EXCLUSIVE: R/GA’s Sydney office has been working with Telstra and News Limited since setting up in January, and is looking to bring on more technologists in a bid to stimulate the “conservative” Australian market.
In an exclusive interview with B&T, global chief creative officer for the renowned US agency, Nick Law (pictured) said there is a “gap” between what audiences want and brands are prepared to give them Down Under at the moment.
He said: “Budgets have got to shift, and if you look at e-commerce for example it’s pretty well documented with how far Australia got itself in the last few years.
“I think there are a lot of examples of Australia playing catch up. But the good thing is the audience is actually very digitally literate, over indexed in mobile and social media and bridging that gap between what marketers are making and what the audience want is what we’re trying to do.”
Law said the examples of Aussie work at Cannes like Dumb Ways to Die show there is “a lot of good narrative work coming out of there”, but warned “there is a danger it eats up a large proportion of budgets that could be used for innovating”.
He added: “It would be good if there was a more balanced allocation of budgets. I’m happy to see Australia succeeding and I think Dumb Ways to Die is a wonderful charming piece of work, which is innovative in the category, but I would like to see in the next few years more innovative digital work coming out of the country.
“There’s scope to do lighter product work as well in a country like that.”
Sydney managing director Ameer Youssef said the company has been doing a “lot of work in the social space” since opening its doors, and has been working on Telstra’s sports sponsorships as well as a complete redesign to some of Qantas’ websites, as well as the project for News.
He added: “I think social is somewhere marketers feel a little more comfortable trying some new things and perhaps taking some risks. We’re pitching a lot and talking about new engagements with existing and new clients.”
There are now 11 people in the Sydney office, with another two expected to be brought on board in the next couple of months.
Youssef said the technology side is one thing he is looking to develop in the office, and is currently looking across Australia and the world to find suitable talent.
“I think what we’d like to do, as a lot of what we’re doing so far is design, social media campaigns and digital strategy, is engage our clients more in development on the technology side,” he said.
“We’re doing some work there but I’d like to increase the amount we do in that regard, because I think we’ll be able to show we can deliver exceptional technical work, better than perhaps they’ve had an experience with in the past.
“It’s also good for us and R/GA to build up a large and evolved technology department as soon as possible because it affects our culture and personality of the offie to have exceptional tech talent there.
“That’s always been something I’ve seen as an advantage for R/GA, we have people at the table during the whole creative process who have different backgrounds. That’s definitely a part of the plan for the office.”
Ameer Youssef is on the panel on the future of agency remuneration at MAD Week, while creative director Josh Rowe is one of our MAD Professors. Find out more by clicking the banner below.