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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : January February 2010
A lightning fast move. When Melissa Peters, 32, was offered the job as Lowe Sydney's digital creative director she jumped at the chance to take a lead role in digital at a mainstream agency. Peters relocated from digital shop Citrus in her native Melbourne where she spent a year as creative director. "A lot of digital agencies are finding they are really great executors and they are doing some great digital work but when it comes to big ideas and big thinking, they don't have that communications background the big brand agencies have," she says. However, she warns that if long-standing agencies want to remain the drivers behind clients' communication strategies, traditional agencies need to reinvent the way they approach digital. "They need to make it a serious part of agency culture and in my experience it's still not happening in many places. There's much talk, not much doing," she says. After doing a Bachelor of Advertising at RMIT, her first job in advertising was at a small Melbourne agency since closed, where she literally had to carry her desk in. "They were a small agency and said, 'we want you to work here but we don't have the space for you,' so I took in an Ikea desk and sat there working on their jobs with ideas, brought in new business, and things took off from there," she says. Prior to Citrus, Peters was a senior copywriter at CHE for three years where she headed up the digital account for Mazda. She's set up her own shop, ThrutheLine, working with a media shop to develop the advertising for hair product Moosehead and held senior copywriter roles at George Patterson Y&R, DDB, Mojo/Publicis Dialog and Rapp Collins. Then there's a stint at Bates Vietnam launching the country's first pre-paid mobile card for MobiFone. Peters also runs a popular culture website called Love Bento, showcasing Melbourne's most loved bars, fashion, bands, cafes, gadgets and events. She plans to roll out a Sydney version. At Citrus one of the highlights was building the retail community, Sportsgirl.com, creating a place for consumers to talk about fashion, style and culture interacting with each other via forums, blogs, vox pops and polls. Specializing in digital was an easy decision. Peters says: "I have always loved and embraced new media and really pushed the boundary on traditional media and how you can connect further with the customers. I felt that we are moving into a digital world, and this is the place people will come, so understanding this space felt vital." While digital is commonly associated with the under 35s, Peters has worked with some savvy senior people. "Even if they don't sit there and tweet every five seconds they understand new media and are embracing where it's going. There's still a lot of young people who are online all the time but they don't get how to communicate in this space," she says. Peters has ambitions to work overseas again, possibly in the UK or the US, and hopes there will be opportunities within the Lowe Group globally. She's in good company -- Tom Markham, the for- mer digital CD of Lowe Sydney who she replaced -- is now the worldwide digital creative director of Lowe, based in New York. PHOTOGRAPHY: DEREK HUGHES LOCATION: GLEBE
May June 2010