Movings/Shakings: 2 March

David Thomason and Lew Bentley take on Effie responsibilities, DDB Worldwide shifts its creative nerve centre to Shanghai, Mick Connolly joins Waitemata Films, Senate Communications nabs two senior bods, Miles Gandy kicks off his new biz with New Zealand Geographic, Datamine adds two to the flock and AUT trumpets another win for its students. 

New Effie Overlords

CAANZ has appointed strategy experts David Thomason, planning director at DraftFCB, and Lew Bentley, principal at Headlight, as the chair and convenor of judges respectively for the 2012 Effie Awards.

“David and Lew are two of New Zealand’s leading thinkers in advertising strategy and planning,” says Paul Head, CAANZ chief executive. “Their appointments will ensure that the Effie Awards continue its strong emphasis in recognising the real outcome of any campaign: its influence on consumer behaviour”.

Thomason, who takes over from the recently departed James Hurman, has been in the advertising industry for a total of 25 years, the last 12 of which have been at a planning director capacity with roles at Grey, DDB and DraftFCB.

At DraftFCB, he has been instrumental in driving the agency’s high profile ‘Behaviour Change’ philosophy and positioning, contributing directly to a spectacular run of new business success and effectiveness awards in recent years, culminating in the recognition of DraftFCB as New Zealand’s Most Effective Agency at the 2011 Effie Awards.

“It’s 2012 and we’re still regularly confronted with half-truths, hyperbole, fashionable pseudo-science, self-serving prophesying and down-right bollocks,” he says. “Let’s use the build-up to Effies, and the inevitable post-match analyses, to thrash out some contrasting opinions on what really makes advertising effective today.”

Convenor Bentley is an independent strategic planner and researcher. Through his company Headlight, he works directly with clients and with agencies to design marketing and communications programmes and solve problems.

He has spent time at Clemenger BBDO, M&C Saatchi and The Campaign Palace and held positions as business development consultant and research director at one of New Zealand’s leading research companies.

“There are no losers at the Effies. The challenge is to help the judges identify the true winners from the many stories of success,” he says.

The Effie Awards 2012 programme will commence in mid-June, with the annual call for entries campaign. The show itself is scheduled for Thursday 11 October 2012.

Orient Express

DDB Worldwide has announced that Amir Kassaei, chief creative officer, will be establishing DDB’s global creative centre in Shanghai in a move that aims to reinforce DDB’s ongoing commitment and investment into the Asian region. It is believed to be the first time a global, Madison Avenue agency has moved its creative headquarters to China.

This move complements the relocation of John Zeigler, chairman and chief executive of DDB Group Asia Pacific, India and Japan, to Singapore in December. Patrick Rona, Tribal DDB Asia Pacific’s new President and chief digital officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, also moved to Singapore in January this year.

“We’re very honoured to have our global creative centre in Asia,” Ziegler says. “World-class brands are moving here and they deserve world-class creative they have become accustomed to. Amir, with our top creative talent across the region, will deliver just this. I’m sure of it. DDB Group Asia Pacific now has three core regional hubs – Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Amir’s move makes China the centre piece for our global creative work.”

Chuck Brymer, chief executive of DDB Worldwide says it is is one of the most significant moves the network has made in its history.

“The world as we know it is changing and our industry’s growth market is now without doubt the Asian region. Move over New York, London, Paris. Hello Shanghai, Mumbai, Singapore. With this in mind, there’s no time better to set up our creative powerhouse in China.”

Kassaei, who was born in Iran, raised in Austria, educated in France, and settled in Germany in 1997, is one of the most lauded creatives in the world and was appointed DDB Worldwide chief creative officer in February 2011.

He and his teams have received more than 2,000 national and international awards, including 40 Cannes Lions in the past five years. He was named The Big Won Report’s ‘top chief creative officer’ in 2009, and has been selected as The Big Won’s ‘Top 3 chief creative officers’ for each of the past three years.


Welcome to Waitemata

Waitemata Films has announced the addition of Mick Connolly, who started out directing short comedies and won a Dendy Award at Sydney Film Festival and an AFI before moving into TVCs, to its directorial stable.

His TVC accolades include New York Festival Gold and Silver Awards and a Cannes Finalist. He also won an Asian Television Award and a finalist nomination for best director.

“We’ve wanted to add a director of Mick’s calibre for a while now,” says Waitemata executive producer Johnny Blick. “His comedic style is quite different from our other directors and I still laugh every time I watch his reel. The casting, performances and comic timing are impeccable. Getting the humour off the page and onto the screen is a skill that Mick has in bucket loads.”

“After three years in prison it’s great to be back directing again,” Connolly says. “The guys at Waitemata are a perfect fit and the Kiwi agencies have a knack for writing great comedy TVCs so I’m very excited about the prospect of working on some of them.”

Blick added: “It should be noted that Mick has never been incarcerated. Mick qualifies under the Waitemata ‘GC’ policy, which involves a rigorous testing programme designed to see if he’s the right fit for the company. He is. Mick is available for work now.”

To the Senate

Senate Communications has appointed Spiro Anastasiou as a partner in its Wellington office and Scott Campbell as associate partner in its Auckland office.

Anastasiou, who will head Senate’s Government Relations practice, has extensive experience in the public and private sector as well as a background in broadcast journalism.

Most recently, he has been the director of strategic communications at the Ministry of Health. In this role, he led the Ministry’s public information programme during the Swine Flu pandemic and he was seconded to the All of Government communications role for both the Canterbury earthquake and the Rena grounding.

He worked for many years as a journalist at TVNZ, before more than 10 years consulting in a range of sectors where he provided strategic communications advice and tactical support to chief executives and senior leaders on many issues.

Campbell comes to Senate from SKYCITY, where he was general manager of corporate communications. His earlier roles include media and communications advisor for then Auckland City Mayor John Banks during the Super City elections (he famously went out in a blaze of glory with this great story). Prior to that, he was a journalist with with the 3 News team, where he was a political reporter and member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Sale Street 

New Zealand Geographic, which recently changed its ownership structure, topped the list of titles in last month’s Nielsen results with year-on-year readership growth of 124 percent. And now there’s more good news for New Zealand’s smallest independent magazine publisher, as the title has signed up as the founding client of Cooper Street Media, which is run by ex-NBR sales human Miles Gandy.

“It’s an amazing start for the new company,” says Gandy, who has experience in print, online, exhibition and event sales and brand strategy. “I hope it’s the first of many publishers who like a high-energy approach to sales.”

Big Data 

Datamine has welcomed two fresh faces to the team.

Jennifer Dutton joins as an ‘acrobat’, “flying through day to day tasks and generally supporting the executive team on new medium and long term initiatives to grow the business”. With a background in journalism, she is a self-sworn grammar policewoman and represented New Zealand in debating for three years. She also received an Honourable Mention for ‘Young New Zealander of the Year’ in North and South magazine in 2009, and ‘Best Speaker in the World’ at World Debating 2008 in Washington DC. Recently she has worked on the documentary about the Christchurch earthquake, When a City Falls, a project close to her heart.

Phillipa Marshall comes to Datamine from Commando Marketing Agency and joins with a crisp new marketing degree. She graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in marketing and English.

2011 was a year of growth for Datamine and managing director/’pioneer’ Mike Parsons is excited about 2012.

“We are expanding, bringing on new clients, and adding to the quirky Datamine family,” he says.

The children: our future

AUT grads Lucy Morgan and Tabitha Coleman received the NZ Post 2011 Student Marketer of the Year Award at the RSVP/Nexus awards last week for their Fast Pass idea, making it the fourth time in the award’s five year existence that AUT students have won (students from Massey Victoria Art & Design are the only others to win).

The brief this year came from Telecom NZ and it was to get smartphone users to try the network before Telecom had the iPhone on offer.

  • Scroll right to the bottom of this page to see the video

The solution, the judges said, was a “clever marketing strategy, brought to life by a smart, simple effortless idea, using multiple channels.” And both have received job interviews off the back of the win.

“It’s open to all tertiary courses teaching advertising and marketing—whether they decide to take the challenge is up to them each year,” says AUT’s Paul White. “The story here really is that university marketing departments and commerce courses often take it up and have never won. It’s only ever been won by a creative school … This time all the shortlisted finalists were from AUT Adschool. Runners-up were Raymond Tiong, Kate Cullinane and Jess Woodward.”

Jane Berney tutored the project and Dave Brown has overseen the art direction for the last three winning years, says White.

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