Pitch Watch: Qantas starts creative search; Kinetic Super; Gold Coast Commonwealth Games seeks partners; NRL moves creative

qantasMumbrella casts an eye over the major media, creative and public relations pitches at play in market.

In this wrap-up the latest on Qantas (creative); 2016 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (creative); NRL season launch (decided pitch); Kinetic Super (decided pitch); Surfstitch (decided pitch).

Qantas creative account ready to fly

Having found its marketing mojo under the guidance of the late Neil Lawrence, Qantas is believed to have turned its attention to the makeup of its creative agency roster in the wake of his death.

Creative for the airline was effectively left in limbo following the sudden death of Lawrence just after he had signed off on the airline’s most recent campaign.

At the same time, Droga5, which had been sitting on the sidelines after completing a range of projects for the airline and Qantas Frequent Flyers in 2014, announced it was closing its doors.

While it appears a review to address the situation is now underway, Qantas has not commented on its plans.

Earlier this year Qantas’s top marketer, Olivia Wirth, told the Travel Marketing Summit that the airline was focused on using the right agency for the right project and that roster would be continually changing based on the airlines needs.

She said of the work Lawrence had done for Qantas: “Neil Lawrence was the right person [for the Feels Like Home campaign]. We worked with him for 12 to 18 months and he was absolutely the right person. He understands Australia.”

Agencies including With Collective, Cummins & Partners and Special Group are all on the roster for the airline, although it’s unclear at this stage who is involved in the pitch.

Update: Qantas has released a statement confirming the creative review is underway.

“We have been reviewing our creative agency roster and we’re coming towards the end of this process. We will always use a mix of agencies to suit the various needs of the business,” a spokesperson said.

Kinetic Super appoints JWT Melbourne

J Walter Thompson’s Melbourne office has won the Kinetic Super account handling all of its below-the-line after a competitive pitch, Mumbrella can reveal.

The business includes digital, member campaigns and internal brand projects.

Lynda Cavalera, head of marketing at Kinetic Super, said of the appointment: “As our Fund continues to evolve in a highly competitive category and to ensure ongoing success, we were looking for the right agency ‘fit’ and we believe we’ve found that with J Walter Thompson Melbourne.”

JWT Melbourne general manager Nick Muncaster said the agency would be working to break down some of the barriers people found when trying to sort out their super.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games begins agency search

Event managers for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast have started the event’s first competition, launching the search for a creative agency.

The games will be the biggest event in Australia in 2018 and agencies are being asked to submit interest through the Queensland Government Tenders website.

The launch of the pitch follows the recent appointment of a campaign manager for the games.

Tenders for the creative services contract close on December 14.


NRLArchibald/Williams to kick off NRL season

The National Rugby League has appointed Sydney agency Archibald/Williams to create the 2016 season launch campaign, one of the code’s flagship marketing moments.

In a pitch which included three other agencies, Archibald/Williams will also develop campaigns to market the Easter and ANZAC NRL rounds.

Bram Williams, co-founder of the agency, said the win was a significant one.

The NRL Telstra Premiership season launch will take place in February and billings for the account have not been disclosed.

Frank PR takes on Surfstitch

Frank PR is ending 2015 on a high after winning the account for emerging online surf retailer Surfstitch.

Appointing the PR company comes as the company continues to cement its position as the worlds biggest online surfwear retailer through a series of acquisitions.

Frank joins the business as it moves to consolidate its hold on the US market through the US Swell brand.

Managing director Polly Atherton said the breadth of the business was one of the attractions of working with Surfstitch.

“It has developed a strong suite of content networks enabling it to become so much more than just a online retailer but rather a platform and publisher for all things surf-related,” said Atherton.

Along with Surfstitch, Frank has also added a number of other new clients including  the new bar and restaurant concept, Hunter & Barrel, music all-dayer event, Vibes on a Summers Day, and juice and smoothie bar, Bondi Juice Co.

Simon Canning


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