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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : March April 2008
TE AMW OR K WHEN THEY TURNED UP AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI AUCKLAND it was an agency in dire straits with its biggest client about to walk , but CEO Andrew ‘Rocky’ Stone and ECD Mike O’Sullivan rol led up the ir sle eves and got busy . Coming number one at the Effies, The Work, AWARD and Caxtons made 2007 a great awards year, but it’s also the year the agency found its way, says O’Sullivan, who has an ongoing competition with Stone to see who can slim down the fastest. WHEN DID YOU FIRST MEET? Stone Like most people in our industry, we bumped into each other a few times at industry functions. My first impression was surprise that someone who was doing such great, radical creative work at Mojo could be so like- able, charming and happy-go-lucky. O’Sullivan At an industry board meeting – Andrew stood out for being quite vocal and passionate, but mostly for being a good laugh. DESCRIBE YOUR YEARS WORKING TOGETHER StoneWe knew we had a big job to restore Saatchi’s to its prior leading positioning so there was lots of reassuring clients, bringing great people on board for the adventure, and producing better work again. Suddenly, with that and some great new business wins, Saatchi’s took off again, showing the power of a great brand! Since then, it’s been about sustaining that pace as we ramp up our transformation into the worlds of digital, direct, mobile, design and retail/shopper marketing. O’Sullivan The first year was terrible. The agency was in dire shape. Many clients were keen to leave, other agencies were circling, and morale was pretty low. As we were both new we dug in and tried to sort it. After two years it appeared to right itself. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WORK PRODUCED IN THAT TIME? Stone Telecom T3G campaign for transforming Telecom and turning the tables on Vodafone; Tui beer TVC because it’s one of the best beer TVC’s ever produced; Toyota Hilux ‘Bulls’ for continuing the run of great Toyota ads; ‘Augmented Reality’ for Wellington Zoo as it’s a world first using a technology that will revolutionise print; and the latest NZ Post ‘send and you shall receive’ campaign the Wellington agency have just done for its strategic power and emotional storytelling. O’Sullivan The Rubbish Film Festival for Telecom. It won two Cannes Lions, a Gold Effie, for our biggest client, and it was my first real foray into digital and mobile. IN 2006, THE AGENCY HAD AN AMAZING LINE-UP OF TALENT WITH TOBY, JAY, ANDY, MATTY, DAVE, STACEY AND ROSITA, ALL OF WHOM GOT POACHED. WERE YOU GUTTED? STONE Saatchi’s for the past 30 years has always been the place the best peo- ple have wanted to work at. People come here and - without sounding ‘wanky’ - become the best they can be. They typically produce their best work, have the most success and have the most fun. O’Sullivan I would have been gutted had they gone to another NZ agency shop for a pay rise. Losing people to Droga 5, 180 Amsterdam or to be cre- ative directors is what happens when you do good work. I have also lost creatives to Mother, Crispin, AMV, and other well-known shops. A lot of these people go on to do well at other networks, and a lot return back to the fold, like Dave Bowman and Steve Back (now at Saatchi’s Sydney). We got a bunch of great new people, who then went on to get 24 AWARD finalists last year. Life just goes on. CREATIVES IN THE SAATCHI NETWORK ALWAYS SEEM TO BE MEETING SOMEWHERE GLAM. IS THIS AN ELABORATE SCHEME SO THEY CAN TRAVEL THE WORLD? Stone You know, I’ve been wondering the same thing.... Actually, Saatchi’s Worldwide Creative Board, and Bob Isherwood’s (and Kevin Roberts) influence in particular, is the secret to our success. We believe in face-to- face catch-ups. We believe in competing and winning creative awards. We work as a family. Fun is part of what keeps us here. O’Sullivan No, I think the Saatchi network is a small close-knit family. And like any family we like to catch up and see each other. Things like the Worldwide Creative Board are a great way to connect with your colleagues and the work. These people often invariably become mates. WHAT DO YOU ARGUE ABOUT? StoneMost people don’t realise that Mike’s actually shorter than me. O’SullivanWho is the fattest? We recently started using the same trainer. As you can see from the shot, Andrew is often in a spot of bother. DESCRIBE A GREAT DAY StoneWe’re fishing, we’ve caught four good-sized snapper each, and we’ve had a couple of Heinekens in the sun. We get three calls - one, from a client who loves their new campaign, two, to let us know we have most finalists from an award show and three, from our wives suggesting we go out for dinner because they just can’t resist that fishy, beery smell. O’Sullivan That’s the day a client calls the agency raving about the success of an ad we produced. Later in the day, NZ votes the same ad as their favourite. That night, somebody from D&AD calls asking if the team could come and collect their yellow pencil in London later that week. WHERE WOULD YOU GO FOR LUNCH AND WHAT WOULD YOU ORDER? Stone It depends whether Mike’s on one of his diets or not. Hopefully not, and we just order lots of beer and wine and enough food to keep us going. O’Sullivan Probably Cibo in Parnell where I’d have the Towering Sashimi. Andrew would have the Pork Belly as an entrée, but have three servings. WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING TOGETHER? Stone There’s been lots of great moments, but for me it is the total trust we have in each other. If Mike says something about one of our team, a client or some work, I accept it totally as the truth that must be acted on. I may dig further, but I don’t question it. I hope he feels the same way about what I say. It means there’s no agenda, no politics, no vested interest. It’s a great feeling. O’SullivanWinning the Dominion Breweries account. We already had a few of their brands and had pitched for another one. The head client looked us both in the eye and said ‘Sorry guys, we’re not going to give you the Export Gold, business’. Andrew and I were gutted. The client then went on to say, ‘…we’re going to give you all our business’. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE FACED AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI? Stone The first day on the job for Mike (five months after I started) when we had dinner with the Telecom Client – our biggest client - who said they weren’t happy. From that dinner came the most amazing partnership agree- ment with them, and the best work we’ve done together. Talking’s good, clear action is better. O’Sullivan Getting clients to believe in the agency again, and living up to the legacy left by those people who led the agency before us. HOW WOULD YOUR RECEPTIONIST DESCRIBE HIM? Stone Smiley. O’Sullivan A bit like Brad Pitt, only fat and unattractive. WHAT’S THE MAGICAL HOLD THAT NEW ZEALAND HAS OVER YOU? Stone I’ve yet to see anywhere that has better people, business environment, creativity, opportunity and lifestyle. O’Sullivan Sunrise on the Hauraki Gulf, when the fish are biting. ROCKYAND 24 CAM PA I GN B RIE F MARCH /AP RIL 200 8
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