Last night the Great Room at Cordis in Auckland was transformed into a magician's theatre as the curtain was pulled back on who was the best of the best in direct marketing at the 2018 NZDM Awards. And while the drinks flowed and the tricks amazed, no one could compete with Education New Zealand's sleight of hand, with the crown entity taking home the bulk of the awards.
Hosted by the Marketing Association and sponsored by Orangebox and Loyalty NZ, the magic-themed New Zealand Direct Marketing Awards celebrated and recognised the clients, agencies, consultancies and suppliers who showed excellence in customized, one-to-one customer engagement driven by data and insights.
Facilitated by MC Brooke Howard-Smith, the show opened with Magic Mike and his assistant treating the 500 guests to a magic show, which included Mike conjuring white doves from thin air, and the assistant surviving a nasty-looking spiked box after briefly disappearing from it.
Marketing Association chief executive officer Tony Mitchell said last night's awards confirmed the seismic shift in what the industry considers as direct marketing. New categories included awards for purpose-driven marketing, customer experience, and excellence in personalisation.
Education New Zealand and agency partner SpeakData made a clean sweep of the trophies' table winning not only the top prize, the Grand Prix, but also the two other special awards, Nexus Supreme and The Keith Norris Director Marketing Organisation of the Year award. In addition to the big wins, Education New Zealand also took home seven golds, 3 silvers and one bronze across a variety of categories.
Education New Zealand's investment in the 'Study New Zealand Database Marketing Program', 'Future Proof Yourself in New Zealand', and the 'My StudyNZ Member Website' has been a game changer for New Zealand's education providers in the competitive international student market.
Education New Zealand chief executive Grant McPerson said in his speech that the team were blown away by the wins on the night, and thanked SpeakData for helping to deliver such fantastic results.
Colenso BBDO also had plenty of reasons to celebrate, taking home eight gold, four silver and eight bronze awards with clients Spark, MARS NZ, Fonterra Brands NZ and BNZ.
Spark and Colenso BBDO's hugely successful Māori language app, Kupu, took home four gold awards and one silver alone. The app was launched during 2018's Te wiki o te reo Māori and uses image recognition to identify objects in a user-uploaded photograph before providing the te reo translation along with pronunciation.
Track NZ nabbed four golds, one silver and one bronze for their work with Westpac New Zealand on their 'Playback 2.0' and 'Uber Rides, On Us' campaigns. JustOne celebrated with client Foodstuffs NZ, winning six awards across three different campaigns. Affinity ID noted 10 wins on the night, including two golds for their work on Southern Cross Health Society's 'Better Althogether' cmapaign.
Other gold winners at the 2018 NZDM Awards include TAB (with agency partner Skinny Marketing), Vodafone New Zealand (with agency partner FCB New Zealand), Mercury, and Fuji Xerox New Zealand.