More rock n roll than Amanda Woodard
Back in early 2005, Instagram wasn’t a thing and neither was activewear, fake news or gluten. I had just graduated from university with a marketing degree and I was trying to get a job in advertising.
I managed to score an interview for a graduate role at one of the bigger agencies (something like Initial&Initial BIZ) located on St Kilda Road.
St Kilda Road was the closest thing Australia has to Madison Avenue in New York, if you judged ‘close’ by aspiration instead of actuality (I also once heard it referred to as the ‘Boulevard of Bullshit’ which I quite liked).
I was interviewed by some quaff of a man and a peroxided skeleton of a woman. No matter how confident and articulate I tried to be, they just weren’t vibin’ on me.
Halfway through the guy stopped me and said something like “Look, I don’t know why you want to be in advertising, but it isn’t like you’ve seen on Melrose Place. Maybe this isn’t for you?!’
I was more confused than shocked.
Not only had I never seen Melrose Place but as a reference, it was kind of dated even for the mid-2000s. I would later learn through research that he was referring to the on-screen career of era-appropriate babe Heather Locklear’s character Amanda Woodard.
Quaff guy obviously had a thing for her, I but had no idea. At least that’s what I thought for the next few years. That day I took my marketing degree and left the Agency world alone.
Skip forward about ten years and I found myself with a bunch of skills from global, brand focused roles on the client side but the agency world still held more mystery and intrigue than Heather Locklear’s post-career breakdown. So I crossed over and spent the next few years in the agency space, learning what it was all about.
What did I find out? Agency world is nothing like Melrose Place or Mad Men. I don’t feel it's even what clients want it to be.
And that’s an opportunity.
I remember being in a pitch meeting earlier this year and the client was bemoaning a lack of rock’n’roll from the agencies he’d been meeting.
I don’t think he was looking for more MacBooks to be thrown through windows or to be doing lines off groupies at campaign launches but I do think he was looking for something a little more gritty and fast paced, some ideas that have an edge.
So here I am today kicking off Ruck Agency.
Our truth is that we believe brands need to be designed for people. Aiming for the head and the heart, avoiding the generic and taking a few risks.
With Ruck, we’ve planted our flag on the idea of being the agency Brands need for today, as they move into tomorrow.
The key ingredients are a combination of paragraphs, pixels and people across brand, innovation and content.
We use bits of design thinking, brand strategy, storytelling, culture curation and a healthy DIY attitude to get there.
We only want to do cool stuff. That is stuff that is relevant, culturally concerned, smart, engaging and innovative. Stuff that in some way does some good.
If all that means we’re not living up to the old Melrose Place advertising agency ideal, then so be it.
We never have. We weren’t made for that.
We were made for this.