Fast 10: Ogilvy’s Sally Kissane On Winning Gongs & Zinger Burgers!

Fast 10: Ogilvy’s Sally Kissane On Winning Gongs & Zinger Burgers!

Sally Kissane has been with Ogilvy for as long as many in the industry have been alive, working in New York and Sydney before rising to the top job of the Ogilvy network across Australia and New Zealand. B&T‘s Greg ‘Sparrow’ Graham managed to grab her in between meetings to ask her 10 very speedy questions.

1. Ogilvy has garnered heaps of award wins lately, including some Cannes Lions. Has this been a good year creatively? 

As an agency, we place equal importance on what we call the twin peaks of creativity and effectiveness, and the underlying principles that an idea is not creative if it isn’t effective and that creativity drives effectiveness. So, against that goal, we are very happy with how we have done. But would I like more Lions? Yes!

2. The recent APAC Effies win and your local Effies, do they mean a lot? 

Absolutely, the Effies mean the most to our clients and provide absolute proof that the work, works. To receive the Effective Advertiser of the Year for our KFC work at the Australian Effies for continued effective work in numerous campaigns over a three-year period was a highlight. The judges unanimously voted for its ‘brave creativity that works’, with the case demonstrating a clear link between creativity and effectiveness. That is nice, indeed.

3. What does award success really mean for clients? 

The Effies are the awards that clients and agencies place the same value on. This year we won a Silver and a bronze Australian Effie for Plan B for Transport for NSW. Again, rigorous proof that what we are doing is changing behaviour and ultimately saving lives. Our clients are forever needing to demonstrate that what they are doing is working – and Effie is pretty good proof.

4. You have been a long-term Ogilvy person both here and in NYC, what makes Ogilvy special enough to make you stay for more than 20 years? 

I talk about this a lot because it has meant so much to me. From the day I started, Ogilvy has given me every chance to succeed. Ogilvy focuses on building an environment that brings out the best in us all. We believe in supporting people and giving them opportunities to grow. Long tenure is something we aspire to which I don’t think is an industry norm.

5. David Ogilvy remains an industry icon. Did you ever get to meet him? 

I missed out, unfortunately – I would love to have had dinner with David.

6. Clients often comment that you are a very collaborative partner. How has this evolved? 

We firmly believe in playing the long game and keeping the client at the centre of our ambition. We believe we are better together, and that means true partnership not tokenistic. We like to think of it as being indispensable to clients. The work usually is better as a result, and we take unnecessary friction out of the system which our clients really value too.

7. WPP was involved in Sydney’s first SXSW, did you check out WPP House & the festival? If so your thoughts? 

I loved it. I just wish I had more time to spend there. I loved the vibe at WPP house where we hosted countless clients, industry folk and anyone else that was interested in the content.

As the only agency network to have this presence, I think it said a lot about who we are and how we come together.

8. With the current economic headwinds are your clients holding their current spending levels? 

I hope so! But seriously, I know that some of our clients will face challenges. That’s life and the world we live in. But I will also say that we work hand in glove with all our clients to prepare for, and weather the challenges. The proverbial shit will happen; it’s what we do to help them come out the other side that matters.

9. It seems early however Christmas isn’t too far away; do you have any family traditions? 

We do. Every year it’s the same at Christmas. Same people, same food, same joy, same fun, same budget for presents, everything has been the same.
The highlight for me is the family surf in the morning before the festivities start.

10. Important last question. Do you eat KFC and drink Coke? If so, how often?

Absolutely, a Zinger Burger and some chips once a month at our all-staff meeting and my daily ritual of a Diet Coke.

Check out the other instalments in the Fast 10 series here:

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