New Zealand's biggest spender on advertising in the supermarket sector is currently pitching for a new ad agency.
After receiving enormous interest in the account, New World has shortlisted three agencies to potentially work on its business: DDB, FCB and Pitchblack.
The shortlist of pitch finalists indicates that the supermarket will be parting ways with incumbent ad agency 99, which has worked on the business for the past nine years.
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In narrowing it down to this spread, New World is leaving the door open to a range of very different options.
DDB has garnered a reputation as one of the best advertising storytellers in the local market through its work with Lotto NZ, McDonald's and various other major brands.
Meanwhile, FCB has been the driving force behind one of the most successful supermarket marketing campaigns to date: Pak'nSave's Stickman. While advertising agencies are usually restricted to one client per category, Pak'nSave and New World are both owned by Foodstuffs. Depending on how you look at it, this could be seen as a positive or a negative for the agency.
The dark horse in this race is definitely the independent agency Pitchblack, which was only formed about a year ago. While small compared to its competitors, the agency has some serious advertising firepower behind it in the shape of industry veterans Josh Moore and Jono Key – both of whom previously worked on the Countdown account.
Given a hefty non-disclosure agreement, none of the agencies involved would comment on the process.
According to Nielsen's advertising spend data, New World spent more on advertising in 2019 than either Pak'nSave or Countdown. The figures show that New World spent $62 million to the $51m spent by Countdown and the $23m by Pak'nSave. In the previous two years, New World was, however, outspent by Countdown.
The New World marketing team first announced its creative agency review in December last year, attracting interest from many of the country's biggest ad agencies.
Pippa Prain, head of New World marketing & CX, told the Herald she felt the time was right to refresh the creative direction behind the company.
"The start of a new decade is the perfect time to better align our agency capabilities and in-house talent to deliver a first-class experience for our customers in 2020 and beyond," Prain said.
"The potential with the New World brand is limitless. New World is an iconic Kiwi brand and we look forward to seeing what creative genius comes out of this process."
Prain said the process was being run by marketing management consultancy Trinity P3 and that a new agency would be announced in due course.