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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2010
22 CAMPAIGNBRIEF MAY/JUNE 2010 WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF EACH OTHER? DiLallo We first met in 2008, I liked Todd, he was incredibly passionate about the work and clear on the direction he wanted to take the company. I was on board 100% and that hasn't changed since. Sampson We met two years ago in a café in Rose Bay. I had heard a lot about him. My first thought was 'I wonder if he is going to wear that baseball cap to client meetings'. ANDY'S LONG-TERM CREATIVE PARTNER, JAY BENJAMIN, HAS JUST LEFT THE AGENCY. IS IT STRANGE THAT THREE HAS SINCE BECOME TWO? HAS IT CHANGED THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU? DiLallo Jay and I were very much in sync, and although I would love to still have him around, this really is the right time for us both to forge our own way in the business. As far as the dynamic with Todd and I, it has brought us much closer. In place of losing a close confidant I really have gained a new one. Sampson He smiles at me a bit more and is a little more touchy feely but other than that things haven't really changed that much. They are both great creative directors in their own right. WHAT MAKES THE PARTNERSHIP WORK SO WELL? DiLallo Todd is both driven and focused. Two characteristics that you often find in a CEO, but he is also a good listener and has a lot of heart, something you don't often find. The combination really helps to take the partnership and ultimately the agency to another level. Sampson It's simple really, Andy is brilliant at what he does and I respect him. Everything else just flows from that. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE WORK PRODUCED OUT OF LEO'S IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? DiLallo Canon Photo Chains, The thinking behind this felt really fresh from the start. I love the way we have been able to create a point of difference for the brand not just highlight one that was already there. The campaign has established a two-way conversation with consumers that continues long after their initial purchase. Sampson It would be a tie between Canon Photochains (every channel in one idea) and Subaru All 4 The Driver 'Crowd Rider' (a cultural change idea). TODD'S QUITE THE TV STAR AFTER HIS APPEARANCES ON THE GRUEN TRANSFER -- DOES HE HAVE A TOUCH OF STAR POWER AROUND THE OFFICE? DiLallo Not at all, if it wasn't for the complete ribbing he gets about it every day I don't think anyone would notice. IS ANDY ONE OF THOSE ECCENTRIC CREATIVE TYPES? IS TODD HIDING A BUTTONED UP SUIT BEHIND HIS FUNKY T-SHIRTS? DiLallo I don't think Todd hides anything. Sampson Andy's not eccentric - he's rebellious. When your mother's a Judge and your father a General in the Army you either end up as an accountant or a troublemaker. Andy is not great with numbers. WHAT IMPACT DOES BEING THE AGENCY BEHIND 'EARTH HOUR' HAVE ON THE AGENCY CULTURE? DOES IT MAKE EVERYONE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS IN THE WORKPLACE? DiLallo The biggest challenge we face is living up to our ambition we have laid out for the planet. Sampson Earth Hour is a part of our culture and we are proud of it but it does have a down side in terms of perception. We have become known for Earth Hour yet it's only a small part of what we actually do. I guess there could be worse things to be known for. LEO BURNETT, SYDNEY CEO, TODD SAMPSON -- who gained national fame as a panelist on the ABC's Gruen Transfer -- and American born ECD, Andy DiLallo, first starting working together in April 2008 when DiLallo joined the agency from JWT Sydney as joint ECD with his long-term creative partner, Jay Benjamin. Last December, Benjamin returned to New York, leaving DiLallo as sole ECD of the agency. As the agency behind WWF's 'Earth Hour', having an environmentally conscious workplace was at the forefront of the design for the agency's swanky new Walsh Bay offices. CB explores their working relationship - and what's in store for the new Sampson and DiLallo era to come. HOW'S LIFE IN THE NEW BUILDING IN THE ROCKS? DiLallo It has been a brilliant move for us. I started my career in Sydney at 70 George St. so coming back to the rocks has felt like coming home. We also had the added bonus of being able to design the space from an empty shell so we feel a strong connection with it. Sampson This is not the Rocks, it's Walsh Bay - the district that doesn't actually exist. I like the diversity here -- when you stepped out of the office in McMahon's Point you saw Grandmothers happily pushing their grand kids in prams -- now when we step out we se e crack addicts, Japanese Tourists and the beautiful harbour bridge. IS THERE A STYLE OF WORK THAT DEFINES LEO BURNETT UNDER YOUR MANAGEMENT? DiLallo I hope not. The last thing I would want is a house style. For me I look for diversity in the people we hire and the work we produce. Our pur- pose for being is to help brands stand out. If the work feels like it is coming from the same place we haven't done our job. Sampson Diverse. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A PROBLEM? DiLallo The first step is to try and get as much information as possible. The better we understand the nature of the problem and the factors involved the better armed we are to find the right solution. Sampson By understanding it first. I don't know how many times I have seen brilliant solutions for problems that didn't exist. YOU'RE GIVING THE BEST MAN'S SPEECH AT HIS WEDDING. WHAT'S YOUR OPENING LINE? DiLallo To the bride's family I would just like to say , . Sampson Life is hard -- but marrying Andy will bring that to an entirely new level. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? DiLallo We don't. Sampson I have worked with Andy for two years and we have never had an argument. That said, he does spend a lot of his time manipulating me through reverse psychology and passive aggressive behaviour. DESCRIBE A GREAT DAY? DiLallo It's 87 degree, I wake up and get a phone call, we've just won AdNews agency of the year. I roll over and hug Todd, we spoon for about an hour, and then get breaky, eggs on toast. While we are sitting there, a bird shits in Todd's food... He doesn't notice... I say nothing. Sampson Waking up at 6am and having Andy cut off my hair in a barber- shop in Rose Bay. WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? DiLallo Tuckshop, chips and gravy extra hair. Sampson Really? DESCRIBE EACH OTHER'S OFFICES? DiLallo His is smaller than mine. Sampson Andy's office is a Lego den with a harbour view. WHAT DO YOU MOST ADMIRE ABOUT EACH OTHER? DiLallo How he can count to ten with his left hand. Sampson His disregard for the status quo. WHAT'S THE MAGICAL HOLD LEO BURNETT SYDNEY HAS ON YOU? DiLallo Our people. They are the DNA of our brand and are inextricably linked with the best culture I have ever experienced in an agency. Sampson I am not certain how to describe it other than culture. It's a unique balance between creating great work and taking care of people. SAMPSON&
January February 2010