When Kiwibank went to market and asked for agencies to get involved with an ‘unpitched’ pitch process, the response was incredible. Some of the best and brightest agencies, one-man-shops, and consultancies threw their respective hats into the ring. And after a thorough process Kiwibank has appointed 99 as its lead strategic and creative agency partner, responsible for all above the line brand and retail work.
The timing couldn’t be better as both brands meet in a similar state of change. Both see themselves as challengers in their category, both have shifted focus to the customer, and both have a focus on robust and intelligence-led strategy, strong and relevant creative, and measurable and adaptable campaigns.
Says Troy Fuller, managing director, 99: “The ‘unpitched pitch’ worked really well as far as we were concerned. Rather than the usual beauty parade where everything hangs on one meeting, we got a chance to really work together and properly get to know each other and the businesses. The chemistry was great from the get-go. We’re excited to work together on one of New Zealand’s best brands.”
Says Simon Hofmann, head of brand and marketing, Kiwibank: “99’s challenger mindset is aligned with Kiwibank and the teams are an excellent fit. We have to do things differently to compete with the budgets of the Aussie owned banks and their new focus on experience is really exciting for us. We’ve had a fast start together and we couldn’t be happier with how things have kicked off.”
Under its new remit, 99 will partner with media agency OMD to help set the future strategic direction with the Kiwibank team and the model will see a different approach to driving alignment between media and creative.
“We think we should see much closer alignment between the two which is really exciting. It challenges the majority of set- ups we see across the industry and we’re committed to experimenting with other models in the future.”
99 are currently recruiting for the account director and account manager roles in Wellington.