Executives and creatives from ad-land went on safari last night, celebrating success at The Langham for the 2016 Direct Marketing Awards.
Air New Zealand, with agencies FCB New Zealand and True, and Foodstuffs New Zealand with agency justONE took out the top gongs on the night, winning Grand Prix and the Nexus Supreme respectively.
Air New Zealand's "Great Mates" campaign was applauded by the judges who said its game engagement, connection to sales, social metrics and evidence of results made it stand out from the pack. They said FCB and True's work also delivered a great return on investment for the client.
Foodstuffs also impressed, following on from its success as Direct Marketing Organisation of the Year at the 2015 awards.
This year, the judges said the company's demonstration of a clear and strong strategic vision to create its own loyalty programme, New World Clubcard, delivered excellent results, securing the company the Supreme Nexus.
It said the programme's strong customer uptake and engagement was testament to its success.
Highlight of the evening was the decor, with the Marketing Association going all out in Safari theme.
The Langham was set up with screens around the room and a centre stage to celebrate the winners, as waiters dressed as intrepid explorers passed out champagne.
In typical marketing event style, host Michele A'Court had her job cut out for her wrangling the room, as agencies celebrated their bronze, silver and gold wins with most sticking around to continue the party.
This year, it was competitor Countdown who took out the coveted Keith Norris Direct Marketing Organisation of the Year Award. Judges said Countdown's direct programme was at the heart of the organisation.
"What is really impressive is the value data insights have had in not just driving communication but better business decisions that further deliver results," judges said.
Michael Summers-Gervai, Head of Customer Analytics at Genesis Energy, was awarded the Direct Marketer of the Year accolade.
Sophia Cooper and Malcolm Hayes from The Brandbach and University of Otago took out the Student Marketer of the Year award.
Other big winners on the night were FCB with 21 awards, justONE with 18 awards, ten of these with client AMP and four with Foodstuffs, and Colenso BBDO/Proximity who celebrated a total of 18 wins.
Chemistry Interaction secured 16 awards, ten of these with client Sovereign Insurance, while SpeakData and New Zealand Cricket proved a winning combination with 7 shared wins. Similarly successful was Done By Friday with Gareth Morgan Investments.
The awards, which are hosted by the Marketing Association sponsored by New Zealand Post, are held annually to celebrate the clients, agencies, consultancies and suppliers who have exhibited excellence in direct marketing projects and campaigns.