DDB emerges from running Tourism Australia with credit, now let’s see what Clems can do

Tourism Australia logoThere will be some glum faces at DDB today.

The loss of Tourism Australia will hit hard.

And it will probably be of little comfort that the dollars are staying within the Omnicom family, with the account moving to Clemenger BBDO.

Two points occur. First, DDB did a pretty good job. Second, this feels like the missing piece for Clems Sydney.

Often, the Tourism Australia brief is a political nightmare. Just look at M&C Saatchi’s ‘Where the Bloody Are You?’ Lara Bingle campaign. The truth is, that never was the “rolled gold disaster” Kevin Rudd later labelled it. It actually generated a fair bit of PR in other markets.

And when you take on the account, you know that 23 million people are going to feel entitled to critique your campaign.

The fact that there were no major controversies under DDB was in itself an acheivement. The first, musical, iteration of There’s Nothing Like Australia did have its detractors. But DDB created and used the new platform of There’s Nothing Like Australia well. Three years on, and it still feels like a line that has many years of life in it.

And the next iteration, which used the song It’s Like Love, continues to grow on me even now.

The fact that DDB helped Tourism Australia on its journey to becoming one of the world’s leading tourism brands at using social media (although a lot of credit goes to the internal client team on that too) is also worth emphasising.

The challenge now for DDB is to pick itself up. Tourism Australia is where the agency has done some of its best work (alongside VW). Its next biggest client is McDonald’s where the work at the moment is sometimes poor.

But five years was a fair innings, and DDB emerges with a high pass mark.

Now comes the questions of really seeing what Cleemenger BBDO can do. I understand that the account will be run out of Sydney, under the guidane of ECD Paul Nagy.

This is going to be interesting. For the last four or five years, it has felt like Clems Sydney is one big client away from really firing. Creatively, the agency has always tended to be a little behind its siblings Clems Melbourne and Colenso in Auckland.

Now Clems Sydney will have the mass to become a great creative agency, if it takes the opportunity.

Tim Burrowes


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