DDB Sydney’s Executive Creative Director, Dylan Harrison, has announced his intention to step down from DDB.
Harrison said: “I’m incredibly proud of my time at DDB Sydney. Since joining in 2011, not only did we move from 23rd to top five creatively ranked in the DDB network globally, we did so with record business results. Last year alone was both the best commercial and creative performance in the agency’s history, entering the Gunn Report Top 50 agencies in the world for the first time.”
He continued: “DDB Sydney is in great shape and great hands. Toby Talbot is a long time friend through DDB and I know he’ll take the agency to even greater heights.”
Harrison is leaving the agency to pursue a passion for directing, joining Filmgraphics Entertainment. In May, the agency appointed Toby Talbot as chief creative officer. At the time the agency said Talbot would work alongside Harrison in what Andrew Little, CEO of DDB Group Australia, called a “partnership”. Little said: “Toby and Dylan are both world-class talents – what a partnership.”
On Harrison’s departure, Little said: “Dylan has been talking to us for months about his desire to change direction and so this has once again been a well planned for succession. Toby Talbot is one of the most awarded creative talents in Asia Pacific and one of the most applauded talents in Australia and we are delighted he has re-joined us as chief creative officer.”
On directing, Harrison said: “As a writer I’ve always been driven by strong ideas, I always will be. But directing is so much more than a great script. Bringing it to life with casting, performance and creating just the right mood and atmosphere – the process can be nothing short of magic.”
“My apprenticeship has been shadowing many great directors throughout my career and I’ve always been hands on. After directing campaigns through DDB for Arnott’s and Volkswagen recently, I knew it was time.”
Harrison is entering into a joint venture with Filmgraphics Entertainment. Commenting on joining the FGE team, Harrison said: “Having worked with the legendary David Denneen and Anna Fawcett on a number of projects over the recent years, I was struck by their professionalism and amassed experience. But above all, it is their restlessness, hunger and continued success at reinventing themselves as the industry evolves so rapidly that draws me to them and their team. Importantly, they work bloody hard but have a great laugh doing it.”
Anna Fawcett, executive producer at Filmgraphics Entertainment, said: “Dylan is creative, sensitive, passionate and a gentleman. All good traits for a director; we like his work thus far, and together we will hopefully produce some great work.”
DDB Sydney Chief Creative Officer, Toby Talbot, said: “I’m very excited for Dylan as he’s leaving to follow a dream. That’s a rare thing to do and a brave thing to do. As the writer of some truly iconic ads for DDB over the last 14 years, he leaves with an incredible body of work behind him. In the short time I’ve been at the agency, it’s been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Dylan. Long may that continue now he’s a director.”
Highlights of his four year tenure include winning Gold in Cannes for McDonald’s Track My Maccas app and Australia Day promotion, awards for Tourism Australia’s ‘Making Tracks’ and ‘It’s like love’ and a haul of metal over the years for Volkswagen. It was largely the success of Volkswagen that lead to DDB Sydney being awarded Spikes Asia Pacific Creative Agency of the Year 2012.
Harrison is directing full time with Filmgraphics Entertainment and contracting independently through ‘The Hooligan Collective’. His last day at DDB Sydney as ECD will be Friday, August 15.