Michael Easton, MD at KRd shop Goodfolk (www.goodfolk.co.nz) shares his philosophy and a few insights with M+AD readers …
Tell us about your agency and what you do?
We’re an independent creative agency who helps our clients bring their brands to life, anywhere, through brand strategy, creative direction and tactical delivery.
What’s your creative philosophy and approach and why is it different?
A good brand can do great things. It just needs people to breathe life into it. That’s why we focus on getting people on board with a brand, both internally and externally, so that it becomes a living, breathing success. That might be through design work, videos, an ad, an event – the right medium depends on the particular challenge we’re dealing with. And we’re determined to be good people to work with.
What is the most important trend you’re seeing in the New Zealand advertising industry?
In-house production is a trend across marketing in general. Anyone can get their hands on the tools to create a piece of communication and send it out into a media channel. So agencies need to work harder to bring their strategic insights, creative ideas and craft to the table, and prove their value.
What’s the one domestic campaign (that isn’t yours) that’s really caught your eye in the last 12 months?
One that caught our eye recently in the Goodfolk studio was the Monteith’s Meatpack Hunt – partly because one of our designers won one. But we liked the end-to-end experience of it. It was visible out in the market and in social media, it was fun to engage with, the prize package was beautifully put together and we all stood around unboxing it and discussing it when it arrived. But we didn’t get to eat any of it because she wouldn’t share.
You have a number of clients that have been with you a while (like Gen-i); why’s that?
Because they value the understanding Goodfolk has of their business. Continuing to invest in the quality of our client relationships means that our creative partnerships get better over time.
What was your motivation for getting involved in We Can Create and Semi-Permanent?
Our involvement was about giving something back to our industry, getting world-class creative people sharing their work and their experiences. Running those kinds of events is rewarding, but it’s a massive undertaking too. We’re taking a break from it for now to direct our focus on those who matter most – our clients.
You’ve deliberately eschewed the awards that other agencies submit work to; why?
Awards can be a useful tool for agencies, but you need a deliberate strategy for them rather than an ‘enter everything and cross your fingers’ approach. And in a small agency, they need to be delivering value back to your clients in some way too. We’ve stayed away from them while building up the Goodfolk business; they’re back on our radar now.
What is it that makes New Zealand agencies different from others around the world, if indeed at all?
Versatility and ingenuity – pretty much the same things that have always set successful New Zealand companies apart, whatever industry they are in. We learn to do more with less, which creatively can take you to some pretty interesting places.
Where do you want Goodfolk to be in five years time?
We have a solid plan for sustained growth over the next five years, which includes looking for new business. But it’s also built on helping our existing clients breathe more life into their brands, and actively pursuing new opportunities for them. We don’t want to put any limitations on what we’re capable of ultimately achieving – we’re aiming for the lofty peaks of unbridled creative and commercial success. That’ll do us.
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