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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2007
GLOBALI SATI ON When hiring , Horner c ons iders international e xper ience a bon us: “It’s about looking at the quality of ideas and having had int ernational experience add s value t o the cre - ative mix, to st rategic thinking and quality of work. You’ve done well if you’ve worked in London, but you have to back it up with the work.” Horne r t hin ks one of th e inevitable factors o f having gi fted and talented staff is they will be dri- ven to work in new cultures across a broad range of clients. He considers it a compliment when people he has hired are getting those top interna- tional jobs, it means they are seeing something in them that he saw: “At some point people mov e on , i t’s good f or th e agency and th e cre - ative c ulture. You don’t want t o 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 pos itive. Yo u’ll have the conversation, would you like to stay, b ut when someone mak es an emotional decision from th e head and the heart you can’t stand in the way of broadening their experience. You are only as good as your re fer- ence and that comes from life expe- rie nce, dra wing on what y ou’ve read and seen and expe rienced. Seeking out new cha llenges, ne w ways and new places and you ca n then draw upon t hat t o p roduce better work.” Jonathan Kneebone, co- founder of The Glue Society is acu tely aware of the drawcard of working in the internat ional market for young creatives and has com e up wi th a rather unique strategy to deal wi th it as the agency prospers: “If some- one in Amsterdam offers one of our teams a job and the y particularly wanted to live in Amsterdam, at the moment we don’t have an ability to have an of fice there, but down the track I’m hoping people realise that once you are part of The Glue Society you can actually live whe r- ever you want to live,” Kn eebone says. “Gary [Freedman] has moved to New York to open an office there becaus e he re al ly wanted t o be the re and t hat has opene d u p a whole new a venue of work f or us and eq ually i f Matt [Devine] a nd Luke [Cr ethar] wanted to l ive i n London t hen I would enco urage them t o be T he Glue So ciety of London. So hopefully we’l l spread and grow th at way and they wo n’t feel the need to leave because what can be better than doing what you really want to do and being yourself more of the time?” He says that former staffers Matty Burton and Dave Bowman, who are now working at Droga5, New York, is a t eam that got a way because at the time they couldn’t afford to give them the amount of money ot hers were offer ing . After w orking a t Saatchi & Saatchi, New Zea land they went to Droga5. “That’s something we cons tantly have to ad dress, how d o we keep pace - if someone i s goin g to give our creatives a lot of money to work for the m, t hen it’s reall y ha rd to match that as an independent com- pany, but you get to a point where 46 CAM PA I GN B RIE F When hiring, Horner considers international experience a bonus: “It’s about looking at the quality of ideas and having had international experience adds value to the creative mix, to strategic thinking and quality of work. You’ve done well if you’ve worked in London, but you have to back it up with the work.” Nott: “I think Australians provide a diplomatic balance between the sensibilities of Europeans, Americans and Asians. They uniquely seem to have the influences of all those regions. That and the great Aussie ‘can do’ attitude. It’s similar with the film crews and in many industries I imagine. There’s a bunch of Aussies doing well overseas in advertising, people like Bob Isherwood, David Droga and Craig Davis have lead the way for Aussies in those high powered jobs.” Premutico: “At the end of the day, most creatives just want to produce the best work they can, and they’re willing to move or stay to do it. Sure networks can offer incentives like having fluidity across the different offices, but the real solution is aim to create the best work in the world, not just the best in the region. there is a balance where what peo- ple want out of life i s s omething you can’t really swap for money,” Kneebone says. Since coming to Australia from his native Britain, Kneebone has found the perfect environment to do hi s own thing. Says Kneebone: “We have people in this country who are ope n-mi nded mor e t han ot her places , I think you’ll find it w ill affect the quality of the things that start to happen in the nex t fiv e to ten years, and i t will affect the cre- ative output of this co untry q uite significantly. Australia i s punching well above its w eight in the quali ty of the ideas that are comi ng out now and I think it is par tly due to the fact that the st ructure of t he business has changed,” he says. No tt thinks his e arly y ears in Australia gave him a great ground- ing t hat has helped him o ver th e years, particularly the budget limi- tations, which means y ou have t o rely on the idea: “You are taught to not rely on big glossy productions that cover up for a goo d idea. It seemed in Australia I was given lots of work and never given much time to do it. So it makes you perform quickly, you get a lot of experience and build a folio/reel quite fast. And for sure havi ng a lot of good English creatives in Syd ney t aught me thei r smart , witty adv erti sing style that I admired. P eople lik e Ron Mather and AWARD sc hool too. The Australian Film Television and Radio school taug ht me a lot about directing. They hav e wo rld- class tutors. Aussies in general train you to have a good bullshit detector which is invaluable overseas.” For Nott, travel is not the appeal, rather it ’s the chance to e xperience differe nt c ulture s, pe opl e, l an- guages, history, art, oc eans, an d experiences. He thinks Australians have made it to the upper echelons of advertising around the world for several reasons. Says Nott: “I think Austral ians p rovide a d iplomatic balance between the sensibilities of Europeans, Americans and As ians. They uniquely seem to hav e t he influe nces of all t hose regions . That and the great Aussie ‘can do’ attitude. It’s similar wit h t he film cr ews and in many i ndus tr ie s I imag ine. T he re’s a bu nch of Aussies doing well over seas in adve rtising, people lik e Bob Isherwood, David Droga and Craig Davis have lead the way for Aussies in those high powered jobs.” Nott never felt like h e ha d to go overseas to make it and get a better job b ack home but, li ke Co llins, reca lls there being a sus picio usly large number of English c reative directors and creatives r uling town at that time. “I just wanted to g o ab road f or myself. I was comparing cr eativity to sport - if the division one soccer teams and world’s t op 4 4 su rfers were all overseas c reatives t hen I wanted to go over there and play on those top teams, learn an d try my best at knocking out those top 44 surfers,” he says. “I had enough of a wanker attitude and Aries charac- ter traits to give it a go. My creative partner a t that time, Adam Hunt, had the tra vel bug too. A dvertising was d efinitely not the only reason for me to travel. There was that usual sense of adventure and a lot of oceans I hadn’ t surfe d yet. I wasn’t pl anning that far ahead to think it would eventually get me a better job at home. I thought I was going overseas for two year s. It’s been about fifteen years now.” Nott thinks local management can do pl enty to mak e s tayi ng i n Austral ia more enticing, starting with letting creatives do work as good as the work overseas. “Educate clients on why good cre- ative work wins for everyone. Be prepared to put good work ahead of short-term financial gain. If it is a n international network, give the cre- atives a proper tour overseas, then bring them back with their knowl- edge. Or send them to international events. That alone lets you feel like you a re competing in t he global market and is invigorating. Bring in overseas speakers to share ideas and motivate. Yell at the creatives regu- lar ly unti l t hey c ry great idea s. Quadruple their s alaries and pack- ag es and add incen ti ve bas ed shares. Make Thursdays swimsuit day and Fridays free.” Fawcet t also thinks the idea of rotating people through the net- work is a good idea. He used to run an exchange program for staffers interested in working overseas, say- ing there was a strong chance that those gi ven the opportunity would return as much more valuable con- tributors: “There’s dozens of peo- ple I’ve move d around networks and all of them came back and worked for me in different offices and agencies around the world. I managed to keep the good ones, if you try an d discourage them that they a re better off here then there mi ght be resen tmen t in time. Suddenly they are older, married, got the four kids and two mortgages and they know they’ll never get to do that now, but if you help them do tha t the re is a ce rt ain bond there,” Fawcett says. The last word goes to Premutico, who doesn’t think management in Australia has anything specific they need to a ddress to e ntice people to stay, saying they face the same chal- lenges as management everywhere. “At the end of the day, most cre- atives just want to produce the best work they can, and they’re willing to move or stay to do it. Sure net- works can offer incentives like hav- ing fluidi ty acros s the diffe ren t offices, but the real solution is aim to create the best work in the world, not just the best in the region. And not imitate the processes and trends trickling through from overseas but rather to instigate new ones. Some of the work that ha s come out of Australia over the past few years has proved that we can compete with anyone. We really have nothing to fear, e specially when it comes to individual talent. If you think about it in relative terms, we’re not doing too badly,” he concludes. 7 SE PT E MBE R/OCTOB E R 2 007
November December 2007
July August 2007