“It’s been a hell of a ride!”: HERO Melbourne to bid farewell to chief creative officer Pat Baron

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“It’s been a hell of a ride!”: HERO Melbourne to bid farewell to chief creative officer Pat Baron

CB Exclusive: HERO Melbourne’s Patrick Baron will be departing his Chief Creative Officer role at the end of this year. HERO Chief Creative Officer Ben Coulson will now lead HERO’s national integrated offering across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

 

A multidisciplinary creative, contemporary artist, writer and director, Baron was formerly Chairman of the McCann Asia Pacific Creative Council and CCO of McCann Australia. In these roles he provided creative leadership for local and national clients as well as working closely with diverse creative and strategic leaders across McCann’s Global and Asian markets.

Says Baron: “I’ve spent more than two decades working with Ben Lilley and it’s been a hell of a ride! I want to express my gratitude and thanks for his support. Ben’s been a driving force for creativity, it’s all about a vision and building a collaborative culture. And there’s nobody better than ‘the two Bens’ – Lilley and Coulson – to continue to drive this. I’m also extremely grateful and humbled by all of my colleagues’ and clients’ generosity over the years. I’ve been fortunate that they’re so damn good at what they do, they’ve made me look good, especially John Mescall and Rob Reilly for their inspirational creative leadership and support during my time at McCann.”

Baron has served as an International Board of Director at the One Club for Creativity since 2017. His work has seen him listed by the Advertising Age as the world’s #1 Creative Director. In Australia, he has been recognised as the inaugural Creative of the Year at the Australian Creative & Effectiveness AC&E awards and Campaign Magazine APAC Australian Creative of the Year.

Says HERO founder Ben Lilley: “I’m privileged to have worked with Pat for over 25 years now, since we were first paired as a creative team at McCann Melbourne in the 90’s. Our work together landed me the first awards of my career and is testament to Pat’s talent, ambition and meticulous standards.

“I was equally privileged to be able to bring Pat back to McCann Melbourne a decade later in 2011, to partner with John Mescall. Soon the agency was ranked by the Gunn Report as the number one agency in the world and named Agency of the Year by Campaign Brief Australia. And today there are 53 Cannes lions and 6 Cannes Grand Prix in our office with his name on them, amongst countless other trophies. Throughout it all though, Pat has remained as humble and as hungry as ever and it’s been no secret that an international move has been on the cards for some time. I look forward to being able to celebrate his many more global creative accolades to come.”

Baron’s news follows a number of recent high-profile creative leaders joining HERO, with the announcements of VMLY&R’s Shane Geffen as ECD of HERO Melbourne and Andrew Thompson’s appointment to ECD of the HERO Brisbane operation. HERO Chief Creative Officer Ben Coulson (pictured below) will now lead HERO’s national integrated offering across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, in line with HERO’s mantra of Borderless Creativity.

Says Coulson: “Working with Pat is like scoring a first class upgrade on a long haul flight- everything is just that bit classier and you’re weirdly sad when they announce the descent. Thanks Pat, I have loved this chapter with you. You do this gig with charm and grace, I hope some of it has rubbed off on me.”

“It’s been a hell of a ride!”: HERO Melbourne to bid farewell to chief creative officer Pat Baron

HERO was recently named Australia’s top-ranked Independent at the Australian Effies and has picked up a series of high-profile national new business wins including Toyota, Topo Chico, Centrum, Maybelline New York, eBay and v2food. In Australia, the business also services McCann’s global clients as an affiliate of the IPG network.