Arrivals & Departures: NZ helmer joins Photoplay, new faces at Vocus

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NZ internet service provider Vocus Communications (formerly M2) – a combo of Slingshot, Flip and Orcon – has appointed Luke Meurant as marketing manager of Flip, and Sophia Berry-Smith as communications manager across all three Vocus brands – Slingshot, Orcon and Flip. 

With 10 years’ experience as a multidisciplinary marketer, Meurant began his career at Spark where he worked across both consumer and business marketing teams; he then moved to Kordia, where he was responsible for setting up and leading the marketing function.

Most recently he has worked for Samsung Electronics New Zealand, responsible for B2B marketing, channel and territory marketing, and consumer product marketing.

Berry-Smith joins Vocus from boutique agency Intelligent Ink, where she was responsible for managing PR and strategy, content creation and copywriting across a number of accounts. Prior to that, Sophia worked for DDB’s Mango Communications.

She has managed campaigns for not-for-profit, healthcare, fashion and retail, tech, design and tourism clients, so the world of telecommunications will be a welcomed challenge to add to the toolkit.

“It’s great having Sophia on board and we look forward to Luke joining in the next fortnight,” said Vocus GM Taryn Hamilton. “Their skillsets will enable them both to make change within the business – and it’ll be great to have some new personalities in the fold.

“With Luke’s advanced experience in developing marketing teams and brand architectures for multi-nationals, he will be able to put his lens on the Flip business and support its model of producing the best value internet service for Kiwis.”

“Sophia will bring a fresh approach to the way we manage both internal and external communications.”

Photoplay signs award-winning Kiwi
Sydney-based Photoplay Films has signed award-winning New Zealand film and television director Brendan Donovan for commercial representation in Australia and New Zealand.

“Making the move across to advertising, Donovan is the director behind VCCP’s recent Ancestry Come Find Me campaign, and brings with him a sophisticated visual style and understanding of storytelling,” says Photoplay Films executive producer Oliver Lawrance.

“In the campaign, he brought to life the challenging stories of Australia’s early pioneer settlers, which required strong performance and talent direction.”

“Donovan’s work as a writer and director on the New Zealand Trade campaign, We Do Things Differently, as well as the award winning films Aftershock and The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell, illustrate his strong performance direction and unique cinematic style,” Lawrance said. “His popular TV series The Insiders Guide to Love also received mainstream attention with audiences across Australia.”

Donovan says he’s excited about the move into commercial content and is attracted by the industry’s growing demand for high quality content production in the online sphere.

“The success of the Ancestry campaign came down to the success of its storytelling. The actors were imbued with a deep background story that is emotive and believable and we are pulled into the story because of their performances.

“Advertising is going through a golden age of online content that seeks to reward people with great stories, craft and execution. Consumers now expect a high level of engagement and you can only win their emotional investment by appealing to their appetite for strong, unique storytelling.”

Oliver Lawrance said: “I was immediately drawn to Brendan’s Ancestry campaign. It’s powerful, potent storytelling. I’m extremely impressed with the performance direction but also the simplicity in the execution and art direction. Brendan is seriously talented. ”

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