New start-up Magnetic sets out to address New Zealand’s $1.89b advertising waste

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New start-up Magnetic sets out to address New Zealand’s $1.89b advertising waste

As the advertising content and media landscape continues to proliferate, so does the attention brands can command from consumers. A new data solutions provider Magnetic, has set out to address the estimated $1.89b of advertising waste in New Zealand, helping marketers improve performance and their return on investment.


Launched today by Waitapu Group, Auckland-based Magnetic provides advanced marketing data and analytics solutions to enhance the performance of advertising creative and media. The company will work with leading brands and agencies to quantify and mitigate advertising wastage, and reduce subjectivity, to greatly improve return on investment.

Using computer vision and AI, Magnetic provides creative teams with an understanding of emotional responses to ads on a second-by-second basis. New insights help to refine ideas, messaging, visuals and composition to better resonate with target audiences. Creative and media plans can then be optimised to ensure that more of the moments that matter in each ad are viewed, instead of played out to no-one. This data-driven approach allows for iterative experimentation, which leads to higher-performing content and helps ensure maximum media suitability.

Magnetic is led by CEO, Phil Townend (pictured above), who brings over 25 years of experience across the global advertising industry, including roles at Carat, Virgin, Unruly and Amplified Intelligence. Townend specialises in using data and advanced analytical technologies to measure advertising effectiveness.

Says Townend: “The time is right. There’s more ad-waste than there’s ever been. Marketers are being tasked to deliver greater value for the same budget, or the same results for less. From a technology perspective, we’re at an inflection point, where AI-driven biometric media and creative analysis tools exist to augment and inform marketing communications beyond proxy or hygiene metrics such as viewability and view through rate. Magnetic offers a powerful, new solution.”

A recent study from Amplified Intelligence and a leading global soft drinks brand – looking at over 1,000 ads across major digital platforms in Europe – found that only 42% of the branded moments in the leading global soft drinks brand ads were actually seen. So, despite the age of connectivity, with digital metrics at our fingertips, even the world’s biggest, most sophisticated brands are seeing ad-waste of 58% or more.

If this level of wastage were mapped over the NZ$3.3bn annual media spend in New Zealand, it would represent almost $2bn of ad-spend playing creative content to little or no real human attention. A large driver of this waste is the fractured nature of creative and media practices, where ads are being created and deployed in silos.

Says Greg Partington, managing director, Waitapu Group: “The days of relying on guess work to make decisions about content or media are over. It’s time to harness data end-to-end and I believe our group is in a unique position to bring together the two fractured practices of creativity and media to drive performance.”

Says Townend: “Consumer attention is fleeting. We must ask ourselves, is the creative work engaging and persuasive enough? Does it entertain and inspire? And does it map effectively to the media formats in which it’s intended to run? We created Magnetic to answer these questions and give brands more certainty that the dollars invested in creative or media are actually delivering an optimal return.”

Magnetic will now work with local brands to reveal their own levels of attention, boost advertising performance and reduce wastage.