Tag Archives: Creative director

S01E02 – Mike Barry, Creative Director at The White Agency

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Mike Barry is the Creative Director of The White Agency. He has worked with brands such as Lion, Lexus and Commbank to name a few and was named in the AdNews Top 40 under 40 in 2012. In this interview he talks about the recent ‘podcast explosion’, the exciting times ahead for stories via digital and the importance of trusting your gut in the creative process. Continue reading

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What type of Creative Director would Kevin Rudd be?


It looks like, come Monday, Kevin Rudd will be out of a job. Whilst he will likely move into a UN post after quitting Australian politics let us ponder what he might achieve as a creative director of an agency.

Ever since he resigned from his position of Foreign Minister, ‘insider‘ stories have emerged of how bad a leader Kevin Rudd was. Adland KRudd would run a tyrannical ship. He would have the final say on every piece of work that went out the door – from the smallest localised print ad in the local street magazine read by 4 grandmothers to halftime Superbowl spots watched by billions. He would force staff to stay back even if they were not really needed. He would stand by his staunch beliefs and rarely seek council. He would employ a lot of prodigious young creatives and not value the opinions of more experienced ‘greybeards’. Rudd would sometimes treat staff with rudeness and contempt. In summary, he probably wouldn’t be a very good CD to work for.

Rudd would, however, be great in a pitch. A seasoned campaigner, he would be able to sell an idea to the punters. Following through on the idea and delivering would be the hard part. Despite a talented support team of creatives, strategists and producers, the end result wouldn’t be the award winning work originally sold in.

Despite a tough economy Rudd would be able to guide his agency through a GFC by encouraging close ties to Asian markets and investing in staff training and a decent health package. Nevertheless, a lack of support from inside the business and a failure to deliver would have him on the agency nose.

The axe would be out and unlike politics where you can just migrate to the backbench, Rudd would be out the door, trolling Mumbrella and Adnews hungry to pull down his old agency.

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Filmland vs Adland – Some common ground

John Slattery Mad Men

I used to make TV shows. ‘Factual TV’ they call it. Occasionally I got to work on some feature films. That was fun. It required a lot of patience but the larger the screen the more satisfying I found it. I never made any IMAX films. That would have been fun. Now that I work in digital media production for an ad agency I’m in a pretty good spot to point out some similarities between the film/TV industry and the ad/digital space. Here are some:

Universal insight

Both filmmakers and advertisers are on the hunt for the universal insight. An idea that connects with an audience. There is no point in making a film if no one gets it. Likewise for ads, websites, mobile apps. Films and ads can have big budgets and feature Hollywood stars but if they don’t resonate with an audience they flop.


The director behind a film is pretty much doing what a creative director does at an agency – flounce and flourish. I jest. They drive the creative vision and require a significant team in the shadows to pull it off. Both Filmland and Adland consist of considerable teams that need to seamlessly work together to come up with an idea, plan an execution and deliver.

The three Project Triangle constraints

Both films and ads need to be on time, on budget and at a high quality. The Project Triangle is balanced by a Producer or Project Manager who works tirelessly behind the scenes. Everyone wants to deliver award-winning work but there are also tremendous pressures to deliver to deadlines and, of course, bring it in on budget.

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