How did start your career in advertising and when did you join your current firm?
I landed my first design job 18 years ago. I studied design and worked as a graphic designer.
I went back to Uni and completed a BA in Advertising and a Diploma in Marketing at RMIT in Melbourne.
I spent some time working in digital technologies and experienced the dot.com boom and crash first-hand; which was fun.
I then found a focus in brand strategy and visual identity work, which eventually brought me to TANK. I joined my current firm a couple of years ago and I am currently one of three directors.
Running a creative agency is exciting, as we get to be in a business which sells creativity and in turn, being creative is nourishing, definitely not boring,and innovative ideas make good business sense.
At TANK we have ten staff with disciplines ranging from project managers, production managers and writers, to creative, graphic artists and strategists.
Have you ever drawn your inspiration in advertising campaigns from your Greek background?
I must say, no I haven’t.
The difference between a designer and an artist is that one creates art and the other is paid to solve a business problem articulated in a brief.
Saying that, we do a large array of naming work (new businesses, new products, ventures etc.) and this requires quite a bit of research which naturally leads me to explore names of ancient Greek and Latin origin, amongst other avenues – most brand names are derived from Latin, Greek or amalgamations [and creations] of both.
I don’t know many notable Greeks in advertising or design other than George Lois in the USA who, for me, is famous for art directing Esquire Magazine between 1962 and 1972.
What is the comparative advantage of your firm over the competition?
We aren’t a graphic design studio or an advertising agency. The make up of our people, strategists, writers, art directors, designers, photographers and journalists makes us fall between the traditional design studio and advertising agency.
The one commonality we have with them is that we develop ideas for business growth through creative thinking.
How is business currently?
Exciting. With this economic downturn we’ve found that our clients are looking to be more accountable, and use their budgets more effectively – this in turn means that we have to be the same which can’t be a bad thing at all.
Efficiency and accountability never really hurt anyone, especially not the bottom line.
We’re finding that clients who are brave enough to see this economic downturn as an opportunity are the ones we’re attracting.
I think in difficult times, customers will always look for confident brands to do business with.
Name three of your favourite campaigns?
Lonely Planet for it’s authenticity. Everything they publish comes with the promise that it was created sincerely for the benefit of the traveller.
Million by Sydney agency Droga5 is an idea to brand academic achievement for New York’s 1.1 million public school students that reinforces the link between school and success – it’s just brilliant.
Monocle Magazine for me is one of the 21st century emerging media brands – it syndicates it content across media platforms and knows its audience so very well.
My favourite ad at the moment is Cadbury’s Gorilla, it’s simply focused on ‘joy’ as a concept and links that with the product, chocolate. Simple and effective.