St John Craner: Marketing Champs and Chumps of 2009

Marketing Champs and Chumps of 2009

By St John Craner

Here are my marketing chumps and champs for the year just gone. Supreme Chump: Telecom for best cosmetic makeover sold as organisational change, Supreme Champ: Air New Zealand for best marketing innovator without the use of big flash TV ad.

Supreme Marketing Chump of 2009: Telecom

Any corporation that tries to justify spending thousands of dollars on a organisational-wide re-brand whilst posting a 44% decline in net earnings is either clearly delusional – or worse poorly advised (even with Mr Kevin “Saatchi” Roberts on their board).

Wouldn’t it be better to spend some of that so called “brand investment” improving their broadband stability or customer service first?

Here’s a competition. It’s called Spot the Difference. Can you?


Did you know the same design agency created both the Telecom and the New Dowse logos? Makes me wonder why any client would pay and reward them for their lack of creativity (I would have asked for a discount).

Runner Up Marketing Chump of 2009: ANZ

Different logo, same proverbial. Again we’re in tough economic times with people losing their jobs laid off so why spend so irresponsibly?

Supreme Marketing Champ of 2009: Air New Zealand

Grab a Seat continues to surprise and delight with new deals inc. flying Decile 1 school visits to the Capital, their recent 12 days of Christmas and $1 deals throughout November and December.

The cheeky ‘Nothing to Hide’ TV ad was brave and catchy which included a cameo appearance by their CEO, Rob Fyfe (know any other CEOs who would do this?). This same bare essentials theme was then used to update the often mind-numbingly dull in-flight safety message which they then challenged Herb Kelleher from SouthWest Airlines via You Tube to match below. No response yet folks.

Airpoints Fairy on Twitter is a stroke of genius where followers can get daily wishes granted including Koru lounge passes, upgrades and airpoints. Watch out for the swag of Fairy imitators soon.

Air NZ is showing the other big boys how to master social media and save some serious dosh at the same time. Take note – it doesn’t always have to be big brand TV ads.

Runner Up Marketing Champ: Tourism New Zealand

Overall international tourist numbers ended down only 0.6% at the end of 2009 despite a challenging economic environment. Some of this success can be attributed to targeted and intelligent promotional spend across the ditch (money TNZ rightfully lobbied the government hard for). Focussing limited promotional funds at its nearest neighbour resulted in a 9.5% increase in Australian visitors compared to November 2008. The results speak for themselves (and our PM/Tourism Minister likes that). George Hickton – take a bow. You leave large shoes to fill.

Worthy Champ Mention: Xero

Breaking into the UK market, doing a deal with British Telecom and HSBC whilst growing like mad with a 282% revenue increase since September 2008. Take a bow guys.

Other Worthy Champ Mention: McDonalds

Have responded responsibly with campaigns on free range eggs, light options, 100% New Zealand beef and an open policy on disclosure and food origins.

Here’s to more champs and less chumps in 2010.

St John Craner helps businesses market themselves better.

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  1. uberVU - social comments (Trackback), 12. January 2010, 18:50

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  2. Sheldon (Marketing Consultant, NZ), 12. January 2010, 22:47

    Great list St John.

    Air NZ is certainly marketing very well. But perhaps I am biased because my wish for $50 air points from the Airpoints Fairy was the first to be granted this year 🙂

  3. Warren, 13. January 2010, 10:20

    Great list but you forgot one other chump campaign


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