Year in Review 2023: Mark Banbrook

Each year, StopPress asks a group of talented professionals in the local industry for their reflections on the year that was. This year, they spoke to individuals who made their mark on 2023 and brought truly impactful work.

Mark Banbrook is National Sales Director for oOh!media, New Zealand’s leading out of home (OOH) advertising company, which unveiled the giant digital screen “The Sylvia” at Auckland’s Sylvia Park last year. He reflects on 2023 and what lies ahead this year.

If 2023 were a brand, what would its slogan be?

Up the WAHs!

How would you sum up your professional year in three words?

Persistence – Patience – Perseverance.

A personal achievement I’m most proud of in 2023 is…

Stepping into my new role as National Sales Director. The opportunity came up unexpectedly and involved a swift change in mindset and direction. When planning how I was going to move into this role I decided the key was to champion my team and focus on leading with authenticity and empathy. Looking at how strong the team has performed this year it seems to be working.

As a company, we’ve ticked off some massive projects in the back half of the year – we’ve added premium shopping precinct Commercial Bay to our network and taken campaigns to new directions with the launch of our 3D Anamorphic (3DA) alongside our hero large format site ‘The Sylvia’.

A personal and professional highlight has been oOh!’s implementation of initiatives that align with Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the commitment to our tikanga immersion – a journey that continues to strengthen our companies understanding and appreciation of te ao Maori

What was the best innovation/launch/invention of 2023?

Chat GPT technically came out in Nov ‘22 but was so seismic I must reference it for 2023. The evolution and launch of Chat GPT-4 has surpassed our expectations and understanding of AI.

Other than that I’m a big fan of the braille Lego launched in Sep, it’s great to see more and more brands innovating to support diversity.

From a media perspective, what were the biggest lessons brands learnt this year?

Authenticity is everything. A great example would be the winner of the 2023 oOh! Innovation Award – Hubbards.  Started in 1990 Hubbards was New Zealand’s’ first locally produced muesli which began in a garage in South Auckland. Now a multi-million-dollar business across NZ and Aus but still true to its roots with a purpose of inspiring and empowering people to imagine what’s possible.

What technology made the most impact on your day-to-day work this year?

I mean, Chat GPT would be quite helpful for composing 2023 year in review articles… But in all seriousness, the growth of pDOOH has had the greatest impact on my day-to-day and that of our clients. It has influenced every part of oOh! and changed how we look at solving challenges for brands in new and exciting ways that have not previously been possible.

The other tech that is set to continue making waves in 2024 is our unique 3DA asset ‘The Sylvia’. The latest Keri campaign is a great example for how we can help brands to design and create impressive, immersive work that lives both physically on our screen at Sylvia Park and on social media for further amplification. Many more Unmissable opportunities to come.

Who inspired you in 2023 and why?

It’s a cliché but it would definitely be my team. 2023 has been a year of constant change at oOh! and every step of the way the team has adapted and excelled, I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this team.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

There’s a lot of exciting things coming up for oOh! in 2024 but I’m going with uninterrupted sleep…

Quick fire 10:

Most impactful local campaign of 2023: Air NZ Pin a Million.

Most underrated international campaign of the year: Debatable if it was underrated but Norwich City FC – ‘Check In On Those Around You’. And an honourable mention for John Oliver’s campaign to get the Pūteketeke crowned Bird of the Century.

A campaign I wish I worked on: The global Barbie marketing campaign.

A news event that didn’t get the attention it deserved: How often men think about the Roman Empire.

Most listened to artist of 2023: Noah Kahan.

A 2023 trend you’re ready to bid farewell to: Driving a deep-sea submarine with a gaming controller.

Most innovative use of social media in a campaign this year: Barbenheimer.

Most bingeable TV series of 2023: Top Boy Season 5 (Netflix), Far North (ThreeNow), Sneakerholics (TVNZ+).

Biggest flop of 2023: It’s a tie between Twitter’s name change to X and the launch of Threads.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given: If you have money, you’ll be rich. But if you have time, you’ll be wealthy.