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The Year in Review: Matt O’Sullivan

After Naked pulled out of New Zealand, Matt O’Sullivan started his own shop, bringing on Jacquie Pierson as a partner and taking a few clients with him. Here’s what he made of 2013. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours

International: Dove Real Beauty Sketches, good enough to work in any era of marketing. 
Local: Samsung’s ‘Smart Phone Line’, clever and simple equals brilliant. The Effies ‘Results Don’t Lie’, the best call for entries in ages. 

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2) Favourite campaign that is yours

We’ve worked on some fantastic projects this year, but it has to be Unitec, from ‘We Make the People who Make it’ to the personalised U Mag

3) Least favourite campaign

Anchor ‘Light Proof Bottle’. New Zealand’s biggest company trying to solve a customer problem that wasn’t there in the first place.

4) Your own biggest success

Winning Spikes Asia Media Agency of the Year and Best in Show at CAANZ Media Awards

5) Most impressive performance

Devo’s Axis speech. Not short on passion. The next generation could do with a bit more of it.

6) Biggest move

VW calling time on a very long relationship 

7) Best innovation

Thunderclap, one of those “wish I had of thought of this” ideas.

8) Best brands

Whittaker’s. It’s done a great job at stretching its brand in relevant and interesting ways, while not losing its challenger spirit.
And AIG. Surely it must be happy with the return on its AB’s sponsorship

9) Best stoush

Len, Bevan and Luigi. Straight out of a bad Peter Greenaway movie.

10) Heroes

Industry friends and mentors who helped on the 18 month journey to making Open possible. It must have felt like three years, thank you for your patience and support.

11) Villains 

Hecklers booing and jeering at Nelson Mandela’s memorial.
An old-school ad bully shopping his ‘influence’ around town for back-handers.
Willie Jackson and John Tamihere.
Serial self-promoters who need to spend more time doing than talking. 

12) Most memorable marketing moment 

Anthony Gardiner (who I’ve never met, to be fair) unloading with both barrels and single-handedly taking on the advertising industry. 

13) A few predictions for 2014 

2013 was tough, but 2014 will be great. New Zealand business confidence is bouncing back, helping make marketers more ambitious. Efficiency-led thinking will give way to effectiveness, so ‘cheap & average’ will lose out to ‘smart & creative’.

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