Spark & Rapp consciously uncouple, as telco taps Proximity

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Spark has selected Proximity as its agency partner for data driven marketing following a review of agency requirements. The incumbent was RAPP. Proximity will now work alongside Clemenger Group agency Touchcast, Spark’s digital agency of record.

“The rebrand was a defining moment in Spark’s transformation from family landline-provider to digital services company,” said Summer Ormond, general manager of customer & capability at Spark. “We have for some time been shifting our focus to digital channels, but with the brand change embedded it’s time to take the next step.

“This means using digital technology to totally reimagine the customer experience we offer – an experience that should be both effortless and inspiring. “This new focus will require a more joined up digital and data solution to work with internal technology teams, and so has led us to review our supplier mix.

“The combined capabilities of Proximity and Touchcast will allow Spark to harness the power of data and digital in truly innovative and agile ways.

“Over the past three years Proximity has invested significantly in world class talent, including hiring Wayne Pick as ECD from RAPP New York, Gavin Becker as the head of digital innovation and technology from Twitter, and most recently Amy Phillips from CHE Proximity with a view to delivering world class digital and direct work.

“This focus coincides with a stage of significant evolution in the communications sector in New Zealand and the types of products and services Spark is providing its customers.”

Proximity head of direct & CRM Amy Phillips said: “Spark is on an incredibly exciting customer inspired journey. It’s innovative and bold and so are we. We’ve been working hard to build the best digital direct and CRM agency in New Zealand so we’re thrilled to be able to continue this momentum with Spark.”

Proximity ceo Nick Garrett said: “Being appointed as Spark’s data driven agency is testament to the incredible team that has been built. The team presented bloody impressive thinking and creative – it’s going to be fantastic to now deliver it.”

The announcement means that after eight years of ground breaking work together, Spark and direct agency Rapp will part ways. “Rapp played a crucial role in the rebrand from Telecom to Spark last year, and has since helped Spark deliver highly successful campaigns in Broadband, Mobile and SME,” Ormond said. “It has been a true partner, agitating for change to a bolder, more customer-centric approach from Telecom, now Spark, and remaining firmly committed to our commercial outcomes.

“It’s been a fantastic ride, and is great to finish working together at a point where we both have new and exciting challenges to move on to.”

Rapp managing director Robert Limb said: “We’ve been talking with Spark for some time now, about where next in the wake of the hugely successful rebrand project, which we’re immensely proud to have played such a pivotal role in.

“Spark is at the beginning of a journey to improve its technology and data capability, so now’s a good time for us to take a break in our relationship, while they get on with that work. It’s tough, but that’s business!

“Rapp is focussed on the future with some significant wins, including taking on new projects for Air New Zealand and Westpac in the past two months.  Our team is pleased to be able to draw on the tremendous learning and insight gained through the Spark rebrand project, to really rip into these exciting new projects.”


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