Damian Royce, previously executive creative director at Havas and creative director at both Cummins&Partners, TBWA, and Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne. Damian has packed his bags and moved to Perth to be chief creative officer at 303 MullenLowe.
During his career, he has acquired a wealth of skills and his work has been recognised at international award festivals, including Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, London International Awards, and the Effie Awards.
Damian sat with LBB’s Casey Martin to talk exploring new cities, early inspirations, and what the future holds.
LBB> Firstly, how have you found the transition from Melbourne to Perth?
Damian> It’s been great. The people at 303 MullenLowe have a real passion for meaningful creativity and are excited for change, so I’m optimistic about what we can do as a team. And we have more new people joining the team, including our new chief strategy officer who is joining from the UK. As a city, I’m liking some of the unique spaces around Perth that have been created to foster creativity and collaboration. Overall, it’s been great to explore a different city and experience what motivates its people. Importantly, the coffee here is good.
LBB> What creative work inspired you in your early career? How has it changed to what inspires you now?
Damian> Oh, there are just so many, but the ones that inspired me probably inspired a lot of the wider community as well. And that’s the power of great creativity. Great work doesn’t just emotionally move us in the creative industry, but everyone who engages with the brands that do it right. And while the ways in which good brands engage with people continually evolves, creating things that people are genuinely interested in is always the goal.
LBB> Looking back at your career, what was one moment that unexpectedly changed you or perhaps, one moment that you've kept with you as you've progressed?
Damian> I would say the rise of interactivity in the 2000’s, and the many other clever ways brands started to connect with people. I do like to look forward, so I’m always trying to adapt and change with culture. That said, one thing that doesn’t change is creating ideas that move people emotionally.
LBB> What are your hopes for the industry?
Damian> I hope that at a board level more and more organisations see creativity as one of the means to help build and move businesses forward. I believe we need to get further up the chain and have more involvement, rather than just being part of the communications output. History shows many successful company leaders value the power of creativity - whether it was led by them, or by surrounding themselves with other creative people.
LBB> What brings you joy in your day to day?
Damian> It’s the thing that never changes for me. Getting to the right ‘aha’ moments that contribute to helping the brands we represent stand out. Then seeing a whole team of people galvanise, and really own it, to produce great creative work. And helping empower our clients to do the same. When everyone is in sync it can lead to some powerful ideas.
LBB> Have you always been a creative?
Damian> Yes. Even back in early primary school I knew I would do something that involved design and creating things. When I started high school, I became obsessed with the New York art and culture scene, and that obsession progressed into the more commercial side of things as I entered university and my early 20’s. I’ve always been fascinated by brands and creativity since I can remember.
LBB> What advice would you give to someone who is faced with a business challenge in the creative industry?
Damian> It goes without saying that all businesses want to move forward in one way or another, and I strongly believe they need great creative minds to help them do it.