The Church of cultural success

Design and communications agency The Church has created a new direction for the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Targeted at first time festival goers the concept is about adding an ‘extraordinary’ experience to your every day life – be it catching a bus, or walking to work. Creative director Chris Waind says the opportunity to work on such an iconic event was too good to miss. “We’ve been able to bring all our experience with the NZSO and our creative conference We Can Create to bear and that’s injected the energy and effectiveness we think the brand needed”.

Starting out as a small design agency ten years ago, The Church has gone on to become an award-winning design, advertising, and communications agency; with offices in Auckland and Wellington. And it has earned itself an enviable reputation for aligning brand values with culture.

Festival executive director Sue Paterson says their partnership with The Church has been a great creative collaboration, with the design and campaign working well to engage new audiences. The Church took the festival’s essence – and developed a campaign that celebrates the exhilaration, stimulation and sense of fun that the event brings to audiences.

“The Festival brings a dynamic buzz into the city and provides a rich cultural event for people of all ages and interests across New Zealand. Our aim was to bring the colour, energy and excitement of the event to life and make it accessible to a range of people that haven’t been before, or have only been once. There are four variants of the cover for the flagship programme guide, which is a first, as well as a social media campaign which will kick off before and during the event.”

And the symbiotic relationship doesn’t stop there. Another example of mutual benefice has been the use of an intern Phillip Tan, who won the Gold Award in the Student category at this year’s BEST awards. He is contracted to the NZIAF but is based in The Church office.

“Professional development is an important part of what we do – and we’ve been thrilled with the quality and flexibility that this allows us. I know Phil has been so inspired and learnt lots by working with The Church team in this way” says Paterson.

“The festival starts in about a month’s time and while the campaign started in November 2011, there’s still more collateral, and some surprises, to come,” says The Church’s managing director Paul Soong.

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