Movings/Shakings: 19 August

New business

Digital agency iProspect has won the digital media account for Spark-owned Bigpipe after a competitive pitch, and this sees the account moving on from the incumbent Dynamo. 

iProspect will manage the digital planning and buying across bought, owned and earned channels for the broadband provider across New Zealand. 

“iProspect demonstrated to us a clear balance between performance and brand development, which is critical to our digital marketing strategy,” said Ollie Smith, the head of Bigpipe in a release. “We look forward to growing our brand and business in partnership with iProspect.”

Alex Radford, the general manager of iProspect, expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of working with the company. 

“The team at Bigpipe is genuinely passionate and focused on their goal of providing best in breed broadband services, and here at iProspect we are really excited to be part of the team,” he said. “For iProspect, it is great to work with a digitally native brand that is nimble and ambitious to try new things, whilst being firmly grounded in data and fully appreciates the value of understanding your audience. Over the past year iProspect has invested heavily in digital talent across SEO, Digital strategy and Performance so it’s great to see that our vision of being New Zealand’s most sought after digital performance agency is becoming a reality.” 

Bigpipe is one of the new businesses fostered by Spark Ventures alongside Lightbox and Skinny.

A trading duo

Spark PHD, has consolidated its trading team with two new appointments. 

Jodie Bennett and Marc Emery have been appointed as trading managers, working with PHD group’s trading director Scott Keddie.

Louise Bond, the PHD Group chief executive, says media trading has always been a pivotal part of Spark PHD’s success and its broader philosophy, and the new roles acknowledge its growing importance in the ever-changing media landscape.
“Our goal is always to deliver the very best for our clients, whether through our creativity, our strategic approach or our strong media partner relationships. Media trading is a vital component of delivering successful campaigns and we’re proud to be at the forefront of trading here in New Zealand. We are committed to maximising our clients’ media investments, and expanding our trading team by establishing these new roles will help us stay ahead and set the benchmark,” said Bond in a release. 
Bennett has been with Spark PHD for eight years and Emery started in December 2013 – both working as implementation managers.
“Both team members have fantastic analytical skills and the ability to deliver trading strategies that maximise results for our clients,” said Keddie. “Having the right trading expertise, across both offline and online media, is becoming ever-more important as the market continues to evolve at a fast pace.”

Leaders of the union

Auckland-based digital agency Union Digital has enhanced its strategic and management offering by realigning the business with two newly created roles.

Union Digital’s founding and acting managing director Matt Townsend (right) moves into a strategy director role and Todd Wackrow (left), current head of client service, has been appointed as general manager.

A release from Union digital says the change in leadership of the business was brought about by a growing demand for digital ideas and activations, as well as a recognition that “digital” is now sitting squarely where marketing and technology collide. 

“Over the last year we’ve worked hard to develop our senior leadership team,” said Union Digital chair Simon Telfer in the release. “Todd’s digital marketing experience and general management ability perfectly complements Matt’s proven client relationship and strategic delivery capabilities.” 

In addition, Union Digital has increased its production capacity, hiring creative director Lee Burrows, as well as a new senior account Manager Todd Moody, and two new account executives, Taryn Wallace and Nick Cleaver.

Union Digital also recently partnered with world-renowned Swedish-based digital learning organisation Hyper Island by bringing its first series of Open Master Classes to New Zealand last month.

“We brought Hyper Island to New Zealand because we felt one of the biggest things holding New Zealand businesses back was the understanding of how digital could truly enhance what they do. We wanted to find an independent organisation that could help tell this story to New Zealand businesses, and bring them on the journey,” says Townsend.

The Japanese connection

Yukfoo has announced the signing Japanese animation studio Dwarf to its roster of directors.

Dwarf, creators of the iconic Domo and Komaneko characters, is renowned worldwide for its charming character design and stop-motion animation work. Launched in 2003 by Tsuneo Goda, Dwarf has become particularly well known for its original kawaii characters

In addition to working on campaigns for Nissan, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us, Dwarf has also released children’s TV series, short and feature films, online content, books and its own merchandise line (which includes some very charming and huggable plushies).

Yukfoo represents Dwarf in the Kiwi and Australian markets.

Click here to see Dwarf’s video reel.

Ambient action

Ambient Group has appointed Nick Warren to the role of senior account manager.

This sees Warren moving on from Ooh Media, where he works for years, and Ambient’s group managing director Chris Monaghan says he is looking forward to seeing the contribution Warren makes to the company.

“Nick joins us at an exciting time for the business, several new opportunities have allowed us to attract new talent into the business as we ramp up for an exciting new growth phase,” said Monaghan. “It’s fantastic to have someone of Nick’s calibre join the team. Nick brings an extensive and respected media sales network and we are sure Nick will make a very positive impact to the business”.

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