Clemenger BBDO Melbourne crowned Campaign Brief Agency of the Year for record 9th time

CB FEB 2017-COVER.jpgDriving a catalyst for conversation by creating the only person designed to survive a car crash,     convincing a bank there's more to life than money, hanging a pair of talking balls on a billboard high above the city street and making the internet very angry indeed, one agency certainly made the work count in 2016 and has come out on top. For a record ninth time Clemenger BBDO Melbourne is Campaign Brief's Agency of the Year.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne creative chiefs James McGrath and Ant Keogh believe people have better things to do with their time than worry about advertising. They are late for work, they have to dig a hole in their backyard, they have to take their daughter to a Nordic-themed birthday party... so who has the time for anything really?

Therefore, when it comes time to talk to them, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne aims to make it count.
"We all know the disproportionate number of messages we encounter in our daily lives," says Clemenger BBDO Melbourne creative chairman James McGrath. "So being distinctive, recognisable and captivating creatively as always, is vital but the shift to meaningfulness, to being useful, to being confirming of an ideal, reinforcing being a brand worth belonging to, that's what 'make it count' is all about. We also talk about 'make no pollution', hard to do, particularly when any message should be timely and relevant because of its context."

CLMENGER-FIRST-SPREAD.jpgCLEMENGER-SECOND-SPREAD.jpgAccording to Clemenger BBDO Melbourne executive creative director Ant Keogh, advertising is a bit like if you stopped at a train station, you're hanging out the window and you see the love of your life - you've got a few seconds to say something before the train leaves again. "You have a few words and whatever you say better count," says Keogh. "We have these limited moments to make a disproportionate impression."

This observation paid off, not only with industry recognition but in real life: there's a guy with a Carlton Dry tattoo, memes of TAC's 'Graham' spread and mutated around the world, people tweeted angry and hilarious tweets for Snickers 'Hungerithm' and the Bonds 'Boys' campaign continued to elicit startled reactions from newsreaders seeing large talking testicles for the first time.

The ballsy campaign also picked up a truckload of awards from all over the globe, including five Cannes Lions, four Golds at the Clio Awards, First Prize at New York Festivals in Film and Digital, along with countless awards at Spikes, Caples and IAB Mixx.

Yet when it comes to personal standouts, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne chief executive officer Nick Garrett points to NAB and the 'More Than Money' brand relaunch.

"It's a huge platform with immense potential and one of those rare comments where communication can drive cultural change on a huge scale for an organisation," he says. "But in terms of a pure idea, for me it has to be 'Graham' for TAC because it is one of those special moments that none of us expected, but we all secretly hope for, and its global amplification has been remarkable."

Snicker's 'Hungerithim' is also high on his list because of the complexity of making it happen and bringing the idea, technology and supply chain together seamlessly.

Whilst the agency attracted five star ratings at the award rounds, selected as Agency of the Year at CLIO and Network of the Year at AWARD Award, last year was also Clemenger BBDO's biggest financial year in its 70-year history. Revenue grew by 11 per cent and profit margins were up by 13pc. New business was strong on the agenda with the agency winning pitches for Airbnb, Myer Digital, Mattel, AHM, La Trobe University, The Australian Federal Government and the Victoria State Government, along with BCF, 2XU, Ovarian Cancer Australia and more work for Australia Post.

Another major focus for the year was addressing the future of the agency's structure, with Clems Melbourne moving from a creative department to a creative agency by sharing accountability across departments with senior business and leadership teams for each of its clients' businesses based on a triangular model. Each team now has a representative from account management, planning and creative and all decisions have to be made collectively - with each team responsible for the work, the relationship and the money.

The rest you can read in the latest issue of Campaign Brief, which includes the annual CB Agency Hot+Cold Charts, out next week.

You can view this issue online and subscribe at Campaign Brief Online or request a subscription form from Mina via email


Fan boy said:

Make it count - true words to live by. James and Ant's attitude are why this agency has gone from strength to strength, obviously well looked after and nurtured by a supportive network that goes beyond just winning awards. There is no other agency like them in Australia, not BMF, not either Saatchi, not Leo's, not McCann. They've had flashes in the pan but none have ever managed to retain what worked, solid, humble creative leadership that lifts all of us up not just one of us.

Well done.

Bravo said:

You chaps continue to set a high bar for the rest of us. Well deserved.

CJ said:


The Meaning of Life said:

All advertising should operate on these simple yet obvious principles.

So why doesn't it?

;) said:

Well done to all, well deserved.

Probably? said:

The easiest AOY of the year decision ever?

old mates said:

Congratulations to a hard working team that has constantly evolved and never compromised. Well deserved Clemenger.

Bravo c*nts said:

Well done to Clems and their suster across the dutch. Not just surviving the minefield that this industry has become but thriving with great work that works its tits off.

Big fan said:

An agency that walks the walk not just talks the talk.
You don't have to like everything they do, to admire everything about them.

Sally said:

Hi Meaning of Life - the reason why more people dont apply these principles is that they are wrong.

Shit advertising is basically as effective as good advertising.

Both are rarely watched (is a more than money ad watched more than a we live in your world ad? Ads work primarily through continued exposure and low involvement processing.

Shit or good it doesnt matter.

Good advertising makes the creatives feel better about what they do.

But the client pays a massive price for the vanity of a few creatives said:


You can say that about architecture. Generic glass tower or two hundred old colonial building. Both work, one gets repeat visits.

@Sally said:

Comment of the year

@ Sally said:

Go have a read and learn a few things

Bon Snott said:

What you are saying used to be more true back when mass media started in the '50s and '60s when marketers could hammer people with ads and they had no remote control button to fast forward, or, now days, a skip button. But now more than ever you have to keep people watching. (I'm only talking in the context of film because that seems to be where you're operating. Now days it can be just as much about getting P.R. through an amazing idea, which just won't happen with a boring piece of advertising.)

darby said:

@sally. that's genius. one of the best comments i've ever read about advertising.

The Meaning of Life said:

Sally, thanks for taking the bait.

There are many theories about how advertising works, and yours is but one.

Certainly there is much to be said for your belief that creative advertising is little more than something to flatter the vanity of the creatives who devise it, and to impress their fellow creatives.

This is certainly true of scam ads, and equally the obsession with awards.

However I believe, and operated for almost 30 years on the notion that creative advertising engaged the audience far more, leading to the effortless ingestion of the message. Which makes it more effective and lessens the need for irritating repetition.

I also naturally tended towards producing work which was entertaining, amusing or charming, factors which have the effect of endearing the brand and/or product to the audience, again making it more likely to be effective.

Bro said:


Nah, truly groundbreaking campaigns will ALWAYS win against mediocre repetition. Look at the launch of Toohey's Extra Dry or a million other great campaigns that changed how people looked at a product, just repeating a brand name never works when you want to change people's perception.

George said:

Great work Clems and Colenso. Well deserved.

@Sally said:

Crawl back into your media hole. If you had any idea of how advertising works you'd be making ads.

Try this said:

@Sally try turning up to your next pitch for a decent client and explaining to them that they should buy your shit creative because none of the rest of it matters: brand, engagement, tone, insight, resonance...

Good luck with that. I don't know any client worth their salt who will buy what you're peddling. Yes a nike uses repetition but if you think that's the end of the story you're dreaming.

And well done Clem's. Great work.

Keith Mason said:

So good. The fact that you can recall any of this stuff and who it's for in today's world is big.

Troll lol lol lol lol said:

Oh Sally.

Your argument is flawless except for one thing.

Who remembers the big ad, more than ten years after it ran and with a fraction of the media spend of their competitors?

Who remembers anything New did around that time?

Good advertising occupies a part of people's brains long after the media schedule has finished. That isn't vanity, its talent, something I assume you've never possessed.

Paul Nagy said:

A rather belated congratulations to the whole Melbourne team. You are the benchmark and have been for a long time. Very well deserved.

Sally - you are an idiot.

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