This was first published in the May issue of AdNews Magazine.
It’s been a big year for The Monkeys. The agency was acquired by Accenture Interactive, launched a Melbourne office, added a significant number of people to its team and won the creative accounts for Holden, CrownBet, Canadian Club, Asahi Beer, Australia Post and NRMA.
In fact, 2017 was the agency’s biggest year in its 12-year history, as revenue climbed and profit soared.
With the agency’s purpose to “make provocative ideas happen”, The Monkeys delivered a diverse range of work that encompassed beer brands to aeroplanes, bras to pizzas, and meat to sports shoes.
And the proof is in the many puddings, with The Monkeys’ string of award wins internationally and locally, at Cannes, D&AD, the Effies and One Show. Most recently, the agency was named NSW Agency of the Year at the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards and took out AdNews’ first Effectiveness Award for its Meat and Livestock Australia work.
For Group CEO Mark Green, he struggles to pinpoint his proudest moment of the past 12 months, but said it always comes back to doing ground breaking work for iconic Australian brands, from Qantas to Telstra and now NRMA, Holden and Australia Post.
“For an Australian business that built its way up in this country, it’s a proud moment whenyou can look on your portfolio of iconic Australian brands and see big work you’ve produced that’s successful and liked in equal measure,” Green said.
“We never thought we wouldn’t be here, but it’s one thing to have a vision and a dream and it’s another to have it realised – to start a business with three people and organically grow to the 160 odd people that we are today.”
Ask any agency founder who they admire in the industry and ‘The Monkeys’ is always top of the list. It’s not hard to see why with a highlight reel that boasts MLA’s ‘Celebrate Australia’ and ‘Spring Lamb’ campaigns; the emotional Qantas Dreamliner campaign on the successful ‘Feels Like Home’ platform; and a new brand plat- form for IKEA: ‘The Best Day is the Everyday’.
The agency produced its first work for Holden, and its work for Berlei named and launched a new kind of bra - Womankind. For NRMA, it showed what gets Australians on the road with a heartfelt Christmas story and launched a new brand platform for CrownBet – A Better Way to Wager.
“There is no luck involved,” said Green. “We have created our own luck from the crazy commitment from the founders and the consistency of the management team.”
It’s this consistency of leadership and creative ambition that Green said has driven years of success for The Monkeys, but the agency certainly hasn’t become complacent, giving up its independent title after a decade to facilitate its next step.
Green described Accenture Interactive as a “rocket ship” now attached to the agency, allowing it to add skill sets and explore the best opportunities for growth and expansion.
“People are griping about the challenges the industry faces, but we are seeing strong opportunity and we aren’t taking any backwards steps.”
For Scott Nowell, group chief creative officer, seeing Celebrate Australia contribute to the national agenda through its commentary on the #changethedate movement, its Berlei ad make the news for having boobs banned from Facebook and Qantas work loved by the majority of Australia – that’s what matters.
“You know you’re in a good position when your work is talked about on the streets,” Nowell said. “Our aim is to always affect popular culture.”
Winning the first AdNews’ Effectiveness award for MLA, driving a 23% lift in sales during the campaign period of Celebrate Australia, The Monkeys know their work works.
“Our work is all about making provocative ideas happen and that’s how we intend to continue. We will keep making work that doesn’t get ignored, that elicits response and captures people’s imagination to establish a meaningful brand connection,” Green said.
“We are in a great position totake the industry into a truly exciting place,” Nowell added.
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