Colenso BBDO has formalised its relationship with Samsung and will be the agency of record for all its various divisions, making it one of the few markets in the world where the Korean behemoth isn't aligned with a Leo Burnett agency. But it means the agency has had to say goodbye to a long-time client, Haier-owned Fisher & Paykel.
Colenso BBDO's managing director Nick Garrett says it has been working with Samsung over the past nine to 12 months on a range of tactical mobile campaigns, such as the social media queue to launch the Galaxy S4 smartphone and the Instant News Satire for the Galaxy Note II. "That relationship and trust has built up", he says, and, as of 1 November, it will be given responsibility for the mobile, IT, PC/notebook, television and whitegoods divisions of the business locally.
Garrett says it was a tough decision to say goodbye to Haier and particularly Fisher & Paykel, "a great brand and loyal partner of Colenso's" that has been with the agency for many years. Colenso BBDO won a pitch against DDB for the recent global rebrand late last year. But in in the end he says it made commercial sense to switch to Samsung, given work for Fisher & Paykel and Haier is quite sporadic (before the big rebrand, its major projects were Lost My Sock back in 2010 and the 'Live a Haier life' campaign).
As well as making commercial sense (he wouldn't comment on how much the account was worth), Garrett says Samsung is also a good fit with the agency and its focus on innovation and creative use of technology.
"It's a huge piece of business [it just recorded record operating profit and a 13 percent increase in third quarter sales], it's a company with global ambitions and they're doing great work around the world. For Colenso to keep moving forward, it's great for us to be working with a brand that's on the cutting edge of technology."
In a release, Samsung's head of marketing Mike Cornwell says Colenso is also a good fit for Samsung, especially in terms of scale.
“During the coming year we’re going to be introducing some pretty amazing new products and solutions to New Zealand consumers. We have been impressed with the work Colenso delivered for our mobile division and look forward to seeing what they come up with in the television, IT and whitegoods space."
Garrett wouldn't comment on whether it tried to keep the Fisher & Paykel business and give Samsung's competing whiteware business to another agency, but it's thought it was an all or nothing deal.
Fisher & Paykel also works with Alt Group, which has done a lot of its print and experiential work over the past few years. General manager of marketing communications and strategy Roger Bridge and New Zealand marketing manager Sonya Aitken were not able to be contacted to find out who they'll be working with, but one would imagine they'll be getting a call from DDB.
Previously, Samsung used Republik and Barnes, Catmur & Friends. It's thought Barnes, Catmur & Friends will continue to do social media work as part of its Leo Burnett alliance, at least in the short term.
Speaking of Samsung, another non-Leo Burnett affiliated agency, 72andSunny, has just released a couple of ads filled with pop-cultural nostalgia to promote the launch of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch.