Secrets of The Monkeys

The Monkeys have been named Campaign Brief Agency of the Year. And who could argue with that? They’ve produced great work for UBank (“borrow less, live more”), decent work for Telstra (not easy) and despite upsetting the nation’s vegans, have successfully moved MLA on from the Sam Kekovich era, with ‘Richie’s BBQ’ being arguably the single best ad of last year.

So what’s their secret? Yes it’s creative talent, but other agencies have that too. The truth is it takes more than great creatives to get great creative work out the door. It takes the whole team to be united behind the same agenda. Mark Green (CEO) and Fabio Buresti (Head of Planning) are huge fans, backers, and enablers of creativity. A lot of management teams pay lip-service to the notion of creativity, but when the client applies any pressure at all, they fold up like a deckchair. Not those guys. And they’ve transmitted that philosophy down and across the whole business.

Another little secret is that The Monkeys work hard, maybe harder than anyone else. There is no bar at 531 South Dowling Street, just a giant coffee machine. Everyone in the whole industry is super-mega-busy right now. There is no time for lunch and no time to think. The trick that The Monkeys pull off is to be not just busy, but productive.

Final secret, somewhat related to the last one. Calmness. The very name ‘The Monkeys’ conjures imagery of chaos. You’d imagine staffers swinging from ceiling lamps, throwing piles of paper in the air, and constantly whooping. Not the case. An agency’s culture comes directly from its founders, and all four of the partners exude an air of very un-monkeylike calm. This creates a lower-stress environment, which is more productive, and as we’ve seen… more creative. Congratulations to them.