Sunday, April 26, 2009

The simpliest way Twitter can work for a brand

So there has been a lot of talk recently about how businesses can use Twitter to benefit them, and I think, at the moment for the uptake in NZ, the best way for businesses can use it, is to be aware of it.

Last week, (was it last week?) I blogged about the hack of MSN's DNS, then posted a link of this onto Twitter - as an aside, I have had some traffic from Turkey since that post, specifically searching for keywords which were on the landing page of the hack - which was kindly twittered again by MG from Trade Me. Following the twitter my ex-flatmate twittered me a new link showing how easy it is to hijack sites in NZ, showing an NZ Herald search page which had displaying in realtime.

I took this and ran with it (of course citing Josh as the source) blogging about this also, then twittered the link. Now, I am not entirely sure whether a couple of people from APN who follow me on Twitter brought this to the attention of the technical people, or whether APN Digital is just smart enough to keep track of what is being said about them within the Internet, they fixed the issue, and contacted Josh to thank him for bringing it to their attention (um... actually I bought it to your attention, but nevermind).

At any rate, this is the opportunity that is out there. Use Twitter Search to find out who is using your brand out there and promote if it is good, or fix if it is negative, and no matter what way it swings, contact the person who brought this to your attention and thank them. If it was positive, then they are likely to become more of a brand advocate for you, if it was originally a negative comment, then you have opened the door for that person to become a brand advocate. Either way, it is win win.

Something to think about.

The good old days...

...of New Zealand programming.

At the office we have been talking about the good old days of advertising and programming in NZ. Lots of what has been talked about goes back to the 80's which, lets be fair, was when I was a child.

So, I'm doing some research about creative NZ companies who utilize creative commons, one of which is NZonScreen. Bless, the first thing I find is episode 1 of Gloss. Why can't we have some amazing NZ programming like this on tv now? I've always thought that I should have 'lived' through the 80's, not been a child.

Anyway, for nostalgia for some, and out of interest for others, check out the episode here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My new favourite site

This may become a regular thing, but we'll see.

New favourite site of the week: Look at this fucking hipster

Criteria for being my new favourite site:

  • It's hilarious
  • It has photos and captions such as:

    “There better be some torn leggings, bruised thighs, and tattered cowboy boots under that blanket, or we are out of here.”

Too time poor

It amazes me how I rely on things because I deem myself to be time poor. I rely on my bicycle to get me to work quickly (but wouldn't you if your bike looked like this? - thanks for the pic) and also home from a night out - so much cheaper than a taxi. When I don't have it (whether have gone to town with lots of other bicycle-less people or it is raining and not the best cycling weather) I get a little distressed. It takes so much longer!

This concern of being time poor has crept into my everyday life too. I spend very little time on actual websites these days. The sites I used to spend a lot of time on, and would visit frequently throughout the day, no longer get my eyeballs, everything that really matters to me I RSS. The amount of time in my day it saves is awesome. I am even at the point (as per below) that I will read something and react immediately, seemingly too time poor to even read these feeds properly.

Totally suckered by Graham Reid's post yester, blame the lack of sleep all I want, not my finest hour. Have I got to the point that because I deem something readable enough to RSS it therefore must be true? Note to self: Not everything you read on the internet is true.

Thank goodness it is Friday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

pushing more money off shore

This really pisses me off, and its not something that is limited to the current government either.

So, blatantly ripping off Graham Reid's blog:
"Kevin Saatchi, CEO of the New York-based advertising and media company RobertsAndRoberts, said yesterday he was excited about his company being offered the contract to re-brand New Zealand for the 21st century."

Link is above to the whole thing, but basically, once again, when it comes to promoting our country the best decision is to go off shore to find the creative talent to do this. WHAT? Way to back your own team. With a rumoured $75M 5 year contract, why is our government, in the current financial market, a) spending that much money? but b) spending it outside NZ? Shouldn't we be putting money back into our country?

Labour did it as well. Let's spend a whole lot of money on a 'Buy NZ Made' campaign, let's get Kiwi's putting money back into Kiwi's pockets, BUT we'll pay international agencies to do so. Paying M&C and Carat to do the campaign is sending money offshore.

I have a nice little pedestal to stand on while saying this, but I don't work for the only NZ owned and operated advertising agency, and the talent pool in NZ is fantastic, surely we should be using our own resources to work on our country?

I did love this: "Mr Saatchi, speaking from his yacht in the Cayman Islands..." awesome, what a fantastic representation of agency life. ugh.

By the way, KiwiBank - appointing an Australian agency - no better.

Updated: Have just been asked as to whether Grahams post is satire... it is possible. Still doesn't change my opinion on KiwiBank and Buy Kiwi campaign.

Updated further (thanks @officialfunning:
@iChild I'd be just as angry if Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi got the deal instead of, you know, Kevin Saatchi from Roberts & Roberts.
): I would pull this post down, but I am more than willing to put up my hand and say - I'm a freaking idiot. I blame Crack Wednesday, 2 too many Castlepoints and 4 hours sleep.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Defacing Websites

Following from the DNS hack of MSN yesterday, which has been fixed thank goodness, my charming ex-flatmate (check him out Josh Waihi) kindly pointed out that its actually easier to deface NZ websites than we seem to be aware of. Back in March I posted a blog about Stuff's new website and their URL's which can be re-seen here and now Josh has brought to my attention a lovely little defacing of NZ Herald:
No one is safe.

My question is who on earth has enough time to do this sort of thing??

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

MSN Hacked??

Is no one paying any attention to their website this morning MSN??
This is what you get when you go directly to this morning. Something tells me it is not on purpose, because if it is, then MSN needs to re-think what they'll allow when it comes to advertising takeovers!

Rest of the screen reads:
Aaaare youuuu Hackeeeed !!

by Agd_Scorp - rx5 - Cr@zy_King

JeXToXiC, , 4R!F, KacaK, BLAsteR, Cebrail, AmeN
Zec, TheHacker, ZeberuS, s3f4, Frabiyy, NetRoot, Suskun

PAKbugs Crew Friends :Zombie_KSA, spo0fer, xOOmxOOm
unuttuklarimiz affede..u

Suck huh?

Courtesy of NBR online link gist of the hack is that the 'peace crew' (formally 'terrorist crew') have done similar attacked on NATO and US Military sites. I kinda don't get why you would aim for Microsoft NZ of all sites to hack. In saying that, kinda sounds like MSN NZ doesn't really know what's going on, so that probably gives some indication to security/attention levels perhaps??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Audi got owned

A lesson for all: don't try to directly take on a creative team that is smarter than you, and have media buyers that can negotiate well.

Case and Point:

Website is Live!

Oh my goodness. It has only taken me 5 years of pushing, yesterday GSL's website when live. A real one, with more than just a holding page.

Check it

I never complain (much) about having lots on, it means that you keep busy, but we have just been so busy doing work for our clients that our poor website just had to wait, but no more! It is here.

Guess if it takes 5 years, I should probably get started on the re-design...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I wish I had a fashion blog

But I am afraid I simply don't have the time (or a good enough camera) to be able to do such things, which is why I love my RSS feed and more importantly, love that other people do this for me!

So there is the mighty Sartorialist who has been capturing beauty for ages, just like this little morsel:
And I have also recently found Face Hunter with gems such as:And now, there is Sidewalk from the amazingly talented Welfe (check out the jewellery, graphics and party photos as well) NZ, or more importantly Wellington, has its own version of on-the-street fashion photography. Much more likely to see people I know here:
I guess my question is, how well could one actually monetize a site like this in NZ? I see that there is a little ruby banner up, but I wonder if there is another way to make more out of it... Pity American Apparel doesn't have the stores in NZ to support advertising on NeonSleep like they do the other two.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Using the internet for good?

Using the Internet for good rather than evil? Using it for something other than inflicting my opinion to anyone who will read it? Or downloading porn? Is that even possible?

Why yes, yes it is!

There is a great site called which is powered by Google (all hail!) but every time you
search, they donate to charity. So you can search as per usual, but whenever you do, Donoogle donates to the NZ factions of either WWF, Oxfam or Unicef. While the money goes to the NZ arms, they are encouraged to direct the money to international causes so that people worldwide can use the site and know that they are doing good for the world. I know that the guys behind this are really keen to put out a press release announcing how much has been donated thus far, but they cannot get hold of one charity, and so don't want to announce until they have handed over the cheque.

I think it kicks arse (although it doesn't surprise me) that this site has been born through kiwi ingenuity and good intentions. So, tell your friends, make it your homepage, and do good while you search.

Wait, I don't download porn.

Is online ready to be taken seriously?

The online advertising worlds opinion of itself might be a little further along than it really is, and at the moment, I wonder whether it is ready to be taken seriously.

Thanks to the dirty 'R' word that is being bandied around, we are seeing every rep that there ever was coming in and talking to us in the agency. Its amazing. These poor sales people (a term for some I lose loosely - one online rep who has recently jumped publishers is on a tidy sum I hear) have had to start working for their budgets, not just order taking. To be fair, some reps are coming in and telling us about great new products/ideas/initiatives, it is nice to see some companies changing and adapting in the face of recession. Others, however, are most certainly peddling the same wares.

The one thing all reps typically have in common, is respect for the agencies. Be it television (although they have pushed it recently), radio, outdoor, cinema, press or print, they all understand that those of us in the agencies actually want to work with them, to create fantastic schedules for our clients and ensure that we both win. And in that respect, they all offer agency commission bearing rates.

Don't get me wrong, online also offer commission, however, they offer it to all and sundry. Agencies spend a lot of time and money to become accredited; other media channels respect this and offer commission to agencies only.

When a direct client comes in, guess what, you don't have to give them commission, which means more money to the publisher... This is standard practice for media suppliers, all around New Zealand. The reason that agencies get commission is because, in general, we can bring in more overall budget. It turns into a win win situation. When publishers will give commission to every man and his dog, it is the agencies and further down the track, the publishers, that will lose out.

The message that we get from the publishers is that they should be taken seriously, given a bigger slice of the pie; online use is increasing, across a number of demographics, therefore, media spend should reflect this. I don't understand how agencies are meant to take publishers seriously when they don't take us seriously. In order to ensure that our clients have a full and comprehensive media mix (yes, including online) we need to be placing our clients online advertising. There are a number of independents out there who are now placing online only for a number of clients separately from the rest of the media schedule. The reason that these people can do so is because the publishers are allowing them to have commission. Commission = no fees to client (hence why agencies typically don't charge media on an hourly rate).

I understand that there is some client education required, but it is the publishers who are allowing commission that are enabling this to happen. When agencies have a full media budget, we can disperse it completely to where the audiences are. This can mean online getting a bigger slice of the pie than they already have, depending on what our research tells us - yes, it is telling us the same thing the publishers are, usage and time spent on the Internet is up across a number of demographics, if we had the budgets, our spends would reflect this more accurately.

If publishers want some more budget out of agencies, and to be taken seriously, then they need to work out where they stand. Are you working with agencies, or against them?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Banned in 1961

I do love this. This is a commercial which was banned in 1961. Thank goodness. I cannot believe that, even back then, they used children's cartoon characters to push cigarettes. It amazes me that Hanna-Barbera allowed it to be made in the first place. That is assuming that they were asked...