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Carl Ratcliff

Chief Strategy Officer
DDB Sydney


Carl has more than 20 years of experience in the world of building brands both in Australia and the UK, and has run agencies in Sydney and Melbourne. At agency, as advertising planner in TBWA/London, then client, as head of marketing at Channel Five in the UK, before returning to the realm of agency to manage the likes of Naked Australia in Sydney.

His experience includes a varied and vibrant mix of client, from high street lifestyle to digital retail; from myriad quests for youth, to universal appeal.

His client side experience allowed him to see the worth that marketing can deliver in terms of net outcome, whilst his leadership of agencies has provided a new-found respect for resourcefulness and a renewed evangelism for creativity.

His former role as CEO of One Green Bean – Australia’s most awarded social and PR agency – had allowed him to reprise a former love for insight cracking, whilst harbouring fresh love for ideas designed to earn their own audience and media. Crispin Porter’s Alex Bogusky most definitely got it right when he said, ‘You have to play to play…’. The better your game, the more attention you earn.

Session One: The Gift Of Theft For Thieves Like Us

As a general rule, creative people strive to be more creative. And, if you’re paid to be creative, you need your creativity on tap. The quest to be original is an onerous one, however, until you realise originality is a form of remixing ideas that came before. Originality is not invention, rather is application. And success depends on the strength of a community’s ‘scenius’, not individual genius. Carl will remix Brian Eno’s scenius-philosophy for a modern audience in an effort to inspire their combinatorial creativity.

Session Two: The Power of What Trumps the Power of Why

Lots of brands have tried to reverse into marketing through marketing. But marketing is only skin deep.
What runs more deeply; is more substantive.
And allows us creatives to think more robustly and more accurately.
Creative minds need certainty, not overblown purpos-ity.
In order to keep it real, Carl will help isolate those work shop tools that cut though the crap, and help dreaming-big-realists focus on the all essential pragmatics required for creative delivery.