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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September October 2008
UP FRO NT T EAM WOR K ANTHONY GREGORIO, CEO OF THE FURNACE SYDNEY, and nat ional creative director Rob Martin Murphy have been working together since Ju ly 200 6 when Martin Mu rphy c ame on board after f ive years as ECD of Euro RSCG Singapore/Malaysia. The Havas-owned agency, formed in January 2006, following the merger of The Moult Agency and Brandhouse Arnold, relocated to funky new offices in King Street last year. The pair, who practically live next door to each other, enjoy arguing ferociously over the work, before making up over duck pancakes at BBQ King. WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? Gregorio At The Ball Partnership in 1995, I think. Rob was partnered with Dave Heytman and I was an account manager. It was a good agency and lots of fun. Martin Murphy At The Ball Partnership. I’m not sure we worked on much together then, but we got on pretty well. Thankfully, we still do. WHAT MAKES THE PARTNERSHIP WORK SO WELL? GregorioWe’re pretty much on the same wavelength. We don’t always agree, but ultimately we want to do the best work we can. Even outside of work we have a lot in common, which helps the working relationship. Martin MurphyWe both want to do great work. I think it’s as simple as that. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WORK PRODUCED IN THAT TIME? Gregorio I’m sure Rob will say Solo Man Cans and I love it too. Probably the bravest is the new Skins (skins.net) spot. It’s not often you do something in advertising that really motivates debate. The blogs are going crazy, particularly in the US. It’s amazing how much hatred is out there. Martin Murphy Solo ‘Man Cans’ because it was Cadbury-Schweppes’ first truly integrated campaign and it sold bucket loads. The new Solo Strong work is fantastic and should help do the same. RaboPlus ‘Affluents Anonymous’ campaign. Fairfax digital. Skins Uneven Playing Fields print. And yes, the Skins TVC. Because the client backed it even after it had been rejected by the US networks and the UK broadcasting board. DON’T YOU LIVE NEAR EACH OTHER IN BONDI? DO YOU HANG OUT WITH EACH OTHER OUTSIDE OF WORK? Gregorio Other than Rob using my five-year-old son to feed his cat whenev- er he’s not around, we don’t see much of each outside of work. Rob’s liv- ing the life of a single bloke and I’m married with two kids, so on the week- ends there’s probably only about six hours a day when we’re both awake! Martin Murphy Strangely enough, I’ve rented a place about thirty-seconds walk from Ant’s. But we tend to keep to ourselves outside of work. It’s good for lifts to and from the office, though. WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT 2008 SO FAR? Gregorio The new space is great. It’s our space and comes with no baggage. Martin MurphyWe’ve moved into a great new office space and we have some great new people, there’s a real buzz in the agency. It’s definitely helping us to push our ideas further. ANTHONY HAS DESCRIBED HIMSELF AS A FRUSTRATED CREATIVE. HOW DOES THIS PLAY OUT? Gregorio I heard that Reg Bryson used to threaten the creative department at The Palace, that he would write the ad if they couldn’t crack it. I don’t know if it’s true, but I use that one a lot. Actually we make everyone in account management put the ‘suit ad’ on the back of every brief. It’s a great discipline and actually works to help get thinking right. Martin Murphy He deserves a good kicking from time to time. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A PROBLEM? Gregorio We try and mix things up. I firmly believe that to get the best work out, everyone has to contribute to the thinking. We stole a good idea from a Havas conference recently where we put a brief on the wall near reception and everyone in the agency has to put at least one idea up that answers the brief. You get some great left field ideas, but the main thing is everyone gets involved in the creative process. Martin MurphyWe do say that creative is an agency and not a department. We try and make the process as collaborative as possible. We believe that’s what makes the strategy, work and client relationships better. YOU’RE GIVING THE BEST MAN’S SPEECH AT HIS WEDDING. WHAT’S YOUR OPENING LINE? Gregorio I never thought this day would happen. Martin Murphy I was just wondering if Ant’s wife knows about this. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? Gregorio The usual. Creatives taking the piss. Suits getting their act together. Mostly it’s about the work. We just try and keep each other and the entire agency honest about what is good and what isn’t. Martin Murphy The work, which is healthy. We also argue about award bud- gets and my expenses. DESCRIBE A GREAT DAY Gregorio Get a surf in before work. Present some great work to a client and they love it. Find out another client wants to massively increase their budgets. Beat (head of art) Paul Fenton at table tennis. Get home in time to see the kids before they go to bed and have dinner with my wife. Sleep eight hours. Martin Murphy Get a lift into work from Ant in the morning. Crack some great ideas. Sell some great ideas. Find out we won some awards and some new business. Watch Fenton thrash Ant at ping-pong. Get a lift home from Ant in the evening. WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? Gregorio Duck pancakes at BBQ King. Martin Murphy BBQ King. Duck pancakes. The End. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED IN YOUR FIRST YEAR? Gregorio The first six months of the merger was the toughest time of my career. Convincing Rob to join was a real boost for me. We knew each other, but we weren’t close. I wasn’t sure he’d go for it, but I’m clearly pretty happy he did. He has done an amazing job. Martin Murphy Taking a creative department that was definitely split between the two merged agencies and making it one. For me, it didn’t mat- ter where people came from it was just about the quality of the work. I think it has worked out pretty well. We have a great crew that loves working here. Or so they tell me. WHAT DO YOU MOST ADMIRE ABOUT EACH OTHER? Gregorio His poker face. You never quite know what’s going on inside that ugly, bald, noggin of his, but he always manages to get the work out of the department that we need. Martin Murphy He has a lovely house. I admire the way Ant seems pretty laid back and relaxed for a CEO. Although it’s fun watching him get angry. WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING FOR THE FURNACE? Gregorio Keep doing what we’re doing. Create work we’re proud of regardless of format. Keep our people happy. Win more like-minded clients. Have some fun. Martin Murphy I just hope we continue to do work that gets noticed. And continue to have fun doing it. MARTIN-MURPHY 12 CAMP AI GN B RIEF SEP T E MBE R/OCT OB E R 2 0 08
Awards Dec 2008