They came, they saw, they conquered and having taken the Agency Of The Year gong at Friday’s B&T Awards, Atomic 212° has proven itself Australia’s top full-service agency.
Speaking to B&T post-gong, the agency’s CEO, Jason Dooris (pictured above), said the Award was recognition of three years of hard work of transforming the agency into what he calls “an agile creative media agency”.
Dooris said: “We developed a new model of doing things and it’s very different and it’s very real and it’s tangible, you can touch it with you hands. We’ve created new roles for people who can now operate in spaces like innovation while still being right in the middle of media and creative.
“The B&T Award was a culmination of 2-3 years of work that’s really been proof of concept of a whole new way of operating in a new advertising world and the B&T Award was a great celebration of that.
“We’ve also tried to recruit a very special kind of a person who is willing to work in an environment where the only thing that is guaranteed is that nothing is guaranteed – it will change again, again, again and again. People don’t like change but if you can grab the people who do, then they’ll thrive,” he said.
Dooris said the agency’s model isn’t a response to clients’ needs because, he said, “there are very few clients out there that will say to you, ‘Yeah, we’re really comfortable with the old way'” and adds that a lot of agencies – namely media agencies – talk about change, they distance themselves from the word ‘media’ but, in reality, aren’t really doing anything markedly different from years back.
“I know a lot of media agencies don’t call themselves media agencies anymore, but to do that you’ve got to actually change something physically inside,” Dooris said.
“It’s the same with the creative side, too; you can’t just say, ‘We’re a media channel planning specialist now’ but not actually change your systems, your processes, your people and put a new business model in. It’s not rocket science,” he said.
Dooris agreed that if there a surety of being tagged Australia’s best agency it’s that someone wants to knock you off your perch; however, he predicted a lot more growth ahead for Atomic 212°.
“The challenge for all of us is the pace of change at the moment. Take the last two years – the Arab Spring, Brexit, Trump’s victory, the world’s in revolution. We’ve seen nothing but revolution over the past two years and the whole world is changing. And if you can ride and direct that tide of change then you’re in a good space.
“We all talk about change but if you look around the market it’s very hard to pull an agency out and say, ‘Wow, look what they’d done, they’re fundamentally different from the way they used to be’.
“(Atomic 212° ) has technology at the core of our business and if you have technology and innovation at your core and your people are making things better and more exciting and more relevant then that will constantly keep your business model fresh.
“We’re also very flexible, if it all goes horribly wrong we haven’t got this legacy structure – the model of the supertanker that’s hard to turn quickly – we can turn overnight and move in a different direction very fast,” he added.