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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2007
U P FR O NT T H E B U SINESS that let creatives breathe attract the best creatives and do the best work and those that don’t, don’t. We are not children. Just because we can think like them, does not mean we should be treated like them.” What he per sonal ly finds fun about the ad industry is the people - watching people do well, get enthu- siastic and succeed and laughter. “A lot of people say their boats or their new Aston Martins. My only car is a Matchbox and general con- sumerism and avariciousness don’t rock my boat. I believe if you love what you do the money will come. I find fun in ideas. I think there are some g reed y peopl e for whom enough is never enough and that way they will never be happy... and if they ain’t happy they won’t be fun to anyone else,” Furby says. To bring back the fun, genuine creatives need to be respected and agencies need to support them, says Furby, something that is going to be hard as more and more are leav- ing the country or going freelance. Dej an Ras ic, who has just Master TVC director Dave Denneen (left) with Nobby, executive creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia is different but I still think it’s a lot of fun and I don’t see wh y peo ple shouldn’t believe it is.” A big dif ference to th e 7 0s and 80s is th at a dvertising wa gs h ad very direct access to the CEOs who had a huge curiosity ab out wha t was going on in marketing, but with the a dvent of th e MBA gra duate the access is much rarer. “In New Zealand I still work with the CEOs and heads of the compa- nies over there and that take s a lot of the hassle out of it. When you’ve got that direct line to the main guy it makes a hell of a difference com- pared to putting up with layers and layers of decision makers,” he says. “It’s mor e stifling a nd f rustra ting than i t u sed t o be. But, there a re still some very good clients around that are a lot of fun to work with. Even the government - it’s tough to win them over, but wh en y ou do , they make decisions qui ckly T hey can be tough, but they make de ci- sions and get on with it.” Whybin also advocates the benefit of getting out of t he o ffice away from the hustle and bustle and sit- ting down with a gl ass of wi ne to talk: “I’m the last person who would underestimate the power of a good lunch in t erms of creat ing advertising. Whether it is lunch or getting away to the movies, it’s just getting yourself away from the day- to-day bullshit of it all . I enjoy the lunch; I know it's a c liché, but why not?” Nobby says S aatchi’s ha s ne ver bee n em bar rassed about ha ving fun. “There’s a l ot of age ncies in town - and they know who the y are - where letting your hair down and ha ving a few drink s is fr own ed upon, a nd is s een as bei ng some- what indulgent or lazy. We call the Mercantile across th e roa d b oard- 42 CA MPA I GN B RIEF room five and a lot of time when people are over there working they are sipping a coke but it is a much mor e re lax ed place to work ,” Nobby says. “Most p eople would rather sit outside in t he sun having the odd cold beer coming up with ideas than sit ting in side a s tuf fy office and I don’t have a problem with i t. My philosophy i s I do n’t care how you get the re, just ge t there. I don’t care if yo u g et on a train because that makes you think better or you stand on your head in you r of fice, but I d o t hink i t i s incredibly important t hat we do have a relaxed atmosphere here.” Furby agrees that not all agencies are created equal in the fun depart- ment: “Saatchi’s was gre at fun and still is I should imagine. Anywhere with cool management and respect for creat ivit y. I h ave wo rked in places that had i t and then lost i t. That is where t he fun di sappears and cr eativity goes downhill r apid- ly,” he says. Furby thinks pa rt of the problem is t ha t a lot o f the char ac ter s haven’t been replaced: “There is no new [Bobbi] Gassy. A lo t o f the new generation are very serious and almost accountant- like. We n eed the characters to ensure a fun work- place. There are still a lot though. I have s ome very strange and wo n- der ful pe opl e who I have met through advertising,” he says. That relaxed environment is ve ry important - at his f ormer a gency Arnold [now The Furnace] it bred free thinking and innovative ideas, says F urby: “But manag emen t often don’t l ike it because it seems unc ontr ol labl e even t hou gh it results in better ideas for the client. Management like to be seen to con- trol whether it is detrimental to the clients’ needs. That is why agencies Belgiovane: “The transition across to digital media and content development has made it a lot more interesting and the challenge of staying ahead of the game as business transitions into a digital business has made it more engaging.” res ign ed a s CD of Lowe Hunt, Sydney and is soon to set up his own shop with Lowe Hunt creative Rebecca Carrasco, concurs that the fun inherently comes from the cul- ture of an agency: “The more cre- ative the agency, the more fun it usually is. It could be that creative- ly-driven age ncies are more confi- dent about what they produce and less concerned with micro-manage- ment. Agency rules and regulations usually make a place less fun, which in turn make s it les s inspiring,” Rasic says. “Rules, such a s having to be at your desk nine am sharp, or being forced to create human pyra- mids as part of a team building exercise are obvious fun killers. In my exper ience, creativ e people don’t respond too well to rules and in the end it can stifle the best work you get out.” He agrees with countless advertis- ing execu ti ves who have gone before him in saying it’s all about the work, which is fun: “The reason we got into this industry in the first place is to create great ideas. In the current multi-channel media land- scape, we need to create ideas that people seek out and want to engage with. We need gre at ideas more than ever before. That’s the really fun bit and the reason we get out of bed in the morning. Otherwise it would be ju st anoth er office job, right?” Aft er sel ling out of FNL Communications, Graham Nunn and Da vid Lov eder ar e find ing plenty of reasons for getting out of bed to work on a smal l group of clients a t th eir new shop Funnel, housed on the wharf at Kirribilli. “The lunch wasn’t so much about getting pi ssed then thinking up something fantastic because you were pissed - because usually you never did - it was more that lunch was just going for a break. So if you were thinking too intensely you would go out and relax and loosen up, it just fr eed your mind up. Often Dave and myself would ? MAY/J UNE 2 007
July August 2007