“Surprise & Delight” videos are everywhere these days, but often the surprise isn’t very interesting, isn’t connected to the product or is so connected it feels forced.

That’s why this spot from Land Rover New Zealand is so perfect. It’s a truly spontaneous act of love from the brand that isn’t just rewarding vocal influencers or creating a predictable vending machine stunt.

It’s a beautiful little piece of film, and almost makes me want to buy an old Land Rover of my own to restore. Or at least a new one for new adventures.

-Parker

Welcome back to another edition of Drone Week here on BlogCampaigning! This series of posts

It certainly seems like drones are everywhere these days, and one area where they’re really making a mark is in surf videos.

A lot of waves are tough to shoot from the shore, and filming from the water often means that videographers aren’t able to capture an entire ride. Drones are perfectly positioned to capture surfing, and the overhead angle often gives the action a dreamy look.

Check out a couple of examples of surfing drone videos below.

I like to fly from stugibson on Vimeo.

 

If you want to capture some of this footage yourself, the AirDog might be a good bet. I’d say that that biggest problem is that it only has a 10-20 minute flight time. As some commenters have noted, you can’t even paddle out in that time in some spots.

I feel like this is only the beginning of drones used for surfing footage, and I expect we’ll see even better stuff in the future.

Check out past Drone Week posts on BlogCampaigning. 

Welcome back to another edition of Drone Week, my (occasionally) weekly recap of all news drone related.

How many people got drones for Christmas? 

As I mentioned in a previous posts, it looks like interest in a drones is at an all-time high. There were quite a few new consumer-friendly models released over the past few months and based on these Google trends for “Drone Instructions” and “How To Fly A Drone”, with interest skyrocketing in January, I bet they sold well this holiday season.

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How many of those people got injured? 

There was a great Reddit thread this week about a user who had very nearly crashed their drone into water on the first day of flying it. While many had a good laugh at the “pilot’s” expense, many others rightly pointed out that this guy shouldn’t have been flying the drone so high or without a clue how it worked (in a populated area, and over water!) on his first day.

One of the comments there linked to a gallery of images people sustained from drones. Click through at your own risk.

Good Kill looks like a Good Movie 

Lastly, the trailer for the movie Good Kill starring Ethan Hawke looks like it will be pretty good, dealing with the emotions of the US military drone operators. Will we see  drones as a plot device in more movies over the next year?

That’s it for Drone Week this week!

Send me a Tweet at @ParkerNow if you see any other drone-related news stories that are worth sharing.

I’m a big fan of Instagram these days (I post there more often than Facebook, and even used it to find a photographer for some family portraits) but haven’t been impressed with with way brands are using it (Nike and a few other sports brands aside).

However, Smirnoff New Zealand made excellent use of the photo-sharing service throughout December with their #PurePotential campaign.

The gist of the idea was that Smirnoff NZ asked users to take a picture of the ingredients in their fridge, tagging the photo @SmirnoffNZ and #PurePotential and that the brand would give them a recipe for a vodka-based drink they could make with the ingredients. These recipes came in the form of high-quality videos, perfectly sized and paced for Instagram.

As far as I can tell, they responded to almost every single one of the fridge images that Kiwis uploaded (including this one of my very bare fridge).

It worked well by taking advantage of that fact that user’s are used to giving their followers an intimate look at their lives using photos on Instagram.

It wasn’t just a social campaign, either. They had out of home ads (billboards, bus shelters, wild postings) throughout Auckland (and, I presume, New Zealand) related to the campaign, driving to Instagram and pushing the “Pure Potential” message.

PS: I’ve been impressed with a lot of the advertising work I’ve seen from New Zealand since I moved to Auckland a few months ago, and I’ll try and share more of it when I can.

Since I’ve been in New Zealand, I’ve been working with my colleagues at DDB on a really neat campaign for Steinlager Pure: a sponsorship program for William Trubridge as he attempts to break his own world record by free-diving to 102m.

This is an incredible feat, as William attempts it without weights or oxygen, and has to hold his breath the entire time while also making it back to the surface. Check out Steinlager.com and scroll down to check out different information about what William’s body goes through as he does this dive. There are also audio messages of support from Kiwis and fans around the world, added to the website via neat mobile integration.

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The actual dive took place on December 3rd at 8am New Zealand time, and you can watch the recap video below (a video that was amazingly put together just a few hours after the dive):

 

 

 

Man, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these “Drone Week” posts, but there’s been some good stuff lately.

First up is a comment that that was made by a TechDirt reader on the “Have Drone, Will Travel” post from this week: 

Quadcopters are easy to make and cheap because they move the complicated aspects of proper helicopters out of the mechanics and into the elctronice. Usually this is a good strategy – but not here because the side effects of doing this mean that they are unflyable in anything but perfect weather because of the lack of control authority. Since a proper collective pitch micro-helicopter can be purchased for around $100 nowadays ther is no reason to use a quadcopter. For many applications a fixed wing aircraft will be better.

It puzzles me that calling a model aircraft a “drone” somehow makes it a new piece of technology. It isn’t – it’s just a model aircraft = and in the case of a quadcopter a pretty badly designed one at that!

The author makes a good point, in that the technology being used isn’t really that new or innovative. However, I think he misses out that the development of the flight stabilising electronics, as well as the decreased costs of some of the components, have made this hobby much more accessible to the greater public. This in turn has helped drive further innovation and interest in the field, which is never a bad thing.

 

Next up is the use of drones to track the health of killer whales. 

The footage is beautiful, but more important is the reason why they’re doing it. Read more here. 

 

Lastly, the Audi Car Drone.

I suppose that as a car, it’s not really a drone in the way we might normally think about them, but as a self-driving vehicle on a race track, it’s pretty neat. I’d like to see this entered into an actual competition at some point to see how it does against human drivers.

That’s it for Drone Week. 

 

Last week, I had to good fortune to attend the Communications Agencies Association of New Zealand’s Effectiveness awards. The “Effies,” as their called, are Kiwi equivalent of the Canadian Cassie awards. It was a great way to be exposed to some of the awesome advertising happening here, and I’ve included some of my highlights below.

SKY TV/ Game of Thrones: Bring Down The King 

I might be a bit biased because it was my DDB New Zealand colleagues* who came up with this idea, and because I love Game of Thrones, but it was great to see this spot that lets Kiwis bring down a statue of Joffrey by tweeting about him win a gold at the Effies.

*I moved to New Zealand, in case you missed that. 


 

Maritime New Zealand – Saving Lives Like They Did in the 80s

I heard somewhere that there is no where in New Zealand that is farther than 150km from the coast, and Auckland also apparently has the highest number of yachts per capita in the world so it makes sense that water safety is a big deal. The video below from Maritime New Zealand is a playful look at why you need to be wearing a life jacket for it to be effective.

 

Tui Beer: Catch a Million

I have no idea what cricket is about (and pretty much think of it as this) but I think everyone can still appreciate some of the great catches, even when they come from the crowd. Tui Beer capitalized on this by holding a promotion that promised a share of $1,000,000 to anyone in the crowd who caught a ball from the game with one hand. Check out the video below to see how this took off.

Bonus fact that I learned about cricket: They only change balls every 50 overs (which takes about 3 hours or so), so that the way the ball spins and bounces changes quite a bit throughout a game. Compare this to American Baseball, where I think they change up the ball almost every pitch to keep it consistent.

There were a lot of other great pieces of work at the awards, but those were my favourite. The full Effies results are here.

-Parker

 

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve left Toronto, and have made the move south to join the DDB New Zealand team as a Digital Strategist.

Saying goodbye to my colleagues at Tribal Worldwide Toronto/DDB Canada wasn’t easy, but staying within the DDB network and transferring down to DDB New Zealand was a great opportunity.

I’ve only been here for a week, but so far my early impressions of the DDB team here and the city of Auckland are that both are fantastic.

 

 

If you’re ever in New Zealand, look me up and say hello.

To everyone I worked with back in Canada, please keep in touch (LinkedIn or Twitter). I hope our paths cross again soon.

-Parker

PS: They love coffee in New Zealand, and the DDB office is no exception:

 

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They take their coffee seriously at DDB New Zealand.

View on Instagram

 

 

A few months ago, I had the chance to visit Tokyo to work with the DDB office there. Similar to my trip to Australia last year, it was a chance to return to place I’d once lived, visit some old friends and meet some new colleagues. Below are a few pictures from my trip.

The DDB Japan offices - they've got a familiar look to them.

One of the things I like most about Japan is the mix of old and new. In this case, it's an old wooden shrine that was next to my hotel, surrounded by the modern glass and steel of Tokyo.

The bar at my hotel had a great view of Tokyo tower, and was an excellent place to relax after a long day.

 

The DDB Japan crew - a great group to work with.

 

The incredible footwear of one of my DDB Japan colleagues.

Shibuya.

Most mornings I managed to get our for a jog around the Imperial Palace

 

I met up with my old friend Barry while I was there, and we went to a bar on this very narrow street.

 

If you want to see some more pictures from my trip, check out my Instagram page (I’m ParkerNow there), starting with this image.

 

 

Even after all these years I’ve been in advertising, it’s still exciting to see an idea go from research, through to strategy and a finished execution. That’s why it’s great to see the creative that my colleagues at DDB developed to promote SONY’s line of High-Resolution audio products:

As part of the campaign, we’re working with music bloggers across Canada to share content and give reviews about these products. Check Ride the Tempo if you want to try and win a pair of these great SONY headphones now.

Otherwise, learn more about SONY’s High-Resolution audio products at store.sony.ca/sound-evolved

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You're reading BlogCampaigning. We write about public relations, social media, video games, marketing and pretty much whatever we feel is important. We've been around since August, 2006. Right now, It's mostly written by Parker Mason.