The Fearless Kiwi (aka, my) story
The advertising industry I grew up in had become run by faceless accountants in mega-corporations.
I know and admire some big business players and cool accountants, but creativity was being sold out. Yet creativity wins business and was a key reason why clients engaged ad agencies.
I believe game-changing profits come from great strategies, creativity, innovation and relationships. So instead of complaining, I began plotting.
The Internet was still in its commercial infancy, but digital was set to explode. Soon, your location would be irrelevant.
I decided to create a progressive, virtual business model that would give clients access to an eclectic mix of thinking and skills from around the globe. My flexible team would include expert marketing communications, advertising, design, and technology specialists, who would provide quality work without excessive overheads and waste.
Happy 20th Birthday!
My vision was realised when I launched Fearless in March 2002. It would have been sooner but with the exception of a few early adopter clients, it took many years for my approach to be embraced.
I started by hiring my friends and colleagues who were still working at Saatchi & Saatchi and other multinational agencies. Many of them loved the after-hours experiences (and extra income) and some eventually left their agencies to control their own destinies. I still work with many of them today.
I started in Wellington, New Zealand, and now operate from Stamford, United Kingdom, where I service clients worldwide.
I worked in ad agencies (Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy, and more) as a copywriter, brand strategist and creative director.
I became disillusioned with accountants running the show.
So, from Wellington, New Zealand, I created a progressive, virtual model with no boundaries.
That was over 20-years ago. I'm now enjoying life and business in the UK.
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 NZ
What got me here?
I was as a banker in Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand, before becoming a private investigator for a high-end PI firm in Double Bay, Sydney, Australia. (Some people think I'm Australian!) My last role in banking was in the Audit department, so this seemed like a good idea at the time. HOLY CRAP sums up this experience. I was really lucky to escape with my life.
I then joined McCann-Erickson, Sydney, as a media assistant, then buyer on Levi Strauss and Coca-Cola. I sucked in the role. My heart wasn't in it.
Next, the Sydney film industry beckoned and I worked through the ranks to become a writer/producer. If being a PI was a holy crap experience, this was a WTF one. It was both insane and exhilarating.
I returned to a more sedate Wellington, NZ to join a nationwide outdoor gear and clothing retailer as their marketing manager. The main brands we promoted (and I loved) were Macpac, Wilderness, Colombia and Timberland. I experienced the power of Direct Marketing after launching and growing their DM operation. In-between a lot of snowboarding and hard work, the owners got rich.
I always enjoyed writing and gravitated towards entrepreneurship. I love storytelling and would entertain my family for hours as a child. So I was grateful to be accepted into New Zealand’s prestigious Axis AdSchool in Wellington, NZ.
For the next 10-years, I worked throughout Australasia as a copywriter, creative strategist, and creative director at ad agencies including, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy, DMB&B, Colenso, 99, Frank, and Lavender. I launched FEARLESS in 2002 and haven't looked back.
On the side, I have been a founder and investor in startups including a successful SaaS company. I love technology and am excited about how the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are changing the face of finance, and just about everything else.
I believe business is a force for good. I like working with people who are driven and believe in balancing purpose, people and profit. We're all connected so that way everyone wins.
Left Auckland Boys Grammar School to become a banker. Then a P.I. Then a media buyer, writer/producer, marketing manager, Adman: copywriter, brand strategist, creative director. Fearless leader for 20+ years.
Transform quality people and brands 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 mine (and my team's):
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
If interested, you can view my professional indemnity and public liability insurances here.
Fearless Kiwi Limited is registered in England and Wales. Company number 13614130.
Registered office: Amelia House, Crescent Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 1RL.