You Need Something Amazing To Set Standards When The Rest Of The Industry Is Average: Reg Bryson

You Need Something Amazing To Set Standards When The Rest Of The Industry Is Average: Reg Bryson
SHARE
THIS



The Campaign Palace is a legend in its own right, renowned for its peak creative genius before shutting up shop in 2012. But its legacy lives on, and speaking to B&T, former CEO Reg Bryson feels the industry suffers without a Palace-equivalent to set the standards. Bryson appears in our latest issue of B&T alongside other legendary industry veterans.

“It was an amazing agency for three decades,” Bryson lamented. “We were Australia’s first world class agency and we stayed that way for decades.”

“I ended up being one of the people who started up the Sydney Campaign Palace. There were four of us on staff then, Jack Vaughn, Bob Isherwood, Chris Martin-Murphy and myself, and two freelance people. That’s where it all started.

“We were seen as almost recklessly creative and too risky for clients. We broke rules and we had a philosophy we really stuck to and we believed that ideas could change the world. We didn’t give clients what they wanted, we gave them what they needed, and that was just a whole different ball game.

“We had a policy of no juniors. We let the big, multi-national agencies be the training agencies. We would only hire the senior people, and we would only hire world-class people. Just about all the legends worked for The Palace. And most of the start-ups came from people spinning off The Palace.

“We didn’t believe that advertising was just about selling. That’s why we continued to have battles with people like John Singleton and his agency because his was an agency that flogged products without being sold. We actually believed it was more important to get people to want to buy.

“If you could win their heart, then they would buy it again and again and again. We wanted to get people to love the product, just like Apple became a loved product.

We made the Palace a really special place. It’s a pity that a Palace doesn’t exist now in Australia, because you always need something that’s setting a standard that’s just awesome when all the industry is just average.

Bryson told B&T The Palace was a creative and philosophy-led agency, that had wild ideas but also a strong planning strategy to back it up.

“We were determined to say great creative work does work and works better than the boring shit every other agency is doing. And that’s where great planning and great thinking and great creative came together. And we proved that over time. Not only did we win awards around the world, we dominated in Australia,” Bryson said.

“In the early days, because we were so dominant and so strongly defined as being creative, clients would put us on their shortlist just for entertainment value. They’d go and see all the serious agencies and they’d put us on the list as the crazy ones to see what we would do.

“But we actually won a lot of business that way because we convinced them that we weren’t just crazy.

“One of the things we never tried to do was do a creative presentation. So when every other agency was presenting creatively, we were doing the exact opposite. We actually tried to ban doing creative presentations for clients. We did totally strategic presentations.

“So if a client came in and briefed us and said ‘I need to sell more milk’, traditionally the agencies would run around and brief the creative departments and come back with three or four ideas on how to sell more milk.

“We would do the exact opposite. We would immerse ourselves in the market and the consumer, we would look at the issues around milk, what do they think about milk, what are their beliefs and attitudes around it, how do they use it, what opportunities are there?

“And that was a really radical way of doing business. But what’s the point in doing creative work if you don’t know what you’re doing it for?

“One of our sayings was ‘shape the game you play, don’t play the game you find’. And advertising was such a powerful tool in those days, unlike today where it’s just one of many tools, it’s sort of blunted.

“In advertising then, on a Sunday night, you could roadblock three movies and you could talk to 84 per cent of Australia and have them talking at the train station or bus stop the next day about what you did.

“Now, your average kid is looking at six screens at once and it’s harder for ideas to get through. But having said that, you look at what’s on TV and the ideas that are out there now and not a lot excites you. It’s not pure or clever. We always worshipped cleverness. The idea was great, and people would look at it and say yeah, that’s cool, and so then the client was cool.

One of the sayings was, ‘always remember an advertiser is a guest in the mind as well as the home’. So we never had that philosophy of irritating to sell or overstepping the mark.

“The industry now I’m sure is still full of great creative people, but you don’t see the product, you don’t see the effect as clearly and as strongly, or the focus on great ideas or great creativity like we used to.

But Bryson is an optimist at heart, and firmly believes that Adland is still the most exciting place to be.

“There’s never a dull moment, it’s always interesting,” Bryson told us.

“It’s still a great industry to be in, and if I came back again – doctor, dentist, solicitor – there’s no way in the world I’d do any of that. I’d look straight for another job in advertising, that’s for sure.

“What other industry have you got that balance between the art and creative and business and strategy and thinking? You can have such an impact on the world. You really can change things.”

B&T’s latest issue is right now floating through the postal system, ready to drop onto your desks and into your letterboxes any day now, where you can read more from Reg and his inspiring, wisdom-filled peers in our Industry Elders feature.

Latest News

Seven Snares Seasoned Sports Exec Dave Barham As Its New Head Of Cricket
  • Media

Seven Snares Seasoned Sports Exec Dave Barham As Its New Head Of Cricket

Seven West Media has announced the appointment of Dave Barham as the broadcaster’s head of cricket. Barham is a former managing director of AFL Films and head of sport for Network Ten. In recent years he was the executive in charge of Ten’s coverage of the Big Bash League and Australian F1 Grand Prix.  His appointment follows Seven’s six-year agreement with Cricket Australia. […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Xero Celebrates The Beautiful Moments Of Small Business In New Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Xero Celebrates The Beautiful Moments Of Small Business In New Campaign

Cloud accounting software provider Xero has revealed the next phase of its ‘Beautiful Business’ brand campaign. The national campaign showcases the moments that define beautiful business, from the flexibility of remote working, to reclaiming valuable time and the chance to focus on the important things in life, enabled by streamlined accounting and business processes. The […]

What Is The Most Misleading Metric In Influencer Marketing Right Now?
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

What Is The Most Misleading Metric In Influencer Marketing Right Now?

In this guest post, Natalie Giddings (pictured below), managing director of The Remarkables Group, argues why brands need to stop with the outrageous ‘reach’ claims and tidy up their reporting metrics. I was recently a judge for a couple of local Australian marketing awards. I love giving up my time to do this because I […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QUT Creative Enterprise Australia Accepts 10 Start-Ups Into Its Creative Tech Accelerator
  • Technology

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia Accepts 10 Start-Ups Into Its Creative Tech Accelerator

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) has announced the 10 start-ups that have been accepted in its Collider Accelerator. The three-month accelerator is a proud Australian first which is carving the way for start-ups specialising across the creative tech verticals. Commencing this week, the 10 participating companies will receive coaching from international mentors and deep domain […]

The Works Launches Podcast With RXP Services & Global Law Firm Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Advertising
  • Technology

The Works Launches Podcast With RXP Services & Global Law Firm Norton Rose Fulbright

Expert insights on what’s trending in the world of technology, data and innovation will be discussed in a new podcast powered by The Works, digital services consultancy RXP Services, and global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. The Smart Dust podcast – named after micro-electromechanical computers that that can be breathed in to monitor the human […]

Why We Need To Make Consequences Cool
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Make Consequences Cool

Here at B&T, we have a trendy communal black leather jacket for staff to wear while suffering consequences.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Lovatts Media Acquires Nourish Magazine From Blitz Publications
  • Media

Lovatts Media Acquires Nourish Magazine From Blitz Publications

Lovatts Media has purchased Nourish magazine from Blitz Publications in a last-minute deal that has ensured the title continues to be published in Australia. Rachael Northey, CEO of Lovatts Media, believes the demand for high-quality niche magazines is growing rather than declining. Building on the successful 2017 launches of their popular mindfulness titles Breathe, Teen […]

Women In Media Profile: Elaine Herlihy
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Women In Media Profile: Elaine Herlihy

If you've come here looking for Elaine Herlihy's famed scone recipe then it'll be the only disappointment you'll endure.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Thrive PR + Communications Opens Fifth Office & Appoints New Staff
  • Marketing

Thrive PR + Communications Opens Fifth Office & Appoints New Staff

Independent PR agency Thrive PR + Communications has announced the launch of its fifth office, opening its doors permanently on the Gold Coast and making multiple team appointments. In response to client demand, and embracing the growth of Australia’s emerging innovation hotspot, the Gold Coast will be Thrive’s second Queensland location following the opening of […]

China Social Solutions Reveal The Massive Market Brands Are Missing
  • Partner Content

China Social Solutions Reveal The Massive Market Brands Are Missing

Advertising, in its essence, is about reaching the largest number of people, in the most seamless, creative way. However, reaching a large audience can often be the biggest hurdle, so how does a crowd of a few hundred million users sound? Weibo, China’s answer to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and every other app combined, has hit […]

Partner Content

by China Social Solutions logo

How To Thrive In An Age Of Disruption
  • Opinion

How To Thrive In An Age Of Disruption

Has the age of disruption left you fearful? Well, you'll be singing Helen Reddy's 'I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar' after this.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Monash University And Y&R Melbourne Launch Wristbands To Deter Drink-Spikers

Y&R Melbourne has an innovative wristband on campus at Monash University that detect drugs by simply placing a drop of your drink onto the band itself. Designed for widespread use across festivals, events, bars, nightclubs and other venues where patrons are already accustomed to using wristbands, the ‘Sip Safe’ wristband is equal parts a utility, […]

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office
  • Marketing

Global Brand Events Agency INVNT Opens Sydney Office

Brand events agency INVNT has announced it has expanded its operations to the Asia-Pacific region with a new office in Sydney. Originally founded in New York in 2008 by Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery, INVNT creates and produces brand engagements for every audience segment, including employees, customers, partners, investors, the media, and consumers. Cullather said […]

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties
  • Media

The Copyright Agency Invites Visual Artists To Claim Image Royalties

The Copyright Agency is inviting Australian artists and their heirs to nominate about where their works have been published or used on TV to receive payment for their copyright-protected work as part of a month-long campaign. The Copyright Agency, which recently merged with Viscopy, is Australia’s national copyright licensing organisation for the publishing, media, surveying […]

Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Emily Sak Joins Shopper Media Group As Its First Data & Insights Chief

Digital retail out-of-home media business Shopper Media Group has announced the appointment of Emily Sak to the newly created position of head of data and insights. The new role forms part of Shopper Media Group’s expansion plan to keep up with the accelerated growth that has seen its portfolio surpass more than 220 shopping centres […]

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne
  • Marketing

CX Lavender Appoints Business Development Director For Melbourne

Customer experience agency CX Lavender has announced the appointment of Michael Rummery to the role of business development director for Melbourne. Rummery (pictured above) was previously account director of client services at global marketing and digital recruitment firm Aquent, and has held roles at a number of talent agents and recruitment firms with a focus […]

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep
  • Advertising
  • Media

The New York Times Appoints WeThinkMedia As Its Aussie Advertising Rep

The New York Times Company has announced the appointment of media representation agency WeThinkMedia to represent its advertising business in Australia. WeThinkMedia will be responsible for all advertising in the region, including print, digital, branded content, programmatic, and events. The partnership will be overseen by Tom Armstrong, vice president of advertising for The New York […]

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Future Of Influencer Marketing: More Than Just A One-Night Stand

Influencers are the new powerhouses in driving stock off shelves, but brands are yet to find the right recipe for successful collaboration, according to Guillaume Deront of Gleam Futures @ The Story Lab (pictured below). Here, he argues that marketers need to look beyond purely targeting an audience and channel their energy towards building long-term […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Designing Cultural And Organisational Change
  • Opinion

Designing Cultural And Organisational Change

In this guest post, Bronwyn Van Der Merwe (pictured below), managing director of Fjord Australia and New Zealand (part of Accenture Interactive), details the four traits of a ‘living business’ – something she believes organisations have to become in order to transform successfully. The digital age has created a plethora of challenges for modern organisations, […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]