Wish we’d thought of that: Communications special!

The 2016 round of the New Zealand Innovation Awards is open for entries so if you've got an amazing product, service or venture –or you know someone with a great idea who needs to be shoulder-tapped – now's the time to tell your story. And to get you thinking about entering before the looming deadline next Friday, August 5 – and to do as we always do and celebrate innovation of all stripes – we'll be showing our jealousy and regularly showcasing the best and/or wackiest ideas we come across. Next up, some of the more interesting ideas that could fit into the marketing and communications category.

Do you have an innovation worth celebrating? Check out the categories of the 2016 Innovation Awards and tell your story by clicking here. Entries close at 5pm, August 5. 

Ending the beef

The rivalry between McDonald’s and Burger King could comfortably—or perhaps uncomfortably—sit alongside any of the great rivalries in the world. Have no doubts, if either of these two organisations shared a stadium on a weekly basis, burning flares would be exchanged. With this context as a backdrop, the whole world was caught off-guard last year when Burger King made a peace offering to its fast food competitor, and proposed creating a hybrid burger, the McWhopper, for World Peace Day.

While McDonald’s declined the olive branch, the campaign exploded across the world, with virtually every major media outlet running a story about the move. Burger King would eventually go on to collaborate with a range of other burger chains, helping to raise awareness of day. And Y&R NZ, the advertising agency that came up with the whole scheme, also basked in the glow, picking up a range of local and international awards.

Lost and found

A lost dog poster pasted onto a lamppost has become a standard part of the urban landscape, susurrating in the wind and serving as little more than a reminder of the dog owner's longing.

Pedigree decided that it was time to bring the ‘lost dog’ poster into the digital age, and collaborated with Colenso BBDO and Google to do it.

Together they came up with the Found app, an innovative platform that served information about a lost dog across Google’s ad network instantly. Once activated, the app sends out a pre-registered ‘lost dog’ advertisement to anyone located within a 2.5km radius of the owner and also serves push notifications to those registered with the app, making it a little easier to organise an impromptu search party.

Speed demons

In marketing and communications, advertisers are often advised to show rather than tell. And this is exactly what Vodafone (with the help of its agency FCB) did in a recent campaign.

Rather than repeating again that it had a reliable 4G network, Vodafone set out to prove it, with a little help from Red Bull stunt driver Mad Mike Whiddett.

Whiddett is seated in a car, with the windows completely blacked out and his only vision of the outside world comes through four tablets fixed to the inside of the windscreen. Further upping the stakes is the fact that the stream fed to the tablet comes from four smartphones attached to the roof of the car.

Anyone who has felt the frustration of lagging 4G stream will know how much was at stake with this piece of comms.

Star spotting

A sponsorship of a sporting event is quite often limited to tagging a logo onto a banner, but this wasn’t enough for ANZ. To celebrate its commercial partnership with the New Zealand Olympic team, it decided to do something special by developing an app that allows users to send Olympians messages through the stars (yes, you read correctly).

The technological trinket uses similar technology to the Stargazer app, and allows Kiwis to write messages to Olympians in the sky. Then when the Olympians activate their phones in Rio, they’re able to read the messages that Kiwis back home have written to them.

Why leave the couch?

We often watch with envy as the rich and the famous strut along the red carpet at movie premieres, rubbing shoulders with their elegantly dressed counterparts. This invite-only experience is always a reminder that regular Kiwis can do little more than wish they were there.

For the big launch of Hunt of Wilderpeople, the promotional team—consisting of Madman Entertainment, Piki Films, Mediaworkshop (Media Strategy), Double Denim (Digital and Sponsorship Strategy) and 818 Entertainment (Publicity)—decided to take a more inclusionary approach by setting up a 360-degree camera, which simulcast the event live through the One New Now app, giving the Kiwis at home a taste of what it was like to be at the event.

Pick and mix 

Fridge-staring is a favourite Kiwi past time that usually concludes with a sigh and the door being shut. So, in a bid to help Kiwis lacking in inspiration, Smirnoff launched an innovative campaign (by ad agency Special Group) that called Kiwis to take snapshots of the contents of their fridges and then send them in via Instagram tagged with #purepotential. Smirnoff would then respond by sending through a delicious cocktail recipe entirely on what the fridge contained.   

The art of technology

Computers can beat humans at lots of things, like chess, Jeopardy and Go. But surely a computer couldn't replicate a master painter? Creativity is our jam. ING and JWT tried to find out with the Next Rembrandt project, which aimed to breath new life into the bank's sponsorship of Dutch arts and culture. And, much to the consternation of art historians (and those who believe we will soon be ruled by our robot overlords), it turns out computers make great artists too. 

  • Entries close Friday 5th August 5pm. Enter here