Workshop

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The Intense Strength of Teamwork with TBWA\ANG

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Teamwork is at the essence of many jobs well done.

Having been the DISRUPTION® company for decades, TBWA has a long record of amazing storytelling, disruptive design and a close, caring eye on social and community needs. But really, all of this comes together into a simple couple of words: team, and teamwork. So that every voice is fostered and amplified to ensure maximum inclusion and diversity.

For this Company Spotlight, we've had a chat with the management team back at TBWA\ANG to understand what makes them tick and how they manage to fit with each other so well.

Interview credits:

  • Julianne Grima - Chairperson
  • Desiree Mallia - General Manager
  • Richard Agius - Executive Creative Director
  • Ryan Mifsud - Client Services Manager
  • Antonio Perfetto - Senior Strategic Planner
  • Nicole Bonanno - Finance & Admin Manager

 

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How was your company born and where are you based?

TBWA\ANG was founded in 1968 as Associated News Group (ANG), from its inception handling big name clients like Coca Cola and later McDonald’s. ANG has been a leader in the advertising and communication industry eversince. Having worked with most major clients in Malta over the years, ANG eventually merged with TBWA in 2009, one of the largest international advertising networks in the world.

Can you explain your team’s creative process?

The process is simple in its complexity. The ultimate goal is for us to become a trusted partner to all our clients, and with that in mind primarily we focus on understanding the client’s needs. A detailed brief with clear performance indicators then jumps starts the brain storming, researching, further understanding and creation of the message we want to communicate. But TBWA\ has a fundamental process that goes beyond just creativity; DISRUPTION®.

It embeds Strategic and Creative thinking together for more relevant ideas. Disruption® defines a vision, that breaks market conventions and creates a new platform for growth. Our reach goes beyond the idea and the inception, we strive to ensure that those ideas are relevant within. a context and time. Disruption Live® helps us keep brands culturally relevant through, we are part of a collective that researches, studies and shares currently relevant international information keeping an eye on the news of the day, closely following the spirit of the times, identifying the latest trends and their triggers – and these, we swiftly transform into fresh, brand-new creative ideas.

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How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?

Technology is the everchanging tool that we adapt to and whose use we maximize to our benefit and that of our clients. Ultimately, we are in the business of telling human stories and matching those stories with what people want and need. Technology and its constant evolution are often how we get to do that faster and better.

What’s your team’s secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Firstly, our diverse team is an inspiration, we all bring a different voice to the table and the team is underpinned with a strong sense of friendship and collegial respect. No idea is small or silly, so one could say that the inspiration and motivation stem from having a voice you know will be heard and acknowledged. Motivation comes from working with a variety of brands both large and small, inspiration comes from life experience both in and out of the office. 

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What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

Being 52 years old and still enjoying the energy, zeal, curiosity, enthusiasm, and accolades of a successful start-up, is up there on the list of achievements. The awards we have won over the years, including most recently the McDonald's Shredded Fries design, that brought in 3 international prizes, does sweeten the ride, but truth be told, it is any and every project, paid or otherwise, that sees us contributing to a stronger sense of community and social conscience that gives us an especial pride in our work.

How do you recharge away from the office?

We recharge by promoting that work is only one slice of a full pie. We encourage each other to have a complete life out of working hours. A healthy work life balance encourages inspiration and motivation to enjoy the work we do, when we are doing it. The recent Covid work-from-home measures have trifled with a work-home balance and hand on heart, it has been great coming back together, albeit with social distancing in place, if for nothing else, for the banter, the music, the sound of each other’s random familiar quirky sound bites in the background.

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What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Build a strong portfolio, this is the only business card you need. Do not restrict yourself to one medium – on-line is not the only platform, it is one of many. Remember, people do not ONLY exist in social media – people are still out in the world, catching sight of outdoor and traditional. Be humble, thinking you know it all only means there is no room for growth. Impress with your creative design and work ethic, the design part won’t be enough. Enjoy the ride.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

Time. Given a magic wand and the ability to change just one thing in the industry, that one thing would be … time. The speed with which the internet and social media have amplified the travel speed of information has also hugely impacted timelines and timeframes. My wish for the industry is for us to stand together and take time. Time to think, to process, understand and create. I vote for a pause button II.

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