Seems a strange photo to post, I know, but a new tunnel has been open in Auckland for a while now which finally gives access to the airport from the north without having to drive through residential areas of the city. Hooray!
About time I say! A modern city needs modern infrastructure, and Auckland is constantly playing catch-up with a fast-growing population.
New Zealand is a small country which basically has nothing much to report generally.
This was really captured a while back by an article I saw in the Dominion Post (a Wellington newspaper) giving a round-up of Auckland news…that’s right, the headline from Auckland was that a man was hurt by a glass bottle in a fight.
I suppose I should be grateful that this kind of thing is still newsworthy in NZ and that more serious things don’t occur too often but I do wonder why on earth they bother printing newspapers if this is all they can manage to find…why can’t we save a few trees?
I find it interesting how the very items used to tell you a floor might be wet is a trip hazard in its own right, and they’re so commonplace that you almost don’t notice them…but not the case in an NZ department store recently…check out this humourous banana sign…but not as humourous as the fact it is actually stood on a carpet! Where exactly is the wet floor?
I know, in relation to other posts of mine, that this is a plastic object yet again (!!) but I guess at least it has a use in helping provide safety and is creative for a change…
Since moving to NZ, I’ve noticed something I never really did while in the UK.
When a new movie is coming out, as an example, you start to notice a range of programming appear on radio and TV which are associated with it. As an example, when Bohemian Rhapsody was released in the cinema, radio stations played noticeably more Queen music and TV shows about Queen and Freddie Mercury were suddenly being aired. I guess there may be several things going on here…
1. TV companies think they will get more viewers if they show associated shows…maybe. The same is true of radio listeners.
2. The showing of those shows (or playing of music) is in some way paid for by the makers of the movie to boost ticket sales. Seems quite probable.
3. The various media channels can up their price for advertising slots during those associated shows. Again, this seems potentially likely.
Sometimes it can be quite nice to revisit prequels on TV just before you want to see the next one in the series (but please no more Jurassic Park films!) but at other times it can be slightly off-putting to be bombarded with messages. You get the same thing happening when artists are coming to play concerts.
I guess this must happen in the UK too but there are so many more media channels that you’re not aware of it as here. It’s pretty transparent.
When you live in a smaller country, a lot of adverts on TV are lower budget as the huge corporations don’t really stand to gain much by advertising (although Coca Cola, McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Vodafone do plenty). What you get instead are small budget, local firms…and how they love a random nobody telling you that you should buy something.
Does anyone actually buy a product because someone they’ve never heard of, who is probably a paid actor, says they should? Surely not!
Also, vanity plays a part where company owners think if they appear on the advert then everyone will want to do business with them. No, no, no, it won’t!
And what fills the advertising space when there is no-one else…our friend the infomercial…an advert so desperate that they never tell you the price and after a few weeks they offer two for one…because everyone really needs two blenders, treadmills or step ladders.
Above is a ridiculous thing. It isn’t new news by any means but in New Zealand is a company called Sanitarium who make products called Weetbix and Marmite. In the UK is a company who make Weetabix and another who make Marmite (I wouldn’t be surprised if the UK products are older but I’m not sure). These products are not the same by content but do equate to a wheat-based biscuit cereal and a yeast extract spread.
Why am I telling you this? Because Sanitarium feel so threatened by these two big UK brands that they won’t allow Weetabix to be sold while clearly named on the packet…and in the spirit of free market economics, the NZ system allows them to disallow the sale of a brand which clearly looks and sounds different (Weetbix are sold in a big blue box and are square in shape). Absurd! Unilever, who own Marmite in the UK, retail their product as “Our Mate” here instead. Somebody somewhere must think consumers are stupid.
It makes me a little suspicious of Sanitarium as a brand when they behave in such anti-competitive, odd ways…although I can’t say I have issues with their products. They even tried to take a small UK importer to court over it. Madness.
You may be curious which brands I prefer…well the UK ones (especially the Marmite…no other brand comes close)…but then I grew up with them so I guess my palate is adjusted to them. 🙂
Whose job is it anyway? Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com
A little while back, I decided I’d conduct a sort of experiment. It sometimes occurs to me that I seem to spend far more time trying to maintain contact with friends and family than is true of the reverse. In all honesty, I don’t think this was any different before I moved to New Zealand from the UK but you had the buffer of seeing people occasionally there.
What was my experiment, I hear you ask? Well, I thought I’d not instigate contact with anyone for a month and see if anyone contacted me, knowing full well that I might not like the result.
And the upshot…I was actually pleasantly surprised. I think the final count was seven contacts (including one family member). Now, put that into perspective with the number of channels which could be utilised by people…Wordpress, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Text, Telephone, Email, Letter (to name a few)…hmmm…maybe seven isn’t too great after all.
Did I learn anything from this experiment? On reflection, not really, but it does reinforce the fact that friendship should be a two-way street and that I shouldn’t be afraid to not be sending messages that often because true friends will remain friends whatever happens. And family won’t change behaviours whatever you say or do… 🙂