The company which gave us the iconic Rachel Hunter and "Togs or Undies" advertising campaigns is on the hunt for a new creative partner.
Ice cream producer Tip Top is currently engaged in a pitch, which has been narrowed to three of the biggest names in Kiwi advertising.
Colenso BBDO, DDB NZ and Shine are currently vying against each other for a shot at helping to grow the Tip Top brand in the local market.
The agencies involved have all refused to comment on their involvement, but Tip Top head of marketing Steph Stuart did confirm to the Herald the company had sent out a brief to a number of creative agencies.
"As many businesses are doing, we run a model where the creative partner we work with depends on the job to be done," said Stuart, without elaborating further on the nature of the brief.
Tip Top has long worked with Colenso BBDO, previously as part of the Fonterra suite of businesses.
However, the ice cream company was sold by Fonterra to global giant Froneri for $380 million earlier this year.
A regular industry source told the Herald the pitch shows Froneri's willingness to put money into the Tip Top brand and increase its prominence in the local market.
The source says this contradicts the concerns many had about an international owner not investing sufficiently in a beloved Kiwi brand.
"It's interesting it's taken an overseas company to invest in the brand after years of neglect from Fonterra," the source said.
Advertising veteran Ben Goodale wasn't as convinced that Fonterra had neglected the brand, saying Tip Top has always functioned with relative independence from Fonterra – which is part of the reason it was relatively easy for the dairy giant to divest the ice cream business.
Goodale also pointed out that Tip Top has released a range of new products in recent years, including the Whittaker's range, Kapiti ice blocks and the Top Notch premium offering.
Despite consistently serving up new treats, there are two ads that still stand above all other marketing material to represent the Tip Top brand.
The first, going back decades, features Rachel Hunter sinking her gnashers into a Trumpet cone.
The enduring quality of what is a relatively ordinary ad lies in the nostalgia, says Goodale.
"As people get older they tend to get more nostalgic and look back at certain moments," the ad guy told the Herald.
So could the next Tip Top ad agency be tempted to tap into this nostalgia and bring back Hunter for old time's sake?
It depends on what they're trying to achieve, says Goodale.
"If they're looking to appeal to mums and mainstream consumers then Rachel might still be able to do a good job."
He points to her recent work with Uber Eats as evidence of her continued ability to pull off ambassador gigs effectively.
However, Goodale isn't as convinced that Hunter would be the right choice if the Tip Top is looking to increase its relevance among a younger audience.
To do this, he says the ad agency might be better advised to take a few tips from the "Togs and Undies" ad that came out a little more recently.
Goodale says a modern interpretation of something this fun and offbeat could catch the attention of viewers online and on traditional media.
New Zealanders will, however, have to wait until next year to see what the new agency delivers, given that the major ice cream companies would have already signed off on much of their summer marketing for this year.
"We may have to wait until next summer to see what the new agency has planned," Goodale says.