The news that Naked was shutting up shop in New Zealand surfaced a couple of weeks ago, and there were a few differences of opinion from the major players on the reasons behind the closure. But Matt O'Sullivan, as expected, has now launched his new entity: Open.
"As in open and collaborative and creative," he says. "A laterally-minded creative media company that isn't just about numbers and digits."
He was unable to say how many staff were moving across from Naked as he's still arranging employment contracts, but he says he's conducting interviews for some fresh staff.
As for clients, he confirmed that he will be working with Unitec and Sir Owen Glenn, but he was unable to specify any more because he is still working through the process of establishing new client contracts.
He says a similar strategic philosophy will apply to this business, which he is the sole shareholder in (none of the Naked directors working in New Zealand had shareholdings in the company). He says Naked wasn't doing any media buying, but it was doing media management and bringing in bespoke media buyers or working with clients' accredited media buying agencies. And that will continue at Open.
He says digital is where the most "operational crossover" between creative and media currently is because there are no real defined roles (this is territory MBM is gunning for by brining on Alysha Delany as shareholder and managing partner). And while digital and social will be an area of focus for Open, he says it won't be its core business.
He points to campaigns like the Powerade Challenge, Unitec 'We Make the People Who Make it' and Gravity Coffee as the sweet spot.
"It's part media, it's part creative concept, and you can't separate one from the other," he says. "Where does the idea stop and the media start? The focus is to make the most of media and influence people's behaviour by using it differently."
At present there is no branding for the company, but he says Special Group is helping out with some design advice.
Here's the release:
Matt O’Sullivan, former Managing Partner of Naked Communications New Zealand, has announced the name of his new venture Open.
O’Sullivan says: “It has been an ambition of mine for well over a year to start a locally owned business, and with the help of numerous industry colleagues throughout the last 4 to 6 months I’m delighted to make it a reality”.
True to its name Open will be a creative media company that is highly collaborative with strong strategic roots.
O’Sullivan says: “A central theme will be using the influence of media in people’s lives to help change behavior, an approach that offers an alternative to traditional industry media practices.”
O’Sullivan says: “Open will give marketers, and where appropriate agency partners, greater ability to solve business problems in channel neutral ways, something that has become a high priority in today’s pressurised marketing environment. The lines between creativity and media have become so incredibly blurred that the best approach is an open and laterally-minded one."
Open will be a hybrid business model that is part consultancy and part agency to ensure clients can maintain whatever flexibility is required to execute the solution that is right for them.
Many clients that were previously with Naked Communications New Zealand will be foundation clients to the new venture.
O’Sullivan can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 2288914