Mars CMO: Australia is small – marketers need to look overseas to get perspective

David Lubars, chief creative of BBDO North America, with global BBDO boss Andrew Robertson and Bruce McColl in Cannes today

One of the world’s most powerful clients, Mars CMO Bruce McColl, an Australian, has said that Aussie marketers will not progress in their careers unless they look outside of Australia for ideas and inspiration.

In an interview with Mumbrella, McColl said that because the Australian marketing scene lacks scale, overseas influence is crucial for marketers to develop.

“Australia lacks scale. So it’s important that marketers tap into global networks when they can – to get a sense of perspective. You can’t be a good marketer and grow as a professional unless you explore outside your sphere,” said McColl, whose employer was named advertiser of the year for Cannes 2012.

“Working overseas helped me learn to respect different cultures and gave me a broader perspective on creativity and the challenges other marketers face around the world.”

Over a 20-year career with the foods giant, McColl has worked in New Zealand, Russia and the UK.

Mars and agency BBDO gave journalists a preview of a new global campaign for Twix in Cannes today. The ad, which is still at the rough cut stage, is based on the idea of rivalry between the two identical sticks of chocolate in a Twix bar.

McColl would not suggest how the campaign might be localised by his agencies in Australia. But in answer to a question from Mumbrella, he joked: “I sense a British accent. Perhaps we could bring the rivalry idea to life with a play on British-Aussie rivalry.”

“Aussies are a competitive bunch. So I think the idea will hold well with the Australian nature,” he added.

A launch date for the ad in Australia, which was devised in London and executed in New York, is as yet unclear. It launches in the US and Germany before rolling out globally.


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