Colenso was named as TVNZ's 'agency of choice' in October 2009, when the Brent Smart/Jason Paris agency-client combo was in effect. But, judging by some of the national broadcaster's recent projects, that doesn't appear to be the case any more.
While Colenso's campaign for The Pacific in 2010 won plenty of awards, the creative work has dried up a bit since then. Conversely, Contagion, which was started by Dean and Bridget Taylor in October 2010 and kicked off with the Tourism New Zealand account, has been heavily involved with TVNZ's last few creative projects, including the Shortland St Lookalikes campaign and the recent Judge the Jury app at the AXIS Awards.
TVNZ's business marketing manager Lexie Ribot also confirmed Contagion is helping with some new branding and strategy work for a new trade marketing campaign.
Colenso's managing director Nick Garrett says the agency is still working with TVNZ, but more on ideas and strategy than on execution, which is in part because TVNZ has its own creative department.
"We love TVNZ. It's a great brand and there are some great people there but yes, the amount of work has been decreasing over the past 12 months. It has always worked with a number of agencies, but we're looking forward to seeing how TVNZ operates under the new chief executive [Kevin Kenrick, who is due to arrive soon and has a history of working in marketing-led companies]."
Contagion's creative director Bridget Taylor wasn't saying too much, but she's obviously happy to have had the call up for the last few projects.
"We have produced work we are all really proud of and are enjoying a great working relationship," she says. "Long may it last."
As well as the recent TVNZ work, there's been plenty of other good news for Contagion recently, after being chosen to turn up the volume for Tasti and to work on the Sir Peter Blake Trust account. It has also brought experienced campaigner Richard Thompson on board as a partner and head of media channels, bumping up the agency's total head count to 17.