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Meet DDB Melbourne's Anthony Moss

The executive creative director on navigating his team through Covid-19, winning a huge amount of new business and what 2021 looks like for the agency

Meet DDB Melbourne's Anthony Moss

Anthony Moss is a seasoned executive creative director with global experience and a demonstrated history of award and pitch winning advertising ideas. He is a strong arts, copy and design professional skilled in digital strategy, advertising, integrated marketing, concept development, and brand architecture. Here, Anthony talks about navigating his team (almost) seamlessly through the challenges of Covid-19, winning a huge amount of new business and being a genuinely nice human.

Q > 2020 was a big year for DDB Melbourne. What was the highlight for you?

Anthony Moss > We won three massive accounts which was very rewarding given the difficulties each one of those pitches created. The highlight was also being able to look back at how the agency handled a crisis that could have defined us. We were fast, decisive, transparent, honest and put our people first.

Q > What’s something you want to keep from your experiences in 2020 and what are you happy to say goodbye to?

Anthony > I really enjoyed seeing more of my family at times of the day that I’d usually be commuting or at the office. From breakfasts and dinners together to school drop-offs and pick-ups. So, I’ll be working more of that into my schedule next year. I’ll happily say goodbye to having every meeting on Teams or Zoom or Webex. I’ve never liked presenting over conference calls, and video calls aren’t much better. I prefer face-to-face, especially with clients. The side chats on the way into or out of the room are often where the gold is. You pick up clues and nuances that become so important to the work and the relationship. So, while it’s easier logistically, the lack of connection and interaction means the convenience isn’t worth it for me.

Q > What are your main aims and ambitions for DDB in the coming year?

Anthony > For the last two years, we’ve been laying the foundations for the work to improve. Better creative talent, bigger and braver clients and a national offering that supports and encourages each other. Now that foundation has been laid, I’m going to be harder on the work, the craft and raising the bar of our output.

Q > What does creativity mean to you and how do you define it?

Anthony > To me, creativity is oxygen. We can’t live without it and it’s in everything we see, do and enjoy. Advertising is just one creative outlet. I define it as a childlike interrogation of everything we’re told to believe is true.

Q > What are your favourite projects you’ve ever worked on and why?

Anthony > My friend is a DJ who had a hit song that went to number one in 16 countries. But they did it more as a joke than a career-defining track. In fact, the song became more famous than the DJ duo’s name. To launch their next album, they briefed us on taking credit for the song and then move on from it to launch the new album. We did a product recall and removed this cash cow track from iTunes for the first time ever. It was a lot of fun and a huge learning experience. I would have done it very differently now, but it was a great project to see through from start to finish.

Q > What is your advice for those wanting to break the mould, think differently and create work that stands out?

Anthony > Every year, ads become less like ads. It’s up to us to blur the lines between entertainment and advertising. So, my advice would be that if it feels like an ad, your audience will tune out, so be entertaining.

Q > What kind of work are you bored of and what are you hoping to see more of in 2021?

Anthony > All the Covid work from around the world has made me sick of the word ‘togetherness’. Almost every brand on the planet jumped into the ‘together we’ll get through this’ phase, then we saw the ‘thank you’ phase, and now in Australia, we’re in the ‘we deserve this holiday to be extra special’ phase. I’ll be happy when the phases are done and brands can just be themselves again. We look to our favourite brands as a little escape or enhancement to our daily grind. I’m looking forward to when they entertain and distract us again.

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