They say you can't buy experience, but you can buy experiential agencies and that's what Professional Public Relations has done with the acquisition of specialist experiential marketing brand SublimeNZ, an offering it hopes to grow in Australia across PPR’s six state offices.
Unsurprisingly, there was no comment on how much was paid, but Bruce will continue with the business in the capacity of general manager, experiential. He already has a busy summer of activation ahead of him including managing a trans-Tasman project for shoe brand Deuce Generation, and shopper marketing for ‘VNO’ and ‘The People’s Wine’ from Constellation Brands, amongst others.
"This is a natural partnership for both PPR and SublimeNZ at a time when communication channels are multiplying and the way that people interact with brands, companies and services, and with each other, is changing,” says Sally Haysom, executive chairman, PPR New Zealand and executive director of PPR Australia. "People increasingly want one-to-one relationships with the brands they engage with, whether that is face-to-face or through digital and social channels. Specialist experiential marketing is an important part of the mix and complements more traditional ways of connecting with an organisation’s stakeholders ... We are delighted to have him, and his national team of more than 150 brand ambassadors, on board."
PPR New Zealand, "the largest and most awarded PR consultancy across New Zealand and Australia", and SublimeNZ have already worked together as partners developing experiential activities for mutual clients and while Haysom says there are plenty of synergies, the two companies also have their own specialities in other areas, with PPR’s corporate and finance offering and SublimeNZ’s sponsorship staffing services.
"PPR’s purpose is to communicate to create. Whether that is to create attention or understanding, great relationships, change, growth and leadership, opportunities or trust, we’re focused on developing an environment where our clients can excel," says Haysom. "This requires a deep understanding of a brand or organisation’s public, whether that is customers, stakeholders, influencers, shareholders and any person who either interacts, or has the potential to interact, with a product or service. It also requires us to be channel agnostic, which is core to PPR’s approach in delivering strategic and creative campaigns. It’s increasingly about content creation, with the right messages in the right channels at the right time. Experiential marketing is a natural fit in this mix."
Bruce says SublimeNZ, which was established in the spare bedroom of his Bruce's parents’ home when he was just 22 years old and has been nominated in the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards as one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies this year, has always been about creating meaningful and measurable results for clients, or ‘Sublime Experiences’.
"Our strength is in the ability to find innovative ways of reaching consumers," he says. "For example at events or key commuter routes, then engaging with these audiences in order to drive sales or achieve other results. We have worked with many of the leading brands in New Zealand and the world in the last seven years, and I am extremely proud of the campaigns we have developed or executed—in particular the work we managed during the Rugby World Cup 2011 where we supplied over 400 brand ambassadors. There comes a time in every business’s lifecycle where a leap in expansion is the next step, so I am thrilled that PPR has embraced experiential marketing in such a proactive way and appointed me to drive this division within their business."