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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

It’s how we behave in the bad times that defines us – beware of ‘false-faces’

Posted by Lee on May 7, 2009

sa-two-faceWorking in an agency and speaking at various conferences means that you mingle with a cross-section of business people, and this means you hear a lot. A lot of information and gossip.

As we enter our Southern Hemisphere winter, we are all feeling the chill winds of the global recession down here in NZ, and quite obviously, businesses are now coming to terms with some harsh new realities. The most optimistic amongst us realize that against a background of plummeting sales, companies are faced with some ugly choices around reducing costs. And the ugliest of these is to make employees redundant. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Agency life, Cogitating, Economy, Society | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Time to look for a new agency?

Posted by Lee on April 24, 2009

anger-marUK’s Revolution magazine focuses on digital marketers and agencies, have published a light hearted but telling survey for companies who may be thinking about the depth of the relationship they have with their own agency.

Although the ‘test’ is written for marketers and it is about digital agencies, it is a great thought starter that can be applied to any client and agency discipline.

So go on, take the test here –  because in the current economic climate, it may help to reassure you that your relationship is ok, or confirm that it is time to start divorce proceedings.

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Economy, Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

What really are the most popular 99 songs online today?

Posted by Lee on April 17, 2009

hunted_logoWe all know that the industry’s music charts are notoriously unreliable and irrelevant in this age of digital music and global digital citizens.

For a start, there is no  ‘standardisation’ between competing chart compilers and channels within the same country, let alone on an international basis.

In the physical world, charts are built on shipped albums. Online, traditionally, they have been a count of digital downloads and while under the traditional economic model, ‘sales are king’, it could be that in this era of networked global communities and illegal downloads, the measure of a band’s influence and buzz is an even richer vein to tap into.

This is where We Are Hunted comes in. They pitch themselves as the music chart for the digital generation and generate their 99 most popular songs online each day.

The We Are Hunted charts’ point of difference is that it tracks sentiment, expression and advocacy relating to particular songs. In their words “We aggregate social networks, forums, music blogs, Torrents, P2P networks and Twitter to develop a daily chart of the most popular songs online”.

A chart based upon ‘buzz’ and the amount of conversation a song has generated means that you can be exposed to songs, bands and genres that you may not ever come across across if you just rely on your own local radio stations.

Is it going to help these bands sell their songs? Well, some of these artists will be exposed to a whole new global audience and that has to be helpful, not only for music sales, but also for getting live audiences when doing overseas tours.

Check out We Are Hunted and if you like any particular song you come across, you can buy it by clicking through to iTunes.

Posted in Arts, Consumer Trends, Economy, Internet, Sales promotion, Social media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy 10th Birthday, TradeMe!

Posted by Lee on April 1, 2009

From a fledgling business running off a young Sam Morgan’s PC 10 years ago, to New Zealand’s biggest and most successful website business today, TradeMe has gone from strength to strength.

TradeMe is an online auction site where goods are auctioned directly by members to other members – an NZ versionof eBay, but with a huge marketplace of local traders.

My partner and I had a really good night at TradeMe’s 10th Birthday bash. They’d booked out the Embassy Theatre, laid on finger food & drinks prior to a screening of hand-picked short films from the 48 Hour Film Festivals and NZ Film Commission. After the screening, yet more food, drink and a live band. There were hundreds of people there, and strangely, most of us knew each other proving that in NZ there’s a lot less than 6 degrees of separation!

Anyway, thanks to all the good people at TradeMe for a fun, relaxed evening.

Posted in Economy, Internet | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Adfest 2009 – the festival begins

Posted by Lee on March 19, 2009

We did our final round of judging, to select the ‘Cyber Lotus Best in Show’, and to nominate some work for the new Lotus Roots category.
Like the other judging rounds, there was passionate discussion by all members of the jury, and we’re totally satisfied with what we’ve selected as the 2009 ‘Best in Show’, but again, details will be kept under wraps until Saturday evening’s Awards Ceremony.

Adfest 2009The festival officially opened today, and after the official opening, things kicked off with the Gunn Report 2008 – Asia Pacific Edition. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Awards, Conferences, Economy | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Adfest Cyber Lotus – first round impressions

Posted by Lee on March 5, 2009

A high proportion of the entries were ‘competent’ which is a big improvement on some shows I’ve judged, where a huge amount of entries were quite awful and probably the result of some of the bigger agencies flooding the shows with ‘volume’ over ‘quality’.

Is this a sign that standards are generally rising? Or just that these tough economic times have forced agencies to be more selective about what they enter? I’m not sure, but whatever the reason, it’s an encouraging trend. However, ‘competent’ will not win awards – competent is just a hygene factor.

Here are a  few general ‘first round’ thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advertising, Agency life, Awards, Economy, Social media | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Desperate times call for drastic measures – how about ‘Buy one, Get one free!’ – for cars?

Posted by Lee on November 16, 2008


OK, we’ve seen ‘two for one’ price offers in the retail sector before, and it’s pretty much a standard promotional tactic in the FMCG sectors, but using this approach to sell cars, and new ones at that – well, that’s pretty extreme.

Just another example of how the credit crunch has taken hold all over the world, this ‘buy one new car, get one free’ offer was run in the UK where last month, new car sales were down 23%, the biggest fall in 17 years.

However, what really caught my eye about this, wasn’t that it was yet another doom & gloom, credit-crunch story, it was how it was also a remarkable demonstration of how consumers react to offers differently, and real proof of the need to ‘test’ offers to the market (something that DM agencies always try to get their clients to do). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Trends, Economy, Sales promotion | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good – They’re elected, so why am I conflicted?

Posted by Lee on November 10, 2008


Good for the world
I, like millions of others in the world, sighed with relief when Barak Obama was elected President of the USA. Years of the Bush legacy have left the international reputation of the USA in tatters. As far as the rest of the world was concerned, the USA had become the nation to distrust, and the desire for change was paramount. With the current economic woes of the world, a young, dynamic non-Republican US President, someone with oodles of energy and vitality to drive positive change, seems like a good prescription for the future.
Saying that, I also felt sorry for McCain. I have no doubt that he is a good, honorable patriot but he seemed like a man out of time – ten years out of time in terms of being the Republican candidate of choice. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Economy | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is this the best US political ad ever?

Posted by Lee on October 27, 2008

No, I’m not talking about the politics, nor the rights and wrongs of it – I’m merely looking at the topicality, the relevance, and the nostalgic take on a series of classic TVCs from a US power brand in a wealthier, (happier?) time. Made for the internet by the gifted guys at 60Frames, and I don’t even think it is an ‘official party message’.

So funny, and yet just a wee bit sad…….

Posted in Advertising, Economy, Internet, Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Is ‘Thriftism’ set to become the new ‘black’?

Posted by Lee on October 23, 2008

The economic storm has yet to effect the average New Zealander yet, but the clouds are gathering and people are already starting to think twice about what they buy, why they buy it, and how they flaunt it.

We live in a society where no matter what income bracket we are in, we tend to spend up to the limit of that stratum. Peer pressure amongst different groups has created an environment where there is a relentless need to upgrade, improve, extend, and visibly better ourselves.
Does this race to consume make people feel any happier? Not really, because it is a relentless, never-ending treadmill, with no rest periods in between the need to acquire.

However, that may all be about to change. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Consumer Trends, Economy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »