M2 consolidates advertising accounts, appoints Rapp

Orcon, Slingshot and Flip will come under the creative direction of a single agency, following confirmation that Rapp will take over all three brands.

This move brings an end to Orcon’s partnership with Contagion, Slingshot’s with Mr Smith, and Flip’s with Sugar & Partners, and it will also see the PR responsibilities associated with each of the ISPs also redirected to the DDB offices as Mango takes over.

StopPress contacted both Mango PR and M2 group in regard to this change, but neither had provided an official comment by the time of publication.    

The trio of ISPs until this year fell under the Callplus Group umbrella; however, in April, the company was acquired by Australian firm M2 for approximately $250 million.

Following the change of ownership, Taryn Hamilton, who previously served as the general manager of Slingshot, was shifted into a more central role overseeing all three of the brands.    

“We’ve had a bit of restructure internally,” Hamilton recently said during an interview for NZ Marketing. “[Now,] I’m the general manager of consumer, so it’s a bit different … I’ve now picked up responsibility for the whole portfolio across Slingshot, Orcon and Flip. It’s really interesting going from being a competitor of the other brands a few weeks ago to running them all now. It’s certainly an interesting position to be in running three brands when there are only six or seven brands in the market. It’s almost half the market’s profile.”

Hamilton went on to explain that each of the brands have been positioned discretely in the market to draw attention to their specific benefits to the consumer. 

“Flip has done a really good job growing from a zero percent market share, and the team’s picking up lot of growth off the back of a very simple proposition of offering the best-value broadband packages in the market. So, essentially, they’ve got a price positioning in the market, which offers simple, no frills broadband with a great infrastructure. Slingshot historically had bit of a reputation of under-investing in the service …  But it’s now to the point where it’s industry leading and picking up a whole bunch awards, and it’s become a really premium service offering with an aggressive price point. And, finally, Orcon are getting back into market after a period of under-investment with previous owners. And it’s really pushing the fibre expert angle … So it’s different strokes for different brands, I guess. It’s important that we’re not trying to be the best at the same thing. We need to pick our point of differentiation and execute that as well as possible.”

The combined market share of the three brands sees M2 Group sitting in third position in the ISP market behind Vodafone and Spark. 

“We’re sitting at about 15 percent [of total market share]across the three brands,” says Hamilton. “But over the last few months, we’ve been picking up about a third of the new growth in the market, so we’re definitely boxing twice above our market share in terms of growth. We’re really happy with that, and in the short- to long-term we hope to continue that for as long as possible … The key underlying philosophy behind the three of them is that they are challenger brands. We want to act as challenger brands and be as aggressive as possible by offering products that put the customer first and foremost. We want to continue to innovate as much as possible. We’re a pretty nimble organisation, so we can get to market as quickly as possible to do things that the bigger guys aren’t willing or perhaps capable of doing.”

Winning this account (which last year had a combined ad spend of almost $14 million) comes as good news for Rapp, as it fills the telco gap in the agency’s ledger left by the loss of Spark’s direct account to Proximity earlier this year.     

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