Special Group chief executive Michael Redwood says business on the other side of the ditch is growing so quickly that he anticipates the Sydney office will employ more staff than the Auckland branch by the end of 2016. And this rapid growth, which has seen the Sydney office grow to 30 staff within 18 months, was recently recognised by Sydney-based Adnews magazine, which declared Special Group the Emerging Agency of the Year.
Browsing: Michael Redwood
Fresh from being appointed as Holden’s lead agency after an extended pitch process, Special Group has also clinked glasses with one of the country’s fastest growing and most innovative wine companies Yealands. And the new pairing have their sights set squarely on pushing the brand in international markets.
When clients shack up with a new agency there’s a tendency to torch the previous work and start afresh. 2degrees and its new partner Special Group certainly took a different approach with their recent business push, but it’s kept Rhys Darby on as the frontman and maintained the quirky, colloquial and self-reflexive style of the previous work for the pair’s first big brand ad.
In an effort to consolidate its agency partners—and in a show of support for Kiwi-owned businesses—New Zealand Trade & Enterprise has appointed Special Group as its lead design and communications agency following a competitive pitch late last year.
New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where Red Bull isn’t the number one energy drink, with Frucor’s V taking that honour. But it’s aiming to rectify that—and make more of its burgeoning content business—by appointing Special Group as its creative agency.
Not content with the attention it receives in the trade media after an award win, Special Group has made a habit of paying to get a bit more of it by placing full-page ads in the Herald, making it one of a rare few ad agencies that actually advertise. And it’s done some more showing off after winning Best in Show at the Media Awards alongside Naked/Open for Unitec’s ‘We make the people who make it’ campaign.
Last year’s rather risky ‘Change Starts Here’ docu-ad campaign for Unitec Institute of Technology aimed to address some long-standing misconceptions about the institution among parents and potential students and led to a significant increase in enrolments. And now it is hoping to, ahem, build on that by celebrating the achievements of graduates of its Faculty of Technology and Built Environment with its new campaign, ‘We make the people who make it’.
Special Group won the NZ Tax Refunds account following a competitive pitch late last year. And it’s relaunched the brand with a campaign that celebrates the joy of an unexpected windfall and aims to differentiate it from the crowd of “me too” brands that now clutter the category.
AA Insurance has said adios to Ogilvy and appointed Special Group and direct and digital specialists Twenty following a competitive RFP and a rigorous two month pitch process.
You may have noticed a few pictures of Special Group’s flash new Drake St offices gracing the homepage of StopPress last week when it was helping to edit the site as part of our Hog the Blog Axis prize. And the 16th fastest growing company in New Zealand/Creative hotshop nominee has recently added a few humans to help fill those flash offices up, with Hilary Cootes being promoted to the role of general manager, Nigel Sutton and Rahat Chaudry joining as head of production and strategic planner respectively, and Claire Beatson returning from maternity leave.
Ecostore’s latest campaign has been pushing the ‘I’m not a guinea pig line’ to encourage consumers to opt out of using nasty chemicals often found in other baby, beauty, body and household cleaning products. Now, in what it claims is a marketing first, it’s taking that idea a step further by trying to get consumers’ entire Facebook networks to do the same.
You’ve probably heard of a blind taste test. But a blind test drive?
The good ship Special Group continues to cut a swathe through adland and its most recent appointment has given it the drinks trolley: after a competitive pitch, the Kingsland-based AXIS hoggers have been appointed, effective immediately, to handle Lion Nathan’s suite of Diageo brands, which includes Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness and Johnny Walker.