Hyperfactory offers marketers two-week US jaunt

The Hyperfactory – the New Zealand-founded mobile advertising company recently bought by US media company Meredith Corporation – has launched a 10-year scholarship programme.

READ ALSO: A hint of what Meredith paid for The Hyperfactory

The company’s New York-based chief executive, Derek Handley (31; pictured in Manhattan), announced the Handley Future Marketing Scholarship, during a visit home this week, which saw him speaking at a conference, and visiting Hyperfactory’s local office.

Mr Handley told NBR the person chosen for the two-week scholarship would be flown to both coasts of the US (The Hyperfactory has offices in New York and LA), with all travel and accommodation expenses paid for. 

One two-week “scholarship” a year will be awarded over the next ten years.

Logan's Run
Recipients must be under the age of 35 to ensure they can “truly be visionaries for the future” (your correspondent finds such age-ism non-visionary; but then again he would, being over 35).

Details of how to apply will be announced on The Hyperfactory's website in January.

Behind-the-scenes look
The winner will get a look behind the scenes at The Hyperfactory’s New York operation, and get the opportunity to meet key contacts with some of the world’s largest advertisers (Hyperfactory creates mobile creative for clients including Coca-Cola, BlackBerry maker RIM, L’Oreal, Vodafone, Nestle, InBev, Disney and Kraft).

Recipients will be able to “take a look under the hood’ at some of the world’s leading marketing, content and digital enablers like Apple, Google, Time Warner and Facebook,” with the dapper Mr Handley telling NBR he would act as "chaperone".

The Hyperfactory boss said he was not looking for potential employees; rather he saw the recipients taking their knowledge back to their marketing companies in New Zealand.

First we’ll take Iowa Manhattan
Meredith is based in unsexy Des Moines, Iowa, Mr Handley remains in Manhattan, and told NBR that Hyperfactory retains a large degree of autonomy.

And while the $US1.53 billion market cap Meredith (NYSE: MDP) is best known for its traditional media properties, which include 12 CBS, NBC and Fox local stations, and magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, and the brilliantly-named American Baby, it has lately become a little more cyber.

The company now operates more than 126 websites, including Parents.com, and as well as buying The Hyperfactory earlier this year, earlier acquired New Media Strategies (NMS), a social network marketing strategy outfit.

Mr Handley said The Hyperfactory is now working closely with NMS on many projects.

A second major focus is tablets, such as Samsung’s Google Android-based Galaxy Tab, which are leading clients to ask for super-size mobile creative.

The Hyperfactory chief exec was also buzzing about new business generated by Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 launch - whose $US500 million budget (by The Economist's reckoning) is perhaps more evident in the US than New Zealand.

Give away data
Mr Handley, who frequently returns to New Zealand, said he was disappointed how behind-the-pace New Zealand’s digital scene had become.

The country was backward across the board, including landline broadband.

In his specialist area of mobile, Mr Handley would like to see phone companies “give away data for a few months” so New Zealanders, and companies, could learn what it was like.

Meredith took a 19.9% stake in The Hyperfactory in July 2009 for an undisclosed sum.

In July this year, Meredith bought the remainder of the company.

The Hyperfactory was founded in Auckland by brothers Derek and Geoff Handley in 2001, and expanded to have a network of offices in LA, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sydney and Hyderabad.

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