And the winner is…*drops the mic*
As recent winners of Experiential & Promotional Agency of the Year at the B&T Awards held in Sydney last week, we got Gareth Brock, Managing Partner of ANZ to share a bit around the Because victory.
You’ve been with Because for over 5 years now. You are well known for your diverse expertise, tell us a little bit about your background?
Straight out of university I started in car and retail advertising, working for Ad Corp and then I took a dual role as Marketing Manager & Account Manager at Sinnott Bros (part of the IPMG Group, now known as Ovato). Both these roles gave me a solid training ground in production, client services, creative and the fast-paced nature of advertising.
I’ve always been somewhat of an entrepreneur, so at 24 I started iCRE8, a boutique, below-the-line agency with a real passion for the retail sector. I was probably a little naive but I certainly learnt quickly what was required to run an agency. It wasn’t just about great work and happy clients – culture, financial performance and management were just as key.
iCRE8 flourished off the combined efforts of an amazing, hardworking, dedicated team; and we soon became part of the STW group in 2006. A few years later we merged with one of our sister agencies in the group, Evocatif – a leading Shopper Marketing agency (now part of WPP’s Geometry).
In my early 30’s I wanted a new adventure, so I started a business called Pet Check-in – dedicated to help pet owners travel more easily with their pets around Australia. Going back to a start-up business posed new challenges and was a steep learning curve. Through the process I became a published author with 2 books – Have Pet, Will Travel & Pets On Holidays in partnership with Hardie Grant. Pet Check-in is still a side hustle and passion project in my spare time.
In 2014 I was approached to join Because Australia. The business was in its infancy and Meredith Cranmer had done an amazing job of getting the agency off to a flying start, but they were looking for that next step, and future growth. Because reminded me a lot of my iCRE8 days, so I jumped on board and haven’t looked back!
Gareth, you’ve recently won the ultimate agency accolade – Experiential & Promotional Agency of the Year at the B&T awards, tell us why this is a big deal?
Winning the award was a euphoric moment, but also a really emotional one. The award encompasses many elements of the agency, it’s not just about the work. The panel judged on culture, innovation, commercial success and contribution to the industry. Personally, it’s a career highlight as well as being a huge recognition for our team, their dedication and commitment to our clients and the campaigns we work on. It takes a village to win an award like this – so naturally this accolade also includes our valued clients and suppliers, so the win is just as much for them as it is for us.
Why do you think this was Because ANZ’s year for winning agency of the year?
Because ANZ has had a massive year. We won many new clients across both Australia and New Zealand, but critically we’ve also kept our existing clients happy – showing the strength of the business and our relationships.
The key things we were able to show the judges were:
- How our campaigns start with a strategic thought to ensure they get results & effectiveness
- How we’ve moved the industry forward and inspired the industry through our bespoke masterclasses and thought leadership talks
- Our commitment to our team, their future and our supportive agency culture
- How we’ve created impact by staying ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging immersive technologies and creating innovative solutions to client’s problems, designed to drive disruption and brand engagement
What does winning this award have on the business & the team and your wider community of partners?
The immediate thing I’ve witnessed is just how proud we all are to work for an agency like Because. An Agency of the Year win really puts things into reality – we were up against a very high calibre of agencies. Agencies we’ve often admired ourselves for the work they do, and it’s human nature to second guess whether you’re good enough. Winning this award helps us know we are, so we can hold our heads up high, have some fun over Christmas and then get stuck into ensuring 2020 is a great success.
Lastly, any hints or tips for those looking to enter a business award?
Firstly, speak your truth. We were honest and raw with the judges, telling them our ‘real’ story. People tend to only talk openly about their many successes but sometimes it’s the harder times which make an agency stronger, yet this can be overlooked. Our clients know we really wear our hearts on our sleeves and we genuinely care about our team, clients and suppliers.
Secondly, don’t give up! Whilst this was the first year we entered B&T, we have been a finalist for Experiential Agency of the Year with Mumbrella for 2 years running and we came ‘close but no cigar’ – you’re not going to win every time but you have to be in it to win it. Never give up.