Marketing Featured ANZ

Bastion names Simon Langley as new group chief creative officer

Australia – Independent agency Bastion has appointed Simon Langley, former national executive creative director and partner at advertising, content, and media agency Edge, to be its new group chief creative officer.

In his new role, Langley will be leading the creative offering of Bastion Creative, but his role will extend across the group to help define, drive, and unite, as well as support the creative ambition of other capabilities of the agency and ensure its clients benefit from seamlessly integrated ideas. 

Prior to his previous stint at Edge, Langley has spent over six years as the national CCO of Wunderman Thompson. He has also held creative leadership roles at 303 MullenLowe helping the agency double in size before the acquisition by Lowe. Langley has also spent over six years at BMF, three of which as a creative director.

Commenting on his appointment, Langley said that he is certainly wasn’t looking to make a move, but Bastion is a business he has been watching gain momentum in this market and beyond, and he is excited to be a part of an independent with a global reach and such a wide breadth of deep specialist capabilities, able to bring ideas and experiences to life seamlessly across every touchpoint. 

“It’s no surprise they’ve attracted truly great talent, some of whom I’ve worked with for many years, created great work with and just as importantly, had a huge amount of fun with. It’s this combination of factors that made it very hard to say no,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mike Godwin, Bastion Creative’s CEO, noted, “Simon has been successfully leading creative departments for over a decade. He has a reputation for being an open, positive collaborator both within the agency and with clients, and is equally passionate about delivering memorable and highly effective work.”

Jack Watts, Bastion’s global CEO, commented that they are thrilled to welcome a creative leader of Langley’s calibre into the Bastion group, as his track record of nurturing creative minds to deliver truly world-class work is amongst the best in the region. 

“Combining this with our creative firepower in New Zealand will elevate our business to one of the finest creative agencies in the region. We are confident this will not only take our creative work to another level, but the entire Bastion business globally,” said Watts.

In March 2022, Bastion has announced two new recent high profile hires, namely Angela Morris, the new national chief strategy officer, and Ana Lynch, the new managing partner for Sydney. Both are charged with taking the Bastion creative business to the next level, along with Langley.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Bastion boosts creative team with two new senior hires

Australia  –  Australia-based marketing and communication agency Bastion has announced the appointment of two senior leaders as the company enters a new phase of growth. Bastion Creative welcomes Angela Morris as national chief strategy officer and Ana Lynch as Sydney managing partner.

Morris has over 20 years of global expertise in brand consulting, advertising, behavior change, and innovation, making her one of the industry’s most well-credentialed strategists. She has served on the Effies governing committee, the communications council board, and the APG as chair. Before joining Bastion, Morris was the national chief strategy officer at Wunderman Thompson 

Meanwhile, Lynch is known for her tenacity and passion for delivering award-winning work that has a positive influence on culture and business growth. She was also a partner at Wunderman Thompson, where she was in charge of the network’s top-paying paying multi-national and domestic clients. Lynch has led large client partnerships at some of Australia’s most well-known creative agencies, including Vodafone, Kellogg’s, Mars, P&G, J&J, Subway, Unilever, Nestlé, Federal and State Governments, and Not-for-profits.

On her appointment, Lynch said, “As I got to know Bastion it became clear they are a progressive independent network, that has serious momentum in their mission to forge an alternate path ahead. I am thrilled to be joining the team at such a pivotal time.” 

Morris emphasised, “I think the Bastion model is really interesting because it delivers the specialisms clients need today, including data intelligence, in an interconnected way that they can’t readily access elsewhere. This enables cross-discipline thinking and the delivery of more connected and compelling brand experiences.”

Mike Godwin, chief executive officer at Bastion Creative, shared, “As Australasia’s largest independent agency, our Australian creative team combined with our New Zealand-based creative offering Bastion Shine is now over 100 staff. We work collaboratively with the wider global Bastion Agency group, providing clients 300 of the market’s best experts across a unique breadth of disciplines.

“Ange and Ana bring the perfect balance of humanity and ambition to the leadership team and I’m excited about the ways they will help us build our clients’ brands and businesses going forward,” Godwin adds.

Meanwhile, Jack Watts, chief executive officer at Bastion Global, commented, “We are building the new world Agency here at Bastion, where clients can access wide thinking across the breadth of communications disciplines, delivered by specialists with deep expertise. It is a joy to add two absolute experts in their craft and all-round good people in Ana and Ange to our senior team.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Bastion launches new digital transformation consultancy, ‘Bastion Transform’

Australia – Independent agency Bastion has launched a new digital transformation and strategy consultancy, Bastion Transform, to be led by Gaven Morris, former director of news, analysis, and investigations of national broadcast station Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), as the consultancy’s CEO

Morris brings with him an extensive career, working previously as a senior media executive, international editorial leader, and journalist, seeing himself riding the waves of digital and broadcast change globally. Morris was also on the launch team of Europe, where he played a key role in building and launching broadcast and online news start-up Al Jazeera English.

In his new role as CEO, Morris will be overseeing the digital advisory, strategy, and organization renewal consultancy backed by the full resources of the broader Bastion business.

Commenting on his new appointment, Morris said that he is very excited to be joining the team and to work with purpose-driven partners and help organizations and institutions seeking to navigate their way towards an increasingly digital future.

“This fourth industrial revolution requires a clear vision, building effective cultures, and enacting purposeful plans to keep ahead of so much change,” said Morris.

Meanwhile, Jack Watts, Bastion’s founder and global CEO, shared that the birth of the consultancy comes from the increase in clients seeking help to fundamentally transform their organizations to prosper in the “new world”.

“Partnering with Gav to launch our new digital transformation consultancy, Bastion Transform, is a phenomenal opportunity for our business, people, and clients. We look forward to working with a range of clients, across industries and categories to guide them in delivering both their short and long-term digital transformation agendas,” said Watts.

In November this year, Bastion has announced the acquisition of New Zealand-based agency Shine, which will be its fifty-member team. The move aims to make Bastion one of the largest independent communications agencies across Australia and Asia.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Energy provider Alinta Energy debuts new brand platform, ‘That’s better’

Australia – Australian energy company Alinta Energy has unveiled its new brand position ‘That’s better™’ which it said aims to reflect the company’s focus on making tangible improvements for its customers, the environment and community across affordability, local service, renewable energy, and community support.

The new positioning was developed in partnership with integrated communications agency, Bastion Creative.

Amanda Hagan, Alinta Energy’s executive director for retail markets, said that the company wanted to ensure that ‘doing better’ for customers was fundamental to the brand purpose.

“I think this is a great position because we believe everything we do should be aimed at making things better for our customers, our staff, the environment and Australia. ‘That’s better™’ is an attitude that our whole organization can embrace to benefit our customers,” said Hagan.

The new communications direction was also launched together with an integrated campaign featuring Australian cricket legends.

The TVC features Australian cricket stars Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Marnus Labuschagne, and Aaron Finch brainstorming with Alinta Energy staff on ways to do ‘better’ for customers, highlighting its commitment to locally-based customer call centers and providing affordable energy products.

Bastion ECD Georgia Arnott said, “‘That’s better™’ encapsulates Alinta Energy’s quest to keep shaking up the category as both the incumbent gas retailer on Australia’s west coast, and a challenger electricity and gas brand in the east.”

“Seeing Pat Cummins answer his phone with his nose while contorted in a yoga pose epitomizes the Alinta Energy ethos of going the extra mile for customers,” adds Arnott.

The launch leverages Alinta Energy’s sponsorship as principal partner of the Australian Men’s Cricket Team.

The campaign released on 25 November will run throughout summer in Australia across TV, digital, and print.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Bastion acquires NZ agency Shine

Sydney, Australia – Following the company’s recent global rebranding from Bastion Collective, independent agency Bastion has recently acquired New Zealand-based agency Shine, a fifty-member team––now being added to Bastion’s team, accounting to more than 300-count workforce across offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Los Angeles, and New York.

Bastion’s acquisition of Shine sets it to become one of the largest independent communications agencies across Australia and Asia.

Through the acquisition, Shine will be rebranded as Bastion Shine, consisting of clients such as Air New Zealand, telecom Spark, energy company Genesis and Tip Top. Together, they will be joining Bastion’s global roster of clients, including Microsoft, Google, KFC, AIA, L’Oreal, and Carl’s Jr. 

According to Simon Curran, co-founder and CEO at Shine, they were looking for a partner that can help them scale their business more quickly than they can alone. Curran also noted that Bastion had given them the opportunity to not only access global markets in Australia and the US, but also to bring new capabilities into the New Zealand market.

“We weren’t really interested in being swallowed up by a global network, and after a meeting of minds and philosophy with Jack and the Bastion team, we knew we had found the right partners. They’re building a global independent model that has all the benefits of being part of a group, with the advantages of being independently run. For Shine, it’s an ideal scenario and we’re hugely excited about the opportunities this presents,” said Curran. 

Meanwhile, Jack Watts, founder and global CEO at Bastion, commented that their recent acquisition of Shine reflects their recent move of making a ‘New World Agency’, where they look for a partner who thinks wide across the breadth of communications disciplines, and believes that the future of agencies is independence at scale.

“In the team at Shine, not only did we find this, but we also we found a shared set of values and principles that I have rarely experienced. For more than a decade we have both built similar businesses on either sides of the Tasman and to unite now is beyond exciting for our business, our people and our clients. It felt right from the first meeting,” he added.

He also stated that creating the largest independent communications agency in Australasia mirrors the fact that more clients want independence after being under-serviced by multinational agencies.

“Looking back, March of 2020 was one of the defining moments in the 12 year history of Bastion. We quickly set in place a plan and we have stuck to it ever since. That plan was to make difficult decisions early, and then accelerate out hard as the multinational agencies were still waiting for someone in London or Paris to tell them what to do,” he stated.

Watts further added, “And that is exactly how it has played out. Since June of 2020 our business has been experiencing unparalleled growth as we continue to grow existing, and win major new accounts by providing clients access to wide thinking across the breadth of communications services, combined with deep expertise.”

Marketing Featured Global

AU comms agency Bastion Collective now Bastion, unveils new world agency model

Australia – Independent communications agency Bastion Collective, which has a presence in the US, Australia, and an integrated offering across Asia, has announced its rebranding as ‘Bastion’.

The rebranding will see a newly created world agency model, which caters to most agencies that still cling to an antiquated model fundamentally broken by the digital age. The agency emphasizes that the model is both ‘wide’ and ‘deep’ as it delivers a breadth of communications services and has strong expertise in each service offered.

Bastion said that the move creates one business with many services carrying the said deep expertise in each one, and wide thinking across the communications spectrum. Its service offerings work together in an integrated approach, as opposed to a collection of disconnected individual agencies. 

With the ‘Think Wide’, it will be offering capabilities such as under market research, brand and creative, and corporate and change communications, under one roof including PR and social media, and digital and customer experience, among others.

Jack Watts, Bastion’s founder and global CEO, commented that they are able to leverage the scale of a multinational across its over 250 staff globally, with the care and agility of an independent. 

“We have integrated Think Wide teams that service integrated accounts. Because we are one business, under one name, under one roof, we can actually all work together for the benefit of our clients, and deliver truly integrated work,” said Watts.

Some former Bastion Collective services have also rebranded “to do what it says on the tin” and better reflect each specialty. The ‘Bastion Effect’ has been rebranded to ‘Bastion Amplify’, while ‘Bastion RM’ is now Bastion Reputation, ‘Bastion EBA’ to ‘Bastion Experience’, and lastly, ‘Bastion Banjo’ changed to ‘Bastion Creative’.

In addition, Bastion said that it has joined Bastion Insights, Bastion Data, Bastion Performance, Bastion Interactive, Bastion Asia, and Bastion Films. It has also implemented company-wide initiatives to bake wide thinking into its culture and provide career development opportunities for employees, including the ‘Think Wide Academy’, which offers individual coaching and formal training in effective communication, business strategy, product sets, and process, and a ‘Think Wide Leap’ program, which enables staff to develop careers and broaden skills by working in another part of the business, and ‘Think Wide Giant Leap’, which is a pilot employee exchange program with Bastion in the US.

Watts noted that as their team members increasingly work with colleagues across the business and build their own skills in ‘thinking widely’, they won’t just become better at their chosen communications discipline, they will become better-integrated communications experts.

“Our objectives from here are to build the largest independent that ever existed in Australia, and build the largest independent on the West Coast of America. We see that as an 18-month to three-year journey. The new world needs a new world agency, and that’s what we intend to create here at Bastion,” stated Watts.

Marketing Featured ANZ

AU’s financial services firm AMP unveils new brand positioning in new campaign with Bastion

Australia – Financial services company AMP has partnered with strategic marketing and communications agency Bastion, to launch its new investment-focused advertising campaign that recognizes the importance of investing for all Australians.

AMP is a wealth management company with a growing retail banking business and investment management business. It provides retail clients with financial advice and superannuation, and retirement income, as well as banking, and investment products.

Titled ‘For the investor in all of us’, the campaign film highlights AMP’s focus on a diverse and broader customer base while reaffirming its 172-year heritage of supporting Australians. The key objective of the communications is to remind consumers of who AMP is and what it offers.

The company said that the creative and media strategy involves communicating the brand message to drive mass awareness of AMP’s new investment position, and beginning in October 2021, it will also be introducing product messaging to showcase the proof of products and services behind the new positioning.

Ben Lyttle, AMP’s chief strategy officer, noted this new brand position reflects an important truth about AMP, their products, and Australians.

“When we played it back to consumers, we saw a significant shift in how they perceived themselves, their money, and AMP. A shift that made them feel better about themselves and about the role of AMP in Australia. It made them think differently about their financial decisions too. It led to the idea to acknowledge the investor in all of us. It’s a simple reframing but a powerful demonstration that everything we do is an investment for a better tomorrow,” said Lyttle.

Meanwhile, Kath O’Shea, the client services director at Bastion, commented, “We couldn’t be prouder to have worked with the exceptional team at AMP to bring this new campaign to life, and the inclusive focus is something that particularly resonated with our team.”

The new campaign is available in mass reach channels such as TV, online video, and large and small format outdoor, as well as radio, and social.