Newly appointed Special Group media director, Briar Rowsell, has been working closely with the team at Special New Zealand since November 2020 to establish a media planning group – a natural evolution for Special Group who have always developed media-centred ideas that have creatively pushed categories to drive the best results for clients.
Says Tony Bradbourne, CCO and CEO, Special Group: “We’re the only non-traditional media agency in New Zealand to have won Best in Show at the Beacon Awards. It’s this blend of creative, strategic and media thinking that Special Media offers – and it’s unique in this market.”
Special Group have previously created award-winning television shows, documentaries, a year-long global social media campaign, personalised magazine covers, launched new TV channels and even put 60,000 lights on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge for the first time ever, then synced them up to kiwis’ mobile phone playlists.
This relentless innovation for their clients has delivered an incredibly successful 2020, with Special winning all of the ‘New Zealand Agency of the Year’ titles across Campaign Brief, Campaign Asia and B&T Agency of the Year Awards.
Says Bradbourne: “We launched Special to provide more innovative thinking, deliver stronger results and access to better talent than was currently available to clients. 13 years later we are recognised as the leading agency on both sides of the Tasman, have a growing international network and are winning global effectiveness awards for the results we generate for our clients. It’s now time to bring that same ambition to the media landscape.”
Briar will be based in Auckland after 14 years on the other side of the ditch leading both global and ANZ brands as well as championing media industry initiatives via the Media Federation of Australia.
Says Briar: “I couldn’t be more excited to be part of such a dynamic & well-regarded team – I’ve been an admirer from afar of the talked-about ideas that Special Group and Aotearoa are producing.”
With a background in planning and account leadership, Briar has a penchant for non-traditional touchpoints and an operational focus on freeing clients and agency teams from complexity that diverts energy from innovation and disruptive-thinking.
Says Briar: “We’ll do this through the same simple, agile and interest-based way-of-working that has led Special Group to success so far as a creative company. The media industry has been talking about it for a (very) long time but traditional media agency planning models are as frustrating and linear as ever.
“Media teams spend a lot of time producing large amounts of work that can be disjointed, irrelevant or even a rearticulation of what is already known, having little impact on the final go-to-market plan. Special Media we believe is different.
“We have creativity at the heart of our integrated thinking. We’re independent, which is a very rare thing in the New Zealand industry, and with that comes passion, honesty and accountability. And we believe in innovation to create fame and disrupt the status-quo. The result is ambitious, and ultimately more effective, media thinking brand experiences and touchpoints.”