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Meridian and Barnes Catmur release first fruits of new relationship, maintain Wells as frontman

Late last year, Meridian shifted its advertising account to Barnes Catmur after a four-ish year relationship with Assignment. And the new couple have released their first ad to promote its moving house offer—with Jeremy Wells reprising his role as the entertaining spokeshuman and becoming a very literal embodiment of the brand. 

It’s thought the brief for the pitch revolved around trying to give Meridian a point of difference in the market and bringing its brand and retail marketing a bit closer together. And this ad, which offers those who take Meridian with them when they move house a welcome pack worth $50 and $150 off their bill, seems to confirm this. 

According to Wikipedia, Meridian, which is the country’s biggest renewable generator and generates around 30 percent of the country’s electricity, has increased its retail market share from 12 percent in 2003 to 14 percent last year, placing it fourth on the list behind Contact, Genesis and Mighty River. 

Writing in The Herald, Craigs Investment Partners’ Mark Lister said Meridian was the pick of the bunch from an investor’s point of view, “with a better-than-expected result [a 21 percent increase in first half earnings], an increased ordinary dividend, and a bonus special dividend announced.” 

Over the past few years, Nielsen AIS figures, which are based on ratecard value, show Meridian has been the biggest spender among the energy companies, almost $3 million ahead of its nearest competitor Mercury. It increased its spend by around $2 million between 2012 and 2013.  

Assignment used Wells very effectively to tell Meridian’s renewable story (and, more recently, its CSR story with KidsCan). And while he’s probably not the safest mascot—as evidenced by his efforts on Radio Hauraki and the Alternative Commentary Collective—he’s definitely one of the funniest. 

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