Unitec's pitch process has come to a close, with independent agency Republik walking away with the institution's strategic, creative and media business.
“We worked through an incredibly robust process and during that time Republik impressed us at every stage, on all criteria levels," said Unitec director of customer journey Alistair Kirk in a release. "The strength of strategic thinking was exciting and will no doubt evolve to form the platform for future campaign activity and brand enhancement”.
The pitch process initially included nine candidates, but this field is understood to have been whittled down to two or three agencies in the final round.
According to Nielsen's rate card data, Unitec spent around $1.8 million over the course of 2014, down on the amounts spent the years prior to that.
Unitec has not had an official agency on the books since 2013, when Special Group last worked on the account.
Republik director Heath Booth says there was no break following the pitch, and that the agency has just launched Unitec's 'Semester One' campaign for 2016.
"Unitec is challenging the tertiary education norms through its focus on strong relationships with business, the high standard of subject experts and those who want to learn from them," says Booth. "This is delivering an exciting new kind of education, one with real purpose and prospects."
The appointment of Republik to the Unitec account closes another chapter in what has been a busy period for the nation's educational facilities.
Earlier this year, AUT ended its decade-long partnership with Consortium and now works with a number of agencies on a project basis.
"We don't have any desire at the moment to limit ourselves with who we might work with and we may well do a discovery project with Assignment in the next month or so, tackling a specific business challenge," AUT's group director of brand and marketing Luke Patterson said in August. "We also have good relationships with Contagion and String Theory plus we use MBM for media and Baseline (Murray Campbell) around our brand and reputation measures."
Otago University also recently underwent an agency procurement process, but at this stage it's still unclear whether an agency was appointed (StopPress contacted the Otago University procurement team, but we are yet to receive a response).
In other news, Republik also recently enjoyed a successful evening at the International Echo Awards, picking up a gold for its 'Haus of Versant' campaign for Fuji Xerox.
This follows on from last year's success at the awards show, when Republik picked up the Best in Show gong for its 'Wide War One' campaign, also for Fuji Xerox (Republik was one of the three finalists for the Best in Show this year as well).
In addition to Republik, Chemistry Interaction also picked up a gold award at Echo, winning for its 'The Long Way' campaign for the Honda Pioneer.
"We’re stoked to be up there with the best in the world, and it just proves that New Zealand continues to bat above its weight on the international stage," said Chemistry creative directors Susan Young and Patrick Murphy. "We’re privileged to work really collaboratively with our clients and there’s a real sense of trust, which is a recipe for great creative work."