...as the Ogilvy juggernaut keeps rolling, SparkPHD hires an 'Irish media maven', The Radio Network's long-serving chief exec gets set to step down, Fluxx welcomes the co-founder of the Beige Brigade, Naked nabs a new comms planner, International Rescue adds five newbies to the flock, Media Design School tastes glory in Los Angeles, Lily & Louis wins a couple of accounts, ActionActors takes to the stage and Mark Hanson sets up a new kind of PR agency.
Ogilvy has announced a couple of big changes, with Dave Nash promoted to creative director after a one-year stint as co-creative director of the interactive department, Andrea Hammond moving from Acumen Republic to a key role in planning team and Mark Lapsley joining as head of search.
Nash has worked on campaigns both digital and traditional throughout Australasia, UK, Middle East and Asia, including Warner Music International and award-winning brand work in the UK & Middle East.
As well as ensuring that digital is at the heart of their creative offering, Nash will partner with executive creative director Damon O'Leary on major projects, with the first example of this combo being the Kiwibank Green Ops campaign.
"It's great to have Dave's skills to call on. His digital expertise has already made a huge difference to the agency and the creative department in the past 12 months," says O'Leary. "It feels like we're on the verge of something great. The way we can throw a clash of skills at any brief is exactly what today's clients are after. We're getting results and having a lot of fun in the process."
"We've had a busy year, there's real energy here at Ogilvy," Nash says. "We have been very successful, winning significant new pieces of business like Auckland Council, with a few more in the pipeline. For some time now, digital/interactive hasn't been a separate discipline from creative. We've been operating as a tight unit and so it makes perfect sense that the leadership of creativity comes from our partnership. I'm really excited to be working with Damon and helping drive the team to focus on quality creative."
As for Hammond, she's a sought-after marketing, brand, advertising and PR strategist who has worked with brands as diverse as Dunedin, Audi, Sanitarium, Telecom, Air New Zealand, Countdown, 42Below, Ingham, Team New Zealand, Whittaker's, Consumer NZ, Research NZ, NZ Lotteries, BNZ, Shell as well as B2B, medical and startup brands.
"The planning team that [planning director] Rupert Price has pulled together is an intriguing collection of specialists that can't help itself hatching plans and cross-pollinating ideas," she says. I plan to stir up some useful thinking that sparks great ideas."
Lapsley, who comes from the Vivaki search hub, has what Ogilvy's managing director Greg Partington calls "a background in recruiting and growing teams of skilled search practitioners who understand how to drive consumer interest and engagement".
"He will be of huge benefit to our clients, who can now access this skill in-house at Ogilvy as part of our digital offering."
Luck of the Irish
Carroll previously worked at Ireland’s Mediaworks agency, joining in 2003 to work on the McDonald’s account, which she led from 2007 to 2011. Claire’s clients also included entertainment giant Sony (working on their retail business), leading insurance provider Quinn Group, and Ireland’s second largest charity Trócaire.
She is a psychology graduate of Trinity College, with a Diploma in Advertising from the Fitzwilliam Institute, and in 2009 she became the youngest person ever appointed to the management board of Mediaworks and OwensDDB, which is part of the Omnicom DDB Group.
She was instrumental in setting up DDB Group’s latest business unit Motiveworks, a communications strategy and planning unit with a psychology twist to brand and consumer insights and behaviour. She brings this valuable experience to SparkPHD’s ETNA neuroplanning model, which uses a similar strategy and planning framework for clients.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges of working with a new set of clients and developing my knowledge of the New Zealand media market, and I’m delighted to be back here following a whirlwind ‘travel bug’ visit in 2005,” she says.
“This year I have celebrated 40 years with the company with the last ten years as chief executive. It is time to let someone else lead the challenge of building on the sound strategic base we have laid down”, McElhinney says.
“John has had a wonderful career at TRN and within the NZ radio sector," says Richard Herring, APN News and Media’s group radio and outdoor chief executive and TRN joint venture owner. "He has overseen the development of a very strong suite of radio stations and built a vibrant culture within TRN that has delivered “best in breed” market positioning and strong revenue and market shares."
“John’s passion for the radio business and for growing the various TRN brands means we have a very strong base upon which to build for the future,” Herring says.
The TRN Board is working on recruiting a replacement. McElhinney will provide some consultancy services to TRN over the course of 2012 to help ensure a smooth transition.
Mike Lane has joined as a director and brings ten years of experiential, events and marketing skills from his time at The Radio Network NZ, ignite London, FIFA, Rugby World Cup 2007, Flash Entertainment in the Middle East and as co-founder of the Beige Brigade as a student in 1999.
“Mike had been Skyping me incessantly from Abu Dhabi for months. Obviously the heat was getting to him and his enthusiasm for experiential marketing, knowledge of our business and the NZ market sold itself," says Mark Pickering. "Having worked extensively with brands such as BAT, Vodafone, F1, Motorola and Chivas Regal, he brings some heavyweight experience in event and experiential production."
With Lane on board Fluxx now brings over 30 years dedicated, creative and management expertise in this channel to bare for our clients.
Some of Lane's previous work at Ignite can be found here.
Toni Steiner has joined Naked Communications as communications planner and will work primarily on the Fonterra account.
She spent a couple of years with TVNZ and then three years in the UK and Ireland with roles as a sales and marketing exec at Online Trading Academy and media planner at The Gate Worldwide.
To the rescue
International Rescue has just launched a new blog showcasing the work of its roster of commercial photographers, illustrators and animators. And that roster has recently grown by five.
Commissioning a storyboarder is now even easier with a new storyboard section under the ‘Illustration’ category which showcases storyboards from Ant Sang, Chris Grosz, Gareth Jensen and Darren Sheehan.
Portraiture specialist Nic Staveley has a passion for strongly stylised portraits and capturing a filmic narrative of his subject and recently shot an alluring campaign for Shortland Street/TVNZ, while automotive specialist Colette Nickelsen has permanently returned home after 10 years shooting in the USA and UK. She has shot for the likes of BMW, Audi, Lexus, and Mercedez Benz as well as editorial for Top Gear.
Lifestyle and landscape photographer Kristian Frires has assisted some of the best photographers in Australasia and won multiple awards for his personal work along the way.
Liam Gerrard is an illustrator specialising in portraiture and still life and works in the medium of charcoal, pencil and ink to create replications of his subjects, whether they be people, product or an intricate combination of both. His latest commissions include a portrait of Hollie Smith for WWF and he has been responsible for album illustrations for The Veils (whom he used to play for) and The Checks in the past.
Suren Perera also joins as a 2D animator who favours a hand-drawn, character based and vibrant style. His latest commission was an animated TVC explosion for Skittles, released in Canada.
Other recent work from International Rescue includes Steinlager RWC shot by Lewis Mulatero for DDB, Greg Straight’s illustration for Adidas RWC via Iris Sydney and Preston McNeil’s animation for ASB via Droga5.
Storm in a PR cup
Lily & Louis has been appointed to fashion brand Storm’s PR business and luxury brand Mont Blanc.
“Storm is one of the quiet success stories of New Zealand fashion,” says Lily & Louis managing partner Jacqui Ansin. “Established five years ago, they’ve opened eight retail stores and built a huge and loyal following of women of all ages. Now is the time to raise their profile further and make a real noise in the industry.”
Mont Blanc's Jeremy Hughes says the company has worked with Jacqui and her team on a project basis in the past. “They have extensive experience with prestigious fashion, lifestyle and European automotive brands. So when it came to entrusting our flagship Montblanc brand to a communications partner, they were the only ones worth considering."
Three Media Design School short films have notched up ten awards between them at the recent LA Movie Awards, a US-based online independent film festival with a mission to celebrate Independent Motion Picture and Literary Arts by providing a platform for filmmakers and writers to have an opportunity to be awarded for their work.
The films won outside the student category, competing with features and shorts made by professionals.
"I was quite surprised by the news we had picked up ten awards. I thought it must have been a typo," says Cunningham. "This is a fantastic recognition of not only the great student work but also all the professionals who have volunteered their time to give back to the next generation of visual effects artists."
The success continues a stellar year in worldwide festivals, awards and competitions for short films from the School's 3D department, headed by James Cunningham. Successes for 2011 so far have included finalist nominations in the Student Category of the Visual Effects Society Awards, and Laurels at the Aspen Shortsfest, Honolulu Film Awards, LA International Underground Film Fest and Talking Pictures Festival.
Youtube VideoTime for Change, a full CGI animated short about feuding spouses, who happen to also be wooden clock puppets, picked up first place in the Animation category of the Los Angeles Movie Awards, as well as Best Animated Characters, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Youtube VideoRotting Hill, a CGI-Live Action integrated short about two Zombies falling in love amongst a blood bath of gore was awarded first place in the International category, as well as Best Production Design, Best Supporting Actor (Bruce Hopkins), Best Special Effects and Best Director (James Cunningham).
Youtube VideoDas Tub, a CGI-Live Action integrated short about a German U-Boat in troubled waters, of the soapy variety, achieved an Award of Excellence in the International category.
All three shorts films were produced by teams of students from Media Design School's Graduate Diploma of Advanced 3D Productions. The films feature a winning collaboration of strong scripts by celebrated New Zealand screenwriters, assistance from experienced Kiwi industry experts in sound design and cinematography, great acting and high quality 3D modelling, animation, dynamics and compositing. The average turnaround for a Media Design School short film project is around ten weeks.
ActionActors, a new employment agency dedicated to sourcing non-acting work opportunities for actors and other performing artists, has just launched.
Co-founded by Bruce Hopkins (former Limbs dancer, stage and Lord of the Rings actor) and Anthony Hurst (PeopleMax, Digital Productions), the agency already has more than 40 actors on its books.
"We have some of New Zealand's best known faces, also plenty of up and coming actors but we need more - lots more," says Hopkins. "Actors and performers have skills that are ideal for promotional and branding as well as other work and with the Rugby World Cup now underway and summer around the corner, we believe demand from clients will be strong."
Hopkins says that ActionActors aims to source actors work "between roles" to provide increased financial security and the ability to be more selective in their acting or performing choices.
"We're really impressed with the skills these people offer and the scope of work they can perform, we are confident employers will find what they are looking for" says Hopkins.
A newly-formed group of independent public relations and communications professionals, the Contract Communicators Network (CCN), is offering a ‘No Commission on hourly rate’ alternative to the niche communications contracting market.
CCN co-ordinator Mark Hanson says rather than the add-on of a commission to the hourly rate as is the case with HR consultancies, clients hiring a CCN contractor will pay an initial one-off engagement fee and then only the contractor’s hourly rate.
“As an example, with a 20 percent commission on an hourly rate of $80, the client ends up paying $640 a week in commission, on top of the contractor’s hourly rate. Over the course of a three month contract, that’s $7680,” says Hanson. “That money could either be saved from the client’s communications budget, or be used for PR and Comms activities and initiatives that the client wants to pursue, but may not because of a lack of budget.”
In the CCN model, the only cost in addition to the contractor’s hourly rate is a one-off engagement fee of $600. Hanson notes that using the 20 percent commission example above, the CCN engagement fee would be covered in the first week of the consultancy hourly add-on commission.
“Every week thereafter there’s a $640 saving for the client. In addition to providing experienced and proven PR and communications professionals, we think there’s also the added value of a good budgetary case for our ‘no commission’ model."
With CCN, the client agrees the hourly rate with the contractor and engages them in a normal contract for services commercial arrangement with all the usual legal and contractual responsibilities and commitments that entails.
Hanson says the network is focusing on having only more experienced practitioners who have a sound PR/Communications background and who have been in the profession for at least a decade and contracting for several years.
“The specialist contracting PR & Communications field is a very small one. We know each other and our experience and capabilities and CCN contractors have essentially been reference checked by their peers,” he says.