The Year in Review: Toby Talbot

He’s about to head back to the homeland for a plum posting with RKCR/Y&R in London after five successful years as DDB’s executive creative director. So, since he’s breaking up with us, we figured the least Toby Talbot could do is fill in our end of year questionnaire. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours: Dialogue is never easy in ads. Try writing something meaningful in under a minute. Bloody hard. The inner monologue of the protagonist in NZTA’s ‘Ghost Chips’ delivered lines that were so acutely memorable they became part of the nation’s lexicon overnight. 1,500,000 hits on You Tube later and you have the best TVC of the year by a mile. Hats off to Duster, Holty and the team.

2) Favourite campaign that is yours: Steinlager ‘Believe’ for its audacity and simplicity. Proof that when an agency goes further upstream in its thinking, which we did, good things happen. I’d like to acknowledge Regan Grafton’s job selling this through too. Very much the unsung hero in the piece.

3) Least favourite campaign: Youtube Video Youtube VideoIt’s a scrap in the Countdown car park between the ‘middle New Zealand 101’ Westie family and oh so pretty ‘boho Grey Lynn couple’ who buy their first house at auction for Westpac. Think the smug Grey Lynners would go down first punch. So the heavy media weight champions are the Countdown family. Lowest common denominator has found a new low.

4) Best brand: Our client list is a good place to start. For me, an arm wrestle between Mike Watson at Sky and Wendy Rayner at NZ Lotteries. Best out of three. Okay, five.

5) Best stoush: The ‘storm in a tea cup’ made the election almost interesting. I said almost.

6) Heroes: Steve Ayson. Directs Lotto Lucky Dog for us last year then knocks it out of the park for Clems this year with ‘Ghost Chips’. NZ’s best director. Someone give that man a decent film script. He’d kill it.

7) Villains: Ask three of the best agencies in town to spend a month on a massive pitch. Then give it to the incumbent because they’re the cheapest. Keep it classy, Auckland City Council.

8) Most memorable marketing moment: ‘Stain on the game’. Spectacularly inappropriate use of the All Blacks brand. That said, I respect anyone that tries to do something brave and fails spectacularly. As long as they learn from it of course.


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