Swanndri freshens up with a dose of rural, Ellis-inspired irreverence

Marc Ellis has carved out a good niche as a loveable Kiwi rogue and, as a result, he’s certainly not unaccustomed to working as a corporate mascot. Most recently that’s meant work for Toyota’s Top to Bottom and HRV and now Christchurch agency Simpatico has harked back to his mischievous laddish heritage in a campaign for classic Kiwi brand Swanndri.




Simpatico, which recently rebranded from UMC, won the Swanndri account last year after an extensive agency search and it has just launched a new magazine, online and POS campaign for the new winter range. The series of five new print ads broke in Sunday magazine and show Ellis in a series of irreverent situations, like being pursued by a helicopter or exiting a bar with a bull in another.

“Swanndri wanted to be seen in a fresh new light, moving the brand away from the confines of the traditional ‘Swanni’ workwear to showcase Swanndri’s extension into the casual wear market,” says Simpatico’s creative director Neil McDonald. “Marc transcends both town and country and he’s a big Swanndri fan. The somewhat bizarre situations he appears in are designed to instill a sense of mystery into the ads to challenge the reader to think what’s going on.”

McDonald says the new ads have generated immediate enthusiasm among retailers and consumers with Swanndri’s office receiving a deluge of phone enquiries from people looking to find were they can buy the new gear.

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