Marketing Featured ANZ

Australian digital media agency Magic announces new leadership for US, UK expansion

Melbourne, Australia – Magic, a digital media agency, has announced new leadership as its expands to the United Kingdom and the United States. Fotini Choutou joins Magic in the newly created role of head of performance for northern hemisphere while Jonathan Renteria steps into the newly created role of group account director at Magic LA, as she leads Magic’s Alchemy expansion in the US.

Previously, the global performance director for Biddable at Mindshare, Choutou brings a wealth of experience to her new role having worked across prominent global accounts including Colgate-Palmolive, Tiffany & Co, NFL, and United Airlines. In her new position, she will spearhead Magic’s expansion into the Northern Hemisphere based in the agency’s new London offices.

Meanwhile, formerly Sony Pictures Entertainment’s director of growth, Renteria’s background includes a start in propulsion at NASA in Los Angeles, followed by a rapid rise through the ranks of data-driven media philosophies in LA. He is perfectly positioned to drive Magic’s innovative Alchemy approach in the US and beyond, from Magic’s LA base.

Jordan Taylor-Bartels, CEO at Magic, said the success of Magic’s rapid expansion into global markets depends on having exceptional talent on the ground and he was confident he had found that talent in both Choutou and Renteria. 

“Fotini brings incredible biddable experience across large-scale global clients further complementing our mathematics and statistics methodology in Alchemy. Adding to this, Jonathan’s skillset adds outstanding data-driven and media-science thinking to our global offering, which will be key to our growth in the US and the UK,” he said.

Taylor-Bartlels added, “I am confident their combined wealth of experience and innovative approach to mathematic and data-led marketing solutions will greatly contribute to Magic’s continued success and expansion on the global stage.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

BMF nabs Tennis Australia’s creative mandate

Australia – Following a competitive pitch process, Tennis Australia has appointed BMF as its lead creative and strategic agency of record, with the aim of continuing the growth of tennis in Australia as one of the top participated sports. 

As part of the new partnership, BMF will lead Tennis Australia’s marketing strategy and creative for both key sporting events, including the Australian Open and United Cup, as well as drive participation via Tennis Australia’s key products.

“Tennis is one of the most iconic sports not just across the globe, but particularly in Australia. With a strong presence in both culture and the sporting community, we’re incredibly excited to continue to build tennis participation and connect the brand with audiences both locally and globally,” said Steve McArdle, CEO of BMF.

Meanwhile, Tennis Australia’s Chief Commercial Officer Cedric Cornelis commented, “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with BMF and we look forward to working together to further enhance the appeal of tennis which is ingrained into the Australian way of life.”

He added, “Whether it’s picking up a racquet, buying a ticket to an event or engaging with tennis online, we look forward to building even deeper connections to our audiences in ways that are innovative and memorable.”

Last year, BMF also won the creative mandate of global car-sharing marketplace Turo to handle its creative account for its launch in the Australian market.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Experience design company Nightjar wins National Dental Care account, announces new hires

Sydney, Australia – Nightjar, an independent experience design company, has recently nabbed the digital experience account for the National Dental Care (NDC). 

Through the new account, Nightjar will be responsible for re-platforming NDC’s digital experience into one cohesive and flexible platform, developing a brand and customer experience (CX) strategy, refreshing the brand, and creating campaign work. The new platform will launch in December 2023.

Chloe Harding, chief marketing officer at NDC said, “Throughout a collaborative pitch process, we were impressed by Nightjar’s clear tech edge. They are passionate about delivering innovative solutions and we’re confident they’ll help us hit our conversion goals while also building a secure and robust platform for our next phase of growth.” 

Meanwhile, Ahmed Meer, head of innovation at Nightjar commented, “We’re always excited when clients come to us wanting to break the mould. NDC have an ambition to not just be the best digital experience within the dental industry, but are looking to re-imagine how we think of healthcare – and that’s just the kind of challenge we love.”

Nightjar has also announced new hires namely Alyce Biggs as senior CX strategist, Bek Ryan as program director and Ting He as designer.

Biggs joins Nightjar from ING where she was Strategic Innovation Lead for three + years.  Prior to this she was UX/Optimisation Lead with Vodafone for three years. She will work closely with the team on leading the customer experience across Nightjar’s clients.

Meanwhile Ryan comes to Nightjar after spending four years with Digitas working across the Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland offices. She has also worked with AnalogFolk – two years in London and one year in Sydney. Bek’s new role will include overseeing Nightjar’s overall delivery excellence, improving project performance and uncovering growth opportunities with existing clients.

Lastly, He was with MAUD for four years where she led a full refresh of the brand imagery approach for Telstra and worked on multiple campaigns for David Jones. After MAUD she joined DesignStudio for two years before being nabbed by Nightjar.

Speaking on the appointments, Christine Sultana, managing director at Nightjar said, “We’re thrilled to have these three talented women as part of our team and look forward to working alongside them. Their unique perspectives and skills will add immense value to our company, and we strongly believe that they will bring a fresh take on our work.”

Technology Featured ANZ

Gus Quiroga joins Sitecore as area vice president for Australia

Sydney, Australia – Digital experience management platform Sitecore has appointed Gus Quiroga as its new area vice president for Australia, tapping the experienced technology leader to help companies to accelerate their growth via content, data, and online commerce. 

The appointment of Quiroga will add significant experience in the technology-based customer experience market, and enable businesses to exceed the constantly changing experience expectations of customers and citizens across all digital channels.

In the new role, Quiroga will be responsible for driving the overall sales and strategy and growth for Sitecore in Australia, working closely with key technology alliance partners, and ensuring that the company’s suite of software delivers for businesses. 

Prior to joining Sitecore, Quiroga was general manager APAC and financial services VP for the Mobiquity division of software services firm Hexaware Technologies. He was also formerly director of Microsoft’s Azure Data and AI business unit. 

Quiroga has also worked for IBM as head of cognitive applications in its financial services and retail business, where he led the sales and customer services team for blockchain, AI, data analytics, campaign automation, supply chain automation and cognitive analytics software.

“Sitecore has a tremendous history in content, and they have taken it to another level in recent years by making acquisitions that make them a powerful force across customer experience and digital commerce,” said Quiroga.

He added, “My career has been about working with customers to improve their brand experience, and I am looking forward to making an impact for enterprises in Australia.” 

Joey Lim, Sitecore’s president for Asia-Pacific and Japan, also said, “Gus has tremendous implementation skills and understands the challenges that all brands have in needing to move at speed and scale to achieve their business growth objectives.”

Lim likewise remarked that the Sitecore team believes in Quiroga’s ability to tackle complex business and technology challenges and translate them into significant customer experience outcomes that would benefit brands in Australia. 

Quiroga’s appointment follows Sitecore’s launch of its XM Cloud Components, which was aimed at empowering brands to deliver seamless and personalised customer experiences.

Marketing Featured ANZ

This ‘open letter’ from UK mouthcare brand Waken wants Aussies to break perceptions on dental products being ‘ugly’

Australia – Naturally-led UK mouthcare brand Waken has unveiled its new integrated brand campaign with independent digital and creative marketing agency WiredCo

Extending across creative, media, social, earned media, and influencer marketing, the six-month campaign aims to position the brand as a challenger to disrupt the dental care supermarket aisle.

In a persuasive open letter, the brand turned traditional perceptions of dental products being ‘ugly’ as sin on its head. While also showcasing the aesthetically pleasing looks of Waken’s product, the light-hearted piece of hyperbole aims to create an entertaining launch moment focusing on the brand’s aesthetic qualities, efficacy, and sustainability.

“When you think about the steadfast duopoly in the toothpaste category that hasn’t changed for decades now, there’s no way a new brand can compete if it just talks about efficacy. Our WireTapping research discovered 46% of Australians are so embarrassed by the look of their toothpaste, they hide it!” WiredCo.’s Managing Partner, David Kennedy, explained.

Simon Duffy MBE, founder of Waken Mouthcare, also commented, “WiredCo. Confirmed our suspicions through the research that Australians are sleepwalking down the dental supermarket aisle and buying the same brand every single time (80% of us) without asking why or with any level of meaningful consciousness.”

He added, “Really interestingly, they discovered this ‘automated’ behaviour has much less to do with brand loyalty and everything to do with there being no better-for-you option available.”

Supported by a highly targeted two-channel-only paid digital media strategy, WiredCo. utilised Pinterest and TikTok for the campaign. 

“We know TikTok is the number one engagement channel for beauty and health brands, and Pinterest was an obvious choice for driving awareness amongst an audience that is inspired by beauty in all aspects of life,” Kennedy explained.

The campaign also includes an always-on approach to earned media, along with significant native content-driven influencer marketing led by brand partnerships with TV personalities Angie Kent and Cherie Barber.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Australian sauce brand Leggo’s celebrates Aussie’s ‘contentious’ ways of making Italian in new ad

Australia Leggo’s, the Australian-made pasta sauce brand, has launched a new campaign via Wunderman Thompson Australia celebrating all the unique twists and spins Aussies have been adding to traditional Italian cuisine.

Titled ‘It’s How We Do Italian’, the campaign encourages the audiences to embrace all the creative ways Aussies do Italian, even if it means breaking spaghetti to fit in the pot.

“Our new campaign is all about celebrating the way Aussies do Italian,” said Katie Saunders, general manager – marketing at Simplot

She added, “Leggo’s celebrates experimentation and fun in the kitchen. We want people to feel empowered knowing that no matter how they do Italian or which ‘rule’ they’re ‘breaking’, we’ve got them covered with tasty, quality products.”

João Braga, chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson in Australia, also commented, “It’s no secret we love to break the rules when it comes to Italian food, so Leggo’s is giving Aussies just that extra dose of encouragement to get out there and add more pineapple to their pizza, parmesan to their seafood pasta, and share their delicious inventions with the world.”

The campaign is launching across various platforms, including OOH, social media, television, Trade and POS.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Icon Agency bolsters gov’t relations offering through appointment of Benjamin Haslem

Melbourne, Australia – Australia-based Icon Agency has made a recent appointment that eyes to significantly boost its government relations capability. The agency appoints one of the top public affairs specialists in the market, Benjamin Haslem, as its new director of media and public affairs.

His experience in issues management, government relations, and high-level media training will see Ben become a key driver of Icon’s Reputation division, helping clients with corporate communications and reputation management.

Icon Managing Director Joanne Painter lauded Ben’s addition to the Icon team.

“We are delighted to welcome Ben to Icon. His expertise and experience at high levels of corporate and public affairs are a valuable asset that aligns very well with Icon’s portfolio of work and clients,” Painter said.

“Ben’s appointment deepens the bench of our Reputation team, which is capably led by another experienced ex-journalist, Mark Forbes. We’re also pleased to add Ben’s ‘can do’ attitude and positivity to our team. Ben’s presence in the Sydney office cements our place as a national agency, as we continue to consider opportunities for future expansion.”

Haslem has previously co-founded and led two leading public affairs firms, and boasts more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and communications expert, specialising in corporate communications, issues management, and government relations. He was also a journalist for The Australian for a decade, working as a federal and Victorian political reporter and High Court Correspondent.

Further to his experience, he was also previously CEO of leading independent Sydney public relations and government relations firm, Jackson Wells Morris, before co-establishing his own public affairs business of 10 years, Wells Haslem Mayhew.

Haslem will be based in Icon’s Sydney office, though his role as a senior advisor and media training expert will see him take on Australia-wide responsibilities as Icon continues to expand its national footprint.

Haslem praised Icon’s track record of impactful work and on his appointment said, “I’m very excited to join one of Australia’s foremost agencies. Icon has a great history of communications campaigns that make a real difference.”

“Icon’s strong portfolio of government and reputation management work is a great fit for my experience and skill set. I look forward to working with the team and tackling challenging communications projects.”

In November, Icon Agency has also named Scott Pritchett as new senior art director. 

Marketing Featured ANZ

Initiative onboards Paige Wheaton as new head of investment and partnerships

Sydney, Australia – Media agency Initiative has announced the appointment of Paige Wheaton as its new chief investment & partnerships officer. Wheaton will also be joining Initiative’s national senior leadership team.

Based in Sydney, Wheaton will be responsible for further evolving Initiative’s Investment and Partnerships approach, working closely with clients nationally to aim to deliver and create market-leading value, innovation, and opportunity geared for sustainable growth.

Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative Australia, said investment and partnerships underpin the overall success of the agency and it is essential that an exceptional talent leads this team – “someone with outstanding people and leadership skills and with a strong point of view on media responsibility and planning for a sustainable and inclusive future.” 

Fein said, “As Initiative looks to evolve its investment and partnerships offering, I believe we have found a phenomenal talent in Paige. Her experience across the full funnel, not just traditional, makes her a unicorn in this market. Compounding that is her knowledge in the purpose-driven area of investment which perfectly complements Initiative’s ethos in this space.” 

Currently National Head of Investment at Mindshare, Wheaton brings 15 years of media experience to Initiative, beginning her career at Mediacom and spending time at several Australian independent media agencies. At Mindshare, she has grown the investment community and been instrumental in the development of globally adopted tools around the responsible and sustainable investment of media dollars. 

Wheaton commented, “Initiative’s value proposition, culture and suite of investment products and services will allow me to develop meaningful relationships with our partners, delivering on-point creative investment strategies and campaigns that outpace the current market standard.”

“I’m passionate about making an impact. The most exciting thing is having a thriving community of investment individuals who I can help grow and develop in their careers. I’m a hugely people-centric leader and I’m so excited to partner with the investment leads in each of the markets to deliver on that promise. The other element that excites me is the culture at Initiative which they are so renowned for. It’s what initially attracted me to the role and having the opportunity to truly deliver market-leading work was the icing on the cake,” she added. 

Initiative’s National Managing Director, Sam Geer, meanwhile, said, “Put simply, Initiative wants the market’s best talent, and we have heard from media owners time and time again that Paige is exactly that. She joins us at a time when our product is evolving and the integration of Performance, Digital and Traditional has never been more critical. With Paige’s knowledge and experience in this area we have found the perfect match to drive our investment proposition into the future.” 

Wheaton’s appointment is effective mid-July. She replaces Simon Reid who left the agency earlier this year.

Also within this month, the agency named Danielle Galipienzo as its Head of Impact to lead its purpose-led consulting division. 

Marketing Featured ANZ

The Company We Keep names Stu Hipwell as new executive creative director

Australia – The Company We Keep (the CWK), Australia-based independent marketing specialist for events and brand experiences, has expanded its Sydney team with the appointment of Stu Hipwell as its new executive creative director. Alongside Hipwell, it also onboards Animator William Gembitsky

The new appointments are announced as The CWK prepares to celebrate its 5th anniversary. Recently, the agency has opened an office in Singapore

Nigel Ruffell, CEO of The CWK, said, “This success and the expansion of our team is a testament to the company’s people-driven approach, which prioritises collaboration and understanding of clients’ challenges to deliver innovative experiences.” 

Hipwell, the new ECD, is an award-winning cartoonist and qualified innovation facilitator. The CWK looks to strengthen its creative side by championing full sensory experiences “that connect emotionally with the audience while aligning with business objectives through data-led insights,” it said, 

On Hipwell’s appointment, Ruffell commented, “Stu’s vast experience, over 30 years, and passion for creative storytelling make him a great asset to our team. His expertise in various creative disciplines, including branding, events, social media, content, packaging, way-finding, and store design, will help us deliver even more exceptional experiences for our clients.” 

The agency’s new animator William Gembitsky, meanwhile, brings to the agency their experience in motion design, including social branding, hype reels, and animated music videos, which will help The CWK deliver efficient content production. 

“We’re excited to have Will on board. Their passion for animation is infectious and we can’t wait to see what they will bring to the table,” Ruffell added. 

According to the agency, the appointment of Hipwell and Gembitsky is part of a wider recruitment process that has seen it expand its production team through the addition of three new project managers/coordinators.

Just this March, the company’s expansion to Singapore also had it naming Victor Darmawan as its director of business. Darmawan will be running the new local office.

Technology Featured ANZ

Automotive business Servco taps Amperity to handle customer data strategy

Sydney, Australia – Automotive business Servco, one of the largest Toyota dealer groups in Australia, has tapped customer data platform (CDP) Amperity to handle its customer data strategy to achieve a comprehensive view of the customer and drive better insights for the company.

Servco has previously worked with Amperity in 2019 to connect siloed customer data across its businesses, create accurate 360-degree views of their customers and households, and get actionable business insights to better build customer trust.

The automotive business faced similar business challenges to that of its global headquarters but had the added challenge of having a number of legacy systems that came by way of an acquisition. With thaat, Servco needed an easy way to consolidate all of these disparate systems and make the data actionable. Amperity was able to provide a next-generation data foundation to unify all of Servco’s customer data into one centralised location.

Kane McHardy, chief operations officer at Servco Australia, said, “With Amperity, we’ve been able to successfully harmonise all of our data from across multiple disparate systems to achieve a unified view of each customer. This has provided us with more insights, enabling us to offer a more sophisticated approach to the utilisation of that data.”

He also added that in the longer run, they expect to see more engaging content, a better customer experience, greater retention and loyalty and less frustration for their employees.

Meanwhile, Billy Loizou, area vice president at Amperity, commented, “We’re delighted to see Servco achieve fantastic results on par with that of Global. You look at the three key things we want to influence and that’s business performance, employee productivity and customer experience, and we’ve been able to achieve all three with Servco.”

He added, “We couldn’t be more proud to help Servco drive the best results for its marketing and business campaigns with unified customer data — the foundation that powers every insight and action they take to deliver a powerful customer experience every time.”

Recently, Amperity has been tapped by Forever 21 parent company Authentic Brands Group and Reckitt to handle their customer data strategy as well.