January 20, 2020

Year in review

Year in review

Every year, StopPress asks players in the local industry for their reflections on the marketing year that was. Here’s what Rhys Heron, managing director of Mi9, had to say.

1. Favourite local campaign that isn’t yours

Whether you buy into the premise or not, the Lotto ‘Imagine’ television commercial was an engaging and ultimately memorable piece of storytelling. I remember it sparking conversations in the living room and office.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours

We ran a Native campaign of five articles for James Hardie via PHD on MSN NZ that we’re proud of. It was true editorial Native featuring compelling storytelling and high-quality imagery. The articles wouldn’t have been out of place in a high-end home design or architectural publication.

3. Favourite international campaign

I’m a bit of a stationery fan; who doesn’t like coloured pens, highlighters and post-it notes? With that in mind I thought the Staedtler ‘To the Point’ highlighter campaign by Leo Burnett Hong Kong was clever, highlighting that in a world overflowing with information the actual gem can be found in the detail by cutting through the noise and getting to the point! Awareness of Staedtler highlighters also rose to 20% in the wake of the campaign.

4. Least favourite campaign

Vaping companies deliberately targeting teenaged users in other markets seems to have received the negative attention it deserved.

5. Your own biggest success

Mi9 NZ is enjoying a strong 2019, facilitated by clear purpose and strategy, a capable and cohesive team, and incremental product and service innovation that is resonating with our clients. Our customer focus, transparency and authenticity is also appreciated. I’m excited to see what we can achieve in 2020!

6. Most significant launch/innovation/thing of the year

We combined our Microsoft first-party data from 2.1 million accounts, Experian socio-economic data, and Grapeshot contextual targeting into Macro Segment Data of 18 custom segments that our clients can apply across our network of MSN NZ, Outlook.com, Dailymotion, MTV and Comedy Central. The segments were developed using latent demand and insights from the market and have proved popular with our clients seeking specific audiences at scale.

7. What should be un-invented?

Is it too late to uninvent Crocs?

8. Lamest trend

I’m not sure it’s a trend (yet) but I’ve never agreed with wearing socks with sandals. It’s summer so we need to be vigilant.

Work it

9. Best brands

Disney has really put itself on the map and back in my consciousness this year with a stellar run of movie releases, including six of the eight most successful movies of 2019 so far, and breaking the $10 billion global box office barrier in the process. Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, was announced TIME’s businessperson of the year so I was interested to learn more about his strategy and career recently.

10. Best stoush

The fight between U.S. beer brands Bud Lite and Miller and Coors Lite over the use of the ingredient corn syrup in the latter that started during Super Bowl advertising was pretty epic and seemed to gather a life of its own, continuing from February until late 2019, including in court. It’s also been held up in advertising commentary as an example of brands prioritising listening to each other more than their customers so may not be an example for local brand rivals to emulate!

11. Heroes

The Mandalorian.

12. Villains

There are many but I think Donald Trump has done more than most to debase the presidency of the United States and the credibility of democratically elected leadership in general, including trolling a child, Greta Thunberg, on social media because she holds views he disagrees with. I grew up expecting a lot more from democratically elected politicians than that. Luckily New Zealand has avoided the worst of these trends to now.

13. What died in 2019?

Civic discourse on social media is definitely on life support. You don’t have to look far in any social media or publisher’s comments section to find a huge amount of vitriol, usually from people using anonymous accounts. I think the rule of thumb should be, would you feel brave enough to say this to someone’s face? Social media is such a beneficial platform for sharing information I’d hate to see it overcome by trolling.

14. What’s the biggest mistake marketers will make in 2020?

Not ensuring there’s sufficient breadth in their media plan to ensure local publishers, who create local content and fund local journalism, are supported. There isn’t massive scale in the New Zealand market so it’s important to protect the diversity we do have.

15: If there were no laws for 24 hours, what would you do? (besides hide)

Does hunkering down and protecting my family during 24 hours of anarchy count as not hiding?

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