From marketing at Merivale to the emergence of Example

By Ruby Derrick | 25 September 2023
Rebecca Jarvie-Gibbs & Andy El-Bayeh.

Rebecca Jarvie-Gibbs and Andy El-Bayeh have been working together for 15 years.

In that time, they’ve gone from working in-house at Merivale in PR and head of marketing roles to becoming co-founders of earned-creative and marketing agency, Example 

The pair met when they were in their early twenties, when El-Bayeh was a client of Jarvie-Gibbs. 

El-Bayeh was the marketing manager for Hospitality Group and Jarvie-Gibbs was the PR manager assigned to his accounts. 

“We instantly connected and recognised a shared ambition, drive, passion for culture and the work that we did,’ said Jarvie-Gibbs.

“It was very fortunate to be then reunited at Merivale and foster this partnership during some really formative years in our respective careers.” 

During their time at Merivale, El-Bayeh said a big part of their roles helped transform every day venues into cultural landmarks that bought a lot of value to their respective communities. 

“I was looking at how we could leverage that culture of food, drink and experience with some really high-profile collaboration,” he said. 

What unified the pair as a working team was the shared ambition of wanting to ensure everything they did evolved to a greater purpose, said Jarvie-Gibbs. 

“We were driven by this continual focus on ensuring that the venues, events and activations were designed to engage with that community and build genuine advocacy, and ultimately create cultural movements,” she said.  

El-Bayeh left Merivale at the end of 2016, with Jarvie-Gibbs departing shortly after at the start of 2017.  

Jarvie-Gibbs said the move came at a time when the duo wanted a change, and thought this was an opportunity for them to join forces and establish a new offering - Example. 

“It was about how we could synthesise our work on venue launches, large scale events and community activations and apply that knowledge of brand culture to a much broader spectrum,” she said.  

El-Bayeh said the team knew the traditional agency model wasn’t having the impact it needed to when marketing was quickly changing, especially with the rise of social media.  

We saw brands struggling to connect in meaningful ways and we wanted to build a different agency that helped curate enduring brands,” he said.  

The pair have always been fascinated about what's happening in public discourse, said El-Bayeh 

Whats the media saying? What's happening in communities? What's happening in the deep, dark web? We tap into that knowledge of the media, of influencers and culture," he said.

The Example co-founders use this to consider how they create, behave and operate, said El-Bayeh 

“We want to create things that people want to talk about. We’ve built the team and the mission and what’s driven us and motivated us from day one.” 

What also was the impetus for the pair to start out on their own venture was the partnership they found in each other, said Jarvie-Gibbs.  

“We're mindful that working partnerships like we'd found are very rare to come by,” she said.  

“We wanted to harness that further, knowing we could keep pushing each other forward while continuing to strive for more together.” 

Example has just launched its new ‘Culture Practice’ positioning to demonstrate its evolved approach to integrated earned media and placemaking to amplify places, products and experiences.  

El-Bayeh said Australian consumers aren’t merely buying products; they’re also buying into values, stories and culture.  

Bunnings does this well with its sausage sizzles, as well as Mecca and its beauty masterclasses,” he said.  

It’s finding that way to resonate with Australian values and culture. We want to emulate this and discover the impacts and roles brands can have that aren’t just around driving sales.” 

It’s a fundamental shift, said El-Bayeh, of how brands need to work harder in this day and age to connect 

“We don’t want to just attract eyeballs – we want to make communities a part of those everyday conversations,” he said. 

The agency's partnership with Smirnoff Australia typifies the work it wants to do in its new Culture Practice positioning, said Jarvie-Gibbs.

“Smirnoff's purpose is to connect its brand with Australian music in a way that genuinely supports and contributes to the music industry,” she said.  

“We've been massive advocates and have been working very closely with them on how they do it. In 2021, we launched ‘Ads for Artists’, created in partnership with Smirnoff Australia."

With venues closed and live music banned during the pandemic, Example converted Smirnoff’s $1M of summer advertising placements into ads for struggling bands, said Jarvie-Gibbs.

When Example were launching the new Smirnoff Seltzer range, the agency wanted to consider how the campaign could genuinely support those that needed it within the industry, she said.  

We were able to leverage what was a huge national media budget to provide a platform for the emerging musicians songs, and that created an ever-changing soundtrack for the Seltzer range,” said Jarvie-Gibbs.  

The artists were paid a licensing fee above the APRA industry standard and received a huge amount of exposure through the earned campaign to support it, turning ads into income."

That collaboration with Smiroff talks to the impact Example wants to have, said Jarvie-Gibbs. 

“Ads for Artists has been a strong platform for Smirnoff Australia to continue to build on in the coming years."

On what’s in store for Example, El-Bayeh said the agency will be focusing on ensuring brands earn their rightful place in culture and community.  

Consumers are getting much smarter, he said, and advertising isn’t as effective as what it once was.  

We’re not in it just for our clients to drive views or impressions. We want to redefine what success looks like for these brands,” he said. 

Jarvie-Gibbs said it’s important the team is constantly engaged moving forward.

“We talk a lot about having a mission to create captivating places and brands and experiences that enrich lives," she said.

"But we also need to be able to start at home, so a big focus for us is ensuring Example is the very best place to work with an inspired team that’s given opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally,” she said.  

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus