.

Changing your environment or thought process always helps get you unstuck.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

Steven (Creative Director) - With 13 years experience in interactive branding, design and motion graphics, I have developed digital campaigns and strategies for local and international brands. With project executions such as web and mobile sites, large scale interactive installations, animations and film and social media campaigns for clients including BMW, Foster’s, Glaxo Smith Kline, Adidas and Garnier.

Ben (General Manager) – I’ve been in the digital advertising industry for 10 years, I started as a digital media trafficker and my number one goal was to not be a digital media trafficker anymore. After moving into account service and for the next few years working on some brilliant digital brands like Google, SEEK (Australia) and EasyJet in the (UK). I joined Tribal DDB 4 years ago, we currently have the strongest team I’ve ever worked with, a fantastic culture and currently growing. 

Tribal DDB Melbourne is a digital advertising agency that is part of a global network consisting of 56 offices in 38 countries and a proud member of the FWA hall of fame.

What do you do for inspiration?

Steven - I believe inspiration comes from different experiences. The more diverse your experiences, the broader your scope for thought.

Ben - For personal inspiration I love to travel, for work inspiration I really enjoy working with creatives and seeing leading digital work being done globally from our network and other agencies. 

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Steven - Being interviewed on FWA of course.

Ben - We have a monthly award voted on by our team, the prize is a lucky golden cat, I won that last year.    

How many hours do you work each week?

Steven - As many as it takes to get it right.

Ben - Lots more than I spend at home.

How do you relax or unwind?

Steven - Surround myself with art, music and beer.

Ben - Go to the beach any chance I get, and beer is good too.

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

Steven - Amateur, maybe Pro, race car driver.

Ben – Probably a straight up advertising “suit” 

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

Steven - Working in digital there are often many ways to interpret and communicate a message. My favourite part would have to be when the idea and medium are in perfect harmony.

The hardest part would be ending a project, as all creatives know things could always be explored and finessed further.

Changing your environment or thought process always helps get you unstuck.

Ben – Setting and then achieving goals that you set for the business (particularly ones that seemed unachievable 12 months ago), I also love being involved in big creative ideas, like Bandanna Art.

The hardest part of my role would be balancing the many different aspects of running a digital agency.

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic team who are smarter than I am, I can go to many different people for advice. The DDB network is also incredibly supportive and I often seek guidance on the business aspects of my role from the DDB Melbourne Managing Partner and Managing Director.

What software could you not live without?

Steven - If Illustrator and Photoshop ever had a lovechild, that would be it.

Ben - I love Keynote

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

Ben - At any one time we could be working on 30 – 40 projects, obviously at different scales and complexities. For me the key is to focus on the financial and creative opportunities and ensure the day to day is delivered flawlessly regardless of how much we have on our plate.  

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?

Steven - We have been experimenting with a range of software, but what we’re excited about is the addition of things like Makey Makey, that open the options for modifying user input beyond keyboard, mouse or even gesture.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

Ben - This is our second Mobile FWA, it’s very rewarding because it tells us that our work is up there with the best. It’s motivation for our team to win another, and then another. 

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

Steven - Even though our target audience is quite varied, dealing in digital channels gives them a commonality, which gives us a firm foundation to base our creative on.

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?

Steven - I don't think creative people can help themselves, whether it's a conscious effort or not, we all consume, evaluate and critique a range of different stimuli everyday. It's a constant awareness, curiosity and willingness to learn that puts you in the right mindset.

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?

Steven - We recently created a campaign for Schmackos (Mars Petcare) called Trickopedia which really tapped into the audiences existing behavior and relationship with their dogs, justifying their need to share and comment on their dog photos.

Ben – I agree with Steve, Schmackos used social media in a relevant way to the product and audience. The campaign revolved around social media and it met and then far exceeded the clients’ business objectives.

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?

Steven - Digital is reaching far beyond the idea that it is consumed via a desktop computer. It surrounds us and is integrated into everyday life. It's this integration that leads to the most exciting ideas and story telling in more interesting and engaging ways.

Ben - Definitely, the thing that I’ve been most excited about for the past couple of years is this digital and real world convergence. Things like Nike Chalkbot, Star Hub Musical Fitting Rooms, Nike Fuel Band, and (with all modesty) Bandanna Art I think are good examples of this.   

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

Steven - It would have to be Bandanna Art, it's a fun site that works with a mobile app, encouraging social creativity to raise awareness and funding for a great cause, young people living with cancer.

Ben - I agree with Steve, I also think we have created some excellent Sitecore websites for clients like Treasury Wine Estates and Warner Brothers Movie World.

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

Steven - F111 Fighter Jet.

Ben - Some kind of teleporter

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

Steven - We have a great culture of sharing at Tribal DDB and get together to discuss the latest and greatest each month.

Ben - We also have an excellent daily email that is shared around our Asia Pacific offices a weekly newsletter from our global head office in New York and a global intranet where we can search for case studies and work examples.

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

Steven - My daughter's Christmas presents.

Ben - Dinner and drinks on New Years Eve

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Steven - Love what you do, learn from each other and play nice.

Ben - Train hard, eat lots.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thanks you.


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Steve Skrekovski (left) and Ben Kidney (right)
Steve Skrekovski (left) and Ben Kidney (right)

CanTeen Bandanna Art
CanTeen Bandanna Art

CanTeen young people creating their designs
CanTeen young people creating their designs

CanTeen Bandanna Art

Jeanswest iDenim match
Jeanswest iDenim match

Movie World website
Movie World website

Strider Compact HTML5 website
Strider Compact HTML5 website

Schmackos Trickopedia
Schmackos Trickopedia

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