Heartland founder Ant Simmons joins Ogilvy ANZ as group creative director in Melbourne

Heartland founder Ant Simmons joins Ogilvy ANZ as group creative director in Melbourne

Ogilvy ANZ’s world-class creative bench continues to expand, with highly experienced creative and strategist Ant Simmons (above left) joining the Melbourne team in the role of group creative director.

With more than 20 years’ experience in creative leadership and branding roles, Simmons joins from Heartland where he was founder of the independent agency, working with an international client base including Mecca Brands Australia and Heineken Asia Pacific. He also worked on the launch of sexual consent advocacy campaign Teach Us Consent, lead by Chanel Contos.

Simmons was also previously creative director at Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, responsible for delivering integrated thinking across traditional and non-traditional formats. This resulted in the delivery of awarded work for Myer, Deadly & Proud for Treaty, plus leading the re-brand of Belong and launching AFLW. Other senior roles including Asia-Pac regional creative director at global branding agency Elmwood, and strategy director at Passport Brand Consultancy.

Ogilvy Melbourne ECD Hilary Badger (above right) said Simmons’ unique combination of creative and strategic experience was reflected in his depth of thinking along the journey from brief to creative outcome: “Ant brings world-class platform thinking teamed with global ambition. As well as his exceptional ideas, we’re thrilled to have his craft skills within our strong team. Ant is also an outstanding creative leader, who can create growth not only for our clients, but for our team. As a mentor, he’ll have an eye on career development for both our existing rising stars and new joiners to Ogilvy.”

Simmons says of joining Ogilvy: “I had the pleasure of working alongside Hilary for many years at Clemenger Melbourne and it’s great to have a strong working relationship already in place. Hil has created a great space to do good work on arguably Australia’s and indeed the world’s most notable clients.”

In addition to his outstanding agency experience, Simmons’ passion for innovation led him to be selected for the US Embassy ‘Entrepreneurialism & Innovation’ program. As the only Australian representative for the IVLP International Leadership Program, he spent time in the US connecting with leaders in the entrepreneurial community, giving him access to start-up ecosystems across San Francisco, Austin, Chicago and Washington DC.

Ogilvy ANZ has made several other senior creative appointments this year; in May it announced that Clark Edwards would be joining as joint Sydney ECD with Bridget Jung, while Ogilvy PR promoted Miriam Wells to chief creative officer, and Nina East to newly created role of group creative director of Ogilvy Health. Badger was also appointed as Melbourne ECD in January.

Simmons starts as GCD immediately.