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And now, the news...

... including Tui HQ's gloating, a few more accusations of creative plagiarism, Dettol, Halloween chocolate, Kodak's 20th anniversary, 42 Below taking the Glad Wrap approach, the Langham's new twins, New World's new data toy, sexy posters, amazing photographers, more Alt Group domination and practically everything else you can possibly imagine.

A toast to Tui

Maybe it's the scantily clad brewettes. Maybe it's the plentiful sweet amber nectar. Maybe it's the rustic setting. Whatever it is, Tui HQ is popular: it was awarded 2010 The Corporate Event Guide People’s Choice Award for the best nationwide private hire venue.

Tui HQ, which is home to all things Tui and located next door to Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka, is approximately 45 minutes drive north of Masterton and 45 minutes from Palmerston North. It incorporates the Histui Museum, Tui HQ café, a retail store, the Flagon Room function room and the soon to be opened Universitui conference centre. It is also at the heart of several community events including Mangatainoka Motors, Super 14 Rugby games, the Toki Golf Open and the Targa Rally.

Nick Rogers, commercial manager for Tui HQ, says the win is recognition of three years of development on site, as well as staff training, a continuous improvement program and a “heap of hard work” from the entire team. This award comes soon after Tui HQ was awarded the prestigious Qualmark Enviro-Silver award and recognised as one of the country’s leading tourism businesses by Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance system.

“To have the people that have visited our facilities vote for us means we are doing more than filling the basic requirements of offering great service and a fantastic experience. Word of mouth referrals have certainly carried us through on this one,” he says.

Rogers says functions hosted by Tui HQ are large and diverse due to the site’s three distinct facilities.

“We’ve attracted conference evenings for the Ag Pilots Association, corporate functions for companies such as Rabo Bank, ASB Bank and the Wellington Sports Association, while this summer seven weddings are also booked in at Tui Brewery.”

The Flagon Room, which was built in 2008 as a private function facility, now hosts groups of up 175 people twice weekly and it is fully booked in the lead-in to Christmas, with over 2000 people confirmed for evening functions in the next six weeks.

“UniversiTui will open next week and with only word of mouth to thank, we’ve already booked four conference groups this month,” says Rogers. “I believe the demand for this type of conference facility during the day will continue and have ongoing economic benefits for the wider area. We see more New Zealand companies staying closer to home for their conference because they want a unique and memorable experience.”

Image conscious

2400 images from nearly 1000 different photographers were entered in this year’s New Geographic Photographer of the Year competition. And from all of these entries, one clear winner emerged: Richard Robinson.

“Every image that Richard submitted had almost perfect composition, an evident understanding of the subject before the lens, and attention to the way light was playing on the surfaces. These are the metrics of fine photography," says James Frankham, editor and convenor of judges

Katrina Elton won the Young Photographer category and demonstrated skills across the range of subjects she submitted, in all categories, and in particular an attention to detail that is the hallmark of photographers with a good deal more experience.

Check out all the category winners here.

42 Below gets advertorial

Air New Zealand's Rico is a bit of a departure for the airline and many are unsure whether the innuendo spouting furry lothario suits the national carrier's brand values (Hazel Phillips set off a torrent of commentary after this story). And this new 42 Below promotion called The Mix, which is a joint effort between TVNZ and Brandworld, seems to fall in the same incongruous category. It's basically the opposite of the previous 'attention at all costs, give us the free publicity' marketing approach that was taken as a young upstart. I'm sure it will sell more 42 Below, but forgive us if we shed a tear or two, because what was once the country's most controversial and entertaining brand is now in the same league as Glad Wrap and canned chicken.

Control Alt delete

Alt Group, which seems determined to scoop design awards from every corner of the planet, did Enzed proud once again at the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) National Biennial Awards in Brisbane recently, arriving home with a packed suitcase, which included two of just eight very difficult to win Pinnacle awards that were handed out.

Alt Group also picked up three Judges’ Choice awards, 20 Distinctions and were finalists in nine categories, giving the company a grand haul of 34 awards, more than any other Australasian design company. The AGDA wins bring Alt Group’s awards total for 2010 to 86 local and international awards.

The Pinnacles came for the company’s work on the brand book for Auckland Museum and for its packaging of The Vigneron Centenary Wine—a project celebrating the life of pioneer winemaker, Najib Corban, who just so happens to be the grandfather of Alt director, Ben Corban.

Alt also won Judges’ Choice awards for its brand campaigns for Auckland Museum and law firm Hudson Gavin Martin, as well as for their client gift, ‘a Lean Year’, featuring a bottle of wine with a pronounced curved shape to symbolise 2009’s economic climate.

To round it all off, the company also won 20 Distinctions for an assortment of work including its Auckland Museum Late campaign; for the brochure for dance company, Black Grace’s Gathering Clouds performances; for a book, Thinking outside the Chair, describing the design development of Formway’s Be Chair; and for further volumes of the New Zealand CD series. Alt also won distinction in digital media for websites for fashion designer Karen Walker and for office furniture designer and manufacturer, Formway.

“This year there were a bumper number of entries at AGDA [2000 to be precise], and so to come away with two Pinnacles is a great endorsement for the work the team has put into these projects,” says Corban.

Homage 2.0

The accusations of creative plagiarism are everywhere at the moment. First PacMan, now this: in a story about recent regional branding efforts, Dunedin's logo was hassled for being a blatant rip-off of the Nom-D t-shirt and. We also noted Christchurch's 'It's all On' campaign to try and get visitors down to Cup Week, but Hamilton piped up and said its totally unique brand has been ripped off. It's certainly a pretty close match between the two, but those in glass houses shouldn't really throw stones (or accusations about plagiarism), because, even if it is trademarked, playing up the 'on' certainly isn't something Hamilton invented. It's definitely been done by London and has probably been done by a few other towns ending in 'on' along the way too.

Vodafone and Colenso have already been in the plagiaristic crosshairs for some of their previous work, especially the 'Symphonia', and it seems fate has conspired against them once again with its latest spot in the 'New' campaign. Youtube Video Given the music video seems to have been posted just a few days ago, however, it looks like another case of what James Hurman calls casualties of coincidence.

And it seems the new musical New World spot has also fallen foul of the homagerati because of its similarities to this music video

Live and Direct

Speaking of New World, Data is readily available these days. But knowing how to put it to good use is the difficult bit. So New World and Fly Buys have released a newly "refreshed" data toy, the New World Direct interactive online campaign planner, which  claims to make it even easier for suppliers and agencies to plan precisely targeted marketing  campaigns via post or email.<!--more-->

“Our interactive portal newworldirect.co.nz helps users understand the service, play with data numbers and even plan a campaign using the timeline, budget and briefing tools,” says Fiona Stewart, marketing manager for Foodstuffs Wellington. “To drive the campaigns we use data from Fly Buys, the largest consumer retail database in New Zealand, which has a reach into more than 70 percent of the nation’s households through its customer base.”

She says New World Direct campaigns have already achieved a 10 percent average   consumer response rate compared to the three percent average industry   standard. Fly Buys purchases account for more than 70 percent of total sales value across more than 130 million customer transactions at New World supermarkets every year and Stewart says New World Direct is the gateway for suppliers to contact these high-value customers with relevant consumer offers.

New World Direct will provide a centralised campaign management service. All campaigns, whether nationwide or in one or two regions only, are managed through Foodstuffs Wellington.

Dark chocolate

Halloween is a goldmine for confectioners. And that certainly seems to be the case for Kiwi-ish chocolate company Bloomsberry & Co, after it created "the World's Spookiest Chocolate bars" to sell in 800 Target stores throughout America.

"We are obviously a bit 'terrified' as the product really has to fly off the shelves as Target is renowned as one of the world's most demanding retailers," says Bloomsberry chief executive Vanessa Kettelwell. "However, we have been in Target before at Halloween and they have asked us back so we must be on to something."

Dream team

Family faves Plunket and Dettol have joined forces, with Dettol providing financial and practical support, such as it did by giving Dettol product to Plunket staff after the Canterbury earthquake. Furthermore, to celebrate the new relationship, a sample pack of Dettol products will be provided to each Plunket Nurse, and product samples and discount vouchers will be made available to Plunket volunteers.

Through the new relationship Dettol is now a Pick Me Help Plunket partner, meaning Dettol products with a Plunket Pick Me logo will allow consumers to know that by buying those products they will also be helping donate to Plunket.

“Good family health is such an important element in raising young children in New Zealand society successfully,” Brendan Holland, commercial manager at Plunket says. “Plunket is excited to welcome Dettol as a new partner in our Pick Me Help Plunket programme. It is great to have two strong New Zealand companies joining together.”

Miffy Jones, marketing manager – Dettol says: “Dettol and Plunket share a common goal of promoting family health. With a 70 year history, New Zealanders trust Dettol to help keep them and their families protected. We look forward to a successful partnership with Plunket and to furthering the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders through joint education programs in good hygiene practices.”

Small iQs

Apparently the Langham has taken in twins called Ruby and Pearl. Let's just hope these rentable vehicular Toyota babies are put through their mousey paces in the foyer. Youtube Video

20 years of Kiwi Kodak moments

The photo services that were in demand 20 years ago all required a dark room. But the digital age has brought about new ways of developing photos and sharing them with friends and family.

John Berry, owner of Kodak Express Coastlands in Paraparaumu, now run by son David, has been with the brand since day one and has witnessed the changes in services on offer as technology has developed and computers, scanners and the digital camera have been introduced. He says the internet and more recently social media websites and internet access via cell phone is changing the share rate of photos.

“There are vastly more images being taken, but most of them never see the light of day. Twenty years ago it was solely film. Now a lot of our business is reprocessing the past, capturing and preserving family history,” he says. “Our older customers have great stories about some of their photos.”

Trudi McKay, owner of Positive Image Kodak Express in Queenstown for over 20 years, says 80 percent of the store’s time used to be spent developing and processing and selling film.

“Developing and processing film was a very time consuming manual occupation and the level of expertise in machine operators had to be very high. We had a large format printer and a dark room and processed 8x10s on a roll printer, which was great fun."

She says more time is now spent doing image manipulation and digitising older styles of media so they can be enjoyed in today’s world and assisting customers to adapt to the new photographic technologies.

In response to the new customer demands, Kodak Express has just launched New Zealand’s first photo retail outlet where customers can easily print photos direct from their iPhone or Facebook account at 60 stores nationwide. The new in-store kiosk software provides customers with a convenient log-in to their Facebook account or plug-in their iPhone means they can get prints in a matter of minutes.

Kodak Express also recently launched its new online store, where customers can upload photos and order prints and a range of photo display solutions.

Poster power

Wellington rockers Mercury Crowe released a single and video in their  hometown this week and Auckland next. And they've apparently created quite a bit of interest with their sulty poster artwork designed by artist and illustrator Gina Kiel. Normally getting gig posters up around Welli can involve a certain amount of hustling, but the band has discovered that cafes and shops are happily agreeing to put up their Kiss Me or Kill poster—and they're asking for an extra to take home.

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