From brewing vodka in his garage to eventually establishing what Paul Catmur called a “vodka empire” worth $138 million, Geoff Ross knows what it takes to build a successful business. In recent years he has turned to a slightly different type of brewing and is currently chief executive of craft beer brand Moa. Ross also serves as a chairman of Trilogy, the skincare company.
Browsing: Geoff Ross
Ecoya came in for some unwanted attention for its very visible nudity in 2011, with its Lady Godiva-inspired billboard getting a slap from the ASA (and also getting stolen). And in the latest campaign it’s maintained the sans clothes approach, although this time it’s claiming the nudity is ‘invisible’.
It’s been a watershed year for APN NZ, with the Herald’s shift to tabloid and the resulting campaign by DraftFCB, a new nzherald.co.nz, the launch of The Listener’s digital subscriptions and restructures of the IT, editorial and marketing departments. Chief operating officer Todd McLeay, the man who swapped the comparatively easy job of selling Lotto tickets for positioning a newspaper for the rather uncertain future, looks back on an eventful 2012.
Annual reports are usually about as exciting as a packet of ready salted chips, so we were impressed with Z Energy’s interactive effort, which saw Assignment Group and Heyday add a few bells and whistles in an effort to get people to actually pay attention to it. Investment statements are also pretty staid, but Moa certainly isn’t, so as part of the company’s forthcoming IPO, Geoff Ross and co. have tried to create a document people will want to read—and keep. And, in what it believes is a world first, it also includes paid third party advertising for Aston Martin, Working Style, Partridge Jewellers, Ecoya and Beretta.
Long before it sat on the shelves of the world’s swankiest bars, watered private parties at hipster music festival SXSW, ran a cocktail world cup on Coronet Peak, even before that one-time international film competition with 42 directors making 42 films each lasting 42 seconds, and almost a decade before that shifty circus bar with the small bearded lady opened up for 42 days in Auckland during the RWC, 42 Below vodka took out the 2003 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards Small Business title.
Jessica Knox is added to the MediaWorks Radio arsenal, Jason Jones takes over photographers’ agency Collective Force, Taxi Impact welcomes Felicity-Anne Flack as agency sales director, AUT students Devon Wood and Stacey Vergis take creative title, the PR Shop announces a new import, Ecoya finds some extra moolah and Getty shacks up with Lonely Planet.
Given Moa’s well-established reputation for marketing cheekiness and the involvement of Pead PR, Darryl Parsons and the lads behind 42 Below in the small but growing beer business, the StopPress cynics initially thought the announcement about the craft brewery signing on as a sponsor for the New Zealand Olympic Team had to be some kind of brazen stunt; another brave/foolish/possibly illegal attempt to gain attention at whatever cost. But, somewhat surprisingly, it’s all true, and Moa is now officially the ‘Beer for Olympians’, the first time a craft brewery has held this level of sponsorship in New Zealand or, as far as the Moans know, the world.
For over ten years now, Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure New Zealand campaign has been a staple brand for marketing New Zealand to the world. But whether we ought to be laying such a pure claim at all has come under fire on many occasions, most recently on BBC programme Hardtalk where John Key was left sweating after host Stephen Sackur put some tough questions to the Prime Minister about the clean and green image on which New Zealand prides itself.
To get 42 Below to the point where multinational booze behemoth Bacardi wanted to buy it, Geoff Ross and his gang of merry vodka purveyors had to master the dark arts of PR and viral marketing. They were shameless, controversial, funny and confrontational, and, as a result, they managed to tap into a wide array of media networks to help establish the brand’s reputation.
This newsy concoction is light and frothy on the nose, with undercurrents of naivete, overcurrents of aniseed, cassis and forest floor and aftercurrents of squash changing room. Can be served either brucewarm or lukewarm.