The Year in Review: Andrew Lewis and Amber Coulter

Much like That Difficult Second Album Syndrome, it’s very hard for companies to keep up the growth required to make it back onto the Deloitte Fast 50 list. But, perhaps not surprisingly considering it now works with big clients like IAG, ASB, Volkswagen, Frucor, NZ Lotteries and Vodafone, Auckland boutique The Research Agency managed to do that this year, ranked as the 42nd fastest growing company in New Zealand after taking 29th position in 2010. Here’s what tickled the fancies—and got the goats—of its two partners Andrew Lewis and Amber Coulter. 

1. Favourite campaign that isn’t yours: Youtube VideoGhost Chips. A clear strategy, fantastic creative idea around “internalising a really complicated situation” and it challenges existing category and media norms head on. Over 1,400,000 views on YouTube, 26,000 likes on Facebook and strong consumer demand for the Ghost Chips on TradeMe. A brilliant campaign.

2. Favourite campaign that is yours: The awesome Research Agency street poster campaign. Surely the only market research company in New Zealand to ‘post bills’.

3. Least favourite campaign: Anything from a bank that says “they live in my world”, “they understand me” or “they know the places I’ll go”. Let’s face facts here, you don’t.

4. Best brand: Crane Brothers. A unified brand vision which is always ‘on brand’, one of the best websites around, a fantastic retail presence and no pretentions to be anything they aren’t. Respect.

5. Best stoush: Localist versus the haters. If Rico can bring back Benny Hill in 2011, then Localist can make guidebooks work in the digital age. And the boutique breweries vs the big boys.

6. Heroes: Youtube VideoUpcoming New Zealand indie agencies in advertising, research and design who are delivering world class work, Rico for being refreshingly insane (things don’t always need to make sense to be good) and The Old Spice Guy.

7. Villains: Poor digital strategies in larger corporates. Dislike and get off my Facebook page.

8. Most memorable marketing moment: Consumers’ puzzled faces at the Powershop ‘Same Power, Different Attitude‘ campaign. Great campaign and people’s reactions to its salience-led strategy were interesting to say the least.


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