New World’s Noel is back to make New Zealand’s Christmas even more lovable.

New World - Noel - Christmas 2017

Following on from what’s now become a time-honoured Kiwi Christmas tradition, New World’s iconic character Noel returns to our screens once again this summer.

This new 60” TVC is the third instalment in what has unquestionably become New Zealand’s favourite Christmas campaign over the years. And the scope for this spot is more ambitious than ever.

This time round, the supermarket explores what might happen if New Zealand, and the world, finally discovered the truth behind their best kept secret. (Or worst kept, depending on how you look at it…)

In particular the irreverent ad imagines the global frenzy that would ensue if Santa really was discovered in New Zealand, and delights in poking fun at a few of the silly season’s sacred cows. As a result, it’s sure to get plenty of people talking.

“This is definitely not your standard run-of-the-mill Christmas campaign, no bells or fairy dust here,” says 99’s Chief Creative Officer Craig Whitehead. “It’s a mad cap journey that explores Noel’s deepest darkest fears about being ‘uncovered’. And I have to say this one was just as much fun to make as it is to watch.”

As ever, New World wanted an entertaining piece of work first and foremost, but also wanted to illustrate that little extra magic they provide at Christmas time.

“At every New World around the country, you’re always going to find a great range, delicious fresh food and super committed service, and we believe the charm and fun of the Noel character is a really special and unique way to bring this to life,” New World Retail Manager Stephanie Pyne says. “He’s clearly captured Kiwi’s imagination in the past, and we’re sure this next chapter will do that again.”

“It’s been great to build on this much-loved campaign,” adds 99 Managing Director Paul Manning. “And I must say, full credit to Steve, Steph and the Foodstuffs team for backing such an adventurous script.”

The eight-week campaign runs until Christmas on TV and digital channels.


New World brings back Noel to uncover his true identity, Stoppress.


Agency: 99
Chief Creative Officer: Craig Whitehead
Creative Director: Chris Long
Business Director: Katherine Sliper
Head of Content Production: Therese Bielawa

Agency: Colenso
Executive Creative Director: Steve Cochran

Client: Foodstuffs New Zealand (New World)
Group General Manager Marketing: Steve Bayliss
Head of Retail Marketing: Stephanie Pyne
Brand & Sponsorship Manager: Jen Mariu

99 And Kiwi Property Invite You To New Zealand’s First Virtual Reality Fashion Show

New Zealand’s First Virtual Reality Fashion Show

Kiwi Property prides itself on being New Zealand’s home of the latest fashion trends. This year they’ve continued to push boundaries by partnering with 99 for a New Zealand first; a full 360-degree runway show, only viewable in virtual reality at Kiwi Property shopping centres.

Each centre hosted the Non-Stop Fashion Show, putting customers directly into the front row. Seated in the activation zone and wearing VR headsets, visitors could jump in and out of the experience at any time. The event helped fuel their need for fashion inspiration, and turned the centres into a venue for experiential and entertainment opportunities.

Shot with the Jaunt ONE 360-degree camera

The fashion show reflected a variety of fashion from major retailers, for the latest spring season. The show presented looks for a wide range of occasions, all shoppable in-centre. The Non-Stop Fashion Show was shot using the highest-end 360-degree camera currently in production – a Jaunt ONE – the only such camera available outside the United States. This allowed 99’s creative, technology and production teams to create an experience for customers like nothing they’d seen before.

The user could turn their head in any direction and feel like it was all happening, in real time. The catwalk was built in a 4 metre circle around the camera, which was the optimal focus for the viewer, giving them an intensely personal experience, and making sure the clothes were always being seen at their best.

“We were looking for a fresh idea on how we can take our new season fashion campaigns to the next level,” says Karlee Lightbourne, National Marketing Manager at Kiwi Property. “We hope to provide our customers with an exciting experience in a convenient, inclusive and accessible space, and we’d like to show them that style can be fun and attainable.”

Each visitor will receive a lookbook after the experience, guiding them to the stores to purchase the outfits they saw in the show.

A lookbook guides the Customer to the relevant stores

Jared Isle, Creative Director at 99 says “We filmed the Non-Stop Fashion Show with an absolute leading-edge, Hollywood-quality 360-degree camera. It shoots in every direction so you can turn your head anywhere and be totally immersed in what’s going on,”

Craig Whitehead, 99’s Chief Creative Officer added, the technology connected Kiwi shoppers with fashion in a whole new way.

“Shot in 3D, anyone could come in and put on a headset for a front-row seat at a live high-end fashion show. It was all about connecting New Zealand shoppers with fashion inspiration – something we are really excited about”.

The Non-Stop Fashion Show experience is live during October in Kiwi Property shopping centres across the country, including Sylvia Park and LynnMall in Auckland, Centre Place in Hamilton, The Plaza in Palmerston North, Northlands in Christchurch and North City in Porirua.

New World and 99 win retail sector at the NZ Marketing Awards

New World’s augmented reality game ‘Epic Easter Hunt’ wasn’t just a success at the NZ Marketing Awards but a major success instore too.   

Store-wide egg hunts have been a cornerstone of New World’s Easter activations since 2011. This year they’re delighting customers by taking the hunt to a whole, epic, new level – with an all new augmented reality app.

New World and 99 launched an augmented reality game called the Epic Easter Hunt which is already spreading happiness across the nation. It’s an all new activation experience for New Zealand’s leading supermarket.

New World’s Epic Easter Hunt lets you chase down the Easter Bunny’s lost eggs. A first for the category in New Zealand, the player searches out unique AR markers found in New World’s 138 stores nationwide, print ads and online. Scanning them with the app triggers a kid-friendly egg chase, set amongst the world around the player. The intrepid egg hunter then has 45 seconds to tap all the eggs before they disappear.

Over time, players grow their collection of uniquely-designed eggs, which they can then trade in for a real chocolate egg in store. They can also share photos of themselves – or their young egg-chaser – with the Easter Bunny to their own Facebook page. There is also the well-loved paper and pencil version of the Easter Hunt in store to keep the fun accessible for everyone.

The game went live for download on Monday 27th March, with thousands of downloads in the first few hours. By day three it has flown to #3 on the Apple iTunes (NZ) App Store chart for free apps and #3 on Google Play (NZ) for free game apps. The promotion runs for 3 weeks, through til the end of Easter weekend.

“New World is all about happiness in its many forms and you’d absolutely have to agree that for children up and down the country, Easter is an ‘eggs-citing’ time of the year. We wanted to embrace the fact that mobile is where it’s at for young and old. Combining a fun mobile game with delicious chocolate rewards is the perfect promo,” says Stephanie Pyne, New World Head of Retail Marketing.

Launching with a friendly on-boarding video that explains the app from beginning to end, New World also partnered with mummy bloggers such as Maria Foy and Vanessa Rehm to show the game in action.

99’s new appointment, Digital Creative Director Jared Isle, played a key role in the game’s development. Jared says “It was particularly exciting once we got the prototype in the hands of kids. With grown-ups you need that layer of education to familiarise them with AR. With kids, it’s a completely natural, intuitive experience”.

Check out this charming user-generated video of the game in action by another blogger, Melissa Jack of Auckland, at New World Kumeu.

Clemenger Group wins Auckland Transport, first major council assignment

Auckland Transport - News

Clemenger Group wins AT Metro, first major council assignment. Clemenger Group, led by 99, with Colenso BBDO and OMD, have been appointed as agency partners for Auckland’s public transport network, AT Metro. This is the first major assignment offered by the Auckland Council Group following the establishment of a closed agency panel earlier this year.

AT Metro is part of Auckland Transport (AT) and the brand unites Auckland’s public transport network of trains, buses and ferries.

As AT Metro’s agency partner, Clemenger Group will be responsible for behaviour change strategy, creative, media and digital engagement. The agency will be tasked with overcoming entrenched perceptions surrounding Auckland’s public transport service, and influencing behaviour of Aucklanders across the region. This is an integrated contract for core AT Metro communications with a focus on customer engagement and acquisition.

A bold target has been set for AT Metro, to double public transport trips from 70 to 140 million per year by 2022. With 75% of total trips in Auckland presently made using private vehicles, the task of replacing cars as the city’s preferred mode of transport is a significant one. With recent network improvements and a pipeline of new initiatives, AT Metro now has a strong story to tell and the confidence to positively promote the services it offers.

The agency will develop a strategy and marketing programme for AT Metro based around its brand purpose of ‘moving Auckland forward by seamlessly connecting people and places’, and delivering communications across AT Metro products, services and modes.

Paul Manning, 99’s Managing Director, says, “In major cities around the world a good public transport offering has the potential to play an integral and impactful role in the lives of customers. We couldn’t be more excited about this win and we’re looking forward to playing a major role as agency partners with Auckland Transport”.

“We grounded our approach in gaining a deep understanding of the customer and their relationship with public transport. Our customer-centered design thinking gave us the essential context to influence behaviour, enhance customer journeys and build on positive perceptions of the network with our target audiences across the region.

Rob Pitney, Principal Campaigns Specialist at AT says, “99 and Clemenger Group demonstrated an impressive understanding of what the AT Metro brand means, and our challenges. Their solid strategic customer insight and strong understanding of behavioural biases demonstrated their ability to deliver on AT Metro’s long-term marketing objectives. The team showed very strong leadership in digital and data-driven marketing, which will be key to meeting our patronage targets.”

Note: Auckland Council Group (ACG) – which includes Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, and Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – established its new agency panel in June this year. There are three agency groups on the panel, being Clemenger Group, Ogilvy & Mather and Federation / MBM. Projects under $200,000 can be directly appointed to these agencies, while major projects are contestable within the panel. The AT Metro account was ACG’s first contestable assignment.

99 and Clemenger Group win key role with Auckland Council Group

Auckland Council Group

99 and Clemenger Group have secured a key role as major agency partners for Auckland Council Group, after a thorough competitive process. Together, we’ll be working for Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland Transport (AT) and Auckland Council.

The agency panel will be involved with Auckland Council’s behaviour change campaigns, such as waste minimisation, and increasing awareness and participation in local body elections. For AT, projects could include increasing public transport patronage, road safety or promoting new cycling infrastructure. And for ATEED, we will continue developing consumer and industry-facing campaigns for domestic and international tourism and events, economic growth, skills and youth employment, trade shows and design initiatives.

In a statement, Auckland Council’s Director of Communication and Engagement, Karl Ferguson, said, “Auckland is a great place to live, with the Auckland Council Group providing and supporting hundreds of services and events across the region each year.

“A big part of our role is to ensure Aucklanders’ know what we do and why, of which creative design is a critical part of this. The creative panel will assist with special projects which will deliver on both Aucklanders’ information needs while achieving great value for money.”

The agency panel is operational from July 2017. Paul Manning, 99’s Managing Director, said, “This is a great win for 99, Colenso and OMD, and with our group approach it means we can deliver the resources of New Zealand’s most creative, effective and experienced agency network to benefit Auckland Council Group. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working once again for this world-class city we call home.”

Nicola Henshaw new Planning Director to further boost CX strength

Nicola Henshaw new Planning Director to further boost CX strength

As 99 continues to forge its position as a leader in CX, finding a strategist who combines the analytic obsessiveness of a CRM planner with the audience and platform knowledge of a media planner has been both a priority and a challenge. So, it is with pleasure that 99 announces that Nicola Henshaw has been appointed as Experience Planning Director.

Nicola is an accomplished strategist who joins 99 from TRACK (RAPP) New Zealand. Prior to that she was Planning Director at RAPP UK, and also held insight and strategy roles at News Corporation. She’s shaped customer experiences and communications programmes for brands including Air New Zealand, AA Insurance, Virgin Media, Dulux, and Bayer.

Paul Manning, 99’s Managing Director, says, “I’m so pleased to have Nicola join 99. In 2016 we set a clear vision for our future – to build a world-class customer experience agency. Our agile environment and results-driven DNA have proven to be an ideal platform for this transformation. But, it only works with the right talent – Nicola’s curiosity and passion for customer insight and analytics make her uniquely suited to this role. She’s got an outstanding track record in experience planning and is enthusiastic about the role of data and technology in positively transforming the customer’s journey. Nicola’s role will be pivotal in designing experiences that connect people with brands.”

“It’s such a great time to join 99,” says Nicola. “There’s a palpable momentum about the office, and a great set of clients who are increasingly looking to 99 to help with customer and data strategies. They talk about ‘logic and magic’ here: combining the logic of systems, data, technology and metrics, with the magic of emotion, commercial creativity and disruptive ideas. I look forward to bringing my logic to 99’s creative teams and seeing what kind of magic we can create for clients collaboratively.”

Nicola reports to Director of Strategy, Dan Bye.

Learning from Amazon’s obsession with customer experience

Australian retailers are preparing themselves for unprecedented disruption. Amazon’s arrival is imminent. And New Zealand may not be far behind.

The digital giant wields superior competitive advantage through its signature customer experience, coupled with a mission to be the world’s most customer-centric company.

The expected impact on retailers across the Tasman is captured in Credit Suisse’s analysis this week, which predicts Amazon is likely to cause price falls in many categories, affecting profitability and market share by 5% in the first five years.

The report suggests retailer, Myer, will be among the hardest hit with expected revenue falls of up to 4%, equalling $3.16 billion by 2022. Myer is closely followed by Harvey Norman, JB HiFi and Super Retail Group.

Superiority through experience

Amazon’s signature customer experiences are built on the back of innovations in technology, sophisticated algorithms, and new service offerings such as Echo and Prime, which know each customer’s preferences and behaviours.

The company has proven to be a brutal competitor. Amazon forgoes profits, endures slim margins, and relentlessly prioritises its customers. A closer look at the mega-retailer reveals an organisation with its foundations built on a higher purpose beyond maximising profits. From day one, Amazon’s purpose has been its customer. Founder, Jeff Bezos, describes this higher ideal as being ‘customer obsessed’.

“I would define Amazon by our big ideas and customer centricity – putting the customer at the center of everything we do.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO

Bezos stated recently, “Our focus is on customer obsession rather than competitor obsession, eagerness to invent and pioneer, willingness to fail, the patience to think long-term, and the taking of professional pride in operational excellence.”

Driven by a clear purpose

A company’s purpose is its belief, defining the business’s role in society – galvanising and uniting the organisation’s culture in pursuit of its intention. Best-in-class retailers use purpose to guide their decision-making; aligning purpose with strategic decisions that influence the business’s values, policy, procedures and organisational behaviour.

Congruent with Amazon’s purpose is the company’s mission: ‘To be Earth’s most customer-centric company – building a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.’

Amazon’s strategy of data-driven, continuous innovation continues to push boundaries and deliver customer experiences that are personalised, seamless and differentiated. This is innovation that’s informed by the customer and led from the outside-in; cultivating a culture of customer-centricity to deliver customer value and remarkable experiences such as Amazon Dash for reordering and Amazon Go supermarkets with no checkouts.

Amazon’s first principle is to ‘Start with the customer and work backwards – work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.’

Principles like these signpost to the wider business a commitment to delivering its mission by aligning its purpose with business decision-making.

When corporate purpose is the foundation for a business’s strategic decisions and organisational behaviour, it fosters internal stakeholder engagement and contributes to building trust both inside the business and with customers.

In times of unprecedented transparency, a misaligned corporate purpose can be viewed with scepticism and perceived as superficial. Now more than ever, brand decisions and behaviours need to be authentic or they risk damaging reputation and performance.

Finding a customer-centered advantage

Today, many retail leaders have dramatically increased their focus on customer experience, understanding the role it plays in the current and future success of their businesses. In today’s retail world, companies are no longer in the driver’s seat when it comes to their relationships with consumers.

Customers hold the power now with technology affording them the opportunity to switch brands, research products and offers, and voice their opinions through social media. As a result, many retailers have come to realise that their best chance of long-term success is to make experience the new basis of competition.

And if they haven’t come to that conclusion yet, they really need to…and soon. In the wake of disruption in Australia, retailers here must begin to find a new competitive advantage.

“Today, winning brands owe their success not just to the quality and value of what they sell, but to the superiority of the journeys they create.” – David Edelman, McKinsey & Company 

Making experience the heart of business strategy, Amazon has shown that service and customer experience really do matter and are critical to staying relevant to today’s technology-enabled, socially connected customers.

Bezos has also said in the past, “If there’s one reason we have done better than any of our peers over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.”

Amazon’s strength is that it aims to think like a customer and provide what they want, building loyalty in a crowded market.

Technology and data has radically changed consumer behaviour over the last decade, widening choice and shifting the balance of power between companies and customers. Amazon has operated at the heart of this and is helping reshape how people shop, both now and in the future.

Mazda and 99 put the utility back in one of NZ’s favourite utes

In this nation of boat owners, campers, and do-it-yourselfers, even the most urban of Kiwis can find a ute useful. This new campaign by 99 for Mazda’s iconic BT-50 launches with the aim to move beyond the common perception that a ute is only a tradie’s vehicle.

The campaign kicked off last weekend with a 30-second TV spot featuring a couple of blokes borrowing the BT-50 and taking a tiki tour while doing things for themselves and others. 99 cast comedian Jesse Griffin and actor Tammy Davis (of Outrageous Fortune fame) and had them improvise all of their lines during the production. A 60-second version is also delivered through digital channels.

In addition to television, Mazda and 99 are promoting the vehicle through an array of digital and social channels. In particular, Facebook features a call for comments to hear Kiwis’ ideas on what they’d do with a BT-50 for a day. Those with the most interesting ideas will get the use of the ute for a day and the ultimate winner keeps the BT-50 for six months. Kind of like borrowing your mate’s water blaster and then forgetting to give it back for a while.


Agency: 99
Executive Creative Director: Craig Whitehead
Creative: Jesse Stevens
Content Producer: Esther Watkins
Associate Business Director: Elisabeth Spence
Account Manager: Aneka Burden
Production Company: Triple Double

Client: Mazda
GM of Sales and Marketing: Glenn Harris
Customer Relationships Manager: Terrianne Brown

99 launches Newsroom to help clients become content publishers

99 has further diversified its offering with the launch of Newsroom, an editorial content marketing service focused on creating engagement and consideration early in a customer’s journey to purchase.

Content marketing is one of the industry’s fastest growing disciplines and provides abundant opportunities to influence consumer behaviour. However, the relentless rise in content production has led to a battle for limited audience attention. 99 is helping its clients gain an advantage through the quality, delivery and measurement of content it makes.

The agency’s Newsroom service pairs journalists and editors with content strategists and channel experts to deliver content that’s data-driven and can be measured and optimised in real time.

This style of publishing gives 99 and its clients a new means of engagement with instant access to what’s resonating with consumers. It also enables the Newsroom team to respond and refine content dynamically, using the best delivery platforms to facilitate conversation and conversion. The agency’s editorial capabilities will complement its strategic, creative, digital and content facilities, including its purpose-built content studio.

99’s Managing Director, Paul Manning, says, “Building an editorial content service is an extension of our offer, borne out of our ambition to build a world-class customer experience agency. We will always have retail effectiveness at our heart and we’re excited about the commercial advantages that our team of specialist writers across business, technology and lifestyle will bring to clients.”

Greg Forsyth, 99’s Director of Technology, Data and Innovation, says, “We know that purchase journeys are far from linear. By combining a journalistic approach to brand storytelling with our deep retail expertise, we can draw shoppers into the purchase funnel earlier with optimised, personalised content that holds their attention at every stage.” He continues, “We’re putting equal emphasis on the art and science. Clients are refocusing their attention on owned media for example, which has significant benefits in terms of retargeting closer to the point of conversion.”

Paul adds, “With so much content vying for attention, we’re providing our clients with a platform to catch, connect and convert consumers in the moments that matter most.”

Why ‘systems and empathy’ is the future of our business

99 is one of New Zealand’s largest creative agencies. Early last year, we set a new vision for our business. The world is changing. Customer behaviour, platforms, media, data, technology and clients are all changing. Yet most agencies have remained fundamentally the same for the last 50 years. Our ambition is to develop our company into a world-class customer experience agency, built on top of our proven retail DNA.

Here’s why.

Let’s start with the recently-released Future of Agencies report, prepared by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and Econsultancy. It takes a deep look at where our industry is heading. There are many trends addressed in the report, including strategic shifts in advertising, flexible client engagement models, varied remuneration models, the war for talent, and the combination of human and machine intelligence.

One area to highlight is the often trite but nevertheless important ‘left-brain right-brain’ debate. But what does this mean for agencies in the current landscape.

Systems and empathy

Agency margins are under greater pressure than ever. The squeeze is driven in part by technology and automation, staffing costs as we employ broader and scarcer skills, and changes in client needs.

To create growth and respond to the market, we believe agency propositions must change. In response, at 99 we have been investing heavily in data and technology. Yet to be successful, its imperative that we maintain equal focus on insights, experience design and human creativity.

Content is as important as context.

There’s an analogy that exists with city planning and the thinking of social innovator, Charles Leadbeater. He describes systems and empathy as the two ingredients that combine to make brilliant cities:

Systems for process, methods, reliability, scale, efficiencies and uniting disparate components with a common purpose.

Empathy as in affinity, human connection, insight, and rapport – in order to understand, come together, find common ground, share and exchange.

A lack of systems leads to chaos, and a lack of empathy leads to incompatibility, discord, coldness. The following chart visualises the dynamic.

In Leadbeater’s example, London was at its best during the 2012 Olympics. A time when ‘lots of people used efficient systems to have a highly convivial, charged, shared experience’.

What does ‘systems and empathy’ mean in practice for 99?

For us, systems equate to the adept application of data, technology, and technical delivery at scale. And empathy means human-centred insight, understanding and creativity – everything we associate with creative advertising.

We believe that to best meet client needs now (and into the future), we have to understand and operate through the full spectrum of systems and empathy. This is how we will deliver on our vision.

Context is changing quickly so we are using design-led thinking to help get us ahead of the market.

A proposition built for the customer experience revolution

99 understands expertise in systems and empathy, because this dynamic is present in the increasing prioritisation of customer experiences amongst clients.

Businesses increasingly need agencies that can not only strategise and design, but build and execute. Fortunately, that’s in our DNA – but we are continuing to innovate. We are replacing legacy systems, joining up data from multiple channels, innovating processes, deepening client engagement, and building new platforms and capabilities.

Many of our clients are not just designing products and services, but are targeting continuous improvement. Their focus is increasingly on front-end experience, and technological design, which needs to be supported by effective back-end integration.

The lines are becoming increasingly blurred, so the need for flawless integration is ever greater. When you look at it like this, it’s a logical conclusion that agencies must be fit for purpose – agile, integrated, innovative and designed to address the demands of the customer experience revolution.

Marketers rank 99 as one of the top 5 performing agencies in New Zealand, and #1 for value

Agency performance and strength of image amongst marketers is critical to success in the communications industry. The March 2017 issue of New Zealand Marketing magazine features a research study by TRA into what marketers really think about agencies.

Clients were asked to share their thoughts on the perceived size and performance of the industry’s top 20 creative and media agencies. Those with the strongest profiles today: the big names, the plucky indies, the agencies winning new business, creating interesting work and driving innovation.

The research, endorsed by the New Zealand Marketing Association, identified 99 as one of the country’s top five performing creative agencies – ranked #1 in value and #2 in effectiveness across the board.

Andrew Lewis, co-founder and Managing Director of TRA stated, “FCB and DDB were joined by True, Assignment and 99 as the top performers.” Moreover, the research showed 99 as clearly leading the industry in value for money, and with exceptional strengths in effectiveness, collaboration and being future-focused.

Another key perception measured was the size and buoyancy of the agencies. This aspect of the study showed 99 clearly ‘on the way up’. In fact, of the 11 big agencies measured, 99 was identified by marketers as being one of only four to have significant upward momentum.

I’m so proud of my team. We’ve made some extraordinary leaps in capability, process and people over the last 12 months. Our strategy to build 99 into a world-class customer experience agency is working. We’ve assembled an enviable leadership team and together we’re on the way to ensuring our vision is realised.

Congratulations to the handful of agencies who came out on top in this thoroughly interesting study. Credit to NZ Marketing and TRA.

The Workshop & G.J. Gardner team up to create the home-building journey

GJ Gardner Screenshot

99’s content production unit, The Workshop, has just launched its first campaign for new client G.J. Gardner Homes, New Zealand’s largest home builder.

G.J. Gardner has always been committed to building great homes and equally great relationships with its customers. So much so that the company developed Home Prep, a free, step-by-step guide to the building process that offers independent information and tips to help people have a positive experience – no matter what company they choose as their building partner.

This is the first campaign by 99 and The Workshop for G.J. Gardner, following their recent appointment. Together, the team have developed an integrated campaign to share Home Prep with the New Zealand public. This is also the first platform featuring G.J. Gardner’s new Home Prep ambassador, Simon Barnett.

The Workshop developed the creative approach, art direction, scripting and end-to-end production of a 60 second pop-up book-inspired television spot and a video content series, delivered primarily through social media, and G.J. Gardner’s owned channels. The campaign’s content marketing includes a helpful 4-minute how-to video guide and four 30-second chapters.

View the TV spot and video content on the G.J. Gardner Home Prep YouTube Channel.


GJ Gardner TVC Still


Grant Porteous, Managing Director of G.J. Gardner Homes, says, “We are very proud of Home Prep, created from 20 years’ experience, research and customer feedback aimed to help New Zealanders achieve their dream home with no regrets. The TVC campaign created by 99 and The Workshop to launch this initiative is the result of a lot of hard work and understanding of what we want to achieve with Home Prep. Simon Barnett, with his renowned integrity and values, is a great fit with G.J.’s as an ambassador and he was equally as excited about being involved with Home Prep to help New Zealand consumers make great decisions in building their new home.”

Gina Kelly, The Workshop’s Project Director said, “We’re so excited to be working with G.J. Gardner Homes. This first project has been a complete pleasure. The G.J. Gardner team has been open to our ideas and allowed the team to craft the creative output. Their choice of Simon Barnett as front-man makes perfect sense for Home Prep. Simon’s values and trustworthiness match G.J. Gardner’s own. And he’s every bit as nice as he seems!”

The Workshop team carried out the filming, including a green screen shoot, plus animation, sound, editing and grading – entirely through the agency’s in-house production facilities.

Gina adds, “As the category leader, it’s impressive that G.J. Gardner is offering a valuable tool like Home Prep to all prospective home builders, not just those who will build with them. It’s a product of the company’s customer experience focus that we at 99 and The Workshop are equally passionate about. We believe Home Prep is the beginning of a great relationship with G.J.”

99 makes significant hire as Jared Isle joins as Digital Creative Director

Digital Creative Director at 99

It’s been a huge 12 months for 99 as the agency continues to transform and build further capability in digital, data and creative technologies. After an international search, 99 has appointed Jared Isle to the position of Digital Creative Director.

Jared is an accomplished, highly-awarded creative who joins 99 after spending the past six years in the United States. Most recently he was Associate Creative Director at McCann New York and prior to that, FCB New York. Jared originally hails from New Zealand, having worked in senior roles with several agencies in this market.

Isle brings impeccable credentials with numerous local and international accolades under his belt, including a recent Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes and Facebook Studio Blue Award. Amongst numerous highlights on his résumé, his work has also been featured in the Top 50 Advertising Campaigns of the Century for the iconic Oreo’s 100-day ‘Daily Twist’ campaign.

“I’m stoked to have someone of Jared’s pedigree to join the team,” Craig Whitehead, Chief Creative Officer and founder of 99, says. “He brings to us that rare mix of outstanding conceptual ability, digital design excellence and technical expertise. 99 has gone through a massive shift in the past year, from specialist retail creative and production powerhouse, to a customer experience agency with retail at our heart. On the back of other significant appointments like Greg Forsyth and Dan Bye, it’s an exciting time to be part of the new 99.”

Isle will be heavily involved with 99’s team of conceptual creatives, leading the ever-expanding digital experience and design teams, as well as working closely with the recently created Newsroom, 99’s editorial content marketing service.

“In a time when we can beam ads straight into people’s pockets, right next to photos of their kids, it’s our responsibility to make things that are sincere and that add value,” Isle says. “And 99 is filled with folks who share that sincerity. They’re also a band of get-it-done makers of things. That combination made coming to 99 a no-brainer. I’m fired up about joining the team.”

Major appointment for 99, Dan Bye joins as Director of Strategy

Following an international search, CX-driven retail agency, 99, is delighted to announce that Dan Bye – a multi-award winning communications strategist – has joined the agency as Director of Strategy.

Dan has arrived at the Auckland-based agency from Sydney, where he most recently held the position of Strategy Director at Leo Burnett. He brings significant strategic firepower to the agency, from prior roles as Strategy Director at M&C Saatchi Australia, Head of Planning at OMD Sydney and Strategy Director at SapientNitro.

Dan has been ranked among the top ten planning directors in the world by the Big Won Rankings (#7 in ‘15). His extensive experience includes working in strategic leadership roles for brands such as Telstra, Google, Optus, Lexus and Commonwealth Bank.

Paul Manning, 99’s Managing Director, says, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Dan join 99 in this key leadership role. Attracting high-level talent of Dan’s calibre is a challenge in the market for any agency, especially when it involves a move across the Tasman. Dan is a truly world-class strategist. He will bring our clients a wealth of experience, having worked at some of Australia’s top agencies, across dozens of leading brands. And best of all, he is incredibly down-to-earth and an ideal cultural fit for our team.”

Dan says, “99 is an outstanding business with a long pedigree of successful client partnerships and a key agency within the Clemenger Group. But what really grabbed me was the company’s vision, to be an experience-driven agency operating at the intersection of creativity, data, technology and content. I think in today’s rapidly evolving consumer landscape, that’s exactly the space for an agency to be positioning itself.”

“The exciting opportunity for me is building out our strategic offering, taking into account all customer touchpoints and channels, and creating effective solutions to solve business problems. I look forward to working with existing and new clients that share 99’s vision and helping them to connect with consumers in new and meaningful ways.”

Dan started this week and will join 99’s executive leadership team. His arrival further reinforces the agency’s strategic offer, recently bolstered with the appointment of Greg Forsyth to Director of Technology, Data and Innovation.

99 secures Warehouse Stationery’s CRM, loyalty and digital media

CX-driven retail agency, 99, has added Warehouse Stationery’s CRM and business-to-business loyalty programme, BizRewards, to its growing portfolio – with digital media and search unified through 99PHD.

This new, single-agency model is designed to unlock the potential of the retailer’s data, offering vastly enhanced customer experience opportunities and greater operating efficiencies.

Paul Manning, 99’s Managing Director, says, “Going forward, the integrated application of data, content and mar-tech will help drive significant commercial return for Warehouse Stationery. This retailer is a true market leader and our primary intention here is to unlock the power of the organisation’s data to create more meaningful, effective, joined-up customer experiences.”

“We will reduce costs through economies of scale and smarter use of technology.”

The integration will see 99 deliver core CX strategy, alongside further development of the BizRewards loyalty programme, and editorial-driven content marketing through the agency’s recently-launched Newsroom service. Digital media and search will be managed by 99PHD, an integrated service between Clemenger Group-owned 99 and media giant, PHD.

Becki Rowe, GM Marketing and eCommerce for Warehouse Stationery, says, “Constant and significant change is a defining factor of the retail sector. To stay ahead we will continue to innovate and improve the ways we deliver work and engage with our customers. I believe a laser focus on customer experience will help us differentiate Warehouse Stationery even further and build on the brand work undertaken with 99 last year. This single-agency alignment will see us unlock the full potential of our data across all customer groups. They have the CX capability and retail expertise that we need to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. I’m looking forward to accomplishing great things together.”

The full integration between Warehouse Stationery and 99 begins formally on 1 March 2017.

Greg Forsyth new Director of Technology, Data and Innovation

Building capability in data and creative technologies has been a top priority for 99 over the last 12 months. Set for further expansion in 2017, the agency has made another key appointment, with Greg Forsyth joining as Director of Technology, Data and Innovation.

Greg is one of New Zealand’s foremost digital leaders, having held technical and strategic leadership positions at Colenso BBDO, AIM Proximity and Tribal DDB. He has built and led teams in creative, direct, CRM and digital disciplines and brings a track record of success in unlocking value for agencies and clients alike.

Joining the agency’s executive team, Greg will be playing a key role in anchoring 99’s customer experience (CX) capabilities. He brings outstanding expertise in high-growth areas such as marketing automation, creative technologies and data-driven communications.

Paul Manning, Managing Director of 99 says, “I’m delighted to have Greg join 99 in this pivotal role. He’s a real talent and his appointment is a significant demonstration of our commitment to developing a truly experience-driven agency. He brings a unique perspective and a mix of technical and strategic experience that’s rare in this market. Greg will lead the design of solutions that connect people with brands, across multiple touchpoints and platforms.”

Greg says, “In a world where omnichannel is becoming the norm, brands are increasingly expected to deliver joined up customer experiences. It’s an exciting time to be part of 99 as the agency’s new, experience-centred vision is underpinned by data, insight and marketing technologies, aimed at driving outstanding commercial return for our clients.”

99 wins major shopping centre account, Kiwi Property

99 has won the Kiwi Property account, New Zealand’s largest listed property company.

2016 has been a year of significant growth for 99, today announcing that it now counts New Zealand’s largest listed, diversified property company as a client.

Kiwi Property owns and manages many of the country’s preeminent shopping centres Sylvia Park, LynnMall, Westgate Lifestyle, The Base, Centre Place, The Plaza, North City and Northlands.

As an agency, 99 has aggressively innovated its offer, building core customer experience (CX) capabilities – particularly in data and technology – to help clients to put customers first and manage their journeys to purchase. Expanding on the agency’s retail DNA, this synthesis has proven critical to new business success.

Paul Manning, Managing Director of 99 says, “In a year of tremendous change for 99, this is great win for us. It’s satisfying to have again demonstrated the strength of our investment in CX capabilities. I’m proud of the team effort that went in to this pitch and we’re thrilled to be working with this category-leading organisation.”

Karlee Lightbourne, National Marketing Manager for Kiwi Property, says, “99 demonstrated clear thinking and a clever point of view for bringing our strategy to life. We’re looking forward to our new partnership.”

99’s relationship with Kiwi Property Shopping Centres will begin formally in April 2017.

99 and Warehouse Stationery do something different

This week Warehouse Stationery launches its new brand proposition with a 45” television spot and distinctive new look across all touchpoints, via 99.

Warehouse Stationery is undeniably one of New Zealand’s stand-out retail success stories, having changed the face of our stationery and technology marketplace. The company has grown from 8 stores in 1995 to an omni-channel retailer with 67 stores across the country, from Kerikeri to Invercargill, and diversified its business, introducing many new parallel categories.

With outstanding range and value, Warehouse Stationery has enjoyed 7 consecutive years of same-store-sales growth and created outstanding transactional loyalty. 99’s challenge was to begin building consumers’ emotive connection with the brand and create context for a product range that extends well beyond traditional stationery.

A new brand strategy was developed, focused on ‘inspiring and enabling a more productive New Zealand’. This led to the new external expression, ‘We do doing’, encapsulating Warehouse Stationery’s broad range of products and services, as well as the traditional stationery items for which they are famous. It’s about the action of ‘doing’ stuff, about ticking off that to-do list, rather than simply having the pen and paper to write it in the first place.

Launched on Sunday, the new TV spot explores the ups and downs of everyday life through the verb ‘to do’ and how stationery and technology can play an important, and sometimes intimate, role in our lives.

Becki Rowe, GM Marketing and eCommerce for Warehouse Stationery said, “Every year, Warehouse Stationery finds new ways to help New Zealanders get the things they want to do, and need to do, done. People are often surprised at the breadth of products and services we offer.”

“It was time to build a more vibrant and distinctive personality that would provide a foundation for our goal to become one of New Zealand’s most loved and trusted brands and to deliver a more engaging and personalised experience to our customers.”

“Partnering with 99 to develop our new brand strategy and creative platform has been an inspiring and energising collaborative experience. We’re thrilled with the work.” says Becki.

The wider campaign will roll out over the coming months, through every layer of communications, including the big events like ‘back to school’, tax time and the new financial year.