Creative boutique The Monkeys arrived in Australia's advertising industry with a bang but has kept a slightly lower profile over the past couple of years. It launched in Sydney in 2006 as a breakaway from Saatchi & Saatchi with the aim of being the country's most provocative creative shop, grabbing attention with edgy and offbeat work, including a TV sitcom about the industry and a collection of spoof ads on Australia's ad-free ABC network to promote marketing talk show The Gruen Transfer. The agency settled down a little at the turn of the decade, at around the same time that it dropped its original name of Three Drunk Monkeys in response to pressure from a new client, drinks giant Diageo. The Monkeys' work has matured since then but it continues to scoop accolades. It has been named Advertising Agency of the Year for seven out of eight years since 2010 by local trade magazine B&T, and as Australian Agency of the Year for two of the past three years by Campaign Asia. Rarely (if ever) has a year passed without one or other trade organisation handing that award to the agency. Founders Scott Nowell, Justin Drape and Mark Green continued to own and run the business with a team of partners, before finally being acquired in 2017. In a startling escalation of the encroachment of management consultancies into traditional marketing, the buyer was Accenture, who paid a handsome A$63m for the business. The Monkeys joins that group's Accenture Interactive division. The founders remain at the helm for the time being, and have successfully attracted other local stars to the agency, not least renowned creative director Ant Keogh who joined in 2017 to head up a new outpost in Melbourne.
Capsule checked 20th June 2018
Which clients does The Monkeys handle? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database
Who are the competitors of The Monkeys? See ranking of Australia's Leading Advertising Agencies
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Ads Of The Week: "Enter Asahi". Trust Australia's finest, The Monkeys, to shake up the beer market. For Asahi Super Dry, that Accenture-owned creative hothouse has concocted a spellbinding mash-up of cool Japanese cultural references - cool being the operative word; nothing kawaii here - to remind us of the splendours of that country's top-selling brew. Australia once produced some of the world's finest beer advertising before running foul of regulatory concerns about condoning alcohol. Could this be the beginning of a re-birth? As they say at the end of every Japanese beer ad following a great big gulp: "Kkkaaahhhhhh!"
Adbrands Social Media 13th Nov 2018: "Don't Drive Naughty". Here's another great spot that uses Christmas as its starting point, but is actually about something else altogether. The Monkeys urges us to Drive Nice Not Naughty over the holiday season on behalf of Australian insurance and roadside assistance provider NRMA. It's the age-old tale of a distracted Dad putting the demands of work ahead of family, but given a lovely little touch of seasonal magic. Nicely done.
Adbrands Social Media 29th Oct 2018: "Full of Feelgoodness". You can trust Australian agency The Monkeys to find the funny in boring old yoghurt. (Yes, dear American readers, yoghurt has a 'h'). This campaign for Parmalat's Vaalia probiotic is enjoyably silly, and much better than a brand with a ridiculous name like Vaalia deserves.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd July 2018: Funny how it's become standard practise to illustrate a telecoms company's range of services with a walk-with-me musical journey. A couple of weeks ago we were watching one girl's Blue Monday-powered night out for BT from AMV BBDO (scroll back a few posts to find it here). Now a similar exercise from Telstra, via The Monkeys, transforms Australian singer Thelma Plum's trip to the shops for a takeaway into a music-enhanced surround-sound performance. Only difference is, this time it's her song not New Order's.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Apr 2018: Ads of the Week "Not To Be Outdone". If anyone can repair the fortunes of ailing Australian carmaker Holden, it may be creative hothouse The Monkeys. For decades, GM-owned Holden dominated the country's auto industry, but it has been overtaken since 2003 by a succession of more nimble challengers. In the first quarter of 2018, it slipped to a dismal 7th place among Australia's biggest car brands. However, The Monkeys' newly arrived creative chief Ant Keogh, poached last year from Clemenger BBDO (and arguably the local industry's equivalent to Cristiano Ronaldo) is here to save the day. He manages to deliver laughs as well as appropriately spectacular driving footage in this spot for the Colorado pickup, which proves itself to be every bit as nimble as one particularly persistent (and handsome) mountain goat. Yes, that's right, an ad with goats. And who can resist an ad with goats? Not the Adbrands team, that's for sure.
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