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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2010
HOT SHOT A darker shade of Grey. Jay Furby surprised many when he announced he was joining forces with WPP's Grey Advertising to rebrand its flagging Sydney office as JayGrey. It's understood he gets a 30 per cent stake in the new venture, which opened last September, ending Furby's two-year break from the industry. The former creative director of Arnold has also worked at DDB Sydney, where he was CD for two years, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney and Lowe Howard-Spink, London. "It's been a crazy, whirlwind, very busy time and thanks to the relationships we've built quickly with our clients we've managed to do some interesting work, rather rapidly," says Furby. "All of the work has an attitude, in categories not known for the fun stuff." Already getting JayGrey noticed is Ambi Pur's toilet freshener campaign, using the tagline, 'now that's an eau de toilette'. Sending up perfume ads, the print ads feature a sexy male model embracing a housewife, and sales are good, according to Furby. Contrary to Grey's reputation as a conservative agency, Furby says it has done some awesome work over the years, for example, for TAC and John West, but there's a misguided perception of them, based mainly on their moniker. "As a creative community they are also moving forward rapidly on the world stage under new directions and are securing immense talent, business and awards worldwide," he says. During his break, Furby wrote six children's books, an adult novel and a screenplay, securing himself an agent. The children's books have been optioned as movies, from which the books will flow. The first, 'Cassandrak and the Cloak of Teddy Bears' is currently in development with a director and a Hollywood company has optioned his novel. Time out gave him a fresh perspective on advertising -- he now chuckles at the obsessive navel gazing aspects of the business. Furby says: "We do this job to do well and we strive to be the best, making interesting things that capture the hearts and minds of the consumer, but writing a thirty-second commercial takes a lot less energy and soul then a novel and is a lot less damaging, so we should be having fun and counting our lucky stars. I also think the relentless bitching and backstabbing that abounds is hilarious and rather insipid. A wry smile is the best shield." JayGrey's philosophy is to create advertising that gets people to open the door -- making them laugh, cry, or telling them something they don't know in a new and interesting way. There are many reasons why this doesn't happen more often in advertising. "Bad agencies. Unimaginative or scared clients. Bad creatives. Unsupportive management. Clients patronizing their consumers. Laziness. Greed. The relationship between client and agency being tired and flaccid -- every example of 'badvertising' will have its poisonous roots, all of them different," he says. "Truth is we like making good ads and non ads, whatever the media, so we strive to do that. It is what we are paid for and we want to work with clients that want to be as proud of what they make as we are. We have a duty to entertain and interest. Ads sell, but great ads sell more."
January February 2010