In an industry sometimes known for short-term, campaign-driven thinking, the partnership between Kiwi ad agency Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu and automaker Subaru has been acknowledged as something of an exception.
This week, the pair was declared the most successful marketing partnership across Asia Pacific at the annual APAC Marketing Awards event.
The partnership between them stretches back 22 years to 1996, when Subaru managing director Wallis Dumper and Daniel Barnes, founder of what was then Barnes, Catmur & Friends, met to discuss a marketing approach to raise Subaru's profile in New Zealand.
Dumper says that from the outset, the aim was always to set the brand apart.
"Part of our marketing ethos has been to dare to be different and way back in 1996 when we chose to partner with Daniel Barnes we were doing just that," he says.
Dumper says the willingness of the agency to innovate over the years has played a big role in ensuring the longevity of the partnership.
This award is particularly significant in that partnerships between marketing departments and their agencies have been undermined in recent years by the declining tenure of chief marketing officers in a single company.
A 2016 UK study found that the average tenure of a chief marketing officer has dropped to around 18 months.
As marketing departments change, agencies often end up becoming a casualty as new marketing bosses look to change things up.
Another by-product of these shorter tenures is that marketers look for short-term gains, rather than longer-term brand building.
On a recent visit to New Zealand, researcher Peter Field noted that this short-termism was hurting businesses.
He said that if businesses just focus on short-term marketing results, this will eventually undermine the strength of the brand in the long run.
He said strong branding had become particularly important in the increasingly digital media landscape.
"The world in which brands are now competing with each other in the digital sense is viciously crowded and wildly competitive," he said in an interview with the Herald.
"And in that kind of environment, if you haven't got a powerful brand, you are stuffed."