Clemenger BBDO Melbourne chief creative officer Ant Keogh (pictured above) has announced his departure from the agency after a 10-year stint.
Keogh was the executive creative director of many award-winning campaigns during his time at Clems Melbourne, such as ‘Meet Graham’ for the Transport Accident Commisson, Snickers’ ‘Hungerithm’ and Bonds’ ‘The Boys’.
As a copywriter, his most famous work was writing the on-going Carlton Draught ‘Made from Beer’ campaign (first created in 2004), with ads including ‘Flashbeer’ and ‘Big Ad’.
Keogh said in a statement that he is leaving Clems Melbourne at a time when it has just produced some of its best work and had “wonderful” success at Cannes.
“On one hand, it’s a crazy time to leave, but if you think about leaving on a high, it makes sense,” he said.
“Clemenger Melbourne and the BBDO network in general is a great place, full of clever people who I was very fortunate to work with and whom I learnt a lot from.
I’ll miss many of them and, although I’m excited by what’s ahead, I’m also sad to be leaving, especially since I’ve enjoyed long creative relationships with James McGrath in particular (17 years or so), many of the other CDs, planners and staff in general.
“At Clemenger, we always took pride in creating real work that real people saw. If the work won awards, that was a bonus. I plan to continue that ethic.
“I’ve always been interested in creating long-term brand platforms, big integrated campaigns and, at best, ideas that transcend advertising and reach popular culture.”
Keogh said he will take some time out “in the very short term” for personal creative projects while he considers his next steps.
“In the future, I’d like to work a bit more flexibly,” he said.
“I have lots of ideas for digital content in mind. I’m fascinated by YouTube and other online ‘creator’ platforms, especially as film re-emerges as the language of the web; with everyday tools like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Snapchat; and innovations like 360 film, VR and AR.
“It’s a very interesting space – 360 especially, is still in its infancy. Its ‘Charlie Chaplin’ phase. There’s so much ahead.
Keogh hinted that his next career move could be a solo project, having worked for big agencies for the last 20 years.
“Or perhaps I’ll just find another great creative network in which to make a home,” he said.
“Either way, it’s an exciting prospect to be able to shape my own creative working environment. Whatever it looks like, I’d like it to be high on effect, low on nonsense.”
“At times, the marketing industry can make things way more complicated than they need to be. It is a complicated media landscape we live in – very, very difficult to get a proper perspective on – so we shouldn’t make it more difficult by over-complicating the simple bits.”
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