Following the announcement that ASB has appointed The Monkeys New Zealand as its new agency partner, Justin Mowday talks to StopPress about the pitch process, Accenture’s difference and growing the agency locally.
The Monkeys/ Accenture Sydney was already mid-way through the ASB pitch process when Justin Mowday and Damon Stapleton departed DDB in mid-May with an offer to set up office locally.
“Interesting story, but Damon and I had very little to do with the actual pitch. This was all being taken care of by the team working out of Australia,” Mowday tells me when asked about the apparently rigorous pitch process.
Up against other Australia-based agencies CHE Proximity and M&C Saatchi, perhaps a New Zealand-based Accenture was the tipping point for the bank who has done well (brand speaking) under the guidance of dentsu.
Mowday thinks rather that it’s the international expertise that the Accenture group brings to the table, especially on the data, creativity and technology fronts. This, further reinforced by the appointment in August of acclaimed creative icon David Droga as Accenture Interactive’s CEO and creative chairman.
“ASB is in great shape already, what they are looking for, and what they’ve turned to The Monkeys New Zealand to deliver on is their digital, data and marketing automation needs. This is the Accenture difference, and something I feel appealed to Shane Evans and the ASB team in the depth of experience and expertise we can draw on from within the group globally.”
It’s this same technical and insights-driven approach to marketing that drew Mowday and Stapleton to Accenture.
“For Damon and I to work with a client like ASB with its great comms and excellent brand work is just a dream start. Having such an impressive, big brand as our first client means a lot to the two of us at a personal level.
“We are excited about combining our local knowledge and creative ideas to the broad ownership opportunities of the Accenture group and its global influence. And to work with the likes of Droga is just even more special. This couldn’t be a better fit for us.”
The Monkeys’ tenure with the bank begins on September 1, and Mowday already has an Auckland-based team of 32 ready to hit the ground running. But, drawing on the group’s global resources is something he’s going to have to do as he grows the agency in the coming months.
“We are looking to hire 30-35 more staff in the coming weeks. A number of appointments have already been made, but we aren’t in a position to speak on these as yet. All I can say is that we have some great talent and will soon be be an agency with a team of +60.”
Earlier this month Mowday placed a recruitment ad on StopPress and says he has been inundated by people from across a wide range of industries, cultures and backgrounds who have got in touch with the agency.
“Just as important as it has been to attract the top talent out there, equally so has been our desire to meet and engage new talent and get a diversity of thought going within the agency.
“All of this has been reassuring for us in the decision we made. It’s also put us in a great position in that we are able to choose the conversations we have out in the market.”
Mowday wouldn’t be drawn on other work the agency has picked up, but says to watch this space.