Campaign Brief Q&A: Two weeks in joint CCOs Brett Colliver and Mike Felix have already penned their resignation letter from Dentsu Creative
Bringing almost two decades of global experience, Dentsu Creative’s newly appointed joint chief creative officers Brett Colliver and Mike Felix sit down with Campaign Brief to explain why they’ve already penned their resignation letter.
Campaign Brief: Firstly, what attracted you to Dentsu?
Mike Felix: We were attracted to the idea of Media, CX, Data and Creative within the same building. As the landscape becomes more fragmented it’s a huge advantage for both clients and the agency. That and the seemingly limitless supply of Cassava Vegetable Chips in the agency kitchen.
Brett Colliver: Dentsu Creative is also just a year old. It’s easy to forget that it’s only been a year – to the day, actually – since the brand’s global launch. So, while Dentsu in New Zealand has long been known for its media and CXM expertise, the creative offering is still very fresh. We were really excited by the opportunity to help shape its voice.
But we equally want to acknowledge the people who have shaped the company before it became Dentsu Creative: the founders of BC&F, With Collective and Little Giant. You can still feel the positive impact they’ve had on the business and the people.
Mike Felix: The recent TVNZ work out of Dentsu was great and we’ve always wanted to meet the people who came up with Pizza Roulette.
CB: How have the first few weeks been?
BC: We’ve loved it so far. A whirlwind of meeting people, discovering new things… like the fact that Salesforce is way more interesting than it’s given credit for. Who knew. We’re taking our time to listen and learn before suggesting any changes, although there was one huge one: Mike has given up caffeine. Results pending. I know he got stuck in the stairwell at one point and had to be bailed out by the GM of Finance.
MF: It won’t be the last time she comes to my aid. I don’t recommend giving up coffee, to anyone, but new roles require new routines.
Equally disruptive are changes in leadership. So we wanted to acknowledge the pressure that puts on a team, but everyone has been incredibly welcoming and that’s not just in Dentsu Creative, but across the Media and Merkle (CXM) companies as well.
CB: Have you had much to do with the wider Dentsu network yet?
BC: Actually yes. We chatted a lot with the regional and global heads before we started and it’s inspiring to see that the entire network has an agenda to grow creatively. It seems like every week another exciting name starts at a Dentsu office in the UK, US, Australia, or beyond. And the offices seem actively connected with each other.
MF: Dentsu Japan is also a big inspiration. They have an incredible client relationship model not seen in other parts of the world. They are involved in every aspect of their client’s business, and we think the integration here in New Zealand across creative media CX and data offers an exciting opportunity for a similar offering. It’s also inspiring to see the innovations coming out of Japan, some on the Titanium shortlist.
CB: So what’s the first thing on the agenda?
MF: Well, we’ve already handed in our resignations.
BC: We were asked to introduce ourselves to employees across the Dentsu Aotearoa group, at the 200+ all-staff meeting. As the new CCOs it seemed important to share what we believe the “Creative” part of that title actually means, because the term “creativity” is often misunderstood. People think it’s either “weird and wacky”, or they think it’s something that doesn’t apply to them.
But we see creativity as a cheat code for life. It can be applied to almost anything to make it more effective and memorable, from putting labels onto fitted sheets so you know which way they go on the bed, to how you introduce yourself to a new agency.
So instead of saying ‘hello’ we said ‘goodbye’.
MF: The twist is that it is the resignation we hope to be able to write after many years with the company. So instead of speculating on the future, we decided to look back fondly on a fictional past which we very much hope to be part of, complete with important milestones and jokes about the 2027 Christmas party mishaps.
Brett Colliver (left) and Mike Felix (right)