Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Facebook - too far?

So the world is obsessed with Social Networking websites, this I understand. What a great way to keep in contact with people blah blah blah. I can say that as I am a Facebook snob and will not accept just anyone who friend-requests me (always amazes me how you ignore a request and then they request again - get the hint people!)

At any rate, I do worry that people are replacing their lives with this site. Today Stuff had this article about lawyers in Canberra serving
legal papers on defendants Facebook pages. Say what? How is this not a breach of some privacy law? Hmm, what could possibly be more humiliating that being served papers... I know, being served them on my Facebook page where everyone that I know can see them. What?

In addition to this, I was invited to a wedding via Facebook event invitation recently. This one seemed really odd to me, and has given me a very
blasé attitude to the wedding in general. I kinda take my RSVP to the wedding as seriously as I would take my RSVP to party. I said yes, but will still decide on the night. I know that is bad, but if I had received a real invitation my attitude would be much different. Not that this is the invite, but its not far off:

I understand that we are all relying on the net and social marketing to make up for our own laziness but I do feel like some things should be left to the real world.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ah, Fastline

What a wealth of knowledge this little publication is. I know, it is quite a rag sometimes and is pure gossip, but sometimes the gems that come out, just fantastic.

I find it curious that Fastline make the announcement that Kevin Bowler (Y!X) has been elected chairman of the IAB, Liz Fraser (MSN) as vice-chairman and Spencer Bailey (APN) as treasurer. Good on them all, I have no complaints (for a change).

I do however had 2 questions on this.
1. Why am I reading about this in Fastline and not a release from the IAB?
2. Where is Fairfax?

Further to question 2, where is Fairfax? Their digital team seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Don't come to Thirsty Thursday (except for the lovely Ros, but she isn't the interactive 'person') or the IAB Christmas party. They seem to be MIA at the moment, its a little disappointing considering the effort all the other publishers are going to at the moment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Shall be very interested as to whether I get any credit for this idea, or if the person I told about it takes the glory, cos, dammit, its a good one.

After talking with Mark at the IAB xmas party I realised that the IAB seriously needs something that will make a lot more people in the industry stand up and go, hell yes, don't know what I'd do without them. With the likes of CAANZ coming up with this interactive industry body... something (I don't know, we're not a member of CAANZ because of their stance of advertising fast foods to children, anyway) the IAB needs to put itself in a position where it is indispensable. CAANZ has the numbers behind it when it comes to agencies and if they could initiate something that was useful, they could make the IAB redundant.

Rambling. So, the other day, when trying to make sure that I had all of the most up to date ratecards for some publishers (and not being able to find half of them because they are not on websites in an obvious place) I thought, you know what would be handy, if the IAB put aside a page where publishers could upload their ratecards. Then us agency folk could go to one place rather than 10 odd sites for just the main NZ publishers. More to the point, this would benefit both publishers and media planners. Sometimes you forget about the other publishers out there who perhaps don't have the huge traffic numbers, but could be environmentally a good placement. Nothing like a reminder.

There you go, if it comes to fruition, it was my idea first.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just another function

I love it. Two little gems from the IAB today.

The first was the AGM minutes. Awesome, thanks for sharing kids. Hate to say it - because I know that everyone who is working towards making the IAB something that can be of real benefit to us all have other jobs that they work hard at too - but can these people please talk less and act more please?

Various 'points' brought up in the meeting apparently
- thanks Tom, quite agree that publishers shouldn't price themselves out of the market. Some publishers are changing and altering their prices to the point where I can't qualify putting them on a schedule. The rates go up, but unfortunately click thrus are not going up, and worse, the acquisitions aren't going up. When I can't justify my predicted CPA, I stop placing on that site. It is as simple as that. Search delivers, display continues to increase in price, guess where my budget is heading.
- in reference to the 'more action less talk' one of the points that was mentioned was the need to further the education of those in the industry. A decent month ago I sent my 'work history' in for consideration to be a part of the education sub-committee. Glad to see that it is so important that it requires mention at the AGM but those who want to make a difference and are passionate about it, we're not even told whether or not we've made the cut. Love it.

Step up or move on. Its time that we make this industry mean something.

Then, this afternoon we get our IAB xmas party invitations. Great. Something about 2 people are invited from your organisation. Brilliant. I'm sorry but our agency is one of the few that attend all IAB drinks, and we're even good enough to usually talk to whomever is hosting, or we're willing to buy our own drinks when no one is. It takes more that 2 of us to put together great schedules for our clients. It takes more than 2 of us to brainstorm ideas with publishers. But apparently only 2 of us are worthy of being invited. Just because someone aimed a little too high with the function last year, I'm guessing.

What I think some people have forgotten is that being listed as an IAB member doesn't mean you know anything about the industry. Not being a member doesn't mean you can't make a contribution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Love elections

It's amazing what comes out around election time, but having the US election run so close to ours, I feel as though it shows how different a presidential campaign is to a priministerial campaign. To start with, how to get people to vote. In the states, they seem to go to quite extreme lengths to get one to vote, including enlisting massive celebrities. The first '5 friends' video

has been viewed almost 3.1 million times, with 5 more friends,

the second video over 1.4 million times. Here in NZ we have some orange guy who we have seen for years trying to get us to vote. Now, granted, different budgets, different countries, different populations and different overall outcome, but surely we can have some interesting/clever/relevant/inspiring creative in the advertising that is forced on us, and not an envelope on screen for (and I am guessing) 8 seconds with a voiceover. Boring!

As an aside, I also like the online that they are rolling out... way to work in your audiences line of sight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I get it, I'm a geek

But I don't mind that I'm a geek. I can freely admit it. I am happy with the fact that when, on Monday morning when I logged in to check analytics, I was surprised and delighted to find that analytics took on a whole new life of its own. YAY!

Google continues to be my favourite thing in the whole wide world. Of all things in this world that you can rely on being right and true and perfect in everyway I thought possible, it continues to amaze me in the different ways that Google can make my life better. I love the new layout of the accounts overview. Just beautiful. Confirmation that my sites are on the up and up, bliss. Seeing that one of my sites is 561% up on traffic year on year. I don't think a geek could ask for more.

Thanks Google. You were the shining light of my week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We don’t know how lucky we are…

Having recently arrived back from London, I now have an amazing appreciation for the lovely publishers and suppliers us media people have in New Zealand.

Whilst working over in London I was a part of a marketing team responsible for organising the display advertising. The company already had a range of directories working very hard for them, and a large amount of search, the Marketing Manger had decided it was time to explore the possibility of display on some niche sites.

I’ve never dealt with so many completely useless, rude and unprofessional people. There were the directory sales reps, who would call up to renew our listing who didn’t know what products the company sold, let alone the number of click throughs they actually managed to deliver over the 12 months prior. At £295/year, their stunning 7 clicks throughs at a phenomenal £42 CPC I would hope they didn’t know.

Following them were the reps who did know that they had delivered a hideous number of click throughs but maintained that their users were 80% more likely to pick up a phone and call than send an email. What this rep failed to realise was that we had been trying to contact them for approx 3 months when someone in the marketing team had noticed they had the wrong phone number listed for the company. Competence plus.

Then there was the rep for a railway magazine website who was trying to sell some display space to me, both on the site and their weekly newsletter. When talking about specific pages on the site, he told me that I was looking at the wrong site and that his site did not have a specific news page, I had to navigate him to it. The first newsletter we were meant to be in, they forgot us (and no, my creative was not late) and while the newsletter was scheduled to be sent between 10am and 2pm on a Friday we received it 5pm Saturday. It gets worse. No compensation was offered, and denied when suggested. When I asked if we would therefore be in the next newsletter, I was told that yes, although they would be losing revenue for the space we were talking. Again the newsletter was not sent until Saturday, and the following week, the newsletter had their own advertising, which leads me to believe there was no loss. I have never been more embarrassed in my life when it comes to not delivering. Following the complete incompetence of the staff, the site did not perform at all, I had to write lawyer approved letters about withdrawing advertising, canceling contracts and not paying any further invoices.

I have almost always felt like a valued client with all of the publishers I work with in NZ, large or small publisher. In London, I actually found it hard to spend my budget, people wouldn’t answer phones, or return calls. How these people stay in business is beyond me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bless advertising

I love how blatant some people can be about their opinions these days.

Whilst doing some research for a client I stumbled upon this. How funny is the skyscraper on the right-hand side? To be fair, I was SO afraid that there would be a nasty surprise at the end of the click through that I decided to be neutral and not have an opinion (for once) and not vote. What amazes me about this is that this site which draws a good deal of Middle Eastern traffic, I would think that this ad could polarize a few people.

At any rate, it made me look twice, and want to click (even if I didn't) and isn't that the point of online? Capture attention, provoke curiosity and give a user a good enough reason to move away and click on your advertising. Pity we I can't really use this kind of in-your-face message for my clients.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

National's TV campaign

I cannot believe that more of a fuss has not been made about National's televison campaign which is running at the moment. I have now seen 2 ads where John Key is sitting in the front passenger seat of a car and is turning around to talk into the camera in the back seat. HE DOESN'T HAVE A SEAT BELT ON and the car is clearly in motion.

I have 2 issues with this. 1. this is the man that wants to run this country and he doesn't abide by the laws (if he doesn't, why should anyone else?) and 2. what awful advertising agency (let alone the director of the ad) allow something like that go to air? What were they thinking? Not surprisingly I cannot find the video anywhere, but it just amazes me that someone let that onto the television. What's more, how did it get past TVCAB? Surely this ad encourages unsafe driving practices.

Talking about this with a friend the other day, he turned around and said, "if anyone made a big deal about it, it would work in John Key's favour" which somewhat blew me away to be fair. His reasoning was that the public would turn around and go back to the anti - 'nanny state' mentality and back Key.

Do NZers really hate Helen so much that they would support a non-law abiding Prime Minister. I was under the impression that those in Parliament already get away with too much, are we going to add this to the list as well?