Damien Venuto: Was this the stupidest marketing idea of 2020?

As we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in 2021, it’s a good time to catch up on the very best of the Herald columnists we enjoyed reading over the last 12 months. From politics to sport, from business to entertainment and lifestyle, these are the voices and views our audience loved the most. Today it’s the top three from Damien Venuto.

When corporate-speak goes bad

It’s not often that corporate-speak provokes a gag reflex, but a multinational confectionery juggernaut served up something nauseating back in November.

In a promotional video that dances uncomfortably close to parody, Cadbury owner Mondelez proclaims: “We need to stop marketing and start humaning.”

Despite spellcheck serving up its squiggly alarm as soon as I typed that, no, this was not a typo. “Humaning” is now the raison d’être that underpins the company’s strategic effort to communicate with people.

Damien Venuto on the one marketing idea no one needed in 2020.

The thing Kiwi businesses don’t need to hear in 2021

Judging by the recent stream of emails and social media posts offering predictions and trends on what to expect in 2021, you’d think 2020 was just a standard “nothing to see here” kind of year.

It takes a particularly acute case of audacity to swirl the tea leaves after the past 12 months and pretend to see patterns revealing what comes next.

Here’s the prediction none of us needs to hear right now, writes Damien Venuto.

The media feeds off chaos. So what happens after Trump and Covid?

A terrorist attack, a volcanic eruption, smoke billowing for days from an inner-city landmark, a global pandemic and the most outrageous US President in living memory – over the past 18 months they have all conspired to deliver a chaotic news cycle unlike anything seen by even the most experienced journalists.

But with swift progress being made towards a vaccine rollout and Donald Trump’s presidency (presumably) coming to an end, at least some of the chaos looks set to subside in 2021.

So where does this leave the media, which remains reluctantly entwined in its complicated relationship with chaotic events?

Damien Venuto on what the media might do once the record numbers subside.


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