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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2008
T HE BUSI NE SS business c ard it’s not cr edible that you are part of that picture.” His r esp onse is D5 Circle, a n alliance o f six or s even c ompanies who are eminent in their s peci fic worlds of musi c, a rchitect ur e, media, entertainment and gaming. Some will have desk space in t he agency’s Sur ry Hills o ffice. Peo ple in t he D5 C irc le i nclude fo rmer A&R exe cutive a t Wa rner Music, Matt O’Connor, who launched his own compan y The A&R Dep art- ment, working with bands including Thirsty Me rc a nd The Be autif ul Girls , f ormer editorial di rector o f Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Dolly, Mia Freedman and TV pr oducer Pa ul Melville, founder of XYZ Network, who is already working with D5 on two TV projects. “The most important thing is hav- ing lots of fresh voices in the room and D5 Circle wi ll give u s th at opportunity because it m eans f rom a client perspective we can credibly workshop and talk about are as l ike musi c, fa shion, architect ure an d TV, but we don’t necessarily own those people or c arry their name,” says N obby. “There is a ce rtain arrogance that exists in advertising, and I’v e certainly b een guilty of it myself in the past, where you think because you are in advertising you are q ualified to talk about e very area of the media world eloquently and yet you would be a mazed if someone from the music world said they wan t to make a sixty-second TV spot. The reality is that the peo- ple in D5 Circle h ave al l spen t at least twenty years doi ng in t heir world what I’m doing in my world and t hey have just as conf ident a voic e talk ing about mus ic o r th e medi a or TV production as I d o talking about advertising.” Havi ng a ccess to someo ne l ike Melville means when D5 sits down to talk to a network about creating a TV show, there’s a sense of credi- bility that it can happen. “I’m not talking about produc ing TV ads, I’m talking about produc- ing TV shows. A l ot of people in the agency world think producing a six-episode TV program/show f or free-to-air is bas ically like mak ing very long ads because they see it from a pro duction perspective but the reality is, gett ing the thing pro- duced is a tiny part of it. Julian Watt, who m oved t o Austra lia as ECD of 3 03 Sydn ey ear lier thi s year fr om h is nati ve South Africa, where he was ECD at Net#work BBDO, previously head- ed a creative department of over 30 people that included authors, song- writers, journalists, clothing design- ers, photographers and illus trators. However, he’s not yet sure how this will play out at his new agency. “The cre ative departm ent at Net#work was ov er th irty p eople, which if you compare to 303 is very different, s o by that rat io you ca n have the lux ury of ex perimenting. You’ve got some play area, but your fundamentals were well in pla ce,” says Wat t. “The common th ing is to f ind an idea that mak es p eople pleasantly surprised and if we need 32 CAMP AI GN B RIEF the process where it is about pro- ducing the idea t hat has already been f ormulated and solve d, it’s using a s lightly incongruous match of the people and the problem to arrive at what will be a more inter- esting solution,” says Watt. He compares it to agen cies out- sourcing TV production – the rea- son TVCs are of such high quality is you are not locked down to one executor. Instead, y ou match the director with the job: “I’m inspired by and I’ve always been excited by the idea that agencies should be able to s hare their creative ideas and excite their third-party suppli- ers as much as the y are. So, when you give an idea to a design compa- ny to execute they must love that process so much that it becomes their idea and so all you are doing there is hiring people outside your industry. The notion i s the same – it’s just about who is paying their bill, do you have them on an ongo- ing retainer or do you use them on a project basis, and I think you have to do both,” says Watt. Rob B el giovane, fou nder an d Patsy Peacock (with Droga in Cannes): “There’s a sense other industries are attracting the creative talent that would have previously gone into advertising. Advertising used to be seen as glamorous and highly paid, but now it’s no longer seen in that light,” says Peacock. GS&P co-chairman, Jeff Goodby, said the agency has a really high success rate with hiring people from comedy troupes. Says Goodby: “You’ve got to do a little bit of finessing with them but they learn. They’ve never done anything totally awkward but they also tend to come up with very original, funny work that advertising people wouldn’t necessarily think of. It’s been great to have people like that here, plus they see things as the audience, they establish a kind of wonderful freedom and art school feeling to the place because they are very often people that have been making their own videos online and they tend to be very freeform like rap videos.” to hire twenty copywriters to do it, or if we need to hire twenty st reet sweepers we’ll do t hat, bu t we ’ll create ideas and tha t’s th e r eally exciting thing.” The nine people fr om d isparate backgrounds at Net#work, worked out of one room under the banner, The New Frontier, were used selec- tively on briefs. Says Watt : “ Say you are writing a retail ad about a ten percent inte rest rate, I don’ t want a poet doing that because that would be crazy, but when you a re doing a brand commercial f or a bank it is interesting if you mix it up, so it’s case dependent. You have to get your systems to run like scient ific beautiful mac hines bu t then introduce a layer of chaos so that anything can hap pen becau se otherwise you end up with the same old. They think differently, so you can’t really ask them to jump onto the normal track, an d say i t’s lik e we did thre e months before and three months before that. They’ve never done it before so it required a large amount of creative directio n, but when you got it rig ht yo u go t results that were totally different.” As well as hiring pe ople out side the industry, it developed a project process called Street# talk wher e people with creative ability, regard- less of what it was, were invited into the agency to work on specific pro- jects aligned to real client briefs. “If I hire a photographer, chances are their creative output is as a pho- tographer, if I hire an a rt dir ector chances are they have been working on print and TV and there’s a need for that. What I am looking for, and what I did at Net#work, i s I hired people and then I took them out of their comfort zone – I would ask a photographer to approach a pri nt ad with the client’s business pr ob- lem in mind. It’s not just the end of execu tive cr eati ve d irect or of BWM, says broadening the talent base is not a luxury, but something agen cie s nee d to st art thin king about. He says for a lot of people in advertising creativity is coming up with an idea for an ad campaign, but in contemporary business it’s about applying creativity to whatev- er problem the business has. While the creative department at BWM i s s ti ll fu ll of cl as sical ly trained creatives, Belgiovan e says they have been reac hin g out to other creative disciplines and using a diverse range of talent. For exam- ple, John Pol son, cr eat or of Tropfest and fi lm director on films including Siam Sunset, Swim Fan and Hide & Seek, directed its latest work for Tels tra, ‘Everybody’s Talking’. This was the first com- mer cial Polson ha s directed and rather than coming in at the end of the pr oces s, he sat down and engaged with the agency for a few weeks on d evel opi ng t he i dea, which Belgiovane says is a com- pletely different way of working. “Th e a gency used to come up with the idea, th e client and the agency would work on the script themselves, then they would call in the director and say make it exactly like that. How Hollywood makes a film is someone writes a script and then the director interprets it and brings a lot more to it, and that simple shift makes a huge difference to the outcome,” says Belgiovane. “It’s allowing them to contribute, so it’s about training your clients you are no longe r sewn up on a script to the ’enth degree – where’s the full stop, is that person wearing a red jumper, can I read the label when t he Coke bottle is turned around and f acing me – that’s the old-school way of doing it. The new school way is collaboration. So you get the client in with John Polson and you kick around a few ideas. It’s a lot more fun for them, and it’s a lot more fun for us.” SEP T E MBE R/OCT OB E R 2 0 08
Awards Dec 2008