The rebrand of a local agency and its creative ambitions are not likely to make global industry news. Even the local office of an agency has important as TBWA. Taking a stand on the plethora of awards throughout the world is. Especially it’s the local office of an agency as important as TBWA.
TBWA\Dublin has shown that it knows how to attract attention with its statement, “It’s Cannes of Nothing for TBWA\Dublin”.
In fact, the agency’s message is that it will no longer enter local creative awards, instead choosing to concentrate only on globally recognised award shows, including Cannes Lions, D&AD and the Clios. The local agency is asserting its position and its creative status in the world.
Coinciding with its rebrand, TBWA\Dublin’s top tier have re-introduced themselves as the ‘refounders’ of the twenty three year old agency. They’ve also hired a new executive creative director, John Kane, who has a showcase full of international awards to testify to the agency’s creative acumen.
Kane stated, “We want to be a world-class creative agency that just so happens to be based in Dublin. It makes sense that in order to achieve this we aim for only world-class creative awards. We want to change the height of the bar and not settle for anything less, and from what I’ve already experienced in TBWA\Dublin we certainly have the talent in every department to aim for it.
“We’re not saying local creative awards aren’t relevant, what we are saying is that at this moment in time they are not appropriate to us and our ambitions for TBWA\Dublin. I’ve been away for fifteen years and coming back into the business here you realise there’s a certain comfort level with the standard of work that’s not really healthy. When agencies are walking away with over twenty local awards in one night you really have to question the value of that to the industry and, more importantly, our clients.”
Kane believes a shift in thinking and a change of mind-set is needed across the board. “In my mind creativity, used in the right way, is a powerful tool for business. Agencies need to create work that goes beyond advertising and creates a compass for a brand. It’s our job to come up with ideas that have a real effect on revenue and makes clients reassess what an agency can do for them. We need to get our seat back at the business table.”
Mark Nolan, chief strategy officer of TBWA\Dublin added, “Now, more than ever before, we are placing an onus on bringing strategy and creative even closer together. We believe that the most effective and powerful work always stems from getting this critical junction right. This is hardly a Eureka moment, but we see very little evidence of this happening today across our industry. It warrants attention and we feel we have the right talent to excel here not just on the local stage but beyond.”
Deirdre Waldron, chief executive officer of TBWA\Dublin added, “For now, we are taking a break from entering local creative awards to concentrate on our higher ambitions, but we will still be very much part of the Irish industry. We still believe passionately in the work the industry bodies around Ireland do. By working with our industry colleagues we can hopefully help inspire the next generation to drive the Irish advertising industry forward.”