Noisy Beast goes global in ad deal with P&G-Teva-Swisse joint venture* for 30 countries

By Paul McIntyre | 23 June 2014
Nicole Kidman for Swisse Wellness

TV broadcasters the world over will be stampeding to independent Melbourne advertising and media buying agency Noisy Beast after it beat more fancied international rivals to win the global contract to take the big spending Australian vitamins and supplements brand Swisse Wellness to 30 countries in the next two years.

The Melbourne-based wellness company struck a deal last year with Geneva-based PGT Healthcare, a joint venture between the world’s biggest consumer goods company Procter & Gamble and its pharmaceutical equivalent, Teva, in which 100 Swisse Wellness product lines will anchor PGT’s foray into the global $80 billion vitamins, minerals and supplements market.

Noisy Beast finalised an agreement two weeks ago as the global agency for PGT’s international Swisse rollout. The agency was co-founded by former Network Ten commercial director Adam Hilton, veteran creative director Stewart Byfield and former Nine exec Paul Waldren, who along with Swisse management eschew the obsession by a growing number of blue chip brands and media agencies to buy cheap TV spots in low audience programs and day parts and high-volume, low cost online ads. Instead the agency ploughs most of Swisse’s marketing investment into high profile and usually expensive TV shows and “ambassador” programs using sports personalities and celebrities like Nicole Kidman and the Australian Wallabies.

The tactic has proven a runaway commercial success for Swisse and turned it into a darling among TV network. Swisse’s marketshare has rocketed from obscurity five years ago to be market leader in Australia and is widely acknowledged as the key player behind category growth of 42% in the vitamins market in the past five years.

The so-called “high impact” Swisse media and marketing strategy in Australia wooed global PGT management, who want Noisy Beast to replicate the Australian model across Europe, Asia and South America. North America will follow later.

Noisy Beast, in which Swisse holds a minority stake, saw off international advertising rivals to land the global deal handling the launch of Swisse in 30 countries initially. Melbourne will remain Noisy Beast’s headquarters but will have offices running in Geneva, London and parts of Asia and South America by year’s end.

“Our strategy in Australia has been built on high-involvement TV programs that are high impact and have delivered extraordinary marketshare growth,” Hilton told AdNews. “Swisse has gone from a 2% marketshare to 16% in five years as a result of a very clear marketing and communications strategy. What the big globals have seen is that Australia is a very good test market for success. If you can influence Australian consumers you go some way to being confident to do it in other countries. Our first campaigns will probably be in Asia, followed quickly by European countries.”

Hilton said Noisy Beast’s plans for offshore markets would use the Australian TV model with some differences for local markets. It also meant the company was on the hunt for Swisse “ambassadors” that would work in dozens of local market launches.

“I don’t think some of the global launches will be as heavy on TV as here,” he said. “There will be a broader effort around digital but TV is going to be a key driver on some big name shows. We will create more than 100 high impact integrated campaigns across creative, production, digital and media strategy in more than 30 countries over the next few years. It’s a significant move for us. Independent global agency networks are pretty rare. Our business will double in the next 12 months.”

Hilton, who left Ten Network two years ago, fired a broader warning to the industry and media agencies about their “fixation with hitting cheap audiences regardless of the time of the day. Building impact, not just cheap CPMs (audience cost per thousand) is what we’re about,” he said. “Obviously price is important, the drive for efficiencies is important but it’s being overdone.”

On his exit from Ten, Hilton said: “Ten loss of the AFL rights, and a string of programs like The Shire and others made me think it might be the right time to do something else. No disrespect to anyone but to have a crack at doing my own thing was extremely attractive.”

*The original headline was changed after Geneva-based PGT Healthcare, the joint venture company between P&G and Teva, was adamant it was misleading. In the original headline we said: "Noisy Beast goes global in ad deal with P&G-Swisse joint venture for 30 countries". We then detailed in the second paragraph of the story how PGT Healthcare was a joint venture between P&G and Teva and had appointed Noisy Beast to a global ad contract. For anyone who read the original headline and story but failed to understand that Noisy Beast was appointed by PGT, the joint venture between P&G and Teva, then we'd like to point out that Noisy Beast was appointed by PGT, a joint venture between P&G and Teva.     

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