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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2007
Freedman, who c onsiders it the Commonwealth Bank’s prerogative to place the business with whichev- er agency they thin k is the most appropriate, admits he was sur- pris ed by the bank’s deci sion to award business to an agency in a different time zone and in a country quite far fr om the team that ’s respon sible for it, but admi ts he doesn’t really know the ins and outs of what they were looking for and how they arrived at that decision. Whil e the opti on to work with overseas agencies has always been there, the Commonwealth Bank’s move may prompt other clients to consider more radical solutions to their agency requirements. “It’s just as equally likely that they may look at less conventional agen- cies which may be advantageous for us. A shake-up of the industry in my opinion is always a good thing, whether that creates the likelihood of a mass exodus overseas, I would speculate that is less likely in my mind,” says Freedman. For Peter Masterton, executive pr oducer at P laza Fi lms - the Australian TVC company that pro- duced The Big Ad - there’s s til l hope the move will turn out to be a positive one for the Australian pro- duction industry. After all, until the director of the big brand TVCs are named, t here’s a chance Goodby will use a local director. There’s also the possibility of Goodby open- ing more than a satellite office here and hiring Aust ralian creatives. While Masterton tactfully acknowl- edges there are great local creatives and agencies, production compa- nies have long se en agencies opt to shoot with overseas di rectors – something he does n’t consider a slight – just as international agen- cies have hired Australian directors. Mas ter ton pr oduces for Paul Middleditch - the director of The Big Ad - who has directed various commer ci al s for US agen ci es including E*Trade’s ‘One Finger’ campaign for BBDO New York which ran during the Superbowl and Bud Li ght spot s for DDB Chicago. “There have been quite a number of high profile local com- mercials shot by international direc- tors. Everyone’s doing i t, so I don’t feel we can be outraged by this. It’s a very international business that we are in. I don’t know how it will work with having an agency in San Francisco and a c lient in Sydney and it will be interesting to see how Goodby deal s with the particular Australian cultural nuances, they may have Australians working at Goodby on the acc ount or hire locals.” Masterton says. “You don’t appoint an overseas agency without investing a certain amount of trust; the upside of this is they may well end up gett ing more di ffi cul t or controversial work through.” Asked if he thinks it’s the start of Goodby getting its foot in the door to star ting a bi gger ag ency in Australia, Howcroft quipped: “I would imagine the Commonwealth Bank wou ld be quite a busy account.” MAY/JUN E 2007 Sogard says Goodby is seeing it more as a step into the world mar- ket, rather than using this account as its entrée to setting up shop in Australia: “We do work globally for HP and do bits of global work for our other clients but I would look at it as another step into the global market rather than as a step into Australia per se. We are not con- templating [setting up an office in Australia] but never say never.” To date, the agency has resisted opening offices in other cities, even within the main US advertising cen- tre s of New York a nd Chic ago where it has clients or in Europ e or Asia to serve HP. “The way we work is a team-ori- entated approach and it is best for all the people to be based in t he same place. We do a heck of a lot of travelling, we travel out to countries we are doing work for to make sure we unders tand the needs of t he local market, but San Francisco i s where our home b ase is and we have creative t eams here who ar e from all over the world.” Sogard has no concerns about working across different time zones. “Even with clients here in the US work has become such a 24/7 thing. Do you ever shut your blackberry off? You are probably getting calls, and emails around the clock an d that’s just a fact of life these days so at leas t wi th Aust ral ia there ar e three or four hours every day where the work day overlaps,” he says . The first work i s slated for release in the four th quarter but Sogard says he can’t rev eal a ny details other than it will be a big brand campaign about how wonderful the Commonwealth Bank is. Between now and then there will be plenty of trips back and forth with the mar- ket ing executi ve s flying to San Francisco and Goodby coming here to nut out the campaign. As to the production indust ry’s hope Goodby wi ll shoot local ly, Sogard says this is on the cards. “We do a lot of production i n Australi a for other clients as it i s and we definitely think very highly of the production capabilities within Australia and I would imagine that yes, indeed, we would be producing in Australia.” However , he cou ldn’t say yet whether they would defin itely be using an Australian director, saying it’s a global market: “We are excit- ed and we are sorry that some o f the Australi an ad community has reacted negatively but they have nothing to fear.” Based on simi lar arr angements with a couple of its US clients in other stat es, Soga rd thinks it is important for the productivity and sanity of its Sydney staff not to be ba sed out o f the bank’s office. Instead it will be scouting for an inter estin g but small space, tha t allows the team room to breathe. “And of course we hope it wi ll have read y acces s to some of Sydney’s great pubs and rest au- rants,” he says, excited about the prospect of spending some time in Australia working on the account. IF YOU GO TO SAN FRANCISCO... PLAN AHEAD After unsuccessfully pitching for the Commonwealth Bank account in 2005 while he was working at Clemenger BBDO Sydney, Mike Daniels (above) now finds himself in the ironic position of working on the account from San Francisco. The ex-planning director of Clemenger BBDO Sydney, who started work at Goodby last August after 16 years in Australia, is taking a lead planning role on the account reporting to John Thorpe, head of planning for Goodby. Daniels will be helping to hire the local planning/account staffers to work on the account out of Australia but the decision over the Australian creative teams to be based out of San Francisco will be a decision left to the lead creatives. When he heard back in February/March that an Australian bank called the Commonwealth was interested in coming in for a credentials presentation, Daniels says he hit the ceiling. “I thought fantastic! I was amazed, but also delighted. I’d worked on the team at Clemenger back in 2005, a pitch then that was between us, STW and Publicis and it’s fair to say that for all of us that worked at Clemenger at the time it was such a devastating experience not to win that business. We put our heart and soul into it and then not to win, so to get in a sense another bite of the cherry, albeit with another agency, was a brilliant surprise.” Daniels wasn’t part of the presentation, but he shared back- ground knowledge about the banking market in Australia, how consumers view banks and the ad history of the different banks. Daniels knows the Comm Bank’s marketing chief Mark Buckman from his days working as a planning director at McCann-Erickson Sydney in the mid 1990s. At the time Buckman was working for McCann-Erickson in New York. Buckman left his post of chairman based out of the Sydney office in 2003 after 20 years with McCann working in Sydney, New York and Toronto. “He’s not someone that is a bosom pal/mate that I call up all the time but our paths have crossed, I know him and he knows me,” says Daniels. So, was you being there a factor in his decision? “No, I would like to think that was the case from a purely vain point of view but I suspect there’s much more to it than that. Goodby’s is a remarkable agency and its work and achievement stands on its own. I’d say it was much more to do with the reputation and experience and standing of the agency than any kind of influence I might exert.” Seeking another overseas gig, the British-born Daniels deliber- ately sought a position either in the US or the UK. Clemenger Sydney’s MD Jim Moser was generous with recommendations within the BBDO network, but the Goodby offer proved too good to refuse. He was hired by an ex-colleague from Ogilvy & Mather London, Derek Robson, now one of the managing partners of Goodby. They had lost touch, but his US recruiter told him Robson was looking for a planner. With Clemenger and Goodby both being part of the Omnicom network this helped get his visa organised. He loves his job. “It’s really helping me sharpen my act and broaden my horizons and it’s really been a fantastic place. I don’t think I’d ever worked in a place with quite so many amazing people and San Francisco is such a fantastic place to live,” he says. 7 CAM P A I G N B R I E F 23
July August 2007