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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
Leo Burnett Sydney’s Earth Hour created headlines the world over. The campaign also won a Titanium Lion at Cannes. He also thinks, that like any other big idea, it will help a ttract new business to the agency. “It’s not so much that it’s for UNICEF, as it is just a ‘big idea, the kind where peo- ple say ‘of course’,” he says. Mark Coll is, executive creative director for Leo Burnett Sydney, concurs, sayin g Ear th Hour has become a kind of calling card to demonstrate what the agency is capable of: “As an idea it is exactly where we want to be as an agency whi ch i s havi ng ideas that g o beyond being a TVC or a radio commercial or a digital component. It’s really how we want to operate in this business, and people are doing it, shops like Crispin Porter in the US and The Glue Society here, where the ideas are bigger than the parts themselves, and that is a great idea of how we operate,” he says. “Am I expecting to win new busine ss out of it? I don’ t know, pos sibly, i t’s certainly some- thing we use in our new business presentations and we talk about how we came to the idea and what it means to us and how we work, it’s a great case study for us.” Collis admits there was a sense of ‘ri ght mes sag e, right time’ sur - rounding Earth Hour with climate change on the agenda thanks t o strong media coverage and activists like Gore and Michael Moore. “I think it’s incumbent on mar- keters to take some of this int o account . The brands that survive are the brands that are going to have a strong social imprint and have a strong social environmental core to their business,” he says, adding that Earth Hour has helped position the agency as a business that is at the forefront of sustain- ability. Col lis welcomes the attitudinal shift, saying he’s been pushing the SEPT EMBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007 sustainability barrow for about 15 years now, inviting clients to think about social and envir onmental issues, but he stopped mentioning it because he felt no one was listen- ing: “But i t seems like more people are willing to listen now, I gave a talk a few weeks ago at this market- ing conf erence and the respon se was amazing, people came up to me and were really keen to talk about it, it’s a very personal thing for me , it’s about being part of a sustainable future, at the current rate of con- sumption, we aren’t going to last long. I’ve always hesi tated about talking about it publicly, particular- ly in our industry beca use I can sound like a hypocrite, it can sound contrary to everything we do, but I think we can be part of the solu- tion,” he says. He likes to think agencies are well placed to take up a cause and make a positive difference, but laments that a lot of the time the creative process gets directed for purely commercial reasons. “I understand that as a business. What’s encouraging is, if we are lucky, what will make all of this work is that brands, businesses and manuf acture rs, will see the eco- nomic value of being socially mind- ed. I think until it becomes an eco- nomic thing for people it’s going to be hard,” he says. “They are calling it green washing and it is on the agenda, what we are hoping is it isn’t just a fad. The cynical part of me is thinking that people are just doing this to sell more stuff and I just hope that’s not what it ends up being. I think it has to be much more serious than that, my view on it is really off the radar. Growth has always been seen as the ultimate pursuit and I think that’s what we have to change is our view around growth - that it isn’t neces- CA MPAIG N B R I E F 35 sarily t he ul timate purpose. If you listen t o one side of t he s tory t he planet is in pretty bad shape and on the other side people are just going boo hiss to that, they are just scare- mongers. I don’t kn ow where t he real truth lies, but for me personal- ly, it’s good to raise people’s social conscience a nd g et th em to think about putting something back.” When Collis joined Leo Burnett, WWF was a lready a c lient b ut i t was in a bit of a sleepy hollow. Two months in they c ame up with the ‘Future i s man made’ c ampaign, which was successful from an ?
November December 2007
July August 2007