The Australian advertising and marketing industries must urgently and radically reform their business models in order to survive the onslaught from “overthinking rationalists masquerading as creative transformers,” says veteran creative thinker, Simon Hammond.
In a swipe at the ever-growing assault on the creative communication industry by multi-national management consulting groups, Hammond unveiled what he calls a creative counter-attack in the form of 50 Crates, his sixth brand agency since 1988.
With footprints in Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and New York, Hammond says his new agency will fearlessly lead clients to greater self-awareness of their relevance to culture – not merely show them how to tighten reigns and rationalise decision making.
“These are bold times with fewer boundaries and rules than ever. The great brands are no longer targeting or advertising, they are becoming culturally relevant by deeply resonating with consumers through what they stand for and the tribes they form,” says Hammond.
“They enable consumers to be more powerful through their platforms, products and cultural stories. They share their power. To achieve this sort of consumer resonance, this new world requires creative bravery and genuine insights, not just rational safe steps.”
50 Crates will take the fight to the consulting world through a powerful mixture of proven IP processes and creative storytelling. It will use the 25-year proven Be Brands methodology, the latest thinking in cultural anthropology and a newly formed problem-solving approach based on Socratic skills of questioning and truth-seeking to “remove fear-based rationalisation and lead clients to bold new thinking.”
Hammond says his approach will hero the role of brand beyond logos, campaigns and marketing, to instead become the DNA cultural glue that binds an entire organisation.
“Brands must be the sum of their people,” says Hammond. “Internally and externally, a brand must understand where it sits in the world and how it can be relevant to the real lives of the people it serves.
The multi-national consultancies don’t get social culture, and as a result are never going to be creative forces. It’s not in their nature. We look for human cues and emotional moments of truth. They look for rational, provable transformation led by numbers.”
50 Crates is Hammond’s sixth independent creative brand agency since 1988 including Dare, The Edge (later to become Clemenger Harvie Edge), See (later bought by Photon), Bastion (now Bastion Collective) and Be Counsel.
It will launch with a team of senior thinkers driving the agency ethos. Joining Hammond are Natasha Roberton, a senior global strategist heading up the Sydney business; Age Conte, head of brand development; Dan Jobson, head of creative; and Alyece Shaw, general manager of operations. The agency’s client roster includes Frasers Property Australia, Swinburne University, YMCA, Endeavour healthcare, Pure Scot whisky, Porter Davis, Seqirus CSL, Leef, Masterpet, and fast-growing US beverage brand Crook & Marker.