Aaron White isn’t one to mince words. In fact he’s annoyingly articulate, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as he fronts Stanley St, the newly independent Wellington advertising agency.
“Although we do have a branch office in Auckland,” Aaron says with what I suspect is a typical deadpan delivery before explaining what makes the company different.
“Our solutions are always agnostic. If we can solve the problem without leaving the room, then the problem gets solved quicker. So yeah, agility, that’s our difference.”
“We’re integrated too,” he says. “Media, creative, social, digital, design, the whole shebang. It’s all under one roof,” continues Aaron rattling off at least eight other disciplines that are available in the Lambton Quay office. The power of this integration is clearly evident in the work, winning them awards up the wahzoo; the most recent being the coveted Effie for Best Integrated Campaign.
And if not done right? “There’s nothing worse than having to have that conversation we don’t want to have but I’ve always been taught to own my mistakes,” says Aaron. “Own them quickly and don’t shy away from them.” So is there a secret, I wonder aloud? “I’m a detective,” he laughs, from way out in left field. “No, seriously. I’m really curious, and the secret to this business is asking questions. And then more questions.” I point out that anyone reading this might find his answer rather simplistic. “Maybe, but it’s true,” he says.
He appears to be on a roll as he moves on to differences between the two cities. “You’ll never see this in a brief, but by and large Wellington clients are all about trust and confidence, it’s how their success is measured, and if done right, our work can make a huge contribution to that.” Explains Aaron.
“How much advertising could be so much better by being so much simpler?” Quite a lot, I would’ve thought. “You can’t have the word ‘and’ in a single minded proposition,” he says for emphasis. Quite right too. “But the real trick,” says Aaron “is in having a relationship with a client where you don’t give them what they want, but what they dream of.”
Now there’s a thought. “Oh, and be open,” he adds somewhat as an afterthought. “Open and transparent.” Which of course is Stanley St all over.
Aaron is one of the 150 new owners of Stanley St.
Stanley St. Open, for business.
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