Brian Merrifield joins Ogilvy & Mather Sydney
His title is still to be confirmed, but he is teaming with former BMF digital strategist Damian Damjanovski who has also joined the agency.
In the Campaign Brief 2009 Creative Rankings, James and Merrifield were the top two interactive creative directors. They first met five years ago judging AWARD and James says Merrifield is the right cultural fit for what is an important strategic hire for the agency.
Sixty per cent of Merrifield's time will be spent working on proactive briefs and 40 per cent on existing client briefs.
Says James: "I'd like to think that projects such as Fiat EcoDrive and Nike+ are within the grasp of the Australian market, we just have to be able to spot the opportunities within our clients business' and think about them differently. I'm pretty excited about working with Brian, I've known him for quite a while and we have similar creative values. I know his passion and experience in delivering great creative ideas will be a massive asset to us moving forward."
Merrifield joined Saatchi & Saatchi in March 1998 in the Wellington office's newly formed digital team as a lead designer, having graduated from Wanganui School of Design. Working his way through the ranks he become art director and was a pivotal member of the creative department that saw Saatchi Digital win its first Cannes gold working on the adidas 'Beat Rugby' campaign. He then helped the Wellington team create the adidas World Cup 2002/2003 online campaign, also a success at Cannes.
The office was restructured when clients shifted their core operations to Auckland and Merrifield became senior creative for interactive and helped grow the core team of five into a team of 28 over the next two years. After the success of the Rubbish Film Festival at Cannes, Tom Eslinger was appointed global digital creative director and Merrifield took on more responsibility locally. Then, with the then-ECD Mike O'Sullivan, he helped shape the integration of the digital offering into the mainstream agency.
In May 2007 Merrifield moved to Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney to be CD of Digital where he produced work including the UN Voices campaign, which won a Bronze Lion at Cannes, a pencil at The One Show and a nomination at D&AD. After taking off three months to travel, get engaged and de-stress, Merrifield started contracting as a specialist digital creative at the Three Drunk Monkeys on clients including Telstra, Foxtel, Austar, BBC, Yahoo7!, Ubank and V Australia.