Monday, November 30, 2009

NZHerald Hate

What is up with the NZHerald hate today? Huh?

Coke has decided to un-cork the coke bottle of Summer, and have done so online. Good on them. Nice, easy, broad reach. Makes sense to me.

First thing this morning, Lance Wiggs was on the case and highlighted the homepage takeover on the Herald website. He’s not a fan. That’s fair enough, I can understand. But I’m not sure it can be classified as ‘stupid’. I believe it is what is called being flexible for the clients who enable them to provide a bucket load of news content to us for free.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of the ACTUAL creative, however the nice thing about the creative though, is it gives you the option to go directly to the site. It is quite clear; you don’t have to sit through the ad. More to the point, it is frequency capped, so you only actually have to see it once. That is of course, unless you are trying to make a point and are going through every browser on your computer to play “let’s make a point of this.” Hi... you are HUNTING out this creative now. You are looking for it, it is not targeting you.

The fact that the Herald can serve across browsers should be the point that is being talked about on this one people. Yay. For once I can see what people are talking about on Chrome. This is awesome. I always think that I am potentially missing out on creative executions because I like Chrome, thanks to the Herald, I’m not missing out, which means a great big potential audience across a number of browsers are not missing out. BONUS POINTS!

So what are my main points on this spiel?

  • Obviously everyone is using NZHerald. This is great. Go The Herald site. If they weren’t using the Herald we wouldn’t have heard about it being their fault, obviously.
  • Good on Herald for supporting more than one browser. Wanna know why you didn’t see the takeover on other sites? Potentially it is because the other sites don’t support browsers other than IE. Guess what, for advertisers, THIS IS A GOOD THING that the Herald does. Not a bad thing.
  • It is on the other main sites as well. Hello TV3 and MSN. Look at that, other major publishers who are not willing to turn away advertising dollars.

I regularly bitch about online creative – but it is (more than often) the CREATIVE that I am talking about, not the publisher. Typically if I am talking publisher specific they are having some serious adserving issues or they have taken away formats I like, not because they are willing to keep business ticking over by accepting adspend.

I think people are being just slightly sensitive on this one. You only had to see it once. Get over it.

Love your work NZHerald. Don't stop a-rocking!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who is AdLand Suit?

So, who is the man without the head?

Have you heard me talk about
AdLand Suit before? I wrote a post about ALS in August after he sent me a postcard from Edinburgh (and a number of other people got them also).

I like the idea of Mr
AdLand Suit, I like the fact he is anonymous and he writes a pretty amazing blog. In fact, if I were still a suit I do believe it would my bible, apart from the X-Factor live tweeting. Would live my life by that necessarily, but otherwise he has incredibly sound advice.

So, I gotta admit, part of the intrigue is the fact that he is faceless. We (those of us who live and breathe twitter particularly) spend a lot of our time talking to faceless people online everyday. Sometimes there are 'avatars' but can you ever be sure that the person looks like that in real life? I take all avatars with a grain of salt, lets be fair.
ALS on the other hand has never put a face to the name, it is literally a conversation with a faceless person.

Back to the point, he has decided it is time to take off the mask. Dun dun

Not only is he going to answer the question many of us have asked for quite some time, he is using his anonymity, and the curious/generous nature of his followers to do good.

He is
taking donations for Marie Curie Cancer Care and once donations reach £1000 he is going to reveal who he is. He is already over £3000, after less than a week. Needless to say, those who follow ALS are chomping at the bit to find out who this man really is. You can read all about it here.

Apparently all will be revealed this week, after he has checked with the place of his employ. I'm looking forward to it, and not at the same time. I kinda liked the mystery. I guess too, I wonder, if being anonymous since March in his postings, is this going to change the blog? If people know who he is, will he sensor himself? That would be a shame. Also, I'm not in London, so I can't hit him up for a beer. I wonder if I donated the most he would fly me over and take me out for lunch... Probably not.

While I have not donated (come on, donating £ on an NZ salary? With the current exchange rate?) I do have a request for ALS, don't go changing. You have such a strong following for a reason.

And the countdown to unmasking commences...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I love it. Walked past this billboard up the top of Cuba street the other day and I think it is brilliant and accurate:So classic. At any rate, as all good advertising does, it lead me to check out and I have to say, I like it.

It is basically an open forum where people can start a discussion about a subject and then other members can have their say on it. It could be a nice little tester for agencies actually, get a quick sample of the vocal portion of the NZ public and what they think about a campaign, obviously not the most robust of testing, but has to be better than the usual sample of the 5 closest people which seems to happen every once in a while.

My favourite so far are the comments under the 'do you like the new Telecom logo' poll (these are taken straight off the site, I haven't edited or proofed the comments) without a doubt, my favourite comments are #8 & #17:

tigermountin posted comment #17 on Sat 14 Nov 2009 at 4:46 pm
The agency really worked hard on this one. A pity they were turned down by two other clients before dumping the logo on Telecom

Tigger posted comment #16 on Sat 14 Nov 2009 at 3:29 pm
Yes, it's new and fresh. Clean. Hapy. Not like those awful kiddies blocks they had before in the the yech colours.

Wings posted comment #15 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 10:46 pm
The old logo was out of date but the new one seems to have missed by a mile.

Chatwall posted comment #14 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 4:45 pm
Only Telecom voting for themselves could produce this result.

skippy posted comment #13 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 4:06 pm
I would love to know how much money they spent on this awful logo! What a waste of money.

poker nut posted comment #12 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 2:45 pm
Telecom are having a go at recovering the youth market, I like the attempt but doubt it will work.

gringo posted comment #11 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 2:06 pm
Blue on white is the new black in the NZ corporate rebrand style guide for 2009

silvermies posted comment #10 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 1:16 pm
I don't think I'll ever get past Theresa the Terribles reign, but as irritating as it is to admit the logo does seem to represent a new direction.

denny posted comment #9 on Fri 13 Nov 2009 at 1:00 pm
represents youthfulness and new change in direction - i like it

Humonious posted comment #8 on Sun 8 Nov 2009 at 5:08 pm
Looks like a pretty lazy design to me

victoria posted comment #7 on Thu 5 Nov 2009 at 12:21 pm
I like it. It better reflects Telecom as a brand and is much more modern but did they really need a logo only 5yrs on?

Clivetheseabass posted comment #6 on Tue 3 Nov 2009 at 11:46 am
An improvement on the XT bollicks. What do you people expect from a telecommunications logo? a back rub and a shandy?

Vodafone is just a coma. two degrees is a with a degree thing. t mobile is a t with a squiggle. O2 is an O with a little two. Orange is... well orange.

at least every phone in the world has an asterisk on it.

Michaelaws posted comment #5 on Tue 3 Nov 2009 at 11:15 am
looks like cat's bum

bigfella posted comment #4 on Mon 2 Nov 2009 at 11:02 am
Telecom have always been seen as the establishment and Vodafone have played on this. they havce said we are younger hipper and more cutting edge technology so Telecom have been playing 2nd fiddle in terms of new customer sign up. With XT and now the new logo Telecom are saying we can compete directly on these fronts, + offer the infrastructure of their landline strength.

Admin - Daniel posted comment #3 on Sat 31 Oct 2009 at 6:12 pm
It gives the company a rubbish look, in my opinion it looks like something that someone who's new to design has created

yeah posted comment #2 on Wed 28 Oct 2009 at 1:10 pm
I like the logo as an image but have no idea what its supossed to make me feel about Telecom!?

posted comment #1 on Wed 28 Oct 2009 at 12:47 pm
it looks like tumble weed

At any rate, its a good site which I will most certainly be adding it to the list of sites I keep an eye on and listening to any discussions being had within the forum.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hold the phone!

Uncool and unimpressed right here.

So, in my last post I commented on the World Vision thing on the Stuff website, and today
Anonymous said...

I enjoy getting slammed. Keep it coming.

Wait ONE MOMENT. That's not cool. I am not slamming anyone person in particular, simply pointing that I don't think that the creative is effective. My response to this person is in the comments. That is not my point, that is not what has pissed me off.

What do we have here. Yesterday's screen shot:

And now a screen shot from today:

Even BEFORE you blow these up it is blatant that they have in fact done what I suggested and bolded the white type.

This is not cool. Don't pull me up on 'slamming' your creative, thank me. You have obviously taken on board my suggestion (still think it should be a textlink - but I'm guessing you're not going to go that far to prove that I am right) so why not be man (or woman) enough to thank me for pointing out how hard this was to read and that you have acted on it.

I hope you get more clicks today.

What a geek. Right. Someone has, quite rightly, pointed out that I am the one who first commented on slamming. Sorry about that kids. Apologies to whoever looks after World Vision. See - I admit it when I am wrong. Over-reacting, yet again.
However - they have made it bolder, that I have not gotten wrong. Again, this time writing it without sarcasm in my internal monologue, I hope you get more clicks!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can't read it - Fail.

What. What is that black chunk at the top of Stuff today? What is that? Honestly - what I think it is, is ugly.
Granted the black did get my attention but for all of the wrong reasons. Click on the image and enlarge it, or see the image below, seriously blown up:

  1. The black is WAY too heavy for this sort of placement, especially since Stuff is so nice and clean and white these days.
  2. The 2 logos are tiny. How are you meant to make out either of those? I think the one of the left says 'Lend a Hand' but can't be sure, it might just say 'Lend Hand' which doesn't really make much sense does it? Only reason I know the other is because, luckily, World Vision is a relatively recognisable brand.
  3. Finally, what is with using the skinniest font that ever lived? At least make it bold, then someone might be able to read it.
Shocker. Why build creative which does not work in that space when an underlined textlink in the same font and colour as the links to Trade Me/Old Friend etc. could have worked quite well (I think). Actually, I don't recall any other World Vision online display creative - do they often use black.

Sorry folks - Someone commented last week that I hadn't posted in 2 weeks, now you're getting slammed. Hope you enjoy anyway.

More chocolate - give me more

I got chocolate sent to me this week. Sweet, sweet chocolate.Om nom nom nom.

Ages back I wrote a few blogs about Cadbury. Some of it was about it's advertising and what seems to be some confusion around what direction they are going in creatively, but the other part was about the Palm Oil in the chocolate and the spin they tried to put on it.

I have highlighted that once they made the turn on the palm oil situation they started handling things a little better and it would seem that they are now trying to turn the situation around completely.

With my 5 blocks (may have been overkill) of Cadbury "palm oil free" chocolate, I
also got a letter:
A week or so ago I got an email from Cadbury asking for my postal address, initially I was worried they were sending around the heavies, then I decided that that was unlikely, why give me warning?

So what's my point? Do I have one? Probably not.

Cadbury obviously took the time to trawl through Twitter and the blogsphere to identify people who had spoken out about the palm oil situation and were particularly vocal about it. By contacting them, telling them that Cadbury would like them to enjoy the non palm oil chocolate before anyone else, while might not work for all, it is a good way to make the vocal kids feel special and hopefully get them to turn the corner and become advocates.

It seems to have worked, for the most part, thus far.

Enough people had tweeted about the new chocolate turning up that it had others in the twittersphere asking how they could get their hands on some.

I guess what I found lacking from the letter was a) a date - I can't stand it when correspondence does not have a date on it. It makes me question how long they have been sitting on it (I know in this case it doesn't matter so much, but it still erks me, it is standard practice) b) while they say that they are telling the rest of the country from Sunday, I haven't seen anything and it doesn't actually say when the chocolate will be rolling out in stores. I guess that it is a hard selling point for them as stores will have stock of the old chocolate, however it would have been an idea to give people an idea of when the chocolate is going to be back in the system.

At any rate Cadbury, well done and thanks for the chocolate. It may have taken a little time, but I am impressed that you're willing to admit your mistakes and rectify them, I can name at least 1 big arrogant NZ organisation who have made some bad decisions recently and won't admit it.

Cadbury chocolate - palm oil free - coming to a store near you, soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AdLand Gossip

OK, so this was something that I wasn't going to do, but oh my goodness, WHAT IS GOING ON IN AGENCY LAND AT THE MOMENT?

Now, I seem to get a good deal of gossip thrown my way - thanks guys - and I had thought about setting up an anonymous blog and twitter account kinda like Mr AdLand Suit would be the way to go. (As a complete aside, if you are in agency land, read this guy's blog, it's pretty spectacular. Only follow him on twitter if you're fine with being slammed with X-Factor tweets on the weekend, its amusing at any rate)
But work is busy, there are many many parties to attend in the next while, I have enough on my plate trying to keep up with my 2 current blogs to start a new one so it ain't gonna happen. Feeling sorry for me yet? Good.

So, being based in Wellington, this is going to have a Wellington skew on it, but, Wellingtonians spend much more time reading my blog than anyone else in NZ (Aucklanders - what's up with your attention span?) so it seems appropriate that it has a Wellington focus.

So, in case you have been living under a rock, this is what I know from the last few months:

Lets start with the banks:
  • BNZ has moved its business to Sugar (congrats by the way to the Sugar guys, can you please turn those pigs into bacon? that would be awesome)
  • NBNZ has gone from Clems to Draft FCB, with the media with Ogilvy. That was an interesting one actually. So OMD were fired by the client, and then Clems fired NBNZ as a client. Are relationships that bad? All the best to FCB - I'm assuming that the Dec 2010 release of the horse is still in place. Bye bye horse, at least no one is going to paint you anymore.
  • ANZ has gone to DDB, sorry M&C
  • And all of a sudden ASB is trying to claim they are a 'Kiwi Bank'. Ah, actually, you guys are Australian owned and we have a KiwiBank already. Fail.
And all of the people upheaval
  • Andrew Stone & Mike O'Sullivan are leaving Saatchi's to set up their own shop?
  • Clems have let go 12 (I think) people
  • Carat are closing their Wellington and Christchurch offices
  • Brent Smart is leaving Colenso BBDO to go to California
  • Adam Good is to become the CEO of Aim Proximity
And then the real gossip
  • Last Wellington IAB drinks (sorry - I hate the idea of the DSC and refuse to join, let alone rename what Thirsty Thursday was) there was a number of inappropriate comments from one individual. I'm talking numerous. I got a good deal, however a publisher also got much more than they bargained for whilst talking with this person.
  • On top of the inappropriate comments, there was some inappropriate kissing as well. Now, I most certainly could be accused of inappropriate kissing in the past, however I at least TRY to be discreet about it. There was little discretion here and I can't help but wonder, was it a dare?
  • Off IAB drinks and onto other gossip, I think many a visitor to Wellington could learn from the next story. Hookers in Wellington cannot be trusted - lets be fair, can hookers anywhere be trusted? - Whether the person in question was tied up, or not conscious, the hookers took their laptop (no doubt wallet too) so when it came to present the next day, this person claimed their gear had been nicked from Mojo - only problem being Mojo has CCTV and there was no footage of this person being in Mojo that morning. Shocker. Why lie about it? At the end of the day, I honestly don't think the people this person had to explain the situation to, wouldn't have understood. I'm quite certain worse things have happened in this beautiful little industry we are in. Own your mistakes, we all fuck up at some point. Sure, some fuck ups are bigger than others, but take responsibility, otherwise how are people meant to respect you?
Wow - that one got a little off topic, but nevermind.

So there is my round up for the last few months. If you really want to keep up to date, I would suggest daily check ins with or sign up for their emails. While I do enjoy Hazel's pieces, unfortunately they are all too often hidden by subscriber content and she does seem to be ever-so-slightly in a certain large agency's pocket... but that is just my opinion.

Right there you go. Gossip session over. Feel free to add anything I may have left off - you all get the luxury of being able to be anonymous! HOWEVER, I don't want to be done for defamation, so lets leave off names huh?

UPDATED 16/11:
There was a whisper that Total were moving in with OMD in Wellington - anyone got word on whether this is actually happening?

Updated again, Hazel, I take it all back. The lovely Hazel has spilled the beans on someone within the agency whose pocket I thought she might have been in. Great article - if you can get behind the paywall - detailing the fact she was sent a letter, via snail mail, about the whole escapade. The only parts of the story that I left out above was the fact that they left via the fire escape, setting off the alarm, and it would seem as though there is some confusion about the number of hookers involved.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sorry Ya'll

Apologies for the lack of posting as of late.

Um, been busy. Too busy at work, partying too hard at night. Don't expect that this will change in the lead up to Christmas.

There are 3 drafts sitting there, waiting for me to finish them, I just need to do it.

I will be back - It may be amazing, it may not. Whatever it is about, I'm sure I'll have a strong opinion on it.