The 2009 Creativity 50: Jamie Barrett and Steve Simpson

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Steve Simpson (left) and Jamie Barrett
Steve Simpson (left) and Jamie Barrett
Going into 2008, the big question on industry lips was whether Goodby could sustain its high level of creativity after a series of business wins and a huge staff increase in 2007. It wasn't long before it proved the answer to be a resounding yes. Our runner-up for Agency of the Year in 2008 continued to put forth category-leading work, in the "traditional" realm (the NBA finals campaign), in the digital arena with Doritos' "Hotel 626" and "Wario Land: Shake It" for Nintendo, and with integrated campaigns for Haagen-Dazs ("Help the Honeybees") and the California Milk Processor Board ("White Gold"). If that wasn't enough, several waves of high-profile projects supporting Barack Obama's presidency bid (or, more accurately, reminding us of the last eight years and GOP alternatives) emerged.

Barrett, on having a degree of faith in the work: "If you're 100% sure about an idea, and know exactly how it's going to turn out, then it's probably pretty average. There has to be an element of uncertainty, a leap of faith. The NBA work is an example of that. Can we get 50 professional basketball players to deliver the exact same script with the exact same cadence and have it feel even remotely believable? Comcast 'Rabbit' is another. Can we create sixty seconds of a computer generated rabbit/panther and have it not look incredibly shitty?"

Simpson, on the agency's Commonwealth Bank work, going from a reception in which it was called "obscene" to 96% brand recognition on the launch spot: "We can't say there weren't moments when we wondered if the thing was going to go as planned. But from the highest levels of the bank, everyone was determined to see things through. The bank had, after all, committed to a campaign with the theme 'Determined to be different.' They meant it."

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