New Zealand Marketing
SAATCHI BEING SAATCHI
It’s been well documented that SAATCHI & SAATCHI enjoyed a good 2021, welcoming new clients including Z Energy, Tourism New Zealand, DB Export, Tiger Beer and the ANZ FIFA Women’s World Cup, and winning a raft of local and global creative awards across To
WHAT MADE 2021 SUCCESSFUL FOR SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
I was pleased with the agency’s progress. We came together, and we achieved the first phase of our ‘Specialise, Weaponise & Connect’ transformation.
We specialised around our focus on cultural creativity. We weaponised through the launch of our Cultural Studio, and we accelerated our connect strategy to provide many clients with wider capability, technology solutions and digital transformation services from the Publicis Groupe connected platform [which Saatchi & Saatchi is part of ], creating connected ecosystems and experiences at pace.
We’ve now entered this year with the right balance of scale, talent, capability and focus. We’re excited about the possibilities ahead, and ready for whatever external forces may be thrown at our clients and any opportunities they wish to seize.
WHAT’S THE COMPANY FOCUSED ON IN 2022?
We exist for our client partners, so as always, we’re incredibly focused on delivery for them. To us, that’s exciting, though. We often talk about client ambitions and simply seeing what we can achieve together, so that’s the focus of the entire agency: producing ideas that help clients achieve their ambitions and flourish within New Zealand culture.
YOU MENTIONED CULTURAL CREATIVITY CAN YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THAT?
At our best, our ideas flourish in culture. We like creating ideas that allow brands to be part of culture and move with culture, and to connect brands with how Kiwis genuinely live. At its simplest, that’s cultural creativity to us. Many have different views, and that’s okay, but that’s ours. We’re a culturally driven, creative company [concerned with] what influences us, what we consume and what we love: the arts, music, food, sport, entertainment, our communities, ethnic values, sustainability, travel and all the different tastes within that — as a country, as communities, as individuals.
It’s also our belief that fringe culture often influences the masses, and that this mass culture influences the fringe. It’s anthropological when you think about it, but to us, New Zealand culture is just fascinating. We’ve therefore been working hard to help brands understand their audiences’ deeper beliefs, tastes and influences.
Under [the leadership of ] Chief Strategy Officer David Mcindoe, our Cultural Studio is designed to help brands learn. It provides both soft data — rich human insight and behaviour — and hard data, [meaning] quantitative, evidence-based numbers through our connected platform and research partners, to help brands understand their opportunities in culture and their positioning within it. From there, we can enable growth and brand strategy to achieve client ambitions.
WHAT’S THE COMPANY EXCITED BY RIGHT NOW?
The medium of film and moving content in all its forms. Saatchi has always had a deep relationship with storytelling and human connection through film and content. We think we do it quite well, especially under Steve Cochran’s artful eye, and that of his band of merry creators and integrated producers.
There has been much industry debate over the years surrounding high-cost versus low-cost production, but we’re excited by what film has progressively become and what you can achieve across entire brand ecosystems.
We often live through film and moving content. It moves us, connects us and informs us in all types of ways. We follow the impact in the Ukraine through Tiktok, we binge-watch series, we rally around movie and entertainment franchises, we
[enjoy] memes about our cultural interests. We dance, laugh and then cry through three thumb scrolls, while our kids watch Minecraft highlights on Youtube. We learn through documentaries and education platforms, we share through documenting our experiences and lives, we shop through Insta-stories and, yes, we watch advertising too.
Now, we also have new possibilities, through dynamic and personalised film through content engines and content distribution systems. We can further target, measure, listen and learn.
Of course, any medium is an opportunity, but film and content is progressing quickly again — as long as it’s good, relevant, in the right place and format, and effective. That’s what we’re excited about and investing in.
WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON THE TALENT CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?
I think if you know what you’re building for, you can get ahead of current talent challenges. As a connected platform and connected culture, the Publicis Groupe has been very focused on diversity, mobility, flexibility and career planning for our team members, so it’s helped us attract a diverse range of talent across the entire customer experience, and retain the best.
From a Saatchi point of view, we’re big on helping people express themselves through their work. The ability to achieve something bigger than yourself and create impact in a culture is something we know is attractive and are proud of.
WHO IS SAATCHI & SAATCHI INSPIRED BY?
Beyond New Zealand culture itself, we’re really inspired by creators and creative companies who’re unafraid to be themselves. I say that because I think the New Zealand creative industry is trying to be all things to all people.
Specialising around cultural creativity, weaponising around that, and connecting across our end-to-end capability has liberated Saatchi to be Saatchi — to be ourselves. To achieve that, we’ve spent a lot of time not forcing the company to be who we’re not, as people, but allowing the agency to be Saatchi, as a collective. This has allowed the team to arrive at a set of values that they can authentically call their own, which are:
• Nothing is more valuable than originality. We value the differences and individuality of people, diversity of experience and thought. It’s in the contrasts and collisions where magic can be found.
• Nothing is more potent than truth. We value honesty — being honest with ourselves, our partners, our clients and our audiences. Honesty creates stronger working relationships and stronger work.
• Nothing is more powerful than unity. We value the strength of collaboration. ‘One team, one dream’ has been a Saatchi & Saatchi expression for decades. [It’s about] the power of a single vision and determination to make it happen. • Nothing is more precious than home. We value this place we proudly call home, feel privileged to live in Aotearoa, and have a responsibility to care for its culture, society, water, land and air. • Nothing is more meaningful than a honk. We value each other, we look out for and support each other, we cheer each other on. Much like a flock of geese, no one is an island.
• And [finally] that at Saatchi, nothing is impossible.