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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2008
UP FRO NT T EAM WOR K BACK IN 2004 WHEN ANDY BLOOD FIRST JOINED CEO, David Walden (Devo) as group ECD of TBWA\Whybin\Tequila New Z ealand, the agency was always the br idesmaid in busin ess pitches and hardly troubling the award juries. They set to work turning it around and by 2007 the new business and creative awards were walking in the door. The highs culminated at Cannes in 2007 with two Grand Prix wins - the Media Grand Prix for ASB ‘Pago’ and the Promo Grand Prix for adidas’ ‘Bonded by Blood’. Campaign Brief spills the beans on their working relationship. WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? Blood I was on holiday in Perth and took the opportunity to fly to Melbourne to meet with Scott Whybin and Devo. After going through my book we got down to business and went to a very nice restaurant. We’d never met, but we had some very good friends in common like Andy Lish. In fact it was Lishy who set the ball rolling when he rang me in Singapore and told me to expect a call from Devo. WaldenMy first impression was that he was a nice bloke and had an interest in the agency beyond just the creative product. DESCRIBE YOUR YEARS WORKING TOGETHER? Blood A rollercoaster. Devo backed me 100 per cent from the word go. Complete trust. He wanted a business partner, not just a creative director, and got one. Our first year tested his nerve, but we started doing some ground breaking work, and created a style that paid of handsomely in new business and awards. So much so we were winning too many gongs to count, and our pitch strike-rate became impressive. In 2007, things got quite silly, and we’d come into work and most weeks we’d either win business or awards or both. Walden Exhilarating. Andy has turned our creative product around. Put us on the map both globally and internationally and has given me many opportunities to celebrate. YOU HAD AN AMAZING YEAR AT CANNES 07 WITH TWO GRAND PRIX. WHAT IMPACT DID THAT HAVE ON AGENCY MORALE? Blood Picking up two Grand Prix in Cannes was insane. And nothing has topped that high. Morale was brilliant and the agency was growing fast. Walden I remember waking up early in the morning and Andy calling to say, ‘we’ve won another bloody one’. I couldn’t believe it. We celebrated, but I don’t really think the team really understood how huge an achievement this was. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WORK PRODUCED SINCE TEAMING UP? WHY? BloodWe’re insanely proud of the work we produce for our clients. And we win awards for our big clients. ASB Bank is NZ’s longest running and most successful financial ad campaign, voted People’s Choice again in 2008. Pago for ASB is a Grand Prix winner. Adidas consistently push the boundaries of creativity. And we’ve also produced great work for Nissan and viral work for Oxfam. Walden The last series of Ira Goldstein (ASB Bank) was a real triumph. WHAT STATE WAS THE AGENCY IN WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED WORKING TOGETHER? Blood Devo’s shop was seven years old and was known for two things: ‘Ira Goldstein’ and David Walden. It had a fairly tumultuous history. Now we’re a top five agency – the equal of Saatchi, Colenso, DDB and Publicis Mojo, both in size and creative product. We have a unique creative style; we’re fully integrated, and have a world-class digital resource in Shift. We’re the darlings of the TBWA network, and people are queuing up to work here. Walden The agency had been successful, but was struggling creatively. Andy has improved the creative product out of sight. We’ve produced some fantastic work, but we want better work across the board. HAVE YOU LIFTED THE CREATIVE STANDARD TO THE LEVEL YOU WISHED? WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN NEW BUSINESS WINS? Blood Our best work is world-class. But from judging so many international shows recently, I get the impression that there’s been a seismic shift in quality of thinking and execution. You can never stand still. And we torture ourselves relentlessly about doing better and better work. Walden New business has been good but for the past six months we’ve been in consolidation mode. We put on SkyCity and Nando’s, and it was important that we got these bedded in before we started to look again. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A PROBLEM? Blood With a healthy disrespect for the status quo. Walden “Disruptive” thinking is the best weapon any business can have. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? Blood We are both very passionate people, and we’re both quite disruptive, so of course we argue. But as long as it’s done with goodwill, which it always is, it’s healthy. Walden The wine list. DESCRIBE A GREAT DAY Blood To come in and find out some staff are off collecting an award, and others are off celebrating a new business win with a new client. That our runner has had a five-star review for his stand-up comedy routine, our receptionist has picked up an international contract (she’s a milliner), and the agency band has had their first Number One hit. Walden See some work that worries me a little because it’s audacious and challenging and then watch the client buy it. WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? Blood If it’s sunny, Te Whau on Waiheke Island. (Helicoptered in.) Oysters. Viognier. Walden Cibo. Bloody Mary. Towering sashimi, Pinot Gris, fish of the day. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING TOGETHER? Blood The 2007 TBWA conference in LA is unforgettable: Lee Clow was wearing a TBWA\Whybin t-shirt and we were sipping cocktails at the Playboy Mansion, with ‘our’ star in the ascendant. Walden The first time I saw Andy wearing his false plastic breasts. WHAT DO YOU MOST ADMIRE ABOUT EACH OTHER? Blood Devo is passionate, tenacious, humorous, and good company. Walden I admire his brain. It’s very rare to have a creative director who’s a brilliant creative but also has a degree in economics and can talk to you about business realities and converse with a client’s financial director on equal terms. WHAT DO THEY PUT IN THE WATER IN NEW ZEALAND TO MAKE THE WORK SO GOOD? Blood It’s not water that comes out of the taps – it’s Sav Blanc. Walden I reckon it’s the lack of water. Ideas don’t get watered down as readily in New Zealand. More work gets through clients the way agencies want. More work gets produced the way agencies envisage and more dialogue is had with clients at the senior level. More recently, New Zealand has become a bit of a lightning rod to attract great talent from around the globe. BLOODAND 28 CAMP AI GN B RIEF NOV E MB ER/DE CE MB E R 2 0 08
Awards Dec 2008
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