TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: TVNZ Hall of Fame, Bill Peake

Bill Peake (left) is renowned as a marketing visionary, a team man, a great leader, and a successful entrepreneur. Now he can add marketing hall of famer to the list. 

Back in 1983, Bill Peake, 57, was team leader for the overall winning entry in the inaugural TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards for the launch of Cruskits. 30 years later and he’s on stage once again to celebrate a successful career spanning FMCG, television and advertising.

It all started in 1977 when he was named head of marketing for Aulsebrooks (now Arnotts) & Kelloggs Cereals, a role he held until 1984. He then moved to Martech Holdings, where he was a shareholder and pioneered fruit juice in a box, before becoming general manager of marketing at the NZ Kiwifruit Board.

In the realm of television, he worked as a consultant to TVNZ, launched Asia Business News and was Asia/Pacific sales director for the UK firm Lambie-Nairn, which pioneered the art of the channel ident. He also spent a couple of years in agency land, with management roles at FCB and DDB, before jointly setting up an advertising division inside Communicado Communications. 

But perhaps his greatest success was the founding of BrandWorld in 1997 to offer a product to advertisers with complicated stories to tell, but limited budgets. 

His long-term friend and colleague of 30 years, Mike O’Sullivan, had taken his first masthead Food in a Minute to Heinz Watties, which loved it so much it bought the whole thing. After that, O’Sullivan joined Peake at BrandWorld and the same thing drove both of them: how to make television more effective. The response was to develop—and commercialise—more multi-client advertising masthead formats like Family Health Diary, Eating Well and Discover

 

BrandWorld introduced a number of firsts to the New Zealand advertising and marketing community, including owning its intellectual property (the pair have vetoed certain companies from appearing on mastheads such as Eating Well because they could damage its own brand); aggregating multiple clients, often in the same category, into a common advertising format or approach; and offering clients fixed-cost integrated media and production packages.

This has become an enduring business model, and BrandWorld, which is now fully owned by Clemenger Group, has worked with over 150 client companies, hundreds of major brands and is one of TVNZ’s top three clients.

Peake helped created a very different advertising business that’s good for clients, good for media owners, good for BrandWorld and, perhaps most importantly, good for consumers because it makes it easier for them to choose products and services by making brands more relevant and useful. 

As he says: “People want someone to solve their problems. They are bombarded with choice and they don’t know where to turn to. They want someone they trust to help them make decisions.”

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