3 July - Taking the Temperature of the Nation | Our Industry Insights

Posted 3 July 2020.

Julie Bramley, Insights Director - Ex Bauer Media has been working hard to gather and curate the most useful and relevant research and insights from around the country and globe to help us as move forward from the Covid-19 crisis. Read on for Julie’s top picks and comments.

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Insights - 3 July 2020

Yesterday marked three months since Bauer Media closed and to date there is still no news about where some of New Zealand’s most beloved magazine brands will land. On 17 June, Bauer’s entire Australia-New Zealand operations were acquired by Mercury Capital, but the New Zealand assets remain for sale. Three months is a long time to wait if you’re a subscriber of a weekly title and even longer for the former editorial teams. Hopefully, there will be some sort of resolution soon.

This week I urge you to click through to view some of the highlights from Cannes unCanned – and take a look at the excellent work by Kantar in their latest offering.

Take it easy out there.

Cannes unCanned 2020

I hope some of you managed to watch something from Cannes. Thankfully, there will be unlimited access to the videos now, so pop along to the site to watch on demand.

Bringing it home with Kantar

As you will recall, Kantar did a stellar job in lockdown collecting consumer sentiment every week for 13 weeks, along with seven waves of qual research. Now they’ve brought all their learnings together to create “How your brand and customer strategies should evolve to account for Covid-19”. It’s far more exciting than it sounds, trust me. Kantar covers how our values and behaviours have changed and the implications for brands and customer experience. Within each of the behaviours – which include cooking at home, flexible working, buying local, online shopping, sustainable living and living online – there are guides on how the values play out; there are also cool tables that cover habits, cultural factors and trade-offs by what fuels the behaviour and what hinders it.

For the report.

For the recording.

The new effectiveness code

I was very excited to see James Hurman’s new collaboration with Peter Field. Launched at Cannes unCanned, this excellent paper provides a new creative effectiveness ladder, which steps through six main types of effects that impact commercial success, and is based on extensive analysis of past Cannes Lions winners. It’s excellent and will be used as a judging framework for all future Creative Effectiveness Lions. I hope some of it can be used for our own Effies next year. It looks pretty straightforward and might encourage the use of more research metrics and the inclusion of more commercial results. It was discovered along the way that a campaign’s marketing effectiveness is heavily influenced by the creative commitment. This looks as though it would be fairly easy to replicate for this market and is based on media budget, duration of campaign and the number of media channels used. Check the video link here

Economic update

Jones Lang LaSalle has produced an excellent update if you’re needing something for clients. It covers both New Zealand and Australia and deep dives into what economic recovery looks like in each market as well as reporting on capital markets and office, retail and industrial & logistics sectors as we move towards the next normal.

Learnings from Les

You’ve already seen the first short video from Adam & Eve DDB’s group head of effectiveness Les Binet, in this series on marketing through a pandemic. Now the others are available. They’re not all as relevant as the first, given our very fortunate situation in New Zealand, but episode four covers the role of advertising – and Binet says the downturn provides great media buying opportunities and potentially cheaper share of voice.

Episode 1: Learning from History

Episode 2: Marketing in a pandemic

Episode 3: From pandemic to recession

Episode 4: The role of advertising

20 great ads, according to Chaz

Chaz Wigley (Chairman of BBH Asia) reflects on his favourite campaigns from BBH in Asia over the past 20 years as he prepares to depart Singapore and the agency for his return to the UK.

WIN WIN WIN

Please share your valued insights and go in to win a bottle of champagne!

Media Reactions is Kantar’s new thought leadership campaign that will launch in September. It will be informed, in part, by an online survey with hundreds of senior marketing leaders around the world representing brands, agencies and media companies.

Please join hundreds of other marketing leaders from brands, creative and media agencies, and media companies in sharing your perspective by participating in this year’s “Media Reactions” study. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept anonymous and confidential. Survey participants will also receive free, exclusive access to additional bonus data and insights not included in the final study when it is released later this year.

For six years, Kantar has examined the state of the industry to understand the challenges in creating cohesive, integrated marketing that reaches consumers and impacts growth. For 2020 their global “Getting Media Right” survey has been refreshed and rebranded as “Media Reactions” and reflects the latest trending topics including the impact of COVID-19 and trust in media, inequity in advertising and the continued development of AI. The data from this survey will be combined with that of a similar consumer survey to create a holistic view of the industry and actionable insights for growth.

Please complete the survey by no later than Friday, July 10.

Link within HERE

Insights - 19 June 2020

A sense of humour, I believe, is imperative in most situations. Yesterday was no different, when my daughter and I hit the road selling my husband’s in-season fashion range for the first time and called in to see a small fashion retailer client. Her opening line was, “It’s not really my style and I don’t like the range.” Having worked in media, I thought, “I’ve dealt with tougher crowds than this,” and ploughed on. She eventually gave us a small order. Fortunately, she’s not our typical client and business is picking up. Paymark results also reflect this, with the latest stats (June 14) showing retail performing at 1% above the same time last year. And talking retail, isn’t Auckland downtown’s Commercial Bay looking great?

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to give us all a new appreciation of life and each other. It was great seeing everyone at the unofficial Beacons after-party last week. Nothing beats talking to people face to face. A special shout-out to Nick Vile from oOh!media, who not only won Best Sales Team, but also bought us all drinks and made a group of ex-Bauer peeps feel very welcome and not at all weird for being there. I heard that for every drink you consumed, you now have to book a campaign with them…

Les Binet on marketing through the pandemic

In this short video, Les Binet, Adam & Eve DDB’s group head of effectiveness, gives advice to marketers on how this crisis differs from past economic crashes and what else we can learn from history.

Ogilvy’s behavioural science festival – Nudgestock

This year Ogilvy’s Nudgestock festival went viral, global and free. Thousands tuned in last Friday night (our time) and you can watch it now at your leisure – all 12 hours of it! Featuring speakers such as Rory Sutherland, and psychology and behavioural economics experts like Cass Sunstein, Dan Ariely, Dr Laurie Santos, Adam Ferrier and BJ Fogg, there’s bound to be something to pique your interest. The festival started by streaming speakers in Australia and slowly worked across the globe to finish in the UK. I watched the first couple of hours and a highlight was the very entertaining Bri Williams, one of Australia’s leading experts in behavioural influence, whose segment “Lazy, Scared and Overwhelmed” was easy to digest, fun and informative.

Details on the line-up. Check it out to help navigate through the hours of video segments.

Keynote session with Rory Sutherland

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Cannes unCanned 2020, presented by Adobe

If you’ve never been to the Cannes Lions Festival, this is your opportunity to attend, albeit without the French Riviera, cocktails and networking. However, it’s free this year and streaming on a device near you. Speakers include Sir Martin Sorrell, David Droga, Sherilyn Shackell, Fernando Machado and Cindy Gallop.

Sessions include “The Power of Personalisation”, “The Next Normal”, “Agile Marketing: Driving Growth in an Age of Uncertainty”, “The Brand is Back” and “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Blow Shit Up: How to Re-Make Advertising”. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Register here and if you miss out, it will be available to watch later.

Customer journey mapping

This case study details how a Czech Republic-based HR company, with more than 300 product lines, conducted an extensive customer journey mapping process. It stemmed from research the company conducted that led them to the decision to stop thinking their customer was a one-product customer. This article outlines their process and key learnings.

On the pulse with Young Shand

Prior to Covid-19, YoungShand was well underway with its Marketing Challenges Project, which aims to better understand the significant issues marketing teams are facing in New Zealand. They had already conducted interviews with 21 senior marketing people when we went into lockdown – so like all good researchers they checked back in with their participants to see if they wanted to revise their points. And they did, when it came to the critical importance of strategy, digital and timeliness. These are their overall findings, compiled in a well thought-through, easy to digest document.

Insights - 12 June 2020


The Reality of Recovery. A COVID-19 Global Client Survey

The impact of the coronavirus has had devasting and wide-reaching impact across the world. Individuals, governments, and businesses have been striving to figure out the best way to protect themselves, their families, their citizens, and their employees. Conducted across 36 global markets with responses from 700 clients, this study is a comprehensive look into the ramifications that COVID-19 will have on the marketing plans for global clients, specifically delving into the impact on marketing investment and priority initiatives for 2020.

Special’s Photo Journal on Life After Lock-down

What’s New in New Zealand? A Look at Life After Lockdown’ is a photo journal that does just that, it looks at what life is like after lockdown in New Zealand. Its purpose is two-fold. They are trying our best to help brands and clients make sense of what is going on in the heads of New Zealanders. They are also trying to give the rest of the world a glimpse into what a Post-Covid world looks like, from a country that is one of the closest in the world to getting there.

Insights - 5 June 2020

It’s been a fortunate week for us all in terms of insights, with the release of BBH’s “How to emerge well” and the amazing “Guide to marketing in the Covid-19 recession” from WARC. These two pieces are both must-reads and, more importantly, provide usable templates and great

thought-starters for marketers and planners. Take it easy out there and best of luck for the Beacons next week. I will be cheering you on from the virtual sidelines.

The best of the best – WARC’s Marketing in the Covid-19 Recession guide

I can’t say enough about WARC’s latest efforts. It has everything a marketer needs right now – it’s concise, logical, clever and well-sourced. Collated by some of the best minds in the business, this guide offers lessons from previous recessions; it explains why this recession is so
different and how this impacts advertising and comms; it lays out the 10 actions to take right now, and opportunities for growth, based on emerging trends.

BBH guide to moving forward

Just released, this new briefing by BBH titled Brands Post Covid: How to Emerge Well, is excellent. Skip past the first two sections, Where Are We Now and Everyone’s Emotions, and head straight to Post-Covid Brands followed by Category Propositions. Here you’ll find different future prediction models from Forbes and McKinsey followed by some new customer and brand journey maps, which BBH has constructed from multiple data sources to help navigate the way forward. They also cover how consumers and brands might change, and how brands pivoted in 2008 and other crises. They present a brand needs-wheel, where they ask: what needs can you own to give your brand a clear role, and what new occasions can your brand lean into? You can then reimagine your brand touchpoints, explore the advantages of direct to consumer and then discover trends to plan for. A great thought-starter.

Moving fast and slow with Jane Kendall

Jane Kendall is the executive strategy director from T Brand Studio at the New York Times and in this interview with Adweek’s senior editor, Nicole Ortiz, she discusses moving both fast and slow when dealing with brand communications. One of her mantras, she says, is: “Great brands resolve paradox.” She talks about the tension that exists between freedom and the sense of security and safety. She believes consumers need emotional support now from places they’ve never needed support before. She is passionate about creating honest, strong connections between brands and people. I like her.

Exceptional content creators available

More talented ex-Bauer staff are taking the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Design & Type is a collective of formidably experienced writers, designers, illustrators and content creators. Together, they have a wealth of experience and an arsenal of skills. Just for fun – of the D&T collective members – who do you think:

• wasaccosted by a machete-wielding private security guard when attempting to interview a P-addicted, multi-millionaire property developer at his burned-out mansion?

• spent their early childhood on a remote army base in rural Thailand during the Vietnam War?

• introduced Paul Holmes to his portrait photographer (just back from shooting Puff Daddy and Beyoncé in NYC), to whom Holmes handed his coat, asked to pay the parking meter and asked, “Where’s the photographer?”?

• at an 80s TV One party was chatted up by singer and Andy Warhol muse Nico, but only because (he found out later) the druggie star had picked him as the most likely one in the room to be “holding” (he wasn’t)?

• visited the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills and met Hugh Hefner wearing only satin running shorts (Hef, that is)?

All will be revealed when you give them a brief!

Nielsen’s New Zealand media monitoring

I was a bit slow on the uptake here, as I haven’t been on top of Nielsen’s activity, but I’m in the loop now. As expected, the lockdown and subsequent periods have seen an increase in print media consumption across the board. Nielsen cleverly split their Q1 2020 sample into two periods, pre-lockdown (23 Jan-25 March n= 2557) and during lockdown Level 4 (26 March-17 April n= 530) followed by a Q2 dip (23 April-10 May n= 596), which incorporated level 3. They expect to follow this up with two more dips in coming weeks. It would be good to see all media consumption across these periods to put it into context. But here’s the outtake for print in the meantime:

• Newspapers - 51% of New Zealanders are reading the printed version of daily newspapers in an average week, up 21% from Q1. Heavy newspaper usage is up by +50% to 30% while the combined online news sites and print audiences have soared to 92%, an increase of +23% from the first quarter of the year.

• Magazines –Despite not being deemed an essential service and Bauer closing during this time, magazine readership increased during lockdown, reaching 72% of the population with time spent reading peaking after lockdown at an average of 70 minutes per issue, an increase of 75% from Q1 20.

New instalment of GlobalWebIndex report

These guys don’t muck around, releasing their fourth global report, based on fieldwork that just ended last week (May 19-26, n=554 for NZ). It’s worth picking out stats from the report, particularly in the areas of domestic travel, retail, optimism, advertising and alcohol consumption, in which New Zealand has excelled. This time they have even included us in some of the trended data.

“You can’t spend your way out of this one” – Sir Martin Sorrell on the “shape” of the Covid-19 recession

The S4 Capital boss talks to WARC’s head of content about the impact of Covid-19 on the advertising industry and the possible outline of recovery.

Worth a look

I’m not sure if I’d call myself a “sophisticated marketer”, but don’t let the name stop you browsing through LinkedIn’s latest efforts in the current issue of their digital magazine. There are actually some fantastic things in here, including: 23 free resources, B2B marketing, advertising in a recession, the new sales landscape – also, five marketing books are reviewed. And thanks to the 23 free resources, I now click through to a live safari tour in Africa at 4.30pm each day.

The Drum – Can-Do Festival

The Drum’s Can-Do Festival will celebrate positive energy, innovation and creative thinking with an overall theme of “Creative Disruption”. Many trends have been accelerated by the pandemic, but they represent just as many opportunities as they do threats. The festival will
cover big topics, such as health, education, society, entertainment, finance and media. Pre-register here

Get The Lowdown

Keep checking out MarketingWeek’s The Lowdown. There are lots of interesting sessions running this week, which will be available to watch either live or next week.

McKinsey’s greatest hits

For those who are fans of McKinsey & Company, you can binge-read their First 100 Insights – helpfully presented in four thematic collections: the path to the new normal, safeguarding lives and livelihoods, getting back to work and jumpstarting the recovery.

Register for their new live events here

Time to start tracking consumer confidence again

After dropping in April to levels similar to that of mid-2008, consumer confidence has rallied slightly to 97.3 for May. Although we haven’t seen a number like this since 2009, it’s at least moving in the right direction. The bounce is similar to what we’ve seen in Australia as fiscal and
monetary policy measures ease the immediate pressure. Worth a read, but you would be best to have a stiff gin alongside.

A Post-corona World from Trendwatching

Released quite early in the pandemic, these 10 emerging consumer trends have been tracked by Trendwatching for some time and offer signals for what people will value and their priorities in a post-coronavirus world. Always good for creating new “trend” language, they also include how the trend can be applied to your business.

Insights - 29 May 2020

Remember this? January 5th, 2020

Scrolling through my photos yesterday I came across this one taken at Bland Bay, Northland, on January 5 this year, when smoke from the devastating Australian bush fires caused the skies above us to turn orange. Holiday-makers at the campsite across the road from us retreated to their tents and an eerie silence eveloped the normally busy bay. If we had known the challenges ahead, would we have been so spooked? And even in our wildest sci-fi dreams, could we have imagined this global pandemic that has touched all our lives – from Wall Street to Wanaka….

Check out my latest picks for the week.

Trendwatching’s David Mattin launches new newsletter

The clever David Mattin, Global Head of Trends & Insights, launched Trendwatching – as a weekly newsletter – in January 2020, interestingly. This week, his “New World, Same Humans”, asks: “What will you build in this new world?” He’s identified three shifts for the post-pandemic landscape: the anticipated arrival of a spate of new tools and platforms emerging to connect us locally; virtual worlds becoming domains of meaningful experience; and continued upheavals expected in the workplace, with automation expected to drive more change and the acceleration of new forms of work.

Surviving a world of financial uncertainty

Now that we appear to have Covid-19 under control in New Zealand, we all need to dig deep to face tough economic conditions. Dentsu Aegis has done another stellar job putting together its latest report focused on just this. First, it covers off consumer sentiment and behaviour, followed by best practice for surviving a recession. Great work, guys.

New strategies for experiences

Written by Christophe Castagnera, Head of Connected Experiences at Imagination, this short article published on the IPA website asks how businesses and brands are going to rethink experiences on a strategic level. It has some interesting links, including Imagination’s first global study of experiences conducted in 2018 and 2019, which “revealed that experiences are not a marketing channel, but rather an entire ecosystem of places, spaces, communication channels and activities that connect brands with people on a deeper level”. He believes there are opportunities for a more targeted approach that will benefit both brands and consumers.

Capsule: the new go-to for stuff worth talking about

The main reason I loved working at Bauer Media was the people. It was full of incredibly driven, smart, innovative people like ex-editors Kelly Bertrand, Emma Clifton, Nicky Dewe and Alice O’Connell, who have launched a new digital site called Capsule. In the wake of the shock closedown of Bauer NZ, they say: “After a few weeks of tears, too many carbs and so much wine that the neighbours judged us on recycling day, we all realised what we wanted to do - write. So Capsule was born, a site for the savvy, strong, intelligent and stylish woman who wants to know what’s happening, what’s trending, what’s new, and what’s worth talking about.” I like it so much I’ve already asked for their rate-card.

Well done, Kantar

Every week for the past 11 weeks Kantar has gauged the attitudes of Kiwis to the Covid-19 situation and delivered us insights. Their latest efforts show New Zealanders wanting to prioritise local goods and services, striving for an improved work-life balance, and 44% are looking forward to travelling internationally again post-Covid-19. [Read more here, see attached.] This is Kantar’s last weekly update. Although they will continue to monitor New Zealanders’ sentiments, behaviours and attitudes, they are now focusing their efforts on hosting a webinar that draws all of their learnings from the past three months, both globally and locally, to understand how Covid-19 will change the relationship between brands and their customers. Not to be missed. Good job, Kantar!

Kantar New Zealand webinar – How should brand and customer strategies evolve in response to Covid-19? 10am – 11:30am. Thursday 25th June. If you would like to register for this event, please contact simon.munro@kantar.com

oOh!media research shows we’re embracing normality

Mobile data based on the movements of a 70,000-strong Kiwi user panel shows audience activity is rapidly surging back to normal with visitation to retail stores and malls getting back to pre-Covid levels. This is backed by Paymark, showing many retail categories recording YoY growth in till takings. Key consumer sentiment shows Kiwis wanting to re-connect with friends and family and rewarding themselves with a little retail therapy or going out to a restaurant or bar.

Movie theatres under pressure

With only a few movie theatres able to open under Level 2 in New Zealand, the industry must be hurting. Mark Ritson has this week dedicated his column in MarketingWeek.com to his thoughts on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and what it would mean to lose the magical experience of watching a film on a big screen. None of this is helped by the phenomenal success of the simultaneous release, in early April, to theatres and (home) digital rental market of the kids’ movie, Trolls 2. It has proven to be the highest grossing VOD title in the history of American cinema.

View Cannes and Sundance film festivals for free

In response to the pandemic, 20 major film festivals from around the world are coming together for 10 days (from 29 May) of curated films streamed on YouTube for free. All viewers will be able to make donations to the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Trend inspiration

The innovative teams at TrendWatching and Business of Purpose have created a very searchable platform full of Covid-19-related innovations from around the world.

The Disruption Clinic

Every week this cool newsletter arrives from TBWA telling me about the latest trends and innovations by brands in response to Covid-19. This week it included Bose’s new campaign for their noise cancelling headphones, called Dear Neighbour, and Nike’s new inspirational film Never Too Far Down to mark the return of competitive sport. Click below to sign up.

What’s next for the travel industry?

A new report from GlobalWebIndex provides insights about the divergent attitudes between frequent travellers and the general population from various parts of the world.

Did you know the world’s highest waterfall cable climb is in New Zealand?

I thought I was well traveled in New Zealand, but a recent post highlighting special local deals caught my eye to reveal something previously unknown to me. Unfortunately, the Koha climb deal is now booked out, but this still looks like an incredible experience.

Insights - 22 May 2020

Who knew that life without a job, during a global pandemic, could be so rich and fulfilling? No lying around watching Netflix for me! As well as curating this newsletter for the Comms Council, which I’m enjoying immensely, I’ve been working on my husband’s wholesale fashion manufacturing business with my daughter, a creative, who’s also ex-Bauer. There’s been a new website created, a clear B2B strategy put in place and last week, Georgia and I were at the Auckland Domain doing a fashion shoot and creating content. Most enjoyable.

This week I was very happy to see my 17-year-old son head back to school at Western Springs College. Unlike some, he hasn’t exactly “thrived” in lockdown and has produced one paragraph during the past four weeks (I kid you not). Fortunately, the school was one step ahead in predicting different responses from students. I was most inspired by principal Ivan Davis’ email last week assuring students that “they must not feel judged or feel that it’s too late to be able to do well this year… The time it will take for children and some staff to reconnect and relax will be different for everyone. Wellbeing needs to be addressed before learning will happen.” With these thoughts in mind, go easy out there, my friends.

Buy-ology for the Coronavirus World

It’s always good to present different views. Martin Lindstrom, of the well-known book buy-ology: Truth + Lies about Why We Buy – based on a huge neuro-marketing study that looked into the brains of 2000 volunteers while they were exposed to ads, logos, commercials, brands and products – has just produced a short version “for a Coronavirus World”. In stark contrast to Mark Ritson’s comments this week about the only long-term impact of Covid-19 being recessionary, Lindstrom believes things will never be the same. (I think it’s important to remember that he is American, and their experience of the virus has, unfortunately, been quite different to ours.)

He believes our amygdala (the part of our brain that processes emotions) has been activated into overdrive and we’re all living in a permanent cloud of fear. Apparently, the amygdala has one unique skill – it overrides anything and everything – like an emergency breaker switch. Excessive toilet paper buying is a symptom, so we haven’t been completely immune in New Zealand. As a result of Covid-19-charged behaviours, says Lindstrom, we’re psychologically exhausted. He predicts we’ll get fat, divorced, question our purpose in life and re-evaluate everything. The perceived value of money will change, which will express itself in a variety of ways: a rebound bucket list; more risky sports and adventures; parties, holidays and quality time with friends and family. He says the virus has taught us something about “the efficiency of a 100% digital lifestyle; but as appealing as it first seemed, something was missing. We need that something – our craving for a physical sense of belonging, a desire for human connection – at any price.”

In terms of brand he believes now is the moment to build your brand. He says you have the opportunity to make a lifelong impact on your customers, good or bad. Post-recovery, we’re going to find ourselves in a new online environment and, thanks to our amygdalas, we’ll have whole new routines. Finally, he says: “You won’t be remembered for wins or losses, but for how you were there for your employees and customers.”

The Case for Advertising in a Recession

Peter Field’s good work can be found in many places at the moment. This link, to a recent webinar by System 1, also includes the clever Orlando Wood on “How to advertise: advice for brands today”.Some of Field’s advice for advertisers during a recession:

- Going dark carries high risk of share loss and greater price sensitivity.

- Short-term promotional strategies lead to dependency and profit loss.

- Innovation is a better short-term strategy.

- Maintained or increased marketing spend brings short-term hit to profitability during recession but much stronger growth to profitability in recovery.

- Be guided by the SOV/SOM rule: maintain positive ESOV (maybe possible with reduced spend).

In 2008/09 many high-profile successes were driven by emotional “feel good” brand campaigns. Lessons from the past reviewed; focus on the long-term if you can; defend your share of voice; seize your market opportunity; demonstrate humanity and generosity.

Then Wood talks through findings from System 1’s new ad testing, which calls for more right brain thinking for advertising during Covid-19. He says:

1. This is a time of heightened empathy, of shared experience, of alertness and vigilance.

2. Do I need to create new work? Not necessarily: pre-existing brand work will most likely still connect today as well as it did. In fact, revisiting work from the past can be very successful.

3. But won’t new ads connect better? Yes, but there’s huge variability by brand. Some perform much better, some much worse than pre-existing work – on both emotional response and brand recognition.

4. What if I do need to create new work?

- Show life, generosity and how you can help. People, place, community, humour, spontaneity and lived time are enormously valued today.

- Remain distinctive. Draw on your existing campaign, make use of your existing assets or characters.

- Avoid mechanistic advertising that is empty of life, didactic, distant, highly rhythmic, reliant on on-screen words or voiceover, focused on things rather than people. Avoid the cliché.

Tony Alexander on Economic Change in New Zealand

Antony Young hosted a webinar on Tuesday this week with Tony Alexander (best known for his 25-year stint as chief economist at BNZ). For those of you who haven’t come across Antony Young, he’s spent 20 years running agencies in London, New York and China and is now ensconced in the Horowhenua on a blueberry farm. These days he wears many hats – he’s a founding partner of the Digital Café in Wellington and is chair of the Horowhenua NZ Trust, supporting the economic development of businesses in his local area. It was in this role that he hosted the webinar, where Alexander discusses his views on the current economic climate and what lies ahead for New Zealand. In this half-hour session, Tony reminds us that we’re not going through a banking or fiscal crisis; he provides context around key economic metrics and predictions on how the recession will play out in house prices, retail, travel, tourism, hospitality and the rural sector. Worth a listen – realistic, informative and quite uplifting. Thanks for organising, Antony!

Looking for a Way to liven your Zoom Calls? Invite a Goat.

Yes, you read it correctly. Cronkshaw Fold Farms, Rossendale, Lancashire has found a new niche. Their response to Covid-19 was to rent out their goats for important business video calls. “Be real,” they say. “Will anyone even notice if a scape-goat joins the call”? It costs only £5 and all currencies are accepted to have one of their team join the first 10 minutes of your Zoom meeting. Sounds like a plan.

Insights - 15 May 2020

I’ve just spent an hour watching a Zoom webinar with Mark Ritson – not my typical Thursday night, but hey, what’s normal these days? And speaking of which, he’s of the opinion we’re going to snap back into our previous existences eventually. In the meantime, I’m slowly accepting the “new normal”. I’m cringing as I write these words; as some of you already know, it’s my least favourite phrase. However, it’s neatly explained by Devi Sridhar, a public health expert at the University of Edinburgh, in the Canvas8 report below. He says: “The pandemic is not a hurricane or a wildfire. It is not comparable to Pearl Harbour or 9/11. Such disasters are confined in time and space. The SARS-CoV-2 virus will linger through the year and across the world. Everyone wants to know when this will end. That’s not the right question. The right question is: ‘How do we continue?’” The report includes a piece on the rising expectations for closure – and I realise now this is what I’m struggling with the most. The lack of closure. At least there’s a wealth of interesting research and commentary to read and digest while we figure out “how to continue”. My best picks below.

How Well is New Zealand Really Doing With Covid-19?

David Farrar has sourced some detailed numbers, which show New Zealand’s performance in comparison to other OECD countries, and the results are pretty bloody fantastic.

Which Brands Are Getting Their Advertising Right?

The IPA asked UK-based creatives for their thoughts and best ideas and responses to the outbreak. The result, I found, was extremely uplifting and reminded me why I love advertising. The piercingly succinct ideation and creativity is inspiring. Worth a look – loads of examples included.

Truths, Principles and Positives

This article by Marc Nohr (Group CEO Miroma Agencies/chair of the IPA – Commercial Leadership Group) provides guiding principles to help us weather Covid-19’s impact on the advertising industry. It also highlights the positives we should hold on to as we look to the future. Nohr says: “The entrepreneur in me knows crises force significant change; and change can be positive. We will come out of this. The pendulum will swing back. But first comes the hard graft.”

Strategising For a New Era of Separations

A shout-out to my good friend David Thomason, who sent me this excellent article by Mark Di Somma, a business and brand strategist. From a New Zealand lens, Di Somma looks at how the current global health crisis has generated huge changes in how we think about everyday life. Along the way, this new age of lockdown has also introduced important, new separations into how we view aspects of our economy and, indeed, the wider global trading environment.

There’s no Place Like (Out of) Home

Ooh!media’s insights reports have already shown New Zealanders moving around more and the Out of Home audience beginning to bounce back under Level 3. With the switch to Level 2, they expect huge increases with the return of more shopping journeys, the work commute and the school run. Their latest report explores the attitudes and mindsets of more than 500 Kiwi consumers, their views looking to Level 2 and beyond and offering insight into how their behaviours might change post-Covid-19.

On Our Way to New Normal With Canvas8

Canvas8’s Pandemic Culture focuses on consumer behaviour. Most of the report provides navigation through the earlier stages of lockdown, so skip past Denial, Anxiety and Adjustment (if only it were this easy!) to slide 50 on Re-evaluation. This is relevant for our move to Level 2 and includes deciding on which “new normal” we want: societal resilience, deciding what’s obsolete and beginning to reinvent the status quo. There’s a guide for the role of brands through this stage before moving to Stage 5 – the dastardly “new normal”.

Powerful Observations Made by Droga5’s Second Cultural Tracker Report

Not for the faint-hearted, this smart report identifies patterns and extrapolates themes that anticipate the new world order for society at large, and for brands and their stakeholders. They believe the pandemic is proving to be an accelerator rather than a series-break for the emergent trends Droga5 was already picking up prior to the Wuhan outbreak.

Deconstructing The New Normal With Dentsu Aegis

Dentsu Aegis’ second report examines consumer behaviour in New Zealand. Their findings suggest we will revert to more normal behaviour once out of restrictions, but they have identified four areas where new behaviours will continue: home, money, e-commerce and retail – also our enjoyment of working from home and what these changes mean to brands.

The Lowdown With Marketing Week

I’m not sure how this escaped me, but Marketing Week has an entire dashboard dedicated to Covid-19, also a special collaboration with partners to bring The Lowdown. Sessions this week include “Why humour is important right now” with Marketoonist Tom Fishburne and “How to remain nimble in a crisis” with Mother ECD Hermiti Balarin. On 19 May there’s “How to control the chaos of remote work” with Joshua Zerkel from Asana. Loads of great stuff here – spend some time exploring the site.

Roaring Out of Recession

This comprehensive article from HBR was recommended by Mark Ritson and is written by Ranjay Gulati, Nitin Nohria and Franz Wohlgezogen. It’s based on research conducted on 4700 public companies and how they perform before, during and after a recession.

Kantar Has Been Constantly on The Pulse of Public Sentiment in NZ

Kantar has published the latest findings of their ninth research release monitoring Kiwi consumer response to Covid-19. That’s dedication. Their most recent report describes New Zealanders’ biggest concern, when it comes to Covid-19, as the financial impact of the pandemic – particularly the impact of Covid-19 on the New Zealand economy and job security. And while a third of Kiwis agree with the decision to move to Level 2 this week, almost one-third of Kiwis believe we should wait until next week, or longer.

Just Released

The amazing people at Wunderman Thompson have just released what they’re calling ‘a companion analysis’ to accompany their annual Future 100 report. They found that many of the trends identified in the original report are still applicable, and have even accelerated and matured. (This acceleration, also mentioned in the Droga5 report). Highlights include; Optimistic futures, the new language of advertising, unconventional brand actions and new payment gestures. I can’t wait to read it fully.

What The World Can Learn From China’s Travel Restart After Covid-19

McKinsey’s latest article outlines how China’s domestic travel industry is tentatively starting to recover now that lockdown is over. They say the first thing people want to spend money on is eating out and the second is travel. Their consumer survey shows confidence in domestic travel is rising, although they don’t predict peak recovery to occur until September/October. Their research also shows that outdoor scenic attractions are the most popular destinations for future travel, with self-driven or self-guided much preferred over anything involving groups.

Even More Innovation From Airbnb

While the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted its core business, Airbnb used its home-sharing platform to create new ways for consumers around the world to attend off-the-beaten-path events from their couches. The Online Experiences platform now enables hosts to continue earning income by offering experiences on Zoom. These virtual events can be booked through the site or app.

Tactical Agility in The Age of Covid

This story by Mark Ritson (I’m a bit of a fan), is about a guy called James Wilkes, who set up a New Zealand business called Triple Nine Farms, producing some of the world’s best beef to supply premier retailers and restaurants. He was set to launch 1 April, 2020. Instead, the country went into lockdown and Wilkes describes the experience as “like waking up in a Jeffrey Archer novel”. This is how he pivoted his business.

Clever Ketchup

Clever innovation from Heinz to provide hours of entertainment with their 570-piece jigsaw puzzle with pieces in an identical shade of red.

And Finally, Here’s an Idea We Could Adapt…..

In collaboration with the Clio Awards, NYC & Company is searching for agencies to participate in the revitalisation of the New York City brand by pitching one or all of three deliverables, all on a pro bono basis.

Insights - 8 May 2020

A few weeks ago, an agency strategist friend of mine told me she was tasked with “kick-starting the retail economy” – and she’s not wrong. Mark Ritson expressed this sentiment as well when he said, “Advertising and marketing are selfish pursuits. They serve a single brand and a single organisation. But if you step back and look at their overall impact, they perform the broader function of helping to turn the wheels of our economy. And right now – other than clean hands, more respirators and two metres between you and your best mate, we need that more than anything.” It’s stirring stuff and as we start progressing through the levels we’re all going to have to do our part.

Mark Read of WPP offers his thoughts on navigating the second half of 2020

In this Campaign interview, Mark Read outlines his plans for navigating the second half of 2020, amidst tough conditions. His message to clients is to communicate with their customers, market yourself if you can, innovate, invest in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer channels and focus on maximum return on investment.

And keeping it local, here’s the best of New Zealand-based insights work this week, being executed at great speed to market:

YoungShand talks “emergency innovation”

This week, YoungShand executive producer Kat Cox has written a great piece on innovation. She quotes Mosas Ma from FutureLab Consulting, who says the most relevant type of innovation right now, “may not be the perfect idea, but rapidly executed, it’s the one that saves your bacon… emergency innovation.” The good people at YoungShand have included emerging trends and tech innovations that have piqued their interest so far. Great effort, guys.

Are we in a rush to get to level 2?

For all the current criticism in market aimed at the government and their prolonged Covid-19 restrictions, Horizon’s new research shows that 73% of New Zealanders want an unrushed, considered move to Level 2.

Global agility reporting with GlobalWebIndex

GlobalWebIndex has released its third extensive insights report, which contains New Zealand data. This impressive global piece was still infield across 17 countries on 27th April – now that’s speed to market! The 100-page report includes everything from attitudes towards government, shopping online, personal finances, the economy to approval for brand activity. Kiwis overall are feeling pretty positive about what’s happening here compared to the rest of the world. Approval for the way the government has handled Covid-19 is 87% compared to an average 75% globally. Australia is 73%, the UK 54% and the US, unsurprisingly, is at 44%. Although 93% of New Zealanders say Covid-19 will have a big or dramatic impact on the economy, only 34% say the same about their personal or household finances. I’ve pulled out all the New Zealand stats on approval levels for brand communications, which show that being practical, pitching in and lowering costs appeals the most.

Welcome back, New Zealand – with JCDecaux

What’s next for brands, asks JCDe