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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2007
Fresh from Fallon. Fresh from his role as joint creative director and partner of Fallon London, Micah Walker, 37, has returned to Australia as creative leader of Publicis Mojo Sydney. This is the American native’s second stint in Australia - he joined Fallon from his previous role as creative director of Leo Burnett Sydney. Over the past three and a half years Walker has expanded his book with award winning work such as Bacardi’s ‘There’s no bad dancing’ which recruited ordinary people to dance up a storm in their own dorky way. A campaign for the BBC’s coverage of the Glastonbury Festival, with about 25 spots featuring charming-locals commenting on the ‘doof-doof’ festival that takes over their town, and multiple campaigns for Ask.com and Orange; including an Olympic film project that is yet to be released. Apart from a brief stint at Young & Rubicam New York, which nearly turned him off advertising for good, much of Walker’s career has been with Leo Burnett, starting in Chicago. Early on, he caught the eye of Michael Conrad, Leo Burnett’s then world- wide creative director who repeatedly found him new gigs every time he was tempted to resign. As a 25-year-old he had a fancy title and was travelling across Asia helping to improve the level of creativity in the agency’s work, a role he had for a year and a half. He then went to Leo Burnett Warsaw as part of a team, imported to get the agency on the world stage. He has fond memories of those two and a half years, describing them as an amazing life experience. “I think it was the first time I really started creating the kinds of things I wanted to, and got the chance to really apply my ideas,” he says. From there he went to Leo Burnett Sydney, where he won Lions at Cannes in consecutive years, and was promoted to CD. He stayed only seven months in the role, as a change in management prompted him to quit, and head to London. After freelancing at Fallon, Walker accepted a job in 2004, and in 2006 was promoted to the joint CD role with Juan Cabral, who wrote and art directed the brilliant Sony Bravia ‘Balls’ spot. “I spent the best years of my career there, and it was a great environment to be a part of. It was one of the few times when I felt very proud of everything that was going on in the agency, and it was easily the most creative, interesting and smart environment I’ve ever been part of,” Walker says. Why leave? Aside from feeling it was just time for another challenge, his Australian wife, also at Fallon, was homesick. When they fell pregnant it was pretty clear their time in London was up. There were several creative director roles up for grabs, but Publicis Mojo Sydney got his vote as the agency that showed the most genuine desire to become far greater than it is presently. He was impressed by its ambitions to be a major force on the international stage and was excited by the chance to rebuild the creative department. “If you surround yourself with really interesting people, doing really interesting things, it has to show up in your work,” he says. PHOTOGRAPHY: DEREK HUGHES RETOUCHING: MARK YOUNG LOCATION: MICAH WALKER’S APARTMENT, ELIZABETH BAY
AWARD Awards 2007
September October 2007