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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September 2010
CAMPAIGNBRIEF SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF EACH OTHER? Colman I first met Dejan in 2005 at Lowe when I walked downstairs and there he was. His reputation preceded him and he was a lot more humble than I presumed he would be. Rasic I met Ben at Lowe and thought he's not one of your typical CEOs. For starters, he wears a t-shirt and he's got a lot of passion for the work. HOW DID THE DECISION TO START THE AGENCY COME ABOUT? Colman We connected at Lowe and had a desire to do something beyond where we were. It wasn't a grand plan we'd been hashing for months and months, but we kind of collectively came to the same point at the same moment and decided to go for it. Our business plan was hatched at the Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo. Rasic It was a decision made around like-minded thinking. We didn't drink that much, it was a very serious lunch and all about making sure we were all in it for the right reasons. WHAT'S BEEN THE BEST THING ABOUT STARTING THE AGENCY? HOW DO YOU ENVISION THE AGENCY SHAPING UP? Colman Walking in to the office every day and opening up. There's always something different or new happening. We don't have any grand ideas about size, it's more about creating the work and positioning the reputation of the agency every single day. We don't have a number of staff in mind but we do have a desire to create an agency in Australia that has an enduring international creative reputation for doing great work on real and important clients. Rasic The best thing for me is that we get to define the path we take our- selves so we're not at the mercy of an existing template. It's like renovating a house you want, you are not moving into someone else's home, you are putting all the pieces together from a blueprint, you are doing what you like. I agree with Ben, it's all about making sure every day is enjoyable and you are not just rocking up to work because you have to. By doing that hopefully we'll grow anyway because it will be a consequence of that. WHAT'S THE FAVOURITE WORK YOU'VE PRODUCED SO FAR? Colman In terms of global exposure, impact and the heartfelt nature of the issue that it confronts, I'd have to say the music videos with Radiohead's 'All I Need' and The Killers 'Goodnight, Travel Well' for the MTV Exit Foundation Asia. But in terms of work that is exciting, interesting and different, it would be have to be launching the Coopers 62 Pilsner where we took the DNA genetic profile of 62 beer drinkers and turned it into works of art. Rasic I have to agree. Our work on the MTV EXIT was one of the most challenging and rewarding campaigns I have ever worked on. It was also very cool to have the opportunity to work on videos for some of my favourite bands. We have a super knowledgeable client on board at EXIT who works with us intimately, ensuring the work ends up as great as can be. Coopers 62 was also brilliant to work on, it's such a different way of approaching beer advertising -- we didn't feature anyone in the ad, it was all about their DNA make-up. We had a very brave and smart client on board for that. We have some very collaborative clients that help make the process smooth. AFTER GAINING INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION AT LOWE SYDNEY, the former CEO, Ben Colman and executive creative director, Dejan Rasic joined creative Rebecca Carrasco and left to set up their own shop. In 2007 they opened the door on their East Sydney-based agency. Initially called Colman Rasic Carrasco the agency was renamed Colman Rasic in March this year when Carrasco departed. At Lowe, Rasic won a multitude of awards for campaigns such as 'LynxJet' for Unilever. More recently, he created the hugely popular 'Welcome Snoop' campaign for MTV Networks. Colman and Rasic spill the beans on their working relationship to Campaign Brief. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? Colman Everything and nothing. We argue, but never in a way that gets personal. Rasic Whether to have Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir. Ben always wants the air conditioning up, and I always want it down; it's really annoying. WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? Colman I'd go to O'Porto and order a Bondi Burger. Rasic elBulli, that fancy restaurant in Spain you have to book a year in advance. I'd be happy to eat anything on their menu. But I just heard a rumour it's closing down. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING TOGETHER? Colman It had to be the Barclay's pitch three months after the agency opened. We were pitching at ten in the morning. We finished at 5am and were back two hours later. We won the pitch against our old agency, which was a really good feeling. I shipped in my dining table from home to use as our boardroom table and the client commented on how much he liked it. Rasic At four in the morning we started to think that we were probably going to win the pitch. There was a real sense of solidarity, it was such a good team effort and we all worked really hard on it. IS DEJAN ONE OF THOSE ECCENTRIC CREATIVE TYPES? IS BEN ONE OF THOSE BUTTONED-UP SUITS? Colman Yes, he's bizarre. He's obsessed with online shopping. But I have never met a more naturally gifted creative than Dejan. Rasic Ben is probably more eccentric than I am. When it comes to the work he is very passionate and knowledgeable, and that's what sets him apart. He has an innate ability to crack strategies that make sense. He's also got a tonne of experience on the client side, which is also really valuable, but he is far from buttoned-up. In fact, I rarely see buttons on him. WHAT'S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED AT COLMAN RASIC? Colman Like any business, it's continuing to grow month on month, particularly in the recent economic environment. It's been about hard work and it's been about focus. I'd say the biggest challenge that we've confronted and overcome is making Barclay's feel comfortable with the idea they were buying an opportunity and a promise rather than a track record because we were a start-up. Rasic Hiring the right people, making sure we find those people, because with only ten full-time staff every person counts at this stage of our growth. WHAT'S NEXT FOR COLMAN RASIC? Colman We're on a journey. Collectively we've achieved some things but we're not there yet. Our ambition is to continue to deliver outcomes and opportunities for our clients and continue for them to be endorsing what we do. Rasic A plumbing business: it's going to be big and it's going to involve social media. Meanwhile, we're going to stick to our guns that the idea is what we want to offer, we're not going to get caught up in buzzwords like social media and online being the future, and claim that TV is dead. Pretty much, nothing is dead, nothing is the future. The one thing you've got is an idea to engage someone with. COLMANAND
May June 2010