Making a difference

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Hamilton/Tauranga full-service indie agency King St is celebrating 6630 days in business – a brilliant feat in an era where many businesses fail to see out the first two years.

The agency was created on Saturday 19 June 1999 when founder/ceo Chris Williams left big agency life (GAD at Saatchi & Saatchi, Colenso BBDO, and DDB) and joined forces with Judy Coulter of Rimmington Advertising to form King St (Coulter is financial director).

“My mother used to say to me, “Christopher, pride comes before a fall”, Williams recalls.

“Good advice, among a lot she gave me over the years. But over the week we turned 18 I took some time to look back with pride over what we’d achieved.

“Many would say that simply lasting that long is something to be proud of. I don’t ascribe to this notion. I didn’t buy into the business just to survive; it was all about growing and making a difference. That’s what we get out of bed for.

“Looking back over the 18 years, the first thing that comes to mind is change. In 1999 there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and the impact of the internet was only just starting to be felt. We bought traditional media channels and it was all relatively simple.

“How life has changed. We’ve needed to become experts in digital and social media and learn how to integrate it into the business.

“It’s been challenging but also very stimulating. With this change, the emphasis is also changing, which comes with a note of caution. I worry that we’ve become slaves to analysis, clicks, impression counts and measurability at the expense of focusing on customer insight, quality ideas and well-crafted execution.

“These are the elements of our business that will never change, so we can’t be driven by metrics when the most important one is what impression we are making on the audience. So I’ll be reinforcing this to the King St team and all our clients.

“Along the way, there have been so many highs and lows, it’s impossible to summarise. Every win has been a highlight, along with every successful campaign. The long-standing relationships we’ve had with all our clients is a true highlight and we thank every one of our clients for their business and continued faith in us.”

Konrad Smith RIP
“We’ve also had our lows, none more so than the loss of our colleague Konrad Smith in 2015 who died at such a young age. King St will never forget him, and his old workspace is now a proud memorial to him.

“My personal highlight has been the amazing and talented people whose paths I’ve crossed over the last 18 years. King St team members, past and present, clients, media reps, creative service people, partners, suppliers, and many more.

“Thanks so much for making King St a very healthy 18-year-old. And the great thing is … we’re only just getting started.”

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