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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
Horner: “You don’t want to lose them, but it’s a fact of life, it’s like a shot in the arm, you’ve got to turn it into a positive. You’ll have the conversation, would you like to stay, but when someone makes an emotional decision from the head and the heart you can’t stand in the way of broadening their experience” ble and we joined a fraternity the second we got there.” Benjamin adds that c oming to Austr ali a definite ly fast tracke d their careers. In New Yor k they wouldn’t be a t the ECD level yet, but they could be creative directors. Af ter all, some agencies in New York are almost the size of the entire Australian industry. Looking at their coll ege alumni the top achievers are just moving into asso- ciate creative director positions, the rest are midlevel or senior creatives. “You don’t get the same number of tri es in New York as you get here. You get a couple of briefs and they are really big but until you get one of those it’s going t o take a while,” says Benjamin. “In Sydney we were given sole possession of big briefs and lots of them, we were given a Toyota brief for the new Avalon, here’s six other briefs and al l of them wer e our br iefs . It does n’t wor k l ike that i n New York.” After Saatchi & Saatchi Sydne y they had an entirely new book and relocated to the Auckland office to wor k with Mike O’Sulli van and Toby T albot . Du ring t hei r 18 months they worked on 15 com- mercials as well as expanded their digital portfolio. DiLallo says in this region you are given as much work as you can han- dle and a bit more: “This means you can rise to the occasion and really go for it and make it work SEPTE MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007 and if you do then the sky is the limi t an d if n ot you mi ght n ot progre ss as quic kly. But for us, every opportunity we’ve got we’ve been jumping at,” he says, adding that with international award shows the great leveller you can translate success in Australia to the US or London but wherever you go you are starting over in terms of proving yourself. “Every time you walk into a new agency it’s like starting over and that is probably the most honest answer, you’ ll get into that thing and you’ll have to prove it all over again and why you have that job,” says DiLallo. While the ‘best of the best’ of the Australians work in New York it is more cut off as an advertising mar- ket, with Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand regularly swap ping talent. Or Aust ralians skip the Ameri can route and go straight into a worldwide role like Isherwood, Droga and Davis. Benjamin says that t he w hole walkabout mentality doesn’t exist in the U S, t hat i t’s a l ittle mor e American-centric and people tend to be less adventurous. DiLallo goes further, saying working over- seas doesn’t even occur to many Americans: “They are like, why would you leave, my family is here, my friends are here and you have six major cities to work in that are all different. Australia is a second world market, America and the UK Walker: “London is a very different market to New York or Sydney, and I’ve seen some American creatives really struggle with that. But, talented people, regardless of where they’re from, appreciate the opportunity to do different kinds of work and learn from it regardless.” is where a ll t he mo ney i s, t hat’s where th e big d irectors a re, that’s where th e b ig pr oduction c ompa- nies are, you don’t start playing for the Yankees a nd th en want t o g o play for a farm team, you get those oppor tunities to wor k on hu ge brands with big budgets and s tuff like that a nd n o-one r eally loo ks outside t hat t o g o h ey, l et’s go somewhere else,” says DiLallo. DiLallo says one of the advantages of be ing a f oreigner i s t hat y ou stand o ut - p eople t end to li sten because you have a different accent. “What this business, and what any business, i s about is s tanding out. You wa nt you r a ds to sta nd o ut. America has got a pool of 280 mil- lion people who can take this job – who sta nds o ut? An Aust ral ian stands out because he’s different to all o f t hem, he’ s worked i n Asia, he’s got a funny little accent so give him the job because he’s got a dif- ferent perspective,” DiLallo says. The p erspective h e g arnered in the E uropean marke t wa s se en as valuable when Gar ry Hor ner , national cr eative dir ector at Whybin\TBWA, fir st ar rived in Australia f rom his native London 11 ye ars a go. But it w as qu ite an adjustment. Whe n h e f irst a rrived Horner was shocked at how r etail orientated the market was. There wasn’ t the f ocus on br ands a nd building a brand as there was in the UK, instead the retail focus meant there was an expectation for instant results. This has changed since with a move towards brand building, but at the t ime it was quite an adjust- ment. The proc ess wa s also differ - ent, in the UK there was a lot more time t o d evelop c re ative i deas, something Horner has encouraged, first a t DDB Sy dney f or nearly a decade, a nd n ow Whybin. The budgets were a lso smaller, h e’d come from working on BMW with a budget of two and a half million pounds to spend on production and here was given $65,000 to do a sim- ilar car spot. He says it was largely about differ- ing population and media costs but what i t meant wa s you had to r ely on the quality of the idea, not the production budget: “What you real- ly need is both and Austr alia h as taken that leap which is reflected in Australia’s s tanding in the interna- tional market. When I fi rst ar rived we weren’t e njoying t hat l evel o f success, the mark et ha s evolved,” says Horner. As well as the no-bullshit attitude of Australians h elping us make i t internationally Ho rner s ees th ose trained locally get a lot more experi- ence p resenting work: “Creatives have a far closer interface with the client and c reate relationships with agencies, b eing o pen a nd h onest they tell things as they are. The tal- ent is there absolutely, beyond that to s ell i deas with an h onesty an d openness is very refreshing,” says Horner. ? CAM PA IGN B R I E F 45
November December 2007
July August 2007