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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
GLOBALI SATI ON and us ually try to enjoy what ever we are doing. Also, we are hone st. When we go overseas we are almost naïve in a political sense in some of the sit uat ions we are in , t he Machiavel li an poli tics in ver y soph istic ated marke ts like New York and L ondon, the Au ssies laugh at them. A whole bu nch o f Aussie s I k new over th ere - we would get t ogether and crack up at the game s the y play that we couldn’t be bothered playing”. While he acknowledged int erna- tiona l ex per ience when he wa s recruit ing for Patts, the impa ct i t had on th e in dividu al was always the litmus test. “It ha s to have rounded out t he ind ivid ual, some p eop le I k now have worked in expat postings for a number of years, they don’t seem to learn much, almost like they didn’t make th e most of their experience whe re so me people g o away for three year s and come bac k co m- pletely cha nged. They may grow up, or th ey’ve l earnt to trus t their instincts more,” Fawcett says. “It’s not so much the skill set or the CV reading but in terms of what contri- bution ha s that e xposure t o o ther coun trie s an d other peop le a nd other disciplines has t hat made to the i ndividual as they sta nd no w. That’s what I ten d to look at when recruiting and that comes t hrough sometimes with people who ha ve never le ft Australia or left one job or one company, compared to someone who has had a co uple of overseas postings. You us ually find the p erson w ho has worked over- seas ha s a much more ro unded experience, and it a much more ful- filed person because they have been exposed to other things.” Micah Wal ker, an Amer ican wh o has ju st returned to Austr alia to become creative director of Publicis Mojo S ydn ey after t wo year s at Fallon London, concurs, saying on a personal level international expe- rience is good f or e veryone, b ut some nationa lities are better tra v- ellers than others. “It all depends on what your goals are, but it most certainly gives you a wider pers pective on li fe an d cr e- ativity, rather than just one cultural point of view,” Walker says. “ It’s less common for American creatives to work overseas. Part of that is cul- tural and part of it is just the size of and opportunity in t he US market. London is a very different market to New York or Sydney, and I’ve seen some Ame ri can creati ves r eal ly strug gle with th at. But, tale nted people, regardless of w here they’re from, appreciate the opportunity to do different kinds of work and learn from it regardless.” When hiri ng new staff, Wa lker thinks it al l comes down to tal ent and personality. “If they’re lo cal and gre at I have no issue with them not having inter- national experience. What I’m real- ly loo king for are unique thinker s, and if th at means they ten d to be peopl e w ho’ ve spent so me tim e working ab road, tha n that’s g ood too, just not essential. A great body 44 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Freedman (left) and Kneebone: “Gary has moved to New York to open an office there because he really wanted to be there and that has opened up a whole new avenue of work for us and equally if Matt [Devine] and Luke [Crethar] wanted to live in London then I would encourage them to be The Glue Society of London. So hopefully we’ll spread and grow that way,” says Kneebone. Fawcett: “Some people I know have worked in expat postings for a number of years, they don’t seem to learn much, almost like they didn’t make the most of their experience where some people go away for three years and come back completely changed. They may grow up, or they’ve learnt to trust their instincts more.” Walker: “What I’m really looking for are unique thinkers, and if that means they tend to be people who’ve spent some time working abroad, than that’s good too, just not essential.” of work is more telling than a title and tha t’ s wha t r eal ly ma tt ers , regardless of where you’re from.” Walker was ke en t o r eturn t o Australia for several reasons includ- ing the fac t that his wife is Australian an d they have a lot of truly great friends here. “And to be honest, I st ill believe the re’s an opport unit y for an agency to be truly great in this mar- ket, and I’d like t o b e a pa rt o f that,” he says. While Walker hasn’t l ived in the US for 12 years, he recalls it being a more corporate and b ureaucratic industry with more group me etings and consensus decisions. “There’s more money i nvolved and t he process r ef lects th at. In London, it’s a bit more open mind- ed an d c ol laborat ive, bu t then again, the tube is soul de stroying,” he says. Another couple of Americans who have taken to the Australian adver- tising market are Andy DiLallo and Jay Benjamin, executiv e c reative director s of JW T Syd ney, who came to Australia several years ago at t he beque st of a n Aus trali an wor king at B ozel l New York - Davi d (Nob by) Nob ay. Alm ost immedi ately the y w er e d ubbed ‘The Yanks’ which is indicative of how few American cr eatives th ere are working in Australia. As DiLallo tells it, a year before the move he’d told Nobby that he really wanted to work in Aus tralia and Nobby let him know it was really difficult because you have to get visas and that Asia is much easi- er. T hen when Nobby g ot t he Saatchi job he s aid, ‘the one sce- nario I didn’t mention was if you knew an executive creative director in that market’. They jumped at the opportunity, and have no re grets despite turning down a job offer with TBWA Paris under Eric Vervroegen as they were his junior creative team at Bozell. [TBWA Paris won Cannes Agency of the Year t hree years running from 2004 to 2006]. “I think that’s what makes you a creative person, not wanting to do everyth ing the way everyone else does it, so kind of getting out there and se eing how other people do it that is inherently different it helps to foster creativity. When we were in New York we were junior- to mid-level creatives and you would work on one or two television com- mercials a year i f you were lucky,” says DiLallo. “Beyond being able to go and work with Nobby and work in a foreign country, I don’t think we thought about it much. There wasn’t a hell of a lot going on there, it was l ike, we g et t o g o t o Australia, one of our best mates is ECD of an agency and then when we arrived at S aatchi ’s Sydney - which is still in my es timation one of the coolest places in the world to wor k - the peo ple ther e wer e incredible, the culture was incredi- SE PT E MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007
November December 2007
July August 2007