Old meets new as Doublefish brings some nostalgia to the intertubes

This industry isn’t renowned for its institutional memory and, when looking for candidates for the Back Then section in NZ Marketing, it’s a surprisingly common occurrence to hear back from agencies and brands who aren’t able to find any of their early advertising work. Online repositories are certainly helping to remedy that situation, and a good example of that is the nostalgia section on the new website of Wellington creative consultancy Doublefish, which is worth a gander for anyone with a passing interest in the craft of advertising—or local popular culture.

With a catalogue of some the best ads from the golden age of the new Zealand ad industry, Ken Double and John Fisher were key creatives at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington during the 1990s and early 2000s, in the days when the 30 second sport was the undisputed king of the marketing mix and TV advertising budgets supported long lunches and big budget productions. 

Or, as the ‘About Us’ puts it: 

Doublefish is the manifest destiny of John Fisher (pictures) and Ken Double (words), old school advertising creatives of a certain age and temperament. John and Ken used to work at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington when it was a thing, so they know a bunch of people with enough chops to make them look good.

They work directly with their own clients and with any outside agency frightened or solvent enough to hire them. Doublefish is, in the parlance, media neutral, although they might look a bit crestfallen if you ask them to write 25-character text links.

What they do best is strategic creative. Big picture, long-chain, helicopter thinking leveraging 360 degree touch points or however you like to put it. It’s all pretty exciting one way or another. 

Their hobbies are beer, motorcycles and popular music. They’d like a nice automotive account too, so if anyone’s got one of those in their back pocket, please sing out.

Old school highlights include the legendary Toyota ‘Bugger’ ad; the first Adidas spots featuring the All Blacks haka from 1999; the hilarious ‘politician’ spot for Whittaker’s Peanut Slab; an even funnier NZ Post spot featuring the Topp Twins’ characters Camp Mother and Camp Leader and Ken and Ken; a range of ‘shock horror’ ads for the LTSA; and a Telecom mobile spot touting the superior coverage of their state-of-the-art 025 network. 

And some of the pair’s recent work is worth a look too. 

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