No need for the weekend: Tango rebrands to Done by Friday–UPDATED

Tango is moving away from being a full service agency creating brand campaigns to a marketing services company that will provide digital services to medium-sized businesses who want to grow. And as well as a shift in strategy, it’s also changed its name to Done by Friday. 

“The biggest thing we needed to signify is we have made a significant shift,” says managing director Boyd Wason says. “We don’t want to be seen as an agency, but as a service company. This is more than a rebrand, more than just tinkering with a logo.”

In a press release, Done by Friday says it will focus on “helping marketers and business owners improve business performance through the design and delivery of best-in-class digital marketing programmes and platforms. Where needed, we’ll also support businesses with the day-to-day management of their digital activities.”

Wason says he and business partner Sonia Slattery started working on the rebrand last Christmas, when they did some strategic work looking at the marketing environment. They’d seen there had been a significant shift in the way clients were interacting with agencies, and what they wanted from them.

“There’s been a fundamental shift in how businesses are looking to leverage digital, and the services and support marketers and their agencies are looking for. Digital has grown from an advertising opportunity, to a vital component of the promotional mix, and is set to become a core business function,” he says. “If you look at the top ten digital agencies in the world, Deloitte Digital is now in there. They’ve never won an award, and don’t boast about their work, but marketing is quietly becoming all about the digital back end.”

Wason acknowledges the riskiness of rebrands in terms of losing recognition carefully built up, but he’s not too worried.

“We’ve been building some strong relationships with some clients and we’ve had to sacrifice that, but we have strong networks and people have been impressed with us taking up the idea and doing it.”

He says Done by Friday’s package approach has already been well-received by existing clients. And he says medium-sized companies without a digital component (which are the businesses it’s targeting) don’t know the cost of things and what needs to be done. The new website lists packages each with an indication of price, for clients to choose from, such as figuring out audience, gauging how good a company’s existing digital marketing efforts are, a breakdown of budget and tasks, and a full on strategy plan. 

So, given that it’s fairly common for digital projects tend to be delayed (as Monocle editor Tyler Brûlé pointed out during a presentation at Colenso BBDO last year), what’s with the (perhaps slightly ambitious) name? Originally, it was thought to be a Robinson Crusoe reference. But Wason says it’s all about having a partner you can trust to get things done on time and on budget. 

“The difference between digital and good digital is the quality of planning and strategy. Many clients get frustrated by planning and budgets etc. If they want it done and done on time, we want to be the guys to do it.”

As for the audio-recognition app Pluk, which began its life inside Tango and then became a separate company, it got off to a promising start and was used with a number of campaigns (primarily with MediaWorks). But it’s been a while since we’ve noticed it on screen. 

UPDATE – Pluk.

Wason says New Zealand was simply the testbed, and while it was successful there was no traction in the Australian market where Pluk’s investors were from and were focussed on, and so the business (completely unrelated to Tango) was pulled after 18 months.

He says the tech is still sitting there, but interest just wasn’t enough to sustain the business.

“One reason was the media market in Australia is a lot more complex. For example, Channel 10 won’t take something if Channel 9 has it. But with our product we wanted to be channel agnostic.”

There was interest in the Asian markets too but that didn’t come to fruition. He said while the 5 percent smartphone penetration the app experienced in New Zealand was huge, international clients wanted to see it replicated in their own, bigger market.

He’d planned to build Pluk as a back-end app, like Wildfire for Facebook, called the Pluk portal.

“The thinking was right, but the lesson was it’s difficult to start a tech company from New Zealand,” he says.

Very right – seeing as Shazaam has just released the equivalent. Bugger.

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