Deloitte poaches McCann creative trio to head up new brand creative and media team

Deloitte Digital lead partner tells CMO the recruits are part of efforts to bring creative and brand thinking into customer experience design

Deloitte Digital’s lead partner says the decision to recruit three leaders from McCann Melbourne to head up its new brand creative and media team is about unifying brand strategy with customer experience design across the consultancy.

Deloitte this week revealed three leaders from the creative agency – David Phillips, Matt Lawson and Adrian Mills – are joining its ranks to head up brand creative and media. The trio have been a driving force at McCann, winning 82 Cannes Lions between them and spearheading development of some of the most high-profile Australian campaigns in recent years.

Mills, for example, is known for the ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ campaign, while Phillips is credited with leading McCann to win top rankings at the APC Effies and WARC awards. Lawson was recognised as the top copywriter in the world by the 2017 Global Big Won report.

Upon starting at Deloitte, Lawson becomes principal and chief creative officer, while Mills and Phillips join the business as partners. The trio will work with Deloitte Digital, the consultancy’s broader consulting business, along with the rest of the professional services firm.

Deloitte also revealed McCann’s Justine Mills is joining the team as director of media to help support clients looking to bring media services in-house to integrate this with existing business capabilities.

Deloitte Digital lead partner, Steve Hallam, told CMO the team will “supercharge” the consultancy’s ability to ensure brand creativity and brand strategy are an integral part of the experiences it creates for customers. He saw them as an integral part of the Deloitte team and said their strength is their ability to clearly articulate and build the right idea to help businesses shift their brand thinking.

Their appointments comes off the back of a raft of acquisitions Deloitte has made in the agency space, all aimed at unifying more ‘agency-like’ services, such as creative, media buying, social and digital design, with its suite of business and customer experience consulting services in order to sell to the CMO and digital chief. These acquisitions include The Explainers in August last year, Salesforce Marketing Cloud implementer, Cinder Australia, last October, and social analytics consultancy, Digivizer.

“While we see this as a new and very exciting offering for the Deloitte Digital team, we will also be integrating their creativity into our existing capabilities and offerings as well,” Hallam said. “This will include our teams from Kid Neon, The Explainers and Cinder Agency, but also within our wider Deloitte Digital team.

“Whether that’s designing new offerings and products, walking into a physical space, designing customer experiences exploring new ideas through AR or VR, visual storytelling or using a mobile app.”

Phillips noted marketing’s transformation in recent years. “There are those that are falling behind, and those that are trying to catch up,” he said. “For Australia’s leading organisations to survive, the best creative talent needs to work with the best strategists, the best data scientists and the best digital technicians and they can only get that at Deloitte.”

Mills also believed clients shouldn’t have to choose between a creative agency and “an accountable agency”.

“It is inspiring to see a truly intelligent business putting creativity at the heart of its offering,” Lawson added. “These days, the most effective creative solution is rarely just advertising.”

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