just by commenting on this post you are in the draw to win an awesome pair of Puma kicks!)  

Shane Harmon is a Sports Marketing and Major Event specialist with 12 years experience in Australia and New Zealand.

Shane is a veteran of two Rugby World Cups; RWC 2003 in Australia where he was Head of Marketing and most recently RWC 2011 in New Zealand where he works as General Manager, Marketing and Communications for Rugby New Zealand 2011 (the local organising committee). Shane has also worked as General Manager Marketing for Australian Rugby Union, and as Membership and Direct Marketing Manager for the Sydney Swans Football Club, in Australia’s AFL.

Best of 2011 

Nicole: What was your favourite New Zealand advertising campaign for 2011?
Shane: My favourite campaign for the year was Powershop’s ‘Same Power, Different Attitude’ campaign. 

“Showing how out of place they [Sadam Hussein, Kim Jong-il] look in everyday, charitable situations highlights their abuse of power and comments on how different the world would be if they’d used it for good instead of evil.” 
~ Ari Sargent, CEO of Powershop via StoppressNZ

Nicole: What made Powershop’s campaign your pick? 
Shane: Although controversial, the main reason I love this campaign, was my total admiration for an otherwise generic product trying something completely different and creating a strong brand personality.

The campaign takes a bunch of rotten demagogues (aka the big, boring and uncaring energy companies), famous the world over for their abuse of power, and recasts them as people who do decent things in their community.

Being a challenger brand is all about being nimble and quick and taking risks, and this campaign reflects this. The campaign has been constantly refreshed with new examples appearing regularly and older one being retired (Tui billboard-esque anyone?). A number of executions have been pulled due to complaints including posters featuring Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il. As recently as this week, Darth Vadar in a Sound of Music setting (as you do) was pulled after a complaint from Lucas Films. The cynic in me suggest that these executions were launched knowing full well that they may have to be pulled at some stage, but that resultant PR was more than an ample trade-off.

Some examples of Powershop advertising (left to right) – Che Guevara ad that started the “Same Power, Different Attitude” campaign, Crappliance Facebook promotion to replace old appliances and the Darth Vader ad  that has now been withdrawn.
And I also applaud both agency and client for having balls of steel! Powershop were completely transparent and open when discussing the campaign both on their blog and on their facebook page. 

Powershop’s brand personally is reflected brilliant in its social activities. Could you imagine an energy company running a “Crappliance” competition or posting a status update during August’s heavy snow that included the words “ It’s farkin freezing”.

Marketers of cleaning products, bread, milk, accounting services, and hey, even sport should take note.

Nicole: Shane is certainly right calling this campaign ‘controversial’ – I have seen the ads around town and always found them amusing. For me, they are have a light0hearted feel and I never really considered them potentially offensive. However, looking into the campaign further there was quite a backlash to the Kim Jong-il and Sadam Hussein versions which lead to them being withdrawn. However, despite the criticism Powershop’s chief executive Ari Sargent has continued to response personally to feedback and his response to Lucas Films shows he hasn’t lost his sense of humor (see his response here). 

So often when a campaign is negatively received companies run and hide while it ‘blows over’. Ari and Powershop have done the opposite – even turning the campaign website into a decision board. Four months after first issuing an apology and withdrawing the ads they continue to respond quickly to posts when needed. It’s a real shame that the humor and good intentions behind the campaign seem to be lost on some people!

Trends for 2012…

Nicole: What do you expect to see more of in 2012? 
1. Shared value: rather than simply raising funds and writing a cheque to a preferred charity, large companies will start integrating social issues into their core strategies. Growing angst around the world is going to force organisations not only pursue their own business goals but also act for the common good of society.

2. Redefining TV: The role of TV for marketers is going through fundamental change. 2012 will see marketers explore content opportunities for connected TVs. I believe the connected TV represents an exponentially greater market shift than say 3D TV. In addition marketers will launch more interactive campaigns that take account use of mobile as a second screen while watching TV.

Nicole: What do you expect (or hope to) see less of in 2012? 
Shane: Death to Verbosity – still in this day in age we see marketers using 10 words (particularly in press releases) when one will do. People don’t read this stuff anymore (did they ever?).”

What was your opinion on the PowerShop “Same Power, Different Attitude” campaign? Remember every comment posted goes in the draw to win a pair of Puma hi-tops (so make sure you leave your email address!) 

12 Days of Advertising – Day 4

Day Four: Nigel Fowler, Online Marketing Agency 

(Don’t forget that just by commenting on this post you are in the draw to win an awesome pair of Puma kicks!)  

The guest contributor for day four of 12 Days of Advertising is Nigel Fowler, the marketing chef (called that by his team for his ever growing passion for marketing and communications) at Online Marketing Agency. He’s keen on turning ideas into reality and growing the businesses of his clients.   

You can visit Online Marketing Agency here:

The Best of 2011
Nicole: What was your favorite New Zealand advertising campaign for 2011?
‘Where will happiness strike next’ is my winner for 2011 with Coca Cola New Zealand’s Happiness Truck giving away surprise gifts to the public in downtown Auckland during the Rugby World Cup 2011.
Coca-Cola Happiness Truck Video

The Coca Cola Happiness Truck is a feel-good campaign with a happy ending.  Most who watch it for the first time sit in front of the screen with a genuine smile on their face as the infectious joy of spontaneous, random gift-giving spreads.  The reason I chose this as my memorable campaign of 2011 is because (1) it involved lots of people and (2) it brings back great memories about the All Blacks being #RWC2011 champions.
Nicole: I must admit there was a smile on my face watching this – I particularly liked that the ‘gifts’ weren’t limited to just cans of coke. They were varied and quirky – meaning that people were hanging around to see what came out, even after getting their turn. 
What I feel we should take from this campaign is the fun factor.  Businesses can come up with remarkable events to get people to interact with their brand and capture the experience using visual media.
Those who were involved told their networks and the clip spread virally throughout social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…). That’s where I found out about the campaign.
I look forward to more of these wacky and fun ideas from businesses in 2012.

Three reasons why I expect to see more Online Video campaigns in 2012:

  1. Greater percentage of marketing budgets is being spent online
  2. Video engages the viewer with eyes and ears… if the viewer has them.
  3. Unique marketing can be caught on camera and the experience easily shared through social mediums
Nicole: So what do you hope to see less of in 2012?
Next year I hope to see less and less people using twitter like a robotic, automated broadcasting tool, tweeting the exact same marketing message every hour on the hour.  Most people are coming to understand now that Twitter is a great news source as well as a place to have conversations on topics of interests and build relationships. 

Nicole: So did you get a ‘smile on your dial’ watching the Coca-Cola ‘Happiness Truck’ in action? Does this type of activity affect your feelings towards a brand or does the good feeling only last as long as the free bottle? 

Leave a comment and go into the draw to win a pair of Puma First Round Hi Tops

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