International brand communications group Manifest has launched a new office in Melbourne.
The new operation marks Manifest’s fifth office, joining a group that already includes London, Manchester, Stockholm and New York. The agency’s ‘one-team’ model means the new office allows Manifest to run its integrated creative services round-the-clock—just one of the strategic priorities that led the business to Australia.
“When we launched Manifest in 2009 we had an ambition to become the world’s first global small agency, combining the reach and reliability of a global network with the agility and innovation expected of a boutique operation,” founder and group CEO Alex Myers said.
“Manifest Melbourne not only expands that reach to the Southern Hemisphere, but also gives our clients access to a 24-hour creative operation, with unified systems and processes to work seamlessly round-the-clock.”
The Australian team will be led by Manifest Melbourne cofounders Isabel Thomson-Officer (pictured, right) and Jessie Bowers (pictured, left), taking the managing director and creative director roles, respectively.
A Melbourne native, Thomson-Officer moved from Manifest’s New York operation earlier this year and has over a decade of experience both agency-side representing brands as varied as the MoVida restaurant group, Gympass, and HelloFresh, as well as journalism roles for publications such as news.com.au and Nine Digital.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Jessie Bowers arrives in Melbourne from an advertising agency background, with an international reputation forged through creative and art director roles at Fred Farid and Ogilvy.
During almost 20 years in the creative industries, Bowers has produced work for some of the world’s most recognisable brands including NASA, Google, Instagram, HP, Converse and Stoli Vodka, picking up multiple Clio, Epica and D&AD awards in the process.
He is also a keen street artist and activist, having developed the global social change campaign, No More Black Targets in 2017.
“Manifest is one of the most exciting creative agency brands in the world right now, and the opportunity to bring our unique proposition to the Australian market is an incredible opportunity,” Bowers said.
“We are building an unrivalled global creative team across the group that is capable of both developing the ‘big idea’ and delivering it – not just across the marketing mix, but increasingly across the globe.”
He added: “Manifest’s creative manifesto aims squarely at building brands that change the world for the better, meaning the work we do has a real, positive impact on its audiences. It’s not just words—it’s the foundation of everything Manifest does. That’s what I’m here for.”
Manifest Melbourne’s launch clients reflect the omni-channel nature of its offering, with day-one briefs from global babycare giant Tommee Tippee, sextech innovator Hot Octopuss, sustainability subscription service Ecologi and a leading Australian craft beer brand. The Australian office will also form a key part of the creative team for international Manifest projects across its varied client base.
“Manifest provides a unique blend of strategy, purpose and creative bravery that is helping us not just to launch successfully in Australia but become a brand with real cultural significance,” Julia Margo, co-founder and chief operating officer at Hot Octopuss said.
“Before meeting Manifest we never knew agencies like this existed, but now we work with them in the USA, UK and Australia as a genuine extension of our team and a vital catalyst for our business. Just as they have everywhere else, they’re going to smash it in Melbourne.”
Choosing to be based in Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne, reflects Manifest’s creative focus and unified model, but the agency has already put a media relations foothold in Sydney as it recruits a ‘hybrid’ team of specialist talent across the breadth of the country.
Thomson-Officer added: “Australia has a legacy of creative bravery and cultural innovation, which is why it feels like a natural home for Manifest.
“We’ll be headquartered in Melbourne, but it’s our intention to grow the team far and wide to source the best talent from all over the country. The nationwide recruitment process is already underway.”
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