DDB Group Philippines sat down with DDB Worldwide Chief Executive Officer Martin “Marty” O’Halloran to have an informal Q&A session with the recently as DDB Global CEO.
O’Halloran gamely answered questions from DDB Group Philippines’ officers and staff during the integrated marketing communication group’s recent virtual townhall.
Moderated by DDB Group Philippines Chief Development Officer Craig Lonnee, the fireside chat covered a range of topics from O’Halloran’s leadership style to how agencies should navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.
DDB Group Philippines Chairman and CEO Gil G. Chua said: “that he is glad that O’Halloran, whom he considers an old friend, was chosen to head DDB Worldwide.”
“DDB is in good hands. Marty is such a great leader – a believer of people and creativity. Like he said, he will definitely lead the global agency network from ‘strength to strength despite headwinds from the global pandemic’,” said Chua.
Extremely charismatic and beaming with positivity, O’Halloran rallied his audience in the virtual townhall to get excited about facing the challenges of these times.
O’Halloran said: “Great agencies have flexibility. Embrace the things you are afraid of, try new things, and keep ahead of the curve.”
“We’ll all go back to working (regularly) in the office at the right time. What we need to do now is to try to have the right balance between working from home and working from the office,” O’Halloran added.
O’Halloran emphasized that the growth that he considers most important now is not revenues, but the growth of people’s skills set.
“Keep looking at the future, and make sure you are able to invest within the agency and partner with other Omnicom agencies,” said O’Halloran.
He stressed that the much talked about demise of the brick-and-mortar creative agency is not happening anytime soon as the latter will still be that place where creative people will really want to be.
O’Halloran said: “We have to preserve the agency culture, because this is what really attracts talents. Our culture always has to be one that focuses on people and champions creativity. Creativity being any idea that helps drive our clients’ business forward. It’s the one thing that will deliver real growth in our and our clients’ business.”
O’Halloran also underscored the importance of pivoting into the new normal with data and technology, as well as new platforms.
“Harness technology and creativity to tell stories using digital channels, and use your creative skills to drive emotional channels. Create new interface with customers. Our job is to be a step ahead of our clients, and the industry,” added O’Halloran.
O’Halloran assumed his current role as CEO of DDB Worldwide in July 2020, where he is tasked to support DDB’s offices across the world. With over 30 years of experience at DDB, he brings to his worldwide CEO role a deep understanding of the network’s rich history, culture, and people.
Before his appointment as Global CEO, O’Halloran was Chairman and CEO of DDB Group Australia and New Zealand for 15 years. Under his leadership, DDB in Australia and New Zealand had been recognized as the fastest growing international network in the region.