Sunday, August 30, 2009

Twitter can be Personal

I find that when I mention that I use Twitter a lot of people roll their eyes. It most certainly is one of those things that you have to use before you can see the purpose/point of the whole thing. I know that I started with the pretty boring tweets - lunch, random thoughts, pointless information - but I'd like to think for the most part I have moved on from such things and as much as I get from the people I follow, hopefully my followers get something out of my Tweets. Don't get me wrong, a good deal of my tweets are still absolutely pointless, but I love it.

So, I would take a guess that of the 300 odd people I follow I have met/know maybe 50 of them. If I'm lucky. That doesn't mean that I haven't forged a relationship with others, whether about music or advertising or something else, there is generally a conversation that can be had with most of them.

Then something very interesting happened last weekend. I randomly checked Twitter and saw a tweet from @adlandsuit (whose profile tells of him "I'm a senior Suit at a London Top 10 Advertising Agency.")

I thought to myself, hey, that's a pretty amazing idea. And when he later tweeted that he would send internationally, I decided to get in on that action. I want a postcard from Edinburgh! Love postcards, so I DM'ed him my address.

According to his blog, he "posted cards to all parts of the UK, to Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand" and requested that if the postcards turned up that we let him know. Well, wouldn't you know it, got home after a wonderful night of partying in the small hours of Friday night/Saturday morning, and there is was, so I did as asked, and sent him a twitpic:
I guess the point to all of this ramble, is that I like the fact that when you boil it down, Twitter is actually quite a personal medium to communicate with people. While I have a Facebook page and use Facebook as a social network, it is all very focused around friends whom I have known, in the real world, for quite some time. Twitter gives (I think) a better opportunity to talk to people that you have never met, and then use the people that tweet things of interest, to pick up other people to follow.

And the other point is that I am amazed by @adlandsuit's idea. Having over 1,200 followers, he could have been writing postcards all day if everyone had sent him an address. It is a thoughtful gesture from someone who is completely faceless (like really faceless, he's just a suit).

Speaking of thoughtful gestures, it is Random Act of Kindness day tomorrow. I have my random act of kindness all planned out. What are you going to do??

Friday, August 28, 2009


Ok, I would be really grateful is anyone could explain what I am meant to get out of this ad, other than be annoyed that it put a great big black box across my screen:

Being the cynic I am, this says to me, BNZ will blow out your birthday candles.

I don't really get it, is it in reference to the TVC? I recall there being people in that, and I don't remember all the lights going out.

I'm confused (I seem to say that a lot). Anyone have any takes on what this is about? Or what message I am supposed to take out of it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Please click through properly

When I take the leap of clicking on an ad, I want to have the experience I am anticipating.

So apparently, the mylotto website will give me the thrill of the live draw (the live draw is thrilling?) right in front of my computer:
So, I'm a little curious about this. Is there some thrill I don't know about that I am missing out on? I want to be thrilled! Who doesn't? Hmm, what are you telling me pretty little flash ad? That I can check out said thrill online, to see if I want to experience it everyday? (I wasn't going to say everyday and then I remembered Keno.):
Fabulous. I'm going to click on you now and and see this demo:
Wait. Hang on. This is just giving me the option to play Powerball. Where is my demo? Where is my pretend thrill. WHY have you told me that I was going to click through to one thing and taken me somewhere else?

Seriously though, I spent a good 2-3 minutes trying to work out where this demo even is (and no, I don't count their 1-2-3 thing as a demo - and they certainly don't refer to it as a demo) and couldn't find it.

I took similar issue with a Steinlarger ad a while ago. I think this sort of thing is doing the online advertising industry an injustice (yes, it's Tuesday and I am being a bit dramatic). It's hard to get people to click on ads, you have to hit them in the right frame of mind at the right time with the right message. When some ads are not delivering to expectations, we are going to revert back to the days of mistrust with online advertising. "If I click on this am I going to accidentally download a virus?" Then who wins?

UPDATED: So, the very lovely digital planner for this campaign got in touch. Have to say, very quick off the mark and I'm impressed - more impressed that she was (in writing) quite nice about the post and explained the URLs which this campaign was meant to click through to. Once I clicked on those, it all made sense, however it would seem that the wrong clickURL's were loaded against the creative. This has now been rectified (if you want to check out the creative you can see it here - at the moment, may not be up in another week) and the creative is tracking through to the demo pages. Much better user experience, and it makes more sense.

Goes to show, don't assume that people will load exactly what you give them (so true when it comes to textlinks - from experience) own your creative, love your creative and once live, make sure it is working properly. Good user experience means everyone wins. Right?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking for other opinions

OK. I'm having some issues with hitting 27. Been a little obsessed with the Forever 27 club for a while, and I have a good notion that I am not going to become a worldwide famous musician in the next year, so the likelihood of me joining such an club is not going to happen.

Next best thing.

When I was 13 I shaved my head. A number 1. Was empowering (because no one understood) and fun (was mistaken for 20+).

With the impending doom of 27 and being no closer to the Forever 27 club, I am wondering if other drastic action should be taken. Do I want to cut off all my hair again?

Are you ready for the MacBook Myspace worthy pics?
This is me now:Or, should I go short:What do you think? I'm still working on a decision, would welcome any opinion right now. (I swear the shorter hairstyle looks better in real life than photo...

New Favourite (time-wasting) sites of the week 210809

Right, so I haven't done many favourite sites of the week recently, so I thought, for a Friday, I would share my favourite sites which, well, they're timewasters. Fun time-wasters, but time wasters nonetheless.

Perhaps you should come back and check these out this afternoon, whilst enjoying your first beer. There are some serious laughs to be had. Yes yes.

PeteinAkl (Peter's things worth a look on the interweb) This one is actually my favourite of all at the moment, if you have time, go back through all the entries. There are some amazing gems in this little baby, hours of fun I tell you. Hours! (most certainly for the cat lovers out there, this one is a little addictive)

Cuteoverload (Don't want to blow out on the cute cats thing but... awww.)

Textsfromlastnight (drunk people's text messages. Awesome.)

Flicks (I'm a bit of a trailer junkie - must admit, don't actually see many of the movies, but the trailers are great. Plus sign up for their newsletter to get your hands on freebies.)

Failblog (Yeah, its a given, but sometimes people forget about it)

The Big Picture (Amazing photo journalism)

And following those, here are some specific blogs that I would recommend:
AdLandSuit - Advertising Suit
Refinery 29 - Fashion
Exclamation Exclamation - creative kids

That's all I gots for the moment. Have a grand weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Uncanny timing

So, the day I publish my 99th post and suddenly become concerned about posting something worthwhile for number 100, I get my answer in an email.

The very person who was the tipping point of me starting this blog emailed me:

"...realise i missed a message from you on twitter a
while back . . but not to worry, i recently saw something in London
that undeniably brought you to mind . . akin to a head full of
flashing lights!"
Thanks T Sparks, impeccable timing yet again good sir.

There you have it. Number 100. Wonder what 101-200 has in store? Any requests?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cadbury... continues

I’m going to admit it, I think Cadbury have managed their about face quite well.

There are a lot of things I could comment on here, but if you want to know the down and dirty details about
Cadbury taking palm oil back out of their chocolate, I’m sure Stuff, NZ Herald or NBR cover it better than I could as they probably got the press release. If that’s what you’re looking for, follow those links.

What I would like to comment on is their actions on the peripheral of said press release.

Quick background:

  • Cadbury takes Palm Oil out of chocolate
  • Cadbury get a little slammed by a phenomenal comparison TVC by Whittakers
  • Cadbury put a pretty lame PR/Spin full page ad in main mets & Sundays
  • Everything goes pretty quiet, but Cadbury is suddenly on special in most supermarkets I walk into.

Throughout all of this I was a little unimpressed that Cadbury were broadcasting their message and not having a conversation with their consumers, or even in the space where their consumers were bitching about them (read: Twitter).

  • Then Cadbury release the statement that they are going to remove palm oil from their chocolate
That last one happened yesterday, the 17th of August.

In their press release (which you can read in full
here) they state that they genuinely believed that they were making the right decisions for the right reasons (that part is a little debatable, but we’ll overlook that) and that in response to consumer complaints, they are going back to using cocoa butter.

Consumers spoke,
Cadbury listened. How to reconnect with your consumer who is not happy about something you have done? Acknowledge them, listen to what they’re saying and change if possible/its the right thing to do. Then get a LOT of coverage about it. As much as humanly possible preferably.

Someone very smart obviously got in
Cadbury’s ear just before the press release went out and taught
them about Twitter. On the 14th of August @Cadbury_AUNZ sent their first Tweet “Recent changes in the global market have led us to make changes. Learn more at”and then, the clever clogs, they set up an automatic search (I’m guessing for the term ‘Cadbury’) and have been responding, where appropriate, to anyone commenting about Cadbury since; to the point that some Twitter-ers were not anticipating responses to their critiques about Cadbury, from Cadbury, commenting that it creeped them out. I say good on them, they jumped on a medium and are using it CORRECTLY from the get go; using the tools that are available to make sure that they can (start to) protect their brand.

Now, I think they should have probably been in this space a little earlier, however I’m not sure what they would have been able to say in response to their critics until they officially decided to take palm oil back out. The point is they’re there now. They’re having the conversation, and they are directing people to somewhere where they can get more information should they want to.

Well done
Cadbury, even though it took a little time, I think you did the right thing, and I think you have handled it well. Can’t honestly say that I’m a huge fan of your advertising, but you’re not the ruthless orangutan killers that you were a week ago, so congratulations.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First In Best Dressed?

Where to start? There is so much going on I would like to blog about today but have had no time.

OK, so I am going to pick on Stuff again. I am so sorry Stuff, you know I love you really, but I’m a bit unimpressed.

This grates me: “New Zealand’s Best Dressed Businesswoman

Apparently: “ has picked the following businesswomen for the top five finalists, listed below."

1) Mai Chen, partner and co-founder of Chen Palmer, New Zealand's only specialist public law firm
2) Annah Stretton, CEO, Stretton Clothing & Stretton Publishing3) Josephine Grierson, Auckland entrepreneur4) Paula Rebstock, former Commerce Commission chairwoman5) Carmel Fisher, managing director, Fisher FundsHow/who/where did these names come from? Nothing against these women, but I don’t think they could take out NZ’s Best Dressed Businesswoman.

I'm glad that Stuff have done Businessman as well - as that would be a whole different conversation - but surely it is not what these people wear, but what they accomplish? Come on.

Jumping back to the best-dressed ship, I'm sure we could come up with a better list than what Stuff came up with.

Some of my votes would include:
Jenene Freer (Flossie)
Fiona Hawtin (Fashion Quarterly Editor)
Claire Kingan-Jones (Kingan Jones - designer)
Lela Jacobs (Lela Jacobs - designer)
Sarah Henry (Woman's Day Editor)

I think what is pretty obvious from my list is that we tend to focus on our own world and what we know. 'Businesswoman' is much harder than 'celebrity'. Please add your own to the list, we may start to see a trend...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When I grow up

Fark, this is awesome!

"Have my arse kissed by every media rep on the face of the earth"
That pretty much covers it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mediaworks TV says bye bye to Big Agencies

So this isn't breaking news by any means (not that it matters too much, as I don't have to suffer any consequences) however, I have a couple of questions about this relationship between Colenso & Mediaworks.

The telethon ad, the one that is a horrific rip off of the US Election '08 advertising campaign - was this an in-house idea or Colenso? I'm hoping not Colenso considering the comment on the NBR article "TV3 have been incapable of approving a decent advertising campaign, and you can't lay that blame at Colenso's door given the creative they've delivered for others." Sounds like some sour Colenso creative grapes to me.

It also sounds like Mediaworks were happy with their account service team... “Our current account service team of Angela Watson, Karla Fisher and Virginia Frankovich has been a pleasure to work with, and we thank them for their hard work.”

However, who is responsible for this:
It's phenomenal. Is this Colenso creative? Is it in-house Mediaworks (and when I say that I mean was it sent over from the States)? Seriously, who. This is awesome. Took me a second, but I laughed my arse off!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Confused - not that that's new

TVNZ's homepage takeover today is one of their own. I know I have seen this creative before, but I would have a clue what its for, and there seems to be no information on the page about what it is for either.
Considering that it's kinda my job to know these things, though my amazing powers of deduction I have concluded that this is for the Mentalist which premieres tonight. I think. Come on though, I work in the industry and am hyper sensitive to this sort of stuff, what about people who don't have a clue?

On another note - all you Wellingtonians - you coming to the Tweetup this week at Mighty Mighty? Please note, this is the new venue, there had to be a slight change of venue after we initially posted the invite. RSVP to the right. Hope to see ya'll there on Thursday.

Shh! Don’t tell Monica

What a crack up. I was out on Friday night and caught up with one of the guys from Stuff and his friends, all of whom I know. First thing one of them says to me is “I knew about what Stuff were going to do, and I was told not to tell you”. OK… That’s a little too cryptic for me late on a Friday night.

Following a little digging I realized what they were talking about was the
stunt Stuff pulled in Auckland last week. I guess my question would have to be, why not tell me? If I was going to pull a stunt like that, creating some talk prior to the event, probably would have helped it out. There is this lovely little term, ‘embargo’ that is used by pretty much anyone who has time sensitive information, but need media coverage of some description. It means, “here, we’ll give you a heads up, but we need you to wait until this time before you publish” and it works well. Getting someone (even someone as insignificant as little ol’ me) to start teasing this information is going to get people talking. People talking is good, it means they care – goodness knows I am always more concerned when people stop talking about me.

I have to admit, the stunt itself didn’t wow me all that much, and while there was a little bit of buzz on Twitter about it, not enough for me to RT anything, or even bother to look at the video. Nice idea, try to get some energy around going in Auckland, pull some of the Herald readers, just didn’t hit the nail on the head for me.

And this is why… Stuff rarely break stories, in fact most of the ‘news’ publishers are behind the 8 ball when it comes to breaking stories. If I look back at the big news events which have happened in the last few months, and where I got my information from, it was Twitter, not a news publisher. (This is where I have to admit that I do not follow either the Herald or Stuff on Twitter because it feels a little spammy to me, they tend to tweet a barrage of info all at one time – too much).

Bain trial – Twitter (
Michael Jackson – Twitter (
@CNNBreak were first to confirm from those I follow)
Weatherston – Twitter (Can’t remember where this came from, a number of sources if I remember rightly)

The one thing I do know, is that from the people I follow, NOT ONE RT’ed or noted a major NZ News publisher as the source of their information for any of the events above.

So this ‘Consequences’ campaign, what irks me, is this ‘breaking stories first’ issue – to what lengths? Quite unfortunately Stuff got busted recently for the pre-writing of the Weatherston verdict - article written, with guilty verdict, well before the jury came back. So while they are pushing the idea of being the first to break a story, the question is, at what cost? NBR has put up a paywall on articles in an attempt to keep journalists (yeah, I know, that is a very long story, short – but it seemed to be the main reason that Colman was pushing), so is that what we can therefore expect from Stuff as well? They’re so busy writing stories in anticipation of what is going to happen, that in order for these journalists to keep their jobs, we’re going to have to start
paying for this information?

It will be interesting to see what happens next. One question I do have though, what did OSH think about dangling someone from that building??
Stunt 2

UPDATED 11/8: Tell you what though, I'll give Stuff credit for breaking the Iceberg story - possibly not story of the century, but they were able to answer the questions no one else have been able to this morning.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Favourite Site of the Week 070809

So, this has been floating around Twitter for about a week (maybe over??) but I think it is great. Bitch.Co allows one to tweet exactly what is on their mind, anonymously. Man-alive people loving this site. It is not beautifully designed but it serves its purpose.
I know I am incredibly aware of who is following me on Twitter and what things may or may not be appropriate to tweet (unless I’ve had a few drinks in which case all censorship seems to fly out the window) even though sometimes I would like to express my exact feelings. Enter Bitch.Co, an anonymous way to pull the fingers to whomever you want - and if you want to be really anonymously nasty, you can call out Twitter users:

(please note, I sent this to myself – no one sent this to me)

People are really embracing this site too. I was following Bitch.Co for a little while but had to unfollow as I was getting too many tweets from them and it was killing my limit on TweetDeck.

Happy weekend all. If you're in Wellington, and gots nothing to do tonight, go and see 1995 play with Tiddabades & the beautiful Diana Rozz at Mighty Mighty. Quality gig action.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On a positive note today

I have previously been slightly critical of BNZ’s advertising, and to be fair, I think my comments about the crazy showcase and awful homepage takeover are still relevant. Really does not do it for me. However, what a nice little surprise I got this morning when I was reading the NBR and there was a bottom banner at the end of the piece:

Here is a close up.
I think this is great, which is kind of amazing as I am not a fan with this format, but well done BNZ. I think this is some spot on placement and messaging going on and I am impressed. Very well thought out. Making an assumption that a number of very busy business owners and/or decision makers that don’t have time through the day to read NBR and catch up on a lot of their news at night is a very smart one. Upstairs for thinking! My one thought would have been to maybe try to time target the message so it is even more relevant (like after 7pm at night maybe) but I’d imagine that it does drive a decent amount of traffic through the day also, so not that biggie.

In other, “while I slam them, they still have it” news…

I thought I was going to be able to make a grand retracting statement about Cadbury advertising, and that at least they get some of their products right even if the brand itself is a little confused and throw up this ad:

Which I see is Australian. That’s a pity. No grand retraction for today, however this ad does crack me up, the other one a little more than this, but this was the only one I could find quickly.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Cadbury Brand Saga Continues

Who is behind Cadbury creative at the moment, because it is really not doing it for me.

I posted about the very weak 'glass and a half of facts' print ad that they pushed out through the main mets and Sunday papers.

I didn't bother commenting on the Old Gold eyeblaster takeover on Stuff because Lance covered it damn well. You can read his thoughts here. I love in the comments how Kirsty from Stuff says:
we’re forwarding all comments about the ad to the advertiser which we generally do if we notice an
elevated number of complaints
I take it there have been a few comments on this creative then??

Then today, flicking through Woman's Day, and I see this:
Who on earth are you talking to with this creative? Really? It doesn't fit with any other creative I have seen come out for Cadbury (anyone seen some TV or anything with this kind of idea?). Its just kinda weird actually. Is it a client as creative situation?

Totally baffles me. I used to quite like Cadbury, and their advertising. The 'wouldn't it be nice' campaign was lovely, and translated across advertising mediums. This, this is just strange, and most certainly doesn't make me want to buy Cadbury chocolate.