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Annalese Sharrock

Annalese Sharrock Strategic Director

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06 759 7044



    Who killed the audience for advertising?


    Each year the Strategy Collective Brand team heads to Auckland for two days to attend Semi Permanent as part of our on going creative development. This is usually our annual dose of inspiration, returning back to work full of amazing ideas and ready to inject a fresh sense of energy to our own work. This year was a little different.

    The presenters at SPAKL took the creative industry head on – challenging our very existence. Not content to merely present a portfolio of work, the common theme this year was to expose the changing landscape within the world of advertising.  With technology growing at such a rapid pace we have reached a point in society where we can no longer ignore what’s staring us right in the face. There is no longer any room in this world for shit content.

    Traditionally the world was a captive audience. Whether it be a limited number of channels on television, or the a few favourite radio stations, the advertiser could find success in following a few simple rules. Spend the money, apply the right advertising formula and watch the punters role in.

    Now days, the sames rules no longer apply. The consumer has been empowered. People are now choosing what content they want to pay attention to, their time is precious and advertisiers have to fight harder than ever for their attention. No longer are we faced with an audience that will lap up your product if your logo occupies 20% of your advertisement, you now need to be genuine, entertaining, informative, witty. You need to be real and understand what your audience actually want to see/hear from you.

    But how do you create authentic content people really connect with?

    One of our favourite examples that came out of Semi Permanent was a fight for a prime advertising spot during the Super Bowl. These spots go for millions and it is difficult to compete even if you do have budget for it. So the trusted Swedish brand Volvo decided to change the conversation and give the power back to the consumer. Volvo intercepted the Super Bowl advertising spots by creating a Social Media campaign, where if the audience used a unique hashtag during a competitors advertisement they could win a new Volvo for someone they loved.

    It is no longer about who has the biggest budget or the loudest voice. You can’t force feed your audience, you have to genuinely connect with them.

    The future of business is now only restricted by the imagination. Take Chevy for example, when the Regional Chevy Manager presented the new truck at The World Series, his nerves got the better of him. He totally screwed up quoting the new truck had “Technology and Stuff”. Instead of ignoring the problem, Chevy embraced it.

    The fact of the matter is, social media and user-driven platforms mean that no one is waiting to consume advertising. Your content now competes directly with what their friends had for breakfast and cat memes! If you are not entertaining, people just don’t care anymore.


    The formulas are now redundant. If you want to stay connected with your audience you now have to be innovative and authentic more than ever. Good, creative ideas are the way of the future.

    If you want to reconnect with your audience – Let’s get creative! Give us a call, have a coffee (or beer!) and bounce around a few ideas!