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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2007
U P F R O N T T E AMW O R K CASTREE& WHEN TIM CASTREE JOINED LEO BURNETT SYDNEY AS MANAGING director he was moving in on a close knit team known as the Three Amigos, which was chairman Nigel Marsh, creative director Mark Collis, and planning director Todd Sampson. He won them over pretty much straightaway and two years later they’re still friends and respect each other. Despite arguing over strategy, creative, people, money, clients and ideas, accord- ing to Collis, they manage to create work such as the Cannes Titanium-winning ‘Earth Hour’ for WWF. Campaign Brief asks Collis and Castree about their working relationship. WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF EACH OTHER? Castree I knew Mark by reputation, but first met him when I was thinking of joining Leo Burnett again. I basically thought “what a nice bloke” – Mark’s a real gentle guy. I was also happy about the prospect of working with such an experienced creative director. There’s not much that Mark hasn’t seen. Collis I first met Tim here at the agency. Nigel was planning on moving into the chairman role and we wanted someone to partner Todd and myself. It wasn’t an easy brief because the three of us had been very close. I was as concerned as much about the moral and cultural fit as I was about the skills. In my first few minutes with Tim I knew he was right. Plus he dressed really well! DESCRIBE YOUR YEARS WORKING TOGETHER Castree Constant growth. There’s a depth and honesty in our partnership that means we are always pushing each other forward. They’ve been the best years of my working life. Collis We’ve been together for two years. It’s been an amazing journey. I think we’ve confronted everything from pulling off ‘Earth Hour’ to not winning BankWest and everything in between and we still have the same passion, commitment and respect for each other. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WORK PRODUCED OVER THE YEARS? AND WHY? Castree The agency mission statement – “To be the most imaginative prob- lem-solving company in Australia.” Our best work, like Earth Hour and McDonald’s “Name It”, flows directly from this ambition. They are some of the best words Mark has ever written. Collis That would have to be Earth Hour. It speaks directly to our own person- al concerns and came out of the agency’s unique problem solving philosophy. YOU’RE GIVING THE BEST MAN’S SPEECH AT HIS WEDDING. WHAT’S YOUR OPENING LINE? Castree What are we doing here? I really liked Miri. (His current wife is a real hottie.) Collis Tim’s fly is undone. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? Castree Not much. I tend to be more hotheaded than Mark, which seems like a role-reversal from the usual stereotypes. But I can tell when Mark is mad at me; he goes quiet. Collis Strategy. Creative. People. Money. Clients. Ideas. DESCRIBE A GREAT DAY Castree They are all pretty bloody good to be honest. I’m not sure if that is just a form of delirium or the influence of Nigel’s new self-help book! Although if I had to pick one to live over, it would be the night I watched the lights go out with Cate Blanchett. And the day I saw the video edit of our Earth Hour Cannes submission, I just knew in my heart that it would win Titanium. It was so deserving. Collis I don’t want to sound trite but I love most days. We get on so well I look forward to coming into work. I’ve been doing this for 32 years so you need a way of keeping your passion. For me it’s about forgetting what happened yesterday and treating each new day as a white page. A great day for me is when we sell something fantastic to a client. 32 C A M P A I G N B R I E F WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? Castree We’re not really avid “lunchers”. But when we do go to lunch together it’s a quick spag bol at the Blues Point Café. If we are really splashing out we’ll throw in a garlic bread and a couple of Limonata’s! Collis The Italian across the street. Spaghetti bolognaise. Bread. Limonata. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING TOGETHER? Castree Spending time in a tiny boat on Pittwater at 5am for the photo for this article ranks high among them. I had just asked Mark “which way to D&AD” which seemed hysterical to us both on three hours sleep. Perhaps you had to be there. Collis Recently we’d pitched for a piece of business. We’d eliminated all the other contenders and the client was about to appoint us. First, they had to get a new marketing director. His first move was to re-brief us and let us know that we’d be expected to re-pitch. Tim politely told him to …well; you can guess what he said. It was beautiful. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE FACED AT LEO BURNETT? Castree To transform this from an agency that takes briefs to an agency that really solves problems. Mark has really led the charge. He wants to make everyone here feel like they belong to the creative department, and I think he’s succeeding. But it’s a challenge that requires constant diligence. Collis Wanting to get to a truly open problem solving business in the face of a reputation that has us marked as an advertising agency. WHAT DO YOU MOST ADMIRE ABOUT EACH OTHER? Castree Mark’s table tennis. I seriously cannot find a way to beat him or even get within six points. He’s a crafty bastard with a tricky spin game. I think he’ll win the agency championship this month. Collis Tim is a brilliant judge of creative. But more than that, his tenacity. NIGEL IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH HIS NEXT BOOK, MARK HAS JUST HAD HIS FIRST EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS, KIERAN ANTIL HAD HIS EXHIBITION... WHAT’S IN THE WATER AT LEO’S THAT’S UNLEASHING ALL THIS ART? Castree They already had it in them. It’s just a place that attracts people with extraordinary talent. We ask everyone to be “fully self-expressed” here – I hope it shows. Collis We love the act of creating. We nurture and encourage everything. If we are to be a creative business we don’t believe there should be a box that people need to fit in. YOU’VE COME OFF THE HIGH OF EARTH HOUR WHICH GALVANISED THE ENTIRE AGENCY. WHAT’S NEXT FOR LEO BURNETT SYDNEY? Castree More of the same please. There are so many ways in which we aspire to be great and there is always so much more work to do. In particular I want our work for McDonald’s Happy Meals next year to transform the relationship Aussie mum’s have with the Macca’s brand. That would make me as happy as Earth Hour did. Collis Earth Hour is going global. We’re pumped. But in the meantime we have some awesome work in progress for Canon, Maccas, Heineken, and well, too much to talk about. N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 7
AWARD Awards 2007
September October 2007