Creative Insights: Town Square's Brendan Day on remaining relevant

By Ruby Derrick | 13 November 2023
Creative Insights is an AdNews series investigating and uncovering the secrets of the creative side of advertising. 
Brendan Day: executive creative director at Town Square

How did you fall into the industry? Was it deliberate or misstep?
A deliberate misstep. I studied advertising after short stints in fashion and design but I didn’t know what advertising people did. I fell into the business side when I didn’t get admitted to the creative school. I worked as a suit for five years and was told by a CD early on not to come up with ideas because I wasn’t "creative". I was also fed up with ideas I was selling as a suit I believed I could do better. So, with a chip on my shoulder and something to prove I hustled my way to become a copywriter and was made CD a year later.

What’s your secret sauce for commercial creativity?
Design and craft. I’ve always believed advertising too often becomes a slave to taglines or punny headlines to the detriment of the work. Although, when the words are good too that’s when it sings.

What’s the biggest hurdle now for creatives?
Remaining relevant. That could be in relation to age, tech, AI, advertising becoming antiquated. There are plenty of threats out there. But hasn’t that always been the case? On the flipside I feel like the opportunities for creatives are endless so it’s exciting as it is scary.

Do you wear the black t-shirt uniform or are you a nonconformist?
Sometimes only black will do. However, you’re much more likely to see me in all white.

Can commercial creativity only take place in a room full of people in black T-shirts?
No. See point above. 

What was the latest campaign you worked on that you really enjoyed?
Qatar Now, a 224 page traveller’s guide to the country, culture and people. We researched, wrote, shot and designed the publication with a tight team that we collaborated with across Australia and Qatar. It’s not necessarily an ad or even a campaign in a traditional sense, but it’s the sort of thing I believe can really make a difference. In this case, exposing the cultural heartbeat of a nation most people know so little about, an opportunity to push the country’s culture forward in a more progressive way.

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