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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : November December 2008
AGE NCIE S ClemengerWellington: the quiet achieverof the BBDOnetwork Currently ranked as the fifth hottest agency in Australasia in Campaign Brief’s 2008 rankings, up from 10th place the year before, and ranked sixth in the world at the end of 2007 by CB’s sister site, bestadsontv.com, Clemenger Wellington’s run started at Cannes 07 when the agency picked up a rare integrated Titanium Lion and a Promo Lion for the New Zealand Netherlands Foundation ‘World Press Photo Exhibition’. ‘Phone Legends’ for LTNZ also won a Gold in direct, Silver in Media and was a finalist in Cyber. The Gold Lion given to BBDO for Cannes Network of the Year rests in the Wellington office in acknowledgement of the contribution the agency made to the tally. CB’s Heather Jacobs visited Clemenger Wellington and discovered an agency that is quietly achieving world- class work in the ‘biggest little city in the world’. IN NOVEMBER LAST YEAR, 289 carri- er pigeons made t hei r wa y from director Peter Jackson’s Omak a Aviation Heritage Centre, each car- rying a piece of bi llboard message rolled in a cylinder attached to its legs. The s tunt was pa rt o f a pro - motional campaign b y Clemenger BBDO, Wellington, t o r aise local awarenes s of t he W or ld War 1 Museum, and i f he cou ld, t he agency’s executive creative director and CEO, Philip ‘Duster’ Andrew, would send a carrier pi geon t o Australia to tell everyone just h ow great Wellington is. At a cost of $NZ12,000, the cam- paign d eli vere d a 30 per cen t increase in vis itors , and wo n t he ag enc y on e of i ts two Lions at Cannes this year, picking up Silver in the Promo Lions . The ag ency als o won a Press Gold Lion for Land T ransp ort N ew Ze aland’ s Sleep Befor e Drivin g Cam paig n, ‘Tree’, ‘Creek’ and ‘Bridge’. They call Wellington the ‘biggest litt le city i n the w orld ’ and t he charming, arty and picturesque har- bour side ci ty h as long deman ded to be noticed on the world advertis- ing stage. Curr ent ly ran ked a s the fift h hotte st a gency in Aus tralasia i n Campaign Brief’s 2008 ran kings, up from 10th place the year before, and ranked sixth in the world at the end o f 2 007 by bestadsontv.com, Clemenger Wellington’s run started at Canne s 07 when t he a gency picked u p a r are Int egrated Lion and a Promo Lion fo r the New Zealand Netherlands Foun dation ‘World Pre ss Phot o E xhibiti on’. ‘Phone Legen ds’ for LTNZ also won a Gold Lion in D irect, Silv er in Medi a and was a fin alist in Cyb er. The Gold L ion g iven t o BBDO for 2007 Cannes Ne twork of the Year rests in the Wellington office in a cknowledgeme nt of t he significant contribution t he ag ency made to the tally. While the agency didn’t enter the New Zealand AXIS Aw ards la st year , the agency ’s sta nce on the local award sh ow helped spur a revamp of the show and it entered again this year. Inst rumen tal i n build ing the agency from the remnants of HKM and Colenso Welli ngton, which we re merg ed i n 1998 t o form Clemenger BBDO, was the partner- ship between Philip Andrew, better 22 CAMP AI GN B RIEF known as Duster, and Pe ter Biggs. The latter relocated to C lemenger BBDO Mel bou rne a s ma naging director in 2005 after seven years. The core management team is now Duster, financ e dir ect or M ik e Higgins, managing di rector Le sley Brow n a nd new CD Paul N agy. Furthermore, Jim Moser, fo rmer managing director of Clemeng er BBDO S ydney is n ow CEO of Clemenger Group New Ze aland (and chairman of Colenso BBDO) after Roger MacDonnell s tepped down to a part-time role. Creative director Pa ul Nagy was promote d from dep uty cre ative director in mid-May wh en Ma rk Har rick s ret urned to his native Australia as CD of DDB Syd ney. Nagy had been groomed for the job in keeping with the agency’s philos- ophy of nurturing young talent and then promoting from within. Having the ECD as the CEO is a unique set -up an d par t of the ag ency’s success, says Du st er , because it means the focus is always on the work and the re lationships with clients while Higgins keeps an eye on the finances. With billings of $71 million, there is 7 9 s taff with people hired on fit before ability. “It s ounds l ike a bi t of a du mb way to do it , and I wou ld ne ver employ anybody who didn’t have a great book, but the industry used to be filled with prima donna’s and we simpl y d on’t have an y in t he agency,” says Duster. “I’ve worked in agencies where there ar e plenty of prima donna’s and i t makes l ife pretty horrible and I do n’t think it creates better work. Life’s too short to work with really di fficult people and that whol e notion of c lients finding creative people d ifficult to work with, you just c an’t a fford to do that, certainly not in this busi- ness a nd in this co untr y a t the moment. I don’t know what it’s like in Austral ia, it could be di fferent, but we really have to work with our clients in order to g et g ood wor k through.” Robe rt Mor gan, chair man of Clemenger Commu nicat ion s Group, says that t he Well ington office makes a fantastic c ontribu - tion to the creative ou tput, some- thing that is recognised not just by the C lemenger networ k, but throughout BBDO. Morgan says its success is driven by se veral factors: “Firstly, New Zealand has a strong he ri tag e in cr ea tivity, secondly Clemenger BBDO Wellington has been led by a creative guy in Duster and t he whol e ag ency i s bu ilt around the product, which is the way it would want to be, really. I think i t is a remarkable agency, in an absolute sense, but also com- pared to the market in which it operates. Financiall y, it is very important – we don’t give out num- bers for individual offices, but they cer tainly punch w el l above their weight.” Mor gan i dentifi es Duster ’s strengths as his p assion, saying he lives for t he c reative work and is always trying to best his last effort. However , he doe sn’t expec t to wres tle Duster away fr om Wellington anytime soon: “Duster could work elsewhere and he could have don e t hat al l t hr ough hi s career but he happens to love where he lives and long may that contin- ue ,” sa ys Mor gan. “Tha t’s not because he could n’t cut it else- where, quite obviously he could do brilliantly well, but he does love Wellington and that agency, it is in a sense his agency.” Duster says while there was a time when it was simply impossible to attract talent to Wellington, once word got out about the type of work coming ou t of t he ag ency, i t became easier. “At the same time, Wellington has been really kicking into gear and it’s become a really co ol little city to li ve i n. Ever y t ime we g o t o Auckland for a job you get to the airport and you are always rushing and it’s so frustrating because the traffic is just dynamite. Sydney traf- fic fl ows mu ch bet ter than Auckland traffic. So, suddenly you find yourself in a bigger city that’s got all the issues of major big cities like c ongest ion and things , but none of the benefits,” says Duster. Harricks concurs that Wellington was a great city to live in, saying everything is onl y f ive minut es away, so he was able to have a great family li fe as well as expanding his career . Du ring hi s t ime at t he agency he got some great work out, won a f ew awards and became a cre ative director. The work he’s proudes t of is the World Pres s Photo Exhibition campaign, which was also the most satisfying to work on. Designed to revive attendance for the annual photo exhibition, ? NOV E MB ER/DE CE MB E R 2 0 08
Awards Dec 2008
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