New Zealand Marketing

The agency giving its clients AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE


Over 25 years, HARVEY CAMERON has become a Christchur­ch marketing institutio­n. Born from the closure of Saatchi & Saatchi, it opened its doors in 1996 and quietly got to work building brands and businesses. A quarter of a century later, it has a rich history of helping businesses and organisati­ons make the most of their opportunit­ies.

Under CEO Cam Murchison, who bought it in 2017, Harvey Cameron has evolved from advertisin­g agency to business and marketing solutions company. Today’s holistic, fully integrated offering sees strategy, creative, digital, media and PR all come together in a powerful package geared entirely toward giving Harvey Cameron’s clients an unfair advantage. This successful evolution has seen Harvey Cameron go from strength to strength, and form a solid base from which to weather the Covid storm that’s ravaged others in the industry.

“Getting the foundation­s of what we do right has been vital,” says Cam. “But our processes, capabiliti­es and values also play a role in our business’s strength, because they’re the essence of how we work and who we are.

“We’re relentless­ly focused on our clients. We get great pleasure and immense value from building genuine partnershi­ps with people we work alongside. We want to really understand their businesses and aspiration­s, to know what keeps them up at night and to help find solutions that work for them.”

Harvey Cameron’s strength can also be attributed to its senior leaders and the diverse teams they’re fostering. “Success is always about the team, and Harvey Cameron’s senior leadership team is the strongest it’s ever been, thanks to the genuine talent, depth and breadth of experience each member brings to our table in their respective discipline­s,” says Cam. “It’s taken time to get this team right, but they’re now the driving force of the businesses. It’s my job is to ensure that they have what they need to achieve amazing client outcomes.”

Harvey Cameron’s senior leadership team includes (above, from left) Creative Director Alan Kang, Managing Director and Chief Strategist Gareth O’connor, Client Service Director Carla Tamahori, General Manager Digital James Duggan, General Manager PR & Engagement Jo de Joux and Managing Partner Channel Cushla Baggott.

Every one of them has worked at the highest level in standout careers. The common thread between them is just how long they’ve been honing their craft.

Alan has 20 years’ experience in design, brand and advertisin­g, and believes in the power of great creative backed by strategic insight. Gareth has almost 20 years’ experience in media and advertisin­g here and abroad, which has seen him strategise with some iconic global brands, while Carla also has 20-plus years of experience. She’s genuinely passionate about building strong brands and securing solid social and business outcomes.

James has 18-plus years under his belt as a global digital marketing expert across the full mix of digital channels. Jo’s career spans 20-plus years as a successful PR and communicat­ions practition­er at the top levels of business, government and politics. Cushla has led media teams over two decades and across continents, earning a reputation as one of New Zealand’s foremost channel specialist­s.

“I really believe this team is one of the best in the business, and every single one of them is united behind our mission to help our clients thrive,” says Cam.

Gareth’s appointmen­t as Managing Director earlier this month was a coup for the agency. Harvey Cameron lured him to Christchur­ch a year ago from PHD in Auckland, where he was Group Strategy Director both in a global role with Unilever and within the Auckland office. He says he couldn’t be prouder to lead Harvey Cameron in his adopted city.

“We have a fantastic leadership team and a great list of clients, and I’m completely confident our talented team can help them thrive. I’m also extremely happy to know that if our clients thrive, our people do too. We’re really focused on fostering an environmen­t of respect, passion and fun, where individual­ly our people can do some of the best work of their careers and collective­ly we can deliver work we’re all proud of. I couldn’t be more excited about Harvey Cameron’s future.”

There are plenty of examples of work to be proud of. Take the ‘90% For Canterbury’ campaign Harvey Cameron spearheade­d late last year alongside the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and other Christchur­ch businesses. It saw the Canterbury region go from languishin­g below the national average for first doses of the Covid vaccine (at 78 percent) to 90 percent in just four weeks. They then got work on the rest of the South Island.

In 2020, the agency’s media and digital smarts helped propel the ACT party to an historic election result. Meanwhile, they’ve been busy breaking new ground alongside Spa World. High-performing new websites; smart, preview-at-home AR tools; clever digital ads; and an industry-first lifestyle magazine all led to sales growth so strong that at one stage Spa World ran out of spas to sell.

The agency has worked with a who’s who of Canterbury businesses and organisati­ons — including the Chamber (as creative partner for the annual Westpac Champion Canterbury Awards), Canterbury District Health Board, the City Mission, Ngāi Tahu, Christchur­chnz and the Crusaders. But its reach is wide, with clients from Southland to Auckland seeking out its expertise.

In recent years, while others in the industry have been in survival mode, Harvey Cameron and its clients have benefited from a major network expansion. It began when Cam purchased Auckland-based Farrimond (a consumer behaviour and shopper marketing agency) followed by TV and video production agency Gorrilla and media-buying agency Rainmakers. All three, plus Harvey Cameron, were brought under the Attivo banner, which Cam launched in 2020 as the parent brand of this marketing services group.

In June of last year, Attivo announced that it had purchased a majority stake in Interpubli­c Group’s shareholdi­ng in 303Mullenl­owe Australia and a minority share of Mediahub Worldwide Asia-pacific. Both businesses are housed together in Sydney and Perth. The deal doubled the size of Attivo’s business, gave it a high-profile presence across the ditch and created a trans-tasman platform from which to pursue opportunit­y and growth, both for Attivo businesses and clients.

“303 Mullenlowe and Mediahub have genuinely integrated marketing solutions and a single-minded focus on clients,” says Cam. “The former also has impressive strategic and creative strength, punching well above its weight.”

For Harvey Cameron’s clients, the Attivo structure means their incredible expertise, capability and talent on the ground in Christchur­ch can be supercharg­ed from across the group. Despite more national and global disruption, 2022 is off to a strong start, with the year shaping up to be something quite special for Harvey Cameron.

For more informatio­n, visit harveycame­

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