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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : January February 2010
Creativity is a powerful currency and clients -- naturally -- want as much bang from their buck as pos- sible. Australia's performance at Cannes last year is an example of what can be achieved in difficult times. The big challenges for adver- tising creatives in 2010 will be understanding contemporary idea development; making ideas work holistically and 360-degree idea development will continue be para- mount. MATT EASTWOOD Vice Chairman and National ECD DDB Whilst 2009 was a tough year for the industry it was, surprisingly, nowhere near as bad as everyone predicted. In fact, I know of many agencies that performed well, including DDB. I guess we performed well because we worked hard to maintain and build on our client relationships. We won some key pieces of busi- nesses. And we made sure our cre- ative output remained ahead of the game; making some key hires that included Steve Wakelam and Grant McAloon, Matt Grogan, Paul Sharp and Mike Burdick. The general feeling seems to be that the worst is behind us. There's a positivity coming back into the industry. We definitely cut back on awards last year. And we didn't send any- one to Cannes. Although we're not about to "go crazy", we will proba- bly get back to a more normal award entry spend. We're also hop- ing to send delegates to Cannes. Are we hiring again? To be hon- est, we never stopped hiring. We had so much growth with new busi- ness wins that we were putting on new people right throughout last year. We've already added a couple of new teams this year. There's no doubt that, for the industry and the region, the GFC challenged businesses and brands. Some clients became conservative and were less inclined to rock the boat creatively, however, others used it as an opportunity to do things differently. They were searching for campaigns and ideas that swept consumers off their feet. The biggest issue facing tradition- al agencies in 2010 is that the GFC probably hid the fact that spend on traditional media is in decline over- all. Brands will continue to look at creating campaigns that shift away from the traditional -- looking to 17 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF WORSTOVER? Eastwood: "The biggest issue facing traditional agencies in 2010 is that the GFC probably hid the fact that spend on traditional media is in decline overalll" Belgiovane: "We'll also be channelling a considerable amount into staff training and retaining staff numbers but continuing a salary freeze so more money can be placed into training." more comfortable buying it. This should increase award entries, production budgets and travel budgets. We'll be entering some work in Cannes this year but nothing's been confirmed about us being there in June yet. Are we hiring? Yes, so call us if you're looking for a job. Our pro- duction budgets are pretty healthy at the moment. I've already mentioned how some clients and their agencies become cons ervative, yet despite this, the best shops still managed to produce a lot of world-class work -- Mojo, Droga5 and BMF to name a few. And of course, there was The Best Idea in the World. The big challenges in 2010 for advertising creatives will be to keep surprising clients, the public and their peers with game-changing ideas. But that's always going to be a challenge that's easier said than done. ROB BELGIOVANE, Founding Partner/ECD BWM What kind of year was 2009? We have a staff of 150, which is more than we had at the start of 2009. Our revenue is up 29 per cent, and profit has had a very tidy increase of 112 per cent. The BWM team is extremely stable, with all our senior people remaining on staff into the new decade. Whether the GFC is behind us or not, the outlook for BWM is posi- tive. We've picked up new business, but the major growth we've experi- enced is from existing clients giving us larger shares of their accounts. Organic growth has been very strong for us, and we see it continu- ing that way. We're cautious but optimistic. BWM has always been very selec- tive about the awards we enter, so we haven't really cut back. As always, we'll be sending delegates and some clients to Cannes, and we always attend the major award shows within Australia. We'll also be channelling a con- siderable amount into staff training and retaining staff numbers but continuing a salary freeze so more money can be placed into training. Production budgets are tight, but production companies have come to the party so the quality of work remains high. Did the GFC impact on the quali- ty of the work coming out of this region? If anything, it improved it.
May June 2010