April 28, 2018
Posted by Jamie Scott
   

An open letter to the AADC

While we love your passion, on this particular issue you don’t speak for Showpony Advertising.

 In fact, we think that your press release regarding the decision of the SATC to appoint an interstate agency got it wrong.

Firstly, there are three South Australian agencies that were appointed to the SATC roster, including Showpony. The value of the tactical campaigns that make up this portion of the roster is currently unknown, but it could be significant as SATC have a breadth of stories to tell. Regardless of the dollar value allocated to tactical campaigns, we don’t agree with your assertion that this portion of the account is merely “scraps from the Melbourne table”.

Showpony has been appointed to precisely the share of the account that we tendered for. Your derision of that win undermines the hard work, care and enthusiasm of our staff - members of your organisation – and the very people you claim to represent.

You made it pretty hard for them to enjoy their win this week.

Secondly, this decision is hardly unprecedented. Tourism WA is with Cummins and Partners in Melbourne, Tourism Tasmania with JimJam in Sydney, Tourism Queensland, arguably one of the biggest tourism boards in the county is with JWT in Sydney and Tourism NT has long been held outside of the Northern Territory. Even the recent Tourism Australia Superbowl ad was the product of Droga5 of New York so SATC should be applauded for having resisted this trend for so many years.

Another precedent is the 2010 decision by SA Health to roster Perth agency, 303 Lowe, alongside Showpony. Amid the predictions of the death of the local industry, we got on with the job of responding to briefs and produced some of our best work including:

  • Aboriginal Immunisation - closing the gap in immunisation rates for one year olds, winning a Gold Effie for effectiveness
  • Waiting is not an Emergency – an online film that gained 14 million organic views and recognized at Clio and NY Festivals.
  • Hands off our Ambos - precipitating a 42% drop in attacks on Ambos, recognised for creativity and effectiveness in NY and Cannes among others.


We proved our capability to out-perform the interstate competitors and now only South Australian agencies occupy the SA Health creative roster.

Our point is that the response to an account going interstate should be to do good work and win the business back. Or better still, export our creative work to other states as we did with the viral film, Hands off our Ambos, which was recut for Tasmanian television and aired on behalf of the Tasmanian Health Department.

It then won the AADC’s Gold Chair for best in show for 2017.

Finally, the local advertising community must acknowledge that we now work in a bigger industry, in a much smaller world. It’s not about South Australian versus interstate agencies anymore – that’s an outdated mentality - it’s about doing great work for clients based anywhere. Showpony’s Hands TV campaign for Bridgestone Australia/NZ, has aired in a dozen countries around the world and SA Health’s Waiting is not an Emergency online film had more views overseas than it did in Australia.

In 2016 we opened a Melbourne office to provide a base for our growing ambitions and have produced great work for Bendigo Bank, Regis Aged Care and Remedy Kombucha among many others. We hope to do some work for the Victorian government too.

We do this because we don’t see the borders that AADC are so passionately protecting.

NAnd in our opinion, that’s the real challenge to South Australian business. Broaden your horizons and don’t protect your borders like some small-town Trump.

Just do good work.

Topics: South Australian Tourism Commision