Not content with the attention it receives in the trade media after an award win, Special Group has made a habit of paying to get a bit more of it by placing full-page ads in the Herald, making it one of a rare few ad agencies that actually advertise. And it's done some more showing off after winning Best in Show at the Media Awards alongside Naked/Open for Unitec's 'We make the people who make it' campaign.
"The Best in Show win says so much about Special Group's unique model: very collaborative, highly effective, and all focused on solving a client's business issue. It was a great night," says Special Group managing partner Michael Redwood.
The ad ran in Friday's Herald in the business section and it follows on from other ads highlighting its 'Magazine Advertisement of the Year Award' win for its personalised magazine campaign for Ecostore and its packaging pin' at the Best Design Awards.
The agency launched in 2008, and ran a few simple, text-heavy print ads to announce its arrival. And it reprised the campaign to show that it wasn't all talk.
UPDATE: So has advertising worked? Special Group's Tony Bradbourne says yes. In fact, he thinks it might even make a good Effie entry.
The first ad it ran in 2008 about not wasting your money on advertising ended up winning them three clients, he says. And he says the agency continues to advertise now because it's focused on cementing its perception in the marketplace—and it is also a strong believer in the power of advertising.
"The ads are really effective for that. Whenever we run an ad we get a huge amount of feedback and comments. And our clients call us too."
As for why other agencies don't generally advertise, he says it may be a case of not having too much to say, are not being too focused on their perception in the marketplace. There's also the quasi-free PR that agencies receive for their work from the trade press.
"We get a fair amount of trade exposure and that's really good. But we still see ourselves as a young agency and there are still a lot of people we want to talk to and make them aware of our model."