Ant Keogh exits Clemenger Melbourne after a decade

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 6 July 2017

Ant Keogh, one of Australia’s highest ranked creatives, is leaving Clemenger BBDO Melbourne after more than a decade.

Keogh, who is chief creative officer, is leaving the agency on a high after it saw its most successful year.

Clems was named Cannes Lions Agency of the Year last month, following a record-breaking haul of 56 Lions. It is also D&AD Agency of the Year 2017.

Keogh was last month named him one of “10 Global Creative Leaders that are Reinventing the Advertising Industry” by AdWeek.

Campaign Brief ranks him the #1 creative director in Australia. Interestingly, he didn’t enter the AdNews Creativity List and was overseas during the entry period.

"I’m leaving the agency at a time when we’ve just produced some of our best work and had wonderful success at Cannes. On one hand, it’s a crazy time to leave but if you think about leaving on a high, it makes sense," Keogh says.

“Clemenger Melbourne and the BBDO network in general is a great place, full of clever people who I was very fortunate to work with and whom I learnt a lot from. I’ll miss many of them and, although I’m excited by what’s ahead, I’m also sad to be leaving, especially since I’ve enjoyed long creative relationships with James McGrath in particular (17 years or so), many of the other CDs, planners and staff in general.

“At Clemenger we always took pride in creating real work that real people saw. If the work won awards, that was a bonus. I plan to continue that ethic. It’s weird to even have to make that distinction but, as we all know, the industry can lose sight of itself sometimes. I’ve always been interested in creating long-term brand platforms, big integrated campaigns and, at best, ideas that transcend advertising and reach popular culture.”

Keoegh says he is taking time out for personal creative projects, but it’s likely he’ll have a raft of top shelf job offers both at home and overseas. He also says he would consider starting up his own shop.

“In the future I’d like to work a bit more flexibly. I have lots of ideas for digital content in mind - I’m fascinated by YouTube and other online ‘Creator’ platforms, especially as film re-emerges as the language of the web, with everyday tools like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Snapchat, and innovations like 360 film, V.R. and A.R. It’s a very interesting space. 360, especially, is still in its infancy, its ‘Charlie Chaplin’ phase. There’s so much ahead.

"Either way, it’s an exciting prospect to be able to shape my own creative working environment. Whatever it looks like, I’d like it to be high on effect, low on nonsense.

“At times, the marketing industry can make things way more complicated than they need to be. It is a complicated media landscape we live in; very, very difficult to get a proper perspective on, so we shouldn’t make it more difficult by over-complicating the simple bits.”

Keogh’s reel includes: TAC ‘Graham’, Snickers' 'Hungerithm', Bonds “Boys”, National Australia Bank “Breakup”, Carlton Draught “Slo Mo” & “Beer Chase” and “Made from Beer”.

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