Creative Directors choose The Best of Perth 2019

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The all-conquering Hungry Puffs by The Brand Agency and Marketforce’s recent Oz Lotto campaign are popular picks for the best work of the past year. There are also some belated nods for Vesco Foods ‘Nipples’ TVC by Rare, which ran in September 2018 but got an awareness boost at the 2019 PADC Skulls. In overall agency terms, Block led the way with its work across several clients being much admired.



There seemed to be fewer pieces to single out this year, but the good stuff was very good.

I’d really like to hand it to Meerkats, they continue to produce great radio. The St John Workplace First Aid spot was brilliantly written and beautifully produced. It was nice that the White Horse was able to go out on such a high note, or 20,000 notes to be precise! Ups to Josh on achieving win number 4 too.


I think the new Oz Lotto campaign is possibly some of the funniest, most on-point advertising we’ve seen come out of WA in recent years. Its larrikin tone fits the Aussie brand personality perfectly and brings heaps of fun to the game itself, which nails ‘permission to play’ in spades. That’s gonna sell some tickets and pick up a gong or two I reckon.

And, when Brand wasn’t gobbling up every award on the planet for Hungry Puffs, they took time out to produce a very nice ‘Distraction’ campaign for the Road Safety Commission. The pram execution is a particularly powerful and convincing demonstration of the issue and the consequences.

Lastly, the ‘Depression looks Different’ campaign out of Rare definitely deserves mention. A very sensitively handled approach to a difficult topic. You can literally feel the love that went into the production of it. Well done to the team and Matt [Pitcher].


2019 was a pretty solid year for Perth; PADC’s ‘Against all odds’ mantra wasn’t far off the mark. There were some obvious standouts.

Hungry Puffs. A wonderful story in a creative team taking a standard year-on-year eDM brief and turning it into something special. Great work comes from asking big ‘what ifs?’ and refusing to deliver on the expected. That’s exactly what happened in the case of Hungry Puffs. Big congrats to Matty and Hayden for all the accolades – well deserved.

Vesco Foods King Size Power Bowls ‘Nipples’. The best work in film is often the simplest. And if the product can be the hero throughout, even better. Rare’s ‘Nipples’ TVC for Vesco Power Bowls was a great example of simplicity, humour and putting the product and the purchasing context front and centre. Big thumbs up.

WA Department of Education ‘Like’ Bruise. I liked this one – very simple and for a good cause. Well done to the team at Gatecrasher for some outstanding outdoor this year.

Creative Directors choose The Best of Perth 2019

To round it out, some lovely design work out of Block again this year. The Lester Prize for Portraiture work was stunningly simple. The concept of using the ‘L’ in Lester to partially reveal the work behind was a great design solution.

Black Swan State Theatre Company ‘Where the heart is’ – this work is up there for best of year for me. Posing a series of questions to pique the viewer’s interest was nice, but the visual design treatment was simply outstanding. Beautiful work.


In a particularly serious year punctuated by some particularly serious work, I’d like to applaud the recent Oz Lotto campaign (Marketforce) for providing some much-needed levity, and for giving Oz Lotto the personality it’s always wanted. It’s a timely reminder that before we can start our sales pitch, we need to ask people to invite us in. Humour is still a sure-fire way to open doors.

In film, the Nature Knows Best campaign (The Brand Agency) gave Water Corporation a charming Trojan bandicoot to carry a lot of dry (sorry) information, while in radio SCA’s fantastic Speeeeeeed Cameraaaaaa stood out like a speed camera doesn’t.

In print, Legacy Week (Rare) gets my nod for being a lovely, simple idea crafted appropriately.

Creative Directors choose The Best of Perth 2019

In an effort to say something about the incomparable Hungry Puffs that hasn’t already been said, I’m going to go with this emoji  😭 which is me wishing I’d done it.

In a strong year for design, Writing WA and The Lester Prize (both Block) stood out as clever, flexible, purpose-led identities. It’s been heartening to see several smaller agencies like Two from Two and Nativ stepping up to compete with the big shots.

Perth had some huge wins on the world stage in 2018, and we’ve had even more in 2019. I’m damn proud that we’re being seen and acknowledged for the hard work we all put in day after day in our difficult and isolated market.

Onward to an even better 2020!


Perth creatives seem to have really dug their teeth into radio this year. One campaign that caught my ear for its exceptional crafting was Meerkat’s St John WA First Aid Essentials (‘Medieval Witch’, ‘Roman Medic’ and ‘Victorian Doctor’). They would have been great fun to make.


I’ve also been admiring the conceptual design work that’s pouring out of Block at the moment – The Lester Prize and Writing WA being duly recognised at PADC. Also, their recent ‘Stories from Here’ for Black Swan, with its outstanding typography and evocative palette has a magical ability to transport me to my childhood in Roleystone every time I see it.


When I first saw ‘The Fathering Project’, it instantly hit home for me. A message all dads need to be reminded of – daily. And packaged in such a simple, social mechanic to bring this to life. Just put “Father” before your title on LinkedIn, the one place that won’t let you forget. I really hope Dav and the guys at &Partners bundle this up in a snappy case study for award shows across the world.

‘Depression Looks Different for Everybody’ also sucked me in. I was drawn in by the emotion and can see how it would have really resonated with people suffering from depression. Great work from Rare and film director, Matt Pitcher.

Other recent TV work that caught my attention was the ‘Get Amongst It’ Oz Lotto campaign by Marketforce. They got to use Ozzy Man. Damn it, I’m jealous.

Radio is always a hugely performing category out of Perth, so a big congrats goes to Meerkats for their ‘Tiny Tots’ campaign. Fantastic work, already being recognised internationally.


Final nod goes to ‘Man Nipples’ by Rare. It’s just bloody silly – which it should be. Sweet film direction again from Matt Pitcher, showing real versatility in his work from heartstring emotion to cracking comedy.


2019 – the Year of the Puff! Brilliant piece of work that, I believe, fell out of a bog standard request for an annual EDM/DM donation drive piece. So, hats off to everyone involved for making this happen, especially Matt and Hayden and the design team.

I also thought 2019 was the year of the Dennis. Joseph Dennis. He’s frighteningly good, prolific, passionate, and he’s managed to keep his ego in check the whole time he’s been pumping out some lovely bits of work. Yes, he lets himself go in the dress department sometimes, but hey.

His ‘Villanelle’ pet project (a typeface and treatment based on the show Killing Eve) stood out for me, as did his Heretic font and S-27 campaign. He deserves all the success he’s getting, and more eyes on his folio (

I quite liked the look of the St John Ambulance map pin posters. It’s not the first time I’ve seen navigation pins turned into other things, but these had that extra bit of something for me. Meerkats have done a great job of moving St John into some interesting spaces tone-wise, especially in radio, and it helps the work stand out. These posters, which could’ve been super functional and prescriptive (they’re advertising an app, after all), felt fresh and engaging.

Creative Directors choose The Best of Perth 2019

Lastly, I think Lachy and Niall did a great job on the Road Safety Commission ‘Distractions’ campaign. Not sure I buy in to the ‘fruit stall’ execution as much as I do the ‘mother and pram’ one (bruised fruit doesn’t really carry the same emotional impact as a fatally bruised baby), but I get that this campaign had to target regional drivers, too. In particular, the double billboard executions were a visually simple and arresting way of demonstrating the problem and message to drivers in the moment. Nice one.


One spectacular way I can annoy my son is to watch, rather than skip, the ad breaks in shows I’ve recorded. It makes his millennial head explode. I remind him every single time that it’s my job to monitor ads. And he replies, “OK, Boomer.” Annoying your offspring is one of the joys of fatherhood.

Other aspects of dadding are celebrated beautifully in the &Partners award-winning work for The Fathering Project. It was a wonderfully orchestrated and I have seen many people include Father alongside their job titles on LinkedIn and email signatures. A bonus of watching ads is enjoying the good ones.

The Brand Agency’s ongoing ‘Nature Knows Best’ campaign for Water Corp is nicely done, with some stellar performances and nice little catch-cries that kids can mimic and shame their parents into behaving. The strategic insight that we are the only species on earth that wastes water is a pretty powerful message, too.

Another stand-out is the new Rare campaign for Bowra & O’Dea Funeral Directors. The line, “Because the little things are everything” is really nice and the 60-second brand spot, in particular, is skilfully directed. The message about appreciating the small moments with the people you cherish is a strong one. Even if they are entitled millennials who don’t like ad breaks.


This year our state’s biggest clients have set their creative dials to ‘meh’ out of ten. It seems the big brands, with a few exceptions, have disappeared up their own brand guidelines. I’m not sure what the problem is (Analysis paralysis? Obsequious agencies? Short termism?) but it’s certainly not budget constraints, because for my money, this year’s most interesting work has outsmarted, not outspent.

An idea that wouldn’t have troubled the procurement department at Jesters Pies was the papal blessing of Meatballius Maximus. A truly audacious idea that deserved the decent media coverage it attracted. I imagine a Vatican underling has paid dearly for letting that one through.

A piece that’s been doing the rounds in my social network lately is Visit Fremantle’s online Christmas ad. It’s a very Freo take on The Twelve Days of Christmas, which in itself isn’t a revolutionary idea but the execution is spot on. The 60-second film is charming, a bit fruity, and feels genuinely Freo. It was probably shot for $7.50 and I have no doubt it will be one of WA’s most shared films this year.

Finally, The Lester Prize rebranding work. The face device is head-smackingly simple – and so right. It put a smile on my face and bitter envy in my heart.