Kieran Moroney takes a bite of the Big Apple

By Ruby Derrick | 28 November 2023
Kieran Moroney

Creative director Kieran Moroney has left Australia after being poached to work in the Big Apple.  

After seven years as creative director for VML, Moroney has taken up a senior vice president and group creative director role aMcCann Health New York, the epicentre of health advertising.  

For Moroney, having been the kid of an expat, the idea of living overseas again was itching at him.  

But in a strange way, he says, he felt he had to prove himself at home -- here in Australia -- first.  

“It was something I always wanted to do and I knew it was right to step outside of my comfort zone. Our daughter is a toddler so it works well for the family. It’s a tremendous experience," he said.

Throughout his tenure at VML, Moroney credits the agency for always pushing the boundaries of creativity and being able to kept pace while doing so.

“We had always tried to do work that competed at a world-class level. It's interesting because there are new demands that are placed around how world-class work is recognised,” said Moroney. 

“More and more of that is starting to change by the way culture wants to advance society. The work then naturally starts to reflect that.”  

Stepping into senior positions at McCann Health, an idea-driven agency with deep roots in DTC and HCP advertising, Moroney says his focus will be around bringing the same kind of innovative thinking from VML that creates standout work. 

Only this time, with much bigger teams, he notes. 

“Health is a really interesting space. It’s an arena where you can have great impact on improving people’s lives, and even save them,” said Moroney.  

It’s what we’re here for after all – to do things better than what came before.” 

Moroney wasn’t necessarily attracted away from the Australian market, but he says the difference in scale from the US market is unequivocal.  

Having a smaller scale in Australia makes us really savvy and really clever. It’s that underdog thinking where you have to find the smart ways around," he said. 

When you contrast that with the US, where there is such large scale, there are also drawbacks. You have to go through more layers to try and create work, but there lies the challenge.” 

Working for McCann Health, Moroney believes the US health market brings more opportunities than Australia would be able to deliver.

It’s got a much bigger health market when it comes to advertising. There are some health agencies in Australia but they just aren’t comparable,” said Moroney.  

It’s being able to draw on the scientific side of things, he notes, including the innovation and having tech people on to help bring ideas to life.  

“That side of the industry in the US has a whole bunch of opportunity,” he said.  

Moroney leaves Australia with more than 200 awards from all major international shows, including D&AD, Cannes Lions, One Show, Clios, New York Festivals, London International Awards and WARC Awards for Effectiveness.

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