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Kirsty Muddle named Australian CEO of Cummins&Partners

KIRSTY MUDDLE NAMED AUSTRALIAN CEO OF CUMMINS&PARTNERS

Founding Partner and Managing Director of Cummins&Partners Sydney, Kirsty Muddle has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Australian operations of the multi awarded 10-year-old independent agency.

On her appointment Sean Cummins revealed changes will be made to the agency to make it purpose built for the next 10 years.

“Kirsty is in the best position of any of us to see what the future of our agency and what the industry will be. We have always been an agency built for modern marketing and we will continue to be with Kirsty and our new management team steering the agency ” Cummins said.

Andy Copeland joins as Chief Data &Technology Officer, working alongside Paul Murphy, Chief Media Officer, Mark Hooke as Chief Financial Officer and Sean Cummins who remains as Global Chief Creative Officer. Matt Rose has also been promoted to General Manager in the St Kilda office.

Said Muddle on her appointment “We’ve spent two years incubating, watching the world change and working on how we change with it. But for us, it’s not about changing into something different, it’s about getting back to what we’ve always been about – independent thinking. We’re bringing that entrepreneurial energy back into everything we do”

“We have a not-so-secret weapon in Sean Cummins who works hands-on as creative strategist with 37 years of wisdom that remains relevant and fresh today, continuing as Chief Creative Officer across all 3 offices”. Muddle added

Cummins&Partners New York continues to grow under the stewardship of Australian Olivia Santilli as Partner of the Soho based agency.

Former CEO Chris Jeffares departed the agency last  January to join his family  brewing business, Stomping Ground. He remains a close friend and adviser to the agency.

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Cummins&Partners Hires Chief Data & Technology Officer, Andy Copeland

Cummins&Partners Hires Chief Data & Technology Officer, Andy Copeland.

Cummins&Partners has hired Andy Copeland as their Chief Data & Technology Officer. Andy leaves IPG Mediabrands’ Reprise after almost four years, most recently serving as their Head of eCommerce.

This new appointment compliments Cummins&Partners decade long integrated offering of Creative & Media. The agency has invested heavily into their Media and Data capability and has their own trade desk, DMP and media billings now in excess of AUD$ 50 million.

Andy’s appointment will continue to build the agency’s ability to give Marketers a connected point of view across messaging, media and purchase touchpoints.

“I’m impressed by the depth of capability in the Cummins&Partners business and I believe that their integrated approach to creative, media, data and technology provides a genuinely connected perspective in their dealings with clients. I’ve always thought of data and technology as invisible enablers of more meaningful brand storytelling and consumer connection. Creative, delivered through media, is ultimately the lens through which a consumer views a brand and I’m excited about integrating consumer-led data and technology thinking into Cummins&Partners’ already impressive creative and media capabilities.” says Andy Copeland.

Sean Cummins CEO “With all the sophistication in Marketing today, we hope to bring a level of simplicity to our clients by providing a connected and integrated view of the world. With Ecommerce growing at an accelerated rate, this was a natural extension to our business. We are thrilled to welcome Andy on board”

Andy joins recent appointments in Sydney including Meredith Ansoul, Head of Media.

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Chobani redefines its positioning in the yogurt category in groundbreaking, strategically-led campaign by Cummins&Partners.

Chobani redefines its positioning in the yogurt category in groundbreaking, strategically-led campaign by Cummins&Partners.

Cummins&Partners has redefined what the next decade will look like for Chobani in its new brand campaign Food Made Good. Building on the four years of partnership between Cummins&Partners and Chobani, this campaign was born through strategic leadership to uncover the truth at the core of the brand and bring it to life through a fully integrated creative:media approach.

“We are redefining what this brand means for the next decade. Chobani has always been a leader in the yogurt category but this represents the next evolution of the brand.” – Sean Cummins, Chief Creative Officer, Cummins&Partners.

Food Made Good voices the company’s commitment to making high quality, nutritious and delicious food accessible to all, and challenges the wider food industry to improve the standards of food for everyone. Cummins&Partners has purposefully tapped into the cultural zeitgeist where consumers want more from brands than just a product. They want to see brands that believe in quality first, and are socially responsible, to be a driving force of change.

“This draws a line in the sand, hitting home that Chobani brings so much more than yogurt to the table.” – Damian Young, GM Marketing, Chobani

The campaign launches at the 10th anniversary of when founder Hamdi Ulukaya first brought the yogurt company to Australia from the United States. Founded in 2005, Chobani has had a long-standing belief in and a commitment to making high quality, delicious food for everyone. Chobani believes in doing things the right way and not the easy way and this comes to life in everything they do.

“Anyone can copy our food, but they can’t copy what we stand for, what we believe in.” – Damian Young, GM Marketing, Chobani.

Cummins&Partners’ outstanding integration of strategy, creative & media is seen across the campaign and gives it an edge whether it be through the clear and innovative strategic thinking, bold creative or the carefully procured media.

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Libra teaches women four-step process of using period underwear via Cummins&Partners

Libra teaches women four-step process of using period underwear via Cummins&Partners

Australian period care brand Libra has launched a new integrated campaign created to educate women on the ease of use when it comes to period underwear.

The campaign, created by Cummins&Partners, marks the launch of Libra Period Proof Undies.

“Libra has always had a broad product range that supports women to period their way, so it’s great to be extending that with the launch of new Libra Period Proof Undies,” says Caitlin Patterson, executive general manager of Asaleo Care’s Retail Business Unit.

“Two in three women are interested in trying period underwear and we know they will be delighted with the ease of use and absorbency of these great new Libra period undies.”

Building on the success of Libra’s brand rally cry #LiveLiberated which launched last year, the Wear Bleed Wash Repeat campaign is an expression of Live Liberated, which breaks down the mental barriers and anxieties around period underwear in a fun and empowering way.

Central to breaking down the stigma and fears that women have around the product is a song that highlights the easy four-step process of using period underwear.

Cummins&Partners commissioned a bespoke music track for the campaign using local female, emerging artist CD.

This is the first campaign for Libra which has been created specifically for the TikTok platform.

The musically driven campaign consists of 15-second TV, OOH, digital and social, launching nationally on Sunday night.

Along with bespoke executions for TikTok and paid social activity there is a podcast with Shameless.

There is also a series of social executions utilising brand ambassador Abbie Chatfield who brings to the forefront the ease of introducing period underwear to your period ritual.

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Jeep encourages Australia to Work Far From Home in new campaign via Cummins & Partners.

Jeep encourages Australia to Work Far From Home in new campaign via Cummins & Partners.

In 2020, the concept of remote working went from a luxury to necessity, with most businesses embracing working from home in some form.

But now that local travel restrictions have eased across Australia, Jeep wanted to pose a challenge to those enjoying their new found flexibility.

If you have the freedom to work from anywhere, why limit yourself to your own postcode?

To encourage more Australians to truly embrace remote working, Jeep and Cummins & Partners have helped bring a fully connected home office to one of Australia’s most far-flung corners – the north west coast of Tasmania.

Jeep is inviting Australia’s most intrepid workers and adventurous influencers to escape the daily grind and try Working Far From Home for themselves.

Accessible only by the most capable of 4×4 vehicles, the custom-built office pod is located in a rarely explored pocket of coastal land, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views.

Much like a Jeep, the office has been built to withstand the harshest of elements, without compromising on features or style. The structure was created by Spacecube, a world leader in portable modular infrastructure, with architecture designed to blend seamlessly with the natural landscape, while maintaining creature comforts such as full Wi-Fi connectivity, climate control, solar powered electricity and plumbing.

To help get you to the pod, there’s also a Jeep Gladiator on loan as your complimentary work car, for road, rock and beach adventures, and adrenaline-filled morning tea and lunchtime breaks.

“Many Aussies believe that being able to work from their kitchen table is the new definition of freedom,” said Rachel Semmens, Senior Marketing Manager, Jeep Australia.

“But when you own a Jeep, the possibilities for truly remote working are unlimited.”

Adam Slater, Associate Creative Director at Cummins & Partners said:

“From the wildlife to the weather, installing a structure of this kind in such a hostile and remote environment posed plenty of challenges for cast and crew. But at least the vehicles were right at home.”

The TV campaign, produced by NB Content, launched on Channel 10’s The Project last night, with Jeep Ambassador Hayden Quinn travelling to the office and reporting on the benefits of working remotely from the epic location. Along with a 30’’ film airing during the competition period, an additional partnership with realestate.com.au will also allow Australians to browse photos of the property and check out its innovative off-the-grid features.

For the chance to win a working far from home experience for you and a guest, visit jeep.com.au

View the Working Far From Home film

View the Competition TVC

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Cummins&Partners doubles down with adtech partnership

Cummins&Partners doubles down with adtech partnership

Cummins&Partners has extended their Adtech partnership with Adobe, after more than doubling the size of programmatic and performance media in the last 12 months.

Since partnering with Adobe across their Adcloud, Dynamic Creative, and Audience Manager products 3 years ago, they have had rapid growth based on their media transparency and creative:media integration opportunities. This culminated with Cummins&Partners becoming a launch partner in the Adobe Advertising Ambassador Program, where they were the first and only independent agency.

Paul Murphy, Chief Media Officer at Cummins&Partners said, ‘Our partnerships with adtech leaders such as Adobe have strengthened our relationships with clients and helped to drive an incredible 24 months of growth.’

And added ‘Having all members of the team Adobe certified, regardless of role, has been an eye-opener. The ability to see transparency of tech fees, real-time activity on the platforms, and leverage wider integration is brilliant. Our position is unique among independent agencies in that we have all performance media trading and full backend finance under one roof. Beyond true transparency, this takes away any risk of politics that could sway recommendations and results for clients’.

Major progress was also made on integrating Flashtalking into the Adobe suite, allowing for a step-change in dynamic creative development. This has been rolled out across a number of clients, driving major efficiencies in speed and effectiveness.

Faye Collay, Director Integrated Services and Partner added ‘The progress we made with our clients utilising Flashtalking have been fantastic. Apart from just the dynamic creative technology, the personalised creative:media collaboration has been further enhanced by now encompassing their proprietary attribution platform’.

She added ‘When we started the agency 10 years ago, we always set out to bring creative and media closer together. Initially, we made more progress in the CX/UX and design area, as witnessed by the Cannes and Webby award-winning work for clients like DFAT, but the media integration area is now experiencing incredible momentum in further delivering on this’.

Cummins&Partners added media services to their remit on EnergyAustralia in Q4 last year, joining a portfolio of clients including Red Cross Lifeblood, Adore Beauty, Jenny Craig, Nufarm, Red Cross Humanitarian, Chobani, South African Tourism and Laminex.

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Cummins&Partners welcomes PR agency Romano Beck, bringing creative, media and PR under one roof

Independent PR agency Romano Beck has taken residence in Cummins&Partners’ Melbourne and Sydney offices, with the partnership now meaning Cummins takes 360-degree communications approach.

On the partnership, Cummins&Partners’ chief creative officer, Sean Cummins, said: “I’ve always had a great sense of curiosity and respect for what I term the mercurial dark art of public relations, and have felt for some time we needed the holy trinity of creative, media and PR under one roof.

“Our businesses have been courting each other for some time and with current client synergies, shared client journeys in the past, a shared head office in St Kilda, and most importantly, aligned values from their executive and ours, it already feels like they’ve been in the building since the beginning.”

A full-service agency, Cummins&Partners adds PR, corporate communication, event management, sponsorship, talent procurement and publicity, and influencer engagement and additional social capabilities through Romano Beck to its offering.

Romano Beck founders Judy Romano and Gareth Beck said: “When we started the business seven years ago, we said PR is changing, and so are we. The days of pumping out media releases to disinterested journalists are gone, and we work harder than ever before to influence.

“Our partnership with Cummins&Partners is an exciting moment for us. Working hand in glove with creative and media is how we have always played, and formalising our offering builds a strong foundation for future growth and innovation.”

Cummins&Partners has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and New York, employing 150 people with clients that include Pernod Ricard, Energy Australia, McCain, Absolut, Adore Beauty, Godfreys and Sara Lee. Recent wins include Heritage Bank, Indeed, Klorane, Avene and Sapporo.

Romano Beck’s head office is in Melbourne and now adds a Sydney location, employing 15 people with clients including L’Oréal, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Chadstone – The Fashion Capital, F45 Training, The Victoria Racing Club, Mercedes-Benz Sydney & Melbourne dealerships and Longines.

 

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Full service history: Sean Cummins and Jeep marketer Tom Noble on open relationships, trust and finding new partners

Tom Noble joined Jeep in February 2020. He already had a massive job on his hands reversing Jeep’s brand implosion. Within weeks Covid crashed the car market to a 30-year low. He stuck with Cummins&Partners to begin a total brand rebuild and continue a 10-year relationship. It seems to be paying off. Sean Cummins, meanwhile, says the agency has no plans to get into bed with a network. But he is eyeing new partners to crack China.

What you need to know:

  • Cummins&Partners set up shop with founding client Jeep ten years ago.
  • The two have had ups and downs, but the relationship has held strong. Now they are trying to rebuild the brand.
  • Jeep Marketing Director Tom Noble: We could have repitched, but marketers are too quick to blame agencies. Throwing away brand equity makes no sense.
  • Cummins&Partners’ Sean Cummins: Marketers that forego retainers and relationships for “quick hit” projects incentivise short-termism and end up paying a heavy price.
  • Cummins insists selling out to a network is not on the cards. But he is sounding out partners big enough to take on China.

The same year the company took Jeep’s former country leaders, who had overseen those record sales, to court, though subsequently settled without admission of liability by any party.

By 2019, with sales of 5,519, Jeep was almost back to square one. It installed a new country head to turn things around – then Covid hit, crashing the Australian car market to a 30-year low.

Rescue and recovery

At that time, marketing boss Tom Noble had only just got his feet under the table, joining the firm in February 2020 and tasked with rebuilding trust and reversing sales declines. He entered the picture just as Cummins&Partners had retained the business, but declined to reopen the pitch. Pitching takes up a lot of time and energy – especially in a global pandemic – and the agency, he says, was not the problem.

“Too often marketers step into a new brand and are told to ‘fire the agency’ and that’s just not the right attitude, especially as many don’t even ask the reason why,” Noble says.

“For some reason it’s seen as their fault, so a pitch needs to be called. But it makes very little sense to me to scrap an agency with a decade of understanding and corporate memory.”

He believes that marketers need to think less about new contracts or finding faults, and ask what their partner has in the “bottom drawer”.

“There’s always new agency with a new concept, but the incumbent usually has a few in the drawer too, so I started there rather than go through the pitch process again,” Noble says.

That pragmatism appears to be paying off. Jeep was one of very few brands to sell more cars in Australia in 2020 than in 2019, shifting 5,748 units during the pandemic year. Single digit growth, yes. But 20 of the top 25 brands went backwards, many by double digits and the broader market was back almost a fifth.

Brand rebuild

The first phase of the recovery was to delve into the back catalogue and tap some of the creative sauce that spurred Jeep to grow – perhaps too fast – in the first place. The marque revived ‘I Bought a Jeep’ and acknowledged its problems, before starting to work on a new brand platform, ‘I’m in’, in a bid to start restoring brand trust.

“It was clear we had some work to do and it could have been easy to scrap everything and start again,” says Noble. “But we knew Cummins had the knowledge and experience to be bold and reshape our well-known brand positioning.”

Sean Cummins says that level of trust and loyalty is becoming a rarity in advertising as brands opt for “quick hit” projects over retainers, fracturing the dynamic of a two-way partnership.

“Agency relationships are tenuous, and they are constructed poorly because we are on the drug of projects and have lost focus on the fundamentals of marketing,” suggests Cummins, who launched his first agency almost 25 years ago.

“It has led to brands engaging an excessive number of agencies. It means they become less inclined to look past the short-term because that’s all they’re being paid for. It’s not sustainable.”

Noble agrees that retainer relationships are important, but defends the benefits of spreading work across different agencies.

Provided there are clear working guidelines between agency partners, he thinks it creates a “competitive mindset” that surfaces better work.

“Three or four agencies still remains the manageable amount in my opinion and often allows them to work more closely and competitively on the best ideas,” he says.

Properly managed, that approach can lead to healthier relationships.

“What you can’t do is breed an unstable, competitive nature that becomes solely about vying for a bigger stake of the business,” says Noble “that’s why marketers must be clear about each partner’s remit.”

Holding companies calling?

Indie agencies are often criticised for growing fast, hitting a ceiling and selling the business on the way down, often to a network.

Cummins aims to avoid that route, dismissing the “old world thinking” of holding groups that leads to excessive reporting and churn. But he does not rule out a partnership to crack the biggest markets.

“We started with eight partners and to this day have only had two leave,” he boasts. “We’ve also got plenty of agencies looking to poach our staff – that shows we are a business with not only consistency, but objectives that are exciting and challenging.”

Cummins continues: “There’s nothing to be gained from reporting lines back to Paris, London or the US, which brings with it consistent old world thinking that limits creativity. We don’t have that limitation, and this offers our talent the ability to grow and evolve.”

All that said, Cummins, who sold his previous agency CumminsRoss to SapientNitro in 2010, reportedly earning $30m in the process, does not close the door entirely. A road into China might lead it to consider a tie-up. Talks have already taken place.

“None of the major interested parties we’ve spoken to, and you can guess who they might be, have managed to crack China and so they fall shy of our expectations,” Cummins says.

“The level of innovation, consumer interest and opportunities for brands in China can’t be ignored and I think you’ll see those agencies who are looking for an edge finding ways in. That’s what we would be looking for if we ever entered into another partnership.”

Walking the talk

Closer to home, Cummins&Partners last year gained industry-wide plaudits by announcing it would pay salaries back in full – for all staff – after enforced cuts to manage the impacts of Covid.

“It’s something we’ve always believed in,” says Cummins, “Compassion, leadership and ensuring your talent know they’re valued and are a part of the future of a business.”

Those principles are equally important in building lasting client-agency relationships.

In everything, suggests Cummins, “Look at the brand, not the cost.”

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30 Under 30: Being a clown at a sideshow informed Kirsty Muddle’s philosophy

A showcase of the future flames of our industry, the B&T 30 Under 30 Awards are coming closer.

In the lead-up to the event, we’re chatting with leaders in advertising, success stories that started humbly and made a name for themselves in our industry. They’re people you idolise, for good reason.

They’re also owners of strange stories, like Cummins&Partners’ founding partner, Kirsty Muddle, who says being a clown at a sideshow, when she was 15-years-old, informed her fearless philosophy.

Winner of the 2018 Women in Media Woman of the Year award, Muddle (pictured, centre) is both the founding partner and managing director of Cummins&Partners, one of the nation’s leading creative agencies.

Alongside being at the helm of the agency for the last 10 years, Muddle has been a Gruen panellist, an Ad Standards board member, a keynote speaker at Women in Marketing and Money in Sport, and has sat on various industry juries, including ADMA’s AC&E and the MFA.

She has spent her career surrounded by some of the world’s largest accounts, at Cummins&Partners, an agency that has created some of the world’s most awarded works.

But how did Muddle get her start in the industry? What drives her to succeed, and, moreover, what has helped her reach the heights?

Recently, I caught up with the industry master to ask her that, and plenty more, with answers received that are sure to inspire and undoubtedly surprise.

B&T: Kirsty, what advice would you give your younger self?

KM: Someone gave me this advice when I was young, and I’d repeat it again to myself: Don’t tread on people on the way up. It’ll come back and bite you.

What qualities have helped you succeed?

A lot of it is right time, right place. There are people out there that are probably more talented than me, but they aren’t around because they didn’t put themselves out there.

I worked behind a clown stall at a sideshow when I was 15. My job was to holler through the speaker, “roll up, roll up, you’ve got to be in it to win it”. I think it ended up being a philosophy of mine.

I’m a bit of an expat as well, where every two to three years of my life we moved countries. You could go one way or the other—you could be introverted or extroverted. If you’re introverted in those circumstances, you probably won’t make friends every two years. You kind of need to put yourself out there.

I think that gave me the belief of ‘if you don’t go out there and give it a go, how will you ever know?’. How will you ever know if you’re going to get the job?

As well, undoubtedly its Cummins&Partners, the business, my partners, the agency at large. It’s not the winning that gives me the goosebumps but it’s the qualities that keep us going.

That philosophy has clearly taken you a long way: You’re the MD of Cummins&Partners, you’ve received loads of awards, you’re a Gruen panellist, an Ad Standards board member.

Is there anything you can’t do?

Oh, for sure. I’m a shocking creative director that’s for sure.

Who do you admire most in the industry?

There’s a couple of different people, for different reasons.

Priya Addams Williams. One of our team. She’s on the doorstep of turning 30-years-old but has this wisdom and empathy that usually belongs to someone with many more years on her. People listen to her, because she listens to others. She’s a fine leader!

Sean Cummins, who’s the name on the door. Unrelenting passion for advertising, searing creative intellect, remarkably generous.

Nicole Taylor. When I think of good Agency administrators in this country, I think of her—even though she has now left this country! She’s also a super nice person.

Difficult question, but what’s your favourite ad ever made?

‘Best Job in the World’. It’s just such a simple, pure idea, that just kept giving without needing exponential media investment to make it work.

What’s changed most in the media since you entered it in 2001?

It’s less manual! We have fewer pens, pencils to scamp; we use algorithms, and applications to generate answers for us in a matter of seconds.

In one instance, something that took us 12 months in 2001, you could do in 12 seconds now.

Agency folk seem to prefer pilates to pints these days. The industry had a real rock star reputation when I first started working. I’ve noticed a real shift in what people want to do with their Thursday nights and Friday afternoons over the past decade. That’s probably in line with global health and wellness trending.

Creative and media worked in silos, as well. That’s changing. It’s almost impossible to separate the thinking in modern marketing.

What has remained consistent in your time, up to now?

The energy and passion of the people that work in this industry: the kind of people that aren’t attracted to uniformity.

Like a fast-moving train, they’re addicted to the adrenaline of a pitch and have an appetite for innovation.

If you weren’t working in our industry, where would you be?

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s a hidden talent of yours?

I don’t know what to say. But let’s go with Polynesian dance. I spent some time growing up in the Pacific Islands in my teens.

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Cummins&Partners top 10 in its first 10 years

Cummins&Partners top 10 in its first 10 years

The team at cummins&partners chose the following work not on the bulk of awards alone, but the impact on the industry, effectiveness, originality and freshness. These are the ten that made the list (in no particular order):

1. Jeep ‘I Bought a Jeep’. Arguably the most memorable automotive campaign of the last decade. After years of Jeep selling circa 4k units a year, the agency embarked on making this American icon an Australian favourite. Through an effortlessly simple construct, charming executions and relentless consistency people indeed bought a Jeep. In fact, at its peak selling 45k cars a year turning a niche brand with turnover of $100m into $1billion brand In Australia.

2. Jacobs Creek ‘Open Up’. Turning a passive tennis sponsorship into a global content series, the Open Up series for Jacob’s Creek featuring Andre Agassi was truly a masterstroke of content and was an early example of how mainstream media and content could work. The agency wrote and produced the series in-house. But Kirsty Muddle negotiating to have these pieces run as content for free during the network tennis telecast was the smashing forehand winner. A first. And a Cannes Gold for content. There were great stories told by Agassi over 3 years appearing during telecasts for Wimbledon, US Open and Shanghai Masters.

3. Doritos ‘Ultrasound’. Voted and quoted by many as the Superbowl ad of 2016 (thanks @dwaynejohnson and @ellendegeneres) was the work done on Doritos. Effectively taking Doritos at their word, the agency Crashed the Superbowl competition. 100 million views, winner of Commercial of The Year at Shots London and recognised by Cannes, Clios and Emmy. A 30-second snack of comedy genius.

4. Woodstock ‘Barrels’. To find a simple product fact that the more Woodstock turn the barrels the better the bourbon tastes was a nice elevation for a blue collar RTD bourbon brand. A beautiful whimsical film shot in Woodstock Kentucky and loved by the locals there. Many of whom appeared in it. Took the talent many days of hard practice to master barrel walking.

5. ASIS ‘Most Interesting Job Interview’. We were the first Australian agency to win a Webby for World’s Most Interesting Job Interview. Created, built and mostly produced in-house we flexed our digital chops to create a platform from the ground-up in order to host a fully interactive HD video. True to the audience we also hid secret messages in the backend code of the microsite and displayed warnings when users tried to share it on social media. (posting on Facebook for example disqualified candidates from working as Intelligence officers). We know over 200,000 took the interview, but the final numbers of recruits remain classified. Reassuringly.

6. Go Gentle ‘Stop the Horror’. We were first to change a state’s law around Euthanasia with the can’t-look-but-can’t-look-away “Stop the Horror” for Andrew Denton’s Go Gentle organisation. The power is in the issue beautifully and horrifically dramatized by outstanding production.

7. WIRES: Koalas of NYC. Koalas of NYC was created and executed in 4 days in early January. Americans and the rest of the world watched on in despair as Australia burned. As much as they connected with the human tragedy there was an outpouring of grief for the plight of our unique wildlife….how the world instantly identifies with Australia. Realistic Koala plush toys were secured all over Manhattan carrying a response QR code to donate, share and grieve. Within a week they were in LA, London and subsequently countries all over Europe. Attracting global media attention and support from superstars in all fields, the National Museum of Australia has secured their Koala of NYC to place into the 2020-time capsule to be opened in the future.

8. CGU: “See It Through’. For those of whom were in the room where it happened the creation of this campaign was an a-ha moment. As a line that beautifully sits with the brand name, See it Through did what most business insurers hope to do…to convey to customers that they will have business continuity. They can rely on CGU to get their business back up and running. That’s the high ground of any business insurance messaging. And was the basis for this campaign. Not a sexy category on the surface but every category deserves creative thinking. How CGU saved Tropfest was a coup.

9. Specsavers ‘Priceless Eyes’. What better way to dramatize eye health than to pose the question “How much would sell your eyes for?” What was seen on screen was the tip of the iceberg as we created an “advanced medical research acquisitions” institute called Vesper Sacs. Building a fake office space with Kubric-esque overtones and Stephen King like characters. The unwitting participants confronted the value of their eyes, right before ours.

10. Red Cross Blood ’42’. The challenge was to get blood donors who give blood once, or once in a while, to donate more regularly. We found out that blood has a shelf life of 42 days. And given that 42 was eulogised by Douglas Adam In Hitchhiker’s Guide as the meaning of life, the idea started to have a life of its own. Wanting to acknowledge the origin of this, we received approval by Adam’s daughter Polly Adams to use the famous number and its meaning for this campaign.

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