From old Middle Earth (NZ) to new Middle Earth (UK)...
The Fearless Kiwi adventure.
The NZ advertising industry I grew up in suddenly felt like it had been hijacked by smiling, number crunching assassins with an agenda to kill creativity and the industry.
It was like watching a slow moving train wreck.
Cold, hard numbers were destroying quality strategic and creative thinking - the very reason marketers hired ad agencies. So I could either suck it up or leave a "Dad's proud of you" salary that sets one up for life. Sorry Dad.
The Internet was still very young, and digital was about to explode. This mattered, not due to Shiny Object Syndrome, but one's location was about to be irrelevant. Hello world...for real.
I decided to create a progressive, virtual business model that would give marketers and entrepreneurs access to an eclectic mix of thinking and skills from anywhere in the world. My flexible team would include expert marketing communications, advertising, design, and technology specialists, who would provide quality work that worked.
March 2022: FEARLESS turned 20!
After several years of planning, I launched FEARLESS in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2002. This was just three months after the first Lord of the Rings movie (The Fellowship of the Ring) wowed audiences worldwide with its stunning cinematography and NZ landscapes.
With a small client list, I hired friends and colleagues who were still working at Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy, and other leading ad agencies. They loved the after-hours experiences, and extra income. We formed solid bonds and I still work with a few of the original team today.
In true Frodo fashion, I made the long journey to Middle Earth's second home in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom in 2022 where I continue to save businesses around the world from bad copy and branding.
Will is a great team player and motivator, who gets things done.
Will has an excellent understanding of digital life and has great strategies and ideas for online and offline worlds.
He is a digital specialist but is grounded in the knowledge of all other forms of media. This is really important in the digital age moving forward; as his knowledge and experience allow him to see the wood from the trees.
MIKE WILSON // Head of Digital Engagement, Vodafone
I believe in doing work that matters, and:
I was a banker before becoming a private investigator for a high-end PI firm in Double Bay, Sydney, Australia. I know, weird pivot!
After gaining the nickname 'Magnum', I joined ad agency, McCann-Erickson, Sydney, as a media assistant, then buyer on Levi Strauss and Coca-Cola. I was caught once too often hanging out in their creative department and that was that. 🙂
Next, I worked through the ranks in the Sydney film industry to become a writer/producer. After a crazy Volvo driver ploughed through my little Alfa Romeo 33, I returned to a more sedate Wellington, NZ to join a nationwide outdoor gear and clothing retailer as their marketing manager.
We marketed and sold brands, Macpac, Wilderness, Burton, Salomon, Oakley, Scott, Rossignol, Colombia and Timberland. I gained a lot of insights into why and how people buy, especially after launching their Direct Marketing operation. In-between a lot of snowboarding and hard work, the owners got rich, and I added more strings to my bow.
Writing and storytelling has always been part of my life. I'd entertain my family for hours as a child. So I was grateful to be accepted into New Zealand’s prestigious Axis AdSchool (for talented writers and art directors) in Wellington, NZ. 10 students were accepted the year I studied.
For the next 10-years, I worked throughout Australasia as a copywriter, brand strategist, and creative director at advertising agencies including, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy, Colenso, 99, Frank, and Lavender. I launched FEARLESS in March 2002 and never looked back.
On the side, I have been a co-founder, investor and advisor in startups including a successful SaaS company. I love technology, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and how they're changing the face of just about everything.
In the right hands, I believe business is a force for good. I like working with people who are driven and understand the power of balancing purpose, people and profit.
Help people and brands realise their vision by transforming them into purpose-driven leaders that operate fearlessly.
Fearless is a catalyst for transformation. Success comes from having the right combination of people, culture, services, products and values. Here are my (and my team's) values:
Will creates Copy You Feel.
Crowne Plaza Auckland worked with Will Roffé on creating copy for our hotel positioning and descriptions to be used on websites and other collateral. We felt well taken care of, with Will guiding us throughout the process. We especially liked Will's ability to work with the senior management team, either face-to-face in focus groups or over the phone to complete the project, which has been smooth. He captured all nuances of our vision and translated it onto paper during the given time frame. We were so impressed we then engaged Will to work with our Holiday Inn properties in Auckland and Rotorua.
FRANCK HESSE // Area Director of Sales & Marketing, InterContinental Hotel Group
Fearless Kiwi Limited is registered in England and Wales. Company number 13614130. Registered office: Amelia House, Crescent Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 1RL.