The Monkeys (Australia)

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Selected advertising by The Monkeys

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 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 six out of seven years since 2010 by local trade magazine B&T, and as Australian Agency of the Year 2015 by AdNews. It was Campaign Asia's Australian Agency of the Year for 2016. Founders Scott Nowell, Justin Drape and Mark Green continued to own and run the business with a team of partners, before finally being in acquired in 2017. In a startling escalation of the encroachment of management consultancies into traditional marketing, the buyer was Accenture, which paid a handsome A$63m for the business. The Monkeys joins that group's Accenture Interactive division. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for The Monkeys but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information for the agency. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Who are the competitors of The Monkeys? See ranking of Australia's Leading Advertising Agencies

Capsule checked 29th April 2016

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Lamb Side Story". Australian agency The Monkeys delivers a spectacular new campaign for the Meat & Livestock Association. Remember that fuss over the last one? That depicted all the world's many gods coming together over a meal of lamb, "the meat more people can eat" The spot offended Hindus because it appeared to show their vegetarian Ganesha god munching down on a chop. This time, the target is the political Left and Right, in a glorious parody of West Side Story's Jets vs Sharks battle. Australia has exactly the same inflamed political divide as we do in the US and UK, so perhaps a lamb barbie is the answer here as well. (On second thoughts, maybe not. Jeremy Corbyn is a vegetarian too, so better be careful there; and Donald Trump only eats burgers...)

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Former Clemenger BBDO creative chief Ant Keogh has joined two other ex-Clems colleagues at the new Melbourne office of Australian creative hot-shop The Monkeys, acquired by Accenture earlier this year. However, local business paper the Australian Financial Review also reported on rumours of a culture clash between the agency and its new owner. Two factors were cited: the first was the Monkeys' controversial ad for Meat & Livestock Commission - an Adbrands Ad of the Week three weeks ago - which portrayed a variety of iconic religious figures sharing a meal. The inclusion of vegetarian god Ganesha apparently eating lamb - "the meat more people can eat" according to the ad - caused considerable upset within the Hindu community, thereby prompting alarm within highly conservative Accenture. The consultancy is also said to be unhappy that The Monkeys have accepted gambling service Crownbet as a client.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Sep 2017: Ads of the Week "The Meat More People Can Eat". Hurry up and watch this daring but hilarious new campaign from The Monkeys for Meat & Livestock Australia while you can! It may not be around for much longer... Mixing religion and humour is always a risky business - you're guaranteed to offend someone - and The Monkeys raised the bar even higher by including just about every conceivable sacred figure in this promotion for Australian lamb. They managed to avoid a blatant insult to Islam with a clever excuse, only to stumble into a political minefield with Hindus for depicting the vegetarian god Lord Ganesha apparently eating lamb. Oh dear. Not even lamb can, it seems, please everyone. 

Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Aug 2017: Ads of the Week "Womankind". Admittedly we don't require much persuasion to run lingerie ads provided they have artistic merit, but this entertaining debut campaign from Australia's The Monkeys for Hanesbrands' Berlei has universal appeal. Informative, too, especially for men, who have no idea of the pain and suffering involved in selecting the right type of bra for different occasions. Buying underpants is really so much easier...

Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "The Greatest Meat on Earth". The Monkeys pushes out the boat for Meat & Livestock Australia, the body which promotes lamb and - more particularly in this case - beef, with a great musical campaign. You or I might not recognise Bill Lawry, Kate Ritchie and Leisel Jones, but they're household names Down Under. It's a suitably epic and attention-grabbing spot with which to mark The Monkeys' recent acquisition by Accenture. If, by absorbing the likes of The Monkeys, consultancies like Accenture can start to deliver ads of this quality as a matter of course, then they will truly become a force to be reckoned with. Traditional agency groups, beware! 

More about The Monkeys from Adbrands Weekly Update

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