Once considered the uncool cousin of above-the-line advertising, direct marketing has in recent years—thanks largely to the rise of targeted advertising—taken a more central role in the industry. It's a trend that's only set to become more pronounced as agencies look to better target individual consumers with personalised messaging.
As a corollary of this shift, the Direct Marketing Awards become more and more competitive each year. And with the finalists announced today, this year's edition will again see the nation's agencies slog it out on awards night for metal.
Leading the charge by some way is JustOne, which has 15 unique campaigns across a range of clients in the running (21 spots in total).
JustOne was a dominant force at last year's edition, walking away as the most-awarded agency with five golds, four silvers and seven bronzes across six different clients, and will be hoping to replicate that performance again.
The battle for most-awarded agency this year will likely be contested between JustOne and Colenso BBDO, with the latter seeing nine unique campaigns listed (15 spots in total).
Further back are Chemistry Interaction and FCB, which both came in with 7 unique campaigns shortlisted apiece (10 spots in total).
As is always the case in advertising, none of the best work would make it across the line without the bravery of clients. And if the shortlist for the Keith Norris Direct Marketing Organisation of the year is anything to go by, then four of the bravest clients of the year were AMP, Countdown, Gareth Morgan Investments and Mercer New Zealand.
No doubt the agencies associated with each of these brands will be rooting for their clients on the night.
Rounding out the finalists for the 2017 edition are Emily Colmore-Williams (AMP) and Michael Summers-Gervai (Genesis), who will this year be going head to head for the title of direct marketer of the year.
The wait is now on for the big event set to take place at The Langham on 23 February.
Here's the full list of finalists: