Jon&Georgia-web.jpgIn a surprise move, Sydney’s newest agency Banjo has lured Jon Burden and Georgia Arnott from The Campaign Palace, Sydney, to be its founding creative directors – effective February, 2009.

Arnott and Burden have experience stretching from Fallons to Wieden + Kennedy. They teamed up at The Campaign Palace as Creative Directors responsible for brands such as Bonds, Sheridan, Domino’s, 3 and Marie Claire.

Arnott has worked on clients such as United Airlines, Miller Light, P&G, Time Magazine, Speedos, Guinness, Sony, Lee, Levis, Citi Bank and Lexus. She has been awarded at AWARD, The One Show, Cannes and D&AD, including golds, silvers and bronzes. She has been awarded ‘Best of Show’ at Caxtons and exhibited in ‘World Best Print’ sponsored by News Limited.

Burden has worked on Nike, Vodafone, EA Sports and Coca-Cola. At W+K he created Nike’s 06 World Cup campaign which featured Cantona, Rooney, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. ‘Joga Bonito’ is now the world’s largest on-line football communityand grows by the day. He also created the global campaign starring David Beckham, Michael Schumacher and Jon’s sister Sophie to launch Vodafone 3G to the world.

The hiring could immediately dispel the perception that Banjo is being set up to be a retail or jingle-based agency, given it is co-owned by ex SO&M boss Andrew Varasdi and backed by John Singleton and Allan (Jo) Johnston.

“We’re very excited to be part of Banjo. It’s an incredible opportunity to create our own thing with Andrew and Ben,” says Arnott. “And we’re honoured to have the legacy of John Singleton and Allan Johnston backing us,” adds Burden. “We will find great brand stories and tell them amazingly well. That’s why we go under the name of Australia’s greatest story teller; Banjo Patterson.”

“Finding the right Creative Partners was not something we wanted to rush into. We spent a lot of time meeting and working with some fantastic people, however, from the moment we met Georgia and Jon it was pretty clear that we all shared the same passion and enthusiasm for the position we want Banjo to own, Story Selling”, says Banjo managing partner, Andrew Varasdi.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have two people of their creative caliber and with their track record in the business.  And this view is shared by two of the agencies investors, John Singleton and Allan ‘Jo’ Johnston, who have without question successfully built more brands by engaging Australian consumers with great stories.”

Says Ben Lyttle, Banjo’s Planning Partner: “It’s time to re-establish the art of Story Selling. Where are our great brand stories today?  Those told consistently, creatively and effectively? It seems increasingly common for brands to jump from one campaign to the next, each quite disconnected.  And the result?  We end up with a new story, one so divorced from where the brand has been it leaves the ‘punter’ confused and CEO’s disillusioned,” said Lyttle.

“Our message to CEOs and CMOs is simple.  Don’t bugger with your brand’s story.  Don’t change it for the sake of change.  By all means adjust the way it is sold.  Refresh it.  Add a new chapter to it.  But always remain true to its core.  Great stories endure as should your brand.  With Georgia and Jon on board, we’re looking forward to re-establishing and creating Australia’s most loved brand stories.” said Lyttle.