Whybins Melbourne: Mumbrella Creative Agency Review – Melbourne’s ‘safe bet’ secured the win of the year in ANZ

MCAR coverThe newly published Mumbrella Creative Agency Review examines Australia’s top 30 ad agencies. Today Robin Hicks examines how Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne has fared over the last 12 months.

Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne was something of a quiet achiever for much of the last 12 months, even with regional chairman and creative figurehead Scott Whybin still a regular presence in the office. Until the agency landed the biggest, if not the most prestigious, new business catch of 2011.

Winning the global ad account for ANZ was a big result for Whybins, which took the account from under the noses of long-time incumbents DDB and M&C Saatchi. Though not the biggest agency in Melbourne, Whybins can now safely claim to be one of the most influential. While it is positioned three places beneath its more visible Sydney sibling, Whybins is the third-ranked Melbourne agency in our survey overall, featuring just inside the top ten.

One panellist notes: “First rate team in management and creative with very low
staff turnover. ANZ win was the coup of the year.”

Much goodwill was directed towards Whybins when it won ANZ. So a visit from Greenpeace soon after came as a surprise. While the activitsts asked Whybins to influence ANZ’s policy on the coal industry, parts of the industry protested against The Mentalist actor Simon Baker replacing Barbara the Banker as ANZ’s brand icon. Baker’s American accent and shifty eye movements did not go down well with some, although the campaign is said to be tracking well. But work for Pedigree and Nissan, featuring Bear Grylls racing an X-Trail up a mountain, has been fairly solid, the agency ranking just outside the top ten for creativity.

With Paul Reardon joining as ECD from Clems Melbourne, and Damian Royce joining as digital CD, Whybins should be looking to make more of an impression at awards shows. Its best scores have been for commercial success and client stability, reflecting what one panellist describes as ‘one of Melbourne adland’s safest bets’.

With very few departures and the arrival of Mark Watkin from Patts Melbourne as MD, Whybins – which made our top ten for momentum – looks poised to attack the market with greater venom in 2012.

To read more about Whybin\TBWA\Melbourne, including full details on how it was scored by both our expert panel and Mumbrella’s own readers, to view examples of the agency’s work and read its own assessment of its performance, buy a copy of the Mumbrella Creative Agency Review priced at $75. The book features an assessment of the country’s top 30 ad agencies. To buy the book, click here.


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