Tom Cullinan of The Jupiter Drawing Room advertising agency, talks agency growth, restructuring, and their journey from a Bottom 30 to a Top 10 creative agency.
Looking back on 2013, Cullinan says that it has been one hell of a year and one hell of a ride. “The work and the sheer determination of knowing that we have it in ourselves to be the greatest advertising agency in the country has kept us together” he says.
Having been in the bottom 30 creative agencies last year, The Jupiter Drawing Room team were forced to take a hard look at themselves and Cullinan says that their biggest realisation was that they have a tight unit of creatives who believe in the work, are passionate about the work and are very competitive.
For the full interview, watch the video
Cullinan mentions that there have been some key watershed moments in the past two to three years, one of these when the agency significantly downscaled from a team of 80 creatives to a team of 25. “We weren’t unified in the past, some people didn’t even know each other’s names. We now have a small team of hungry, ambitious creatives, and no one can really hide in the department. I think this is reflected in the work we are producing” he says.
TJDR is becoming a more diverse agency
The Jupiter Drawing Room has always been known as a great print agency, but Cullinan says that the amazing thing about this year has been the diversity of the work that they have produced. In 2013, The Jupiter Drawing Room bagged their first Cannes Design award, and produced work in digital, social media, mobile, and experiential. These achievements are “proving our diverse thinking and showing that our creatives are very capable of producing great work in multiple channels” he said.
“What’s great about the work that we are doing, is that it is all for our biggest accounts” Cullinan says. He talks specifically about their work with ABSA, their win at Cannes, winning their first ever Bookmarks award, and their various Ad of the Month achievements… “it’s real work, with real budgets behind it, and we have walked proud in the fact that we are helping our biggest client and at the same time, we are producing work that the industry admires and respects”.
Aiming even higher in 2014
They have big ambitions for 2014, says Cullinan, “…Jupiter wants to be in the Top 5!”. They are going to be busy, and there is a lot of hard work ahead of them, but Cullinan is confident that with the work, structure, budget and strategy in place, they will get there in 2014.