Colenso BBDO taps three international hires to bolster strategy department

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Colenso BBDO’s strategy department has expanded its expertise with the hires of Syd Hargis, Social Strategy Director; Megan Jones, Senior Strategist; and Martin Bassot, Group Strategy Director.

Hargis, returning home to NZ after a decade, helped Lewis Hamilton develop, nurture and grow his global fan community – kick-started by a real-time, global, fan-co-created film. They also helped shape Dyson’s Shoppable Live Streaming efforts across EMEA and led the fan-centric live streaming strategy of Oracle Red Bull’s F1 season launch to the global racing community last year.

Says Syd Hargis: ”My passion is understanding how communities grow and develop, which allows me to help brands find authentic ways to add to the culture of the community rather than exploit it. I’m excited to dig in with Colenso’s clients and see what devilment I can bring.”


Jones helped re-establish Levi’s ‘Jeans and a nice top’ as the ultimate combo in a campaign with stars like Bridgerton’s Charitha Chandran. She also worked on Coke’s fashion strategy that resulted in Kate Moss appointed Creative Director of Diet Coke and on Lego’s Laundrette of Dreams – now in the London Design Museum.

Says Megan Jones: “New Zealand is filled with all the things I love – netball, nature and last week, Harry Styles. To hit the ground running at Colenso, who almost immediately sent me to the Harry Styles concert for “work” is basically a dream come true. As a close second, Colenso is also filled with super talented people who I can’t wait to get into it with, oh yeah, and Rob.”

Bassot arrives from Wieden+Kennedy London. As a lead on NIKE Europe, he helped them make a kid’s imaginary sport for real, and celebrate England Women’s European football glory. He also worked on the  relaunch of treasured brands like Sainsbury’s and the launch of disruptive ones like Revolut.

Says Martin Bassot: “What with everyone in the UK on strike (for good reason), chocolate digestives costing £2 and Harry Kane missing pens, it felt like adventure was calling me to New Zealand and Colenso. And my first few weeks certainly haven’t disappointed”

Rob Campbell, CSO, Colenso BBDO: “I see new hires as an opportunity to add people’s different experiences, contexts, approaches and opinions to teams and see what new stuff it can create. We also look for people with global perspectives – partly because of all the global work we’re now doing and partly to make sure we’re a beacon for the weird and provocative stuff. Not only is that where culture is made, NZ youth increasingly judge life by global standards, not local.

I’d worked with Martin and Meg before so I had enough dirt on them to ensure they said yes. Syd had me the moment they showed me their knuckles with KNOW ZERO tattooed on them … and as mic drop moments go, that’s pretty unbeatable.”

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