Y&R Media rebrands to Y&R Engage, reflects its philosophy to spark conversations

Y&R Media has a new name in Y&R Engage, following a rebrand to bring the agency in line with its vision for media.

According to national general manager Nicky Greville, Y&R Media is no longer relevant as its vision for the team and its clients is to be the most creative engagement specialists in New Zealand.

“Quite simply, ‘media’ no longer commands the attention we need to drive business results and it’s only a portion of the work our team do every day,” she says.

Instead, the new ‘Engage’ name is aligned with what the team strives for, which is to create campaigns that command attention, that are different, that are explosive, that are brave and that ultimately change how people think and behave towards clients’ brands.

Greville says the traditional media agency role of trading is still the bread and butter for the industry, but Y&R Engage believes its role is also to creatively approach all channels with the objective of achieving maximum attention and engagement. If its activity isn’t sparking conversations about clients’ brands, then it doesn’t believe it’s doing its job.

“The discussions we have with our clients are far more about how do we engage, how do we grab attention, what’s the best mechanism for having space in a person’s mind – a ‘share of mind’ I call it.”

Greville says the idea to rebrand has been bubbling away for a few years but it’s been since she returned from a year’s maternity leave in January that she really started considering what clients were asking, what the great stories were and what work was being ignored.

While away from the agency, she says she went back to being a consumer again and learned what was and was not grabbing her attention.

“I took some time out to see genuinely which [media placements]I remembered, and there were really few,” she says. “It’s become important for media people, or people who have come through the industry to focus on whether something’s going to get someone’s attention, whether someone is going to go do something or talk about it and what effect it has actually earned. Because let’s be honest, a lot of stuff is easily ignored.”

Joining Y&R Engage on this journey has been its clients so Greville says they will not see any changes with the rebrand. The work over the last few years also reflects the changes and most recently, the agency’s ‘Apocalypse Steve Hansen – Don’t Lose Your Biscuit’ work for Arnott’s is a showcase of its philosophy in action.

The epic campaign features two storylines play out featuring the All Blacks eating all the biscuits and sparking a worldwide apocalypse. In the end, coach Steve Hansen appears to warn of the dangers of losing your biscuit.

Each video is a movie trailer promoting a soon-to-be-released short film, which will see Hansen pair with stuntwoman Zoe Bell. Kiwis will also be able to star in the film and can register their interest on the dedicated ‘Apocalypse Steve Hansen‘ website.

When Arnott’s approached Y&R for the campaign, it already had the idea of leveraging the All Blacks but it was the agency that decided to veer away from the usual rugby tropes and create something unexpected.

The outcome has been a platform that’s been hard miss both in the ad breaks and media as many outlets, including Stuff and NZ Herald, were quick to pick up the conversation.

Greville says it shows that engagement, as opposed to a traditional only approach, works as ‘Apocalypse Steve Hansen – Don’t Lose Your Biscuit’ has had a massive earned effect in its first few weeks. 

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