Our business is about growing yours.
We specialise in effective marketing communications. Whatever you need.
Whatever works best. Whatever is affordable. And we have three main attributes:
1. Our focus is on your message efficacy. We believe that a simple, potent, original idea that connects with your target market is the single most powerful communications tool available on earth.
2. We’re nimble. In a word - fast.
3. We’re experienced.
The six most important client benefits.
A unique blend of endeavour, experience, enthusiasm and understanding allows
The Sharper Pencil to produce workable, pragmatic, and effective creative solutions designed to meet specific communication needs.
The service ethic embedded in The Sharper Pencil culture is born from wide experience. Ours is a seven-days / 24 hours service if required.
A desire to reach a complete understanding of the commercial realities and budget restraints under which you operate means that you will only be presented with creative solutions that can be executed within your budget and time constraints. They will be no less effective as a consequence.
You will not, nor will you ever be charged the traditional service fees common with most advertising agencies. The ‘use-it/pay-for-it’ philosophy means never paying for expensive overheads, salaries or support structures.
The Sharper Pencil seeks to monitor the performance of any work undertaken and executed. We use this knowledge to build a better understanding of what works best for each client, market and ongoing campaign.
The combined wisdom and experience of the Sharper Pencil includes more than 50 years of local, national and international experience.
Advertising strategies, Creative Director / Copywriting. With a Degree in Communication and Marketing (London), John is a member of the Australian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD). He is also a Life Member of the Perth Advertising and Design Club. In thirty years, he has won many local, national and international awards including the PADC International Fellowship and Radio Writer of the Year. He was voted Creative Director of The Year and Copywriter of the Year for six consecutive years and named as one of ten legends of Perth Advertising. His reputation is not solely built on his creative acumen, but also his strategic thinking ability.
Advertising concepts, Designer /Art Director. Steve has more than twenty five years experience developing effective advertising and communication materials for a wide range of corporate, retail, commercial and industrial clients. His design and art direction skills enhance the potency of the communication pieces that he produces. They often extend the boundaries of traditional photography and illustration. His pragmatic approach makes him the intelligent choice for many clients.
Resisting change is like holding your breath. If you succeed, you die.
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you’ll know the world is changing. Media and its associated industries, including advertising - are not what they used to be. Once upon a time, you might have thought that an expensive, large, full service, fully accredited advertising agency would meet your marketing requirements.
Not any more. Functions previously supplied by these antiquated monsters - creative resources, market research, strategic planning, media planning, print buying, production services - are now available from specialist outsources working together on a partnership basis.
Which is how The Sharper Pencil operates.
We provide these services on a much more efficient, economic and accountable basis. Including digital marketing executions.
So you get marketing communications that respond to your brief, born from a customer insight, that reflect your customer’s needs; and above all, that work effectively. Plus, you get it quickly.
You also get it for less cost. That’s because you do not pay for large overheads that you don’t use, don’t need or don’t want.
There are no politics, no egos, no dead wood, no dogma, no cumbersome systems. No Chinese whispers.
No service fees apply. You only pay for what is needed or what is used. No other fees apply. None whatsoever. And everything is generally pre-quoted before commission.
If we don’t succeed, we don’t eat.
The Sharper Pencil is not an advertising agency - nor will it ever be one.
Our business was born out of a more credible, accountable, efficient and cost effective way to create marketing communications.
Ours is a partnership comprising highly experienced, professional specialists working with identified and qualified outsources.
This carries with it three singularly important benefits:
First: We are driven by success.
Second: We are driven by accountability.
Third: Partnership outsourcing means less cost than traditional advertising agencies.
That’s because it is not traditional.
The person who takes the brief does the work and manages your project. You ask. You get. Immediately.
You get a standard and quality of work born from a vast repository of our experience and expertise. In this way, cost effectiveness is greatly enhanced because wastage is completely eliminated.
You have total access. And total continuity. The partnership is held accountable for its efficacy, costs and performance. The collective experience and expertise ensures that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
The Sharper Pencil and its chosen partners are the complete opposite of the dinosaurs that traditional advertising agencies have become.
To see where we’re going, look where we’ve been.
Government / Public Sector
Give a damn. Make a difference.
This is our credo. Our focus on your business. We bring a sense of energy and commitment to produce accountable work that performs. We also bring our brains. Plus the collective wisdom from years of successful experience across a wide range of businesses, markets, market circumstances, tastes and consumer behaviour.
Communication is the beginning of all understanding.
We study consumer insights, attitudes and behaviour. We understand positioning and market perceptions, corporate cultures, brand management, tactical promotional and retail strategies. We understand the difference between a corporate reputation and a corporate image. And we have an awareness of the social and cultural dynamics influencing our society.
You can’t repair fine jewellery with a sledge hammer.
No two briefs are ever identical. Our experience includes the conception, development, design and execution of corporate image campaigns, product campaigns, sales campaigns, awareness campaigns, information campaigns, brand campaigns, retail and tactical campaigns, direct response, promotion campaigns and recruitment campaigns.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
We’ve invented names for products, services, retail complexes, land estates and buildings. And, we’ve created the communication work that followed.
Over here or overseas.
We’ve successfully completed assignments for clients in Sweden, France, UK, India, Singapore, Indonesia, USA and Japan.
Why have a dog when you can bark?
The Sharper Pencil plays a hands-on role in all forms of production, from print and press to radio and television and everything between. We brief and manage photographers, producers and directors as well as art suppliers and printers.
You shouldn’t have to shout ten times to be heard once.
Through its partnership arrangements, The Sharper Pencil can access the most sophisticated and powerful media planning tools currently available. This eliminates wastage, maximises impact and improves cost effectiveness. We work with one of the largest media buying groups in Australia. This means that your business will never be disadvantaged when it comes to buying power, media rates and placements. Pre-planning models provide for targeted levels of reach and frequency. And post-analysis provides you with an accountable performance and a measure of VFM (Value For Money).
It’s your call. And ours.
The Sharper Pencil holds that integrity is the heart and soul of our consultancy work.
We will always provide whatever you request. But if there is a difference in viewpoint,
The Sharper Pencil will always supply an alternative for consideration.
We acknowledge and recognise that the ultimate decision resides with you.
Some of the pigs are refusing to be driven to market. Why?
Traditional advertising agencies espousing the ‘total communications integrated approach’ inevitably produce traditional solutions. The problem is that the market knows all our tricks. They recognise all our techniques. People know when they are being sold. When they are being bullshitted. And when they being informed. Their antennae have been trained by a generation of increasing media literacy and consumerism. That plus the need to develop a mechanism to cope with the exposure of more than 2000 messages a day. The important thing to recognise is that when the antennae go up, the defence shields come down. So messages get blocked. Filtered out.
How can you get under the radar?
Only by disarming the defences. You can do this with a singular, original, relevant and unexpected idea. Of course, it helps if the idea is brilliantly executed. You can use ‘the Multiplier Effect’ - a process specifically designed to get your message talked about. You can get your message converted so it turns into news and gets covered in the nightly current affairs. You can employ any number of guerrilla or viral techniques.
Or you can use unexpected media to deliver your message. Like Snapple in New York. ‘Snapple make 54 flavours of fruit juice in cartons. When they introduced their new Mango flavour, they did not prepare a television advertising campaign supported by outdoor advertising, press and radio commercials.
They simply arranged to have a small sticker placed on every fresh Mango sold in New York for a month. It read ‘Now also available as a Snapple Fruit Juice.’
A non-traditional solution.
Being hard-nosed doesn’t mean we’re thick-skinned.
We serve our clients to make a living. Other than work undertaken for our designated charities, no profit will ultimately mean no service. Several billing systems are offered to suit your needs:
Hourly rate: Charged at a fixed rate per working hour / day. This covers actual time spent on any given project. Time records are maintained for this purpose. Airfares, accommodation and out-of-pocket expenses are 100% recoverable.
Project fee: After analysis of the brief, an agreed / negotiated fee may suit you better. An agreed fee is an agreed fee. It is never varied except if the brief changes.
Retainer: You may opt for an agreed monthly retainer for a given volume of regular work or sustained consulting. This is subject to three monthly reviews to allow both parties to ascertain the worth (VFM) of the retainer.
The Sharper Pencil is happy to work directly with client personnel or other client-nominated resources.
Major assignments involving extensive resources or outsource costs may be subject to ‘Work-in-Progress’ invoicing. Media accounts are invoiced directly by our Media partner. Media-spending clients must be insurable.
Under an industry-wide agreement, 50% of the costs of an estimated TV production must be paid before the camera turns over. The remainder is payable within 30 days.
All TSP invoices are GST-compliant and itemised in detail.
Gary Roberts - General Manager » Nova 937
“My relationship with the personnel at The Sharper Pencil extends for longer than I care to remember. I love their loyalty. Their work always honours our brand and I admire their constant ability to deliver effective communication solutions, often at very short notice”.
Charlene Haworth - General Manager » Westernex - Mining and Exploration Supplies
“We began working with The Sharper Pencil in 2007. We have maintained a pleasant and highly professional relationship ever since. What we like about TSP is their extraordinary service ethic, their willingness to go the extra yard, their sound advice and their complete lack of pretentiousness”.
Anthony Oldershaw - Manager » Aussie Living Homes
“Sharper Pencil show a real understanding of our market and provide fantastic service. I have to say the TV ads have been a great success and SP have been very supportive throughout all our marketing”.
Peter Whitton - Marketing » BGC (Australia) PTY LTD
I’ve been around a long time and can pick and choose who does work for me. Integrity and commitment are huge issues with me and that’s why I recommend the crew at Sharpers”.
John Hughan - Managing Director / Owner » Sunmoon Resort
“They get things done. Brochures, billboards, internet ads, property signage, photography right down to our menus. I just email them and they are on to it.
A pleasure to work with”.
Stuart Torpy - General Manager » DownerMouchel
Strategic Asset Management is a complex, highly sophisticated business. To try and get a technical asset management message across to non technicians was a task beyond our available time and highly technical brains. To engage our trusty communications friends at The Sharper Pencil was the only answer we could come up with if we genuinely wanted to capture our target audience. So sure, we taught The Sharper Pencil all they know about strategic asset management - but not all that we know! We’ve come to appreciate greatly our partnership with them in solving what are occasionally, very complex marketing communications. They also manage the simple material very well too, and as a bonus we get to learn some things about communication!
Suite 3, 979 Wellington Street
West Perth, Western Australia 6005
t: (+61 8) 9321 6061
f: (+61 8) 9226 5500
m: 0409 567 656