The favourite part of my job is that moment where you realise you've just come up with a great idea. The hardest part is everything preceding that, and everything following that.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I read this question aloud and my wife responded: "White. Skinny. Beard. Long brown hair." so I'll go with that.

(I'm also an English-born, Australian-raised creative director working for Droga5 Sydney)

What do you do for inspiration?

Travel, read, watch movies, drink coffee, go to galleries, play video games, go for walks, watch TV, draw... whatever works.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Very hard to choose, but the first three that popped into my head are:

'Get the Glass', 'The Johnny Cash Project', 'Orange Unlimited'

Although my favourite site is probably XKCD.com

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

It's not every day you get to meet the Secretary General of the UN and shoot a music video with Beyoncé in the General Assembly Hall, so I'd have to say the World Humanitarian Day campaign in 2012.

We were aiming for a social reach of over 1 billion people, which we achieved with 15 minutes to go. It also trended in 20 countries, and was supported by the likes of Beyoncé, Gaga, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Bieber, and dozens of other celebrities. 

Going to be hard to top.

How many hours do you work each week?

Too many if I don't like what I'm working on, too few if I do.

How do you relax or unwind?

It's really nerdy, but the quickest way to take my mind off things is playing video games, particularly shooters (unfortunately my KDR is only 0.93).

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

Cartoons, making games, short films, sleeping.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

The favourite part of my job is that moment where you realise you've just come up with a great idea. The hardest part is everything preceding that, and everything following that. 

When I get stuck, I talk it through with other people or find a different environment to work in (usually one with coffee).

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

I reckon about 40 hours straight.

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

Always try to find people to work for who are smarter and better than you. 

Don't move around too much, because it takes time to earn trust.

What software could you not live without?


Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

In terms of pure web design; B-Reel, North Kingdom and Poke are consistently good and have made some of my all time favourite websites.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Winning FWA awards always drives great traffic, but more importantly it gives recognition to everyone involved in the project, which in turn inspires people to up their game.

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

I think it forces you to look for simple human insights and keep it simple, which generally makes the work better.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It was about the bass guitar and I designed the graphics in MS Paint. It is no longer online, but it was immortalised in my 1997 school magazine.

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

I've written a few children's books that I hope to get published for my future kids some day.

Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?


What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

Oreo are doing social really well, because they play in the world of fun internet memes but still manage to keep everything aligned with their brand.

Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?

I've presented web platforms for brands that have had supporting advertising in other channels, but it was all planned that way from the start.

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

Absolutely. In the past I've worked in interactive agencies where I was just focussed on digital, but now as a CD in an integrated agency, I have to come up with ideas that work across all platforms, which has made my thinking much better.

Idea first. Medium second.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

I think websites are just a small part of our digital future. 

The real challenge is organising content and data to adapt to every possible touchpoint; from mobiles and wearable devices to household products.

Of all the websites you have produced, which one are you most proud of?

I worked on about 10 movie websites for Newline Cinema when Flash was in it's heyday and we pretty much had free reign to do whatever we wanted - They were a lot of fun to make. 

I also love the craft in a website we produced for Cascade Brewery.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Probably not. And if it disappears it will be a shame, because the industry is really struggling to create experiences as interactive and engaging as what was possible with Flash.

There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?

There is still a place for rich, experiential sites if the idea requires it.

For example, Ideas like 'Museum Of Me' or 'Wilderness Downtown' were very successful and wouldn't have worked without being a rich experience, but an idea like 'Whopper Sacrifice' was probably effective because it was a very simple and quick process.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

I catch the monorail to work everyday, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

FWA, Digital Buzz Blog, Adverblog are good places to start.

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

It's clichéd, but probably Sweden.

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

An ultrasound reading.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

It's a small world, and an even smaller industry, so don't burn bridges.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thank you!

Andy Fergusson, Creative Director at Droga5 Sydney
Andy Fergusson, Creative Director at Droga5 Sydney



'The Brewer's Nose' app for Cascade Brewery
'The Brewer's Nose' app for Cascade Brewery

World Humanitarian Day 'I Was Here' campaign
World Humanitarian Day 'I Was Here' campaign

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VB Profile Interventions

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