Following on from last week’s announcement of the category and judge’s awards finalists, we move onto the individual finalists for this year’s edition of the event.
The list of finalists are split into veterans and newbies, with the former in contention to win the Marketer of the Year Award (sponsored by Fairfax Media) and the latter in to win the Rookie Marketer of the Year (sponsored by News Works). In addition, we also have a section for the Marketing Excellence category.
First up, the finalists for the Fairfax Media Marketer of the Year Award:
Shane Evans, ASB Bank
Evans joined ASB in 2011 as head of marketing communications and quickly moved to head of brand, digital and retail marketing communications before a promotion to general manager for marketing in 2015. His passion lies in creating highly effective marketing campaigns that enable business to succeed and understanding how digital is changing customers’ lives and determining how to respond through innovative solutions. This can be seen in his developments including ‘Like Loan’, ‘Snapchat scholarships’ and ‘Clever Kash’. He also transformed the sponsorship portfolio (All Blacks, Tennis, St John and Marathon) into an effective brand management platform. These projects have seen the ASB marketing team win 40 New Zealand and global awards in the last year, including gongs at the Effies, NZDM, AXIS, The Beacons, Cannes, Webbys, The One Show and D&AD.
Dave Elliott, Mitre 10
Dave Elliott has been at the helm of Mitre 10’s marketing since 2010 and during his tenure has overseen a major transformation of the business. Elliott doesn’t sit still. He’s constantly looking for ways the business can improve its marketing approach to drive better results. But this doesn’t mean that he takes unnecessary risks. Research and data is at the heart of his approach, and he constantly tests and adjusts his strategy to ensure that it’s driving the necessary results. Under his watch, Mitre 10 has surpassed $1 billion in sales, its YouTube channel has achieved more than 12 million views and the business is in great shape for the future. And none of this was ‘easy as’, despite what the always-humble Elliott might tell you.
Holly Whittaker, Whittaker’s
Whittaker’s has been voted New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brand (Readers Digest Survey) and New Zealand’s Most Loved Brand (Colmar Brunton Survey) every year since 2012. This hasn’t happened by accident. It is the result continuously excellent marketing that resonates with New Zealand consumers. Over the last 18 months, the guardianship of this well-loved brand has fallen to Holly Whittaker, who has put in an effort her great grandfather (who founded the company in 1896) would salute. Her tenure as marketing manager has been typified by innovation, with the launch of the Whitaker’s Artisan Range and collaborations with L&P, Hundreds and Thousands and Jelly Tip, to mention just a few. And, as a digital native, she has expanded the brand Facebook page to over 500,000 followers, providing access to a massive audience of adoring fans. Her efforts have seen Whittaker’s become the leader in the block chocolate market, and the company’s profitability has grown year on year.
Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand
Jodi Williams has been in charge of the face of Air New Zealand, New Zealand's most loved brand of 2016, for the past three years as the airline’s global head of brand. In her role she is responsible for delivering high returns and crafted storytelling to appeal to not only New Zealanders, but people all around the world. Under Williams’ brand leadership, the airline has released a string of successful and entertaining safety campaigns, including its viral Men in Black-themed video featuring a handful of All Blacks and Stan Walker, which clocked up around 3.2 million views per day. Williams also drew attention to the brand in 2015 with the launch of the airline’s 75th anniversary campaign, which included exhibitions at Te Papa and Auckland Museum, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to each institution. It’s a high profile role and Williams appears to be taking the brand from strength-to-strength and giving it a respected name on the global stage.
And now for the News Works Rookie Marketer of the Year shortlist:
Sarah Mann, ANZ New Zealand Limited
Mann started with ANZ in 2014, when she entered the graduate programme after graduating from Auckland University with a bachelor of commerce, accounting and marketing. During her time with the bank, Mann has made a strong impression in the marketing space and a reflection of her achievement can be seen in her promotion to marketing manager after only one year in the marketing associate role. Mann has been credited for her contribution to the ‘goMoney wallet’ campaign for which she was particularly instrumental in developing the digital and social influence strategy. These aspects were at the heart of the campaign and a significant departure from anything the bank had done before.
Sophie Poll, Les Mills International
Poll entered the industry as an events and marketing intern at Ronald McDonald House Auckland in 2014 and has since worked her way up at Les Mills International, starting as a marketing coordinator in May 2015 and a year later as the product marketing executive. During this time, she has been recognised for her crisp creative eye, which has seen her manage the 'Les Mills Quarterlies' by creating a fresh range of campaign assets every three months that excites stakeholders and is shared with Les Mills’ audience. To deliver these projects, Poll drives agency engagement, stakeholder engagement and technical implementation. She is also managing the roll-out of new digital asset management system (Brand Central) and in doing so, guiding her colleagues into a new digital frontier.
Lana Blair, Lion
Lana Blair, assistant brand manager of mainstream beer at Lion, was chucked in the deep end during its graduate intake of 2014. While she was supposed to work on low stress projects as a new recruit, due to two important vacant brand managing roles (for Mac’s and Smirnoff), her services were urgently needed and she took over the roles. Lion was impressed, saying she delivered great results for someone who had been with the business for less than a year. During her time at Lion, Blair has also worked as a market activation executive, and assistant insights manager – consumer and shopper.
Lara Simmons, ShowGizmo
Lara Simmons, marketing executive at ShowGizmo, who only turned 21 last week, graduated from Victoria University last year but according to ShowGizmo has already become a crucial member of the team where she started out as an intern toward the end of last year. One particular notch on her belt includes her efforts helping the business enter different markets, alongside Ogilvy & Mather, leading to complete rebranding and a new website development that the business says has played a critical role in its expansion efforts in North America. Simmons also leads its media communications and organized a new product launch of ShowGizmo and its partners Crowd Mics at the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME).
Rachael Wee, Sealord
Rachael Wee joined the Sealord team in June 2014 as an assistant brand manager for its frozen seafood category in what was her first marketing role (with previous experience in category management). According to Sealord she hit the ground running and was promoted from her initial position to digital brand manager after only one year at the company. Last year, Wee relaunched its entire frozen range in Australia and looked after the “Sealord little boat” consumer promotion with New World in August, which involved development of all the creative including TV advertising and working with the sales team. Her most recent project has been the relaunch of Sealord’s website, which went live in February 2016.
And finally, the finalists in the Marketing Excellence category*:
Clive Nelson, Health Promotion Agency
In 2012, the government formed the HPA in bid to improve the health and well-being of New Zealanders across the nation. This was an important organisation, and the responsibility of leading was placed in the hands of Clive Nelson. He hasn’t disappointed. Since his appointment, he has addressed some of the biggest issues facing New Zealand society, including alcohol consumption, smoking, health education programmes, mental health awareness, immunisation, rheumatic fever prevention, and the importance of heart and diabetes checks. In every campaign released under his charge, Nelson has shown that government agencies don’t have to be boring when delivering messages to Kiwis. Whether it’s the poignant story of a pair of brothers or a creepy cigarette man making everyone feel uncomfortable, Nelson always puts creativity at the heart of what the organisation does. And this approach has driven great results, with all campaigns launched reaching or exceeding measures for target audiences.
Diane Maxwell, Commission for Financial Capability
Financial literacy is regularly pinpointed as one of the biggest societal problems facing New Zealand, and this motivated the government to launch the Commission for Financial Capability in a bid to help Kiwis make more informed decisions. Heading this organisation is Diane Maxwell, who has over the last few years made it her objective to make Kiwis better with money. An integral part of her role has been to increase interest in Money Week and her efforts have been sterling, to say the least. Since the organisation launched in 2012, the number of participants has increased from 13,000 to 62,000 and the number of organisations taking part has grown from 100 to 250. While these results are all fantastic from a marketing perspective, they are equally important for the country on a bigger scale.
*These finalists were previously listed under the Marketer of the Year category.