How The Tilt Agency has blossomed out of Canberra

The Tilt Agency

“Our purpose is to T!lt you in the right direction”

The IMAA, the national, not for profit industry association for independent media agencies launched last year.

Since then it has continued to grow its membership base and make a series of big announcements, including its trade credit deal and a number of new media partners.

Mediaweek has been profiling members of the IMAA – previous features can be found here. This week we spoke to Penny Davy-Whyte, the founding director of The T!lt Agency.

After 20 plus years of working in senior roles in Sydney media agencies and working on some of the largest media accounts in the country, Davy-Whyte made the decision to head back to her town of Canberra. The decision was to be closer to family and to head up Dentsu in Canberra where she lead the Federal Government account. She left Dentsu in 2017 and identified a gap in the Canberra market that she aimed to fill with The T!lt Agency, which was a local Canberra business specialising in media. The T!lt Agency is the only independent media specialist in Canberra and now employs more than 10 dedicated ACT resources. 

“Our foundation client was the ACT Government, which decided to back a local business built on a team of experts around the country with the vision of joining in-depth knowledge of local media creating jobs for local Canberrans,” Davy-Whyte told Mediaweek. “As a new business, this was an amazing achievement!  I’m very proud to be working on the ACT government business in their support of our local community in this unprecedented global pandemic.”

The agency has continued its growth with the addition of local Canberra attractions, art galleries, Universities, events and property developers to its portfolio while also working with Government associations and entities with communication strategy needs. 

Davy-Whyte said that the purpose of the agency is in the name and while they have a media specialism, at the core they are experts in communication solutions.  

Our purpose is to T!lt you in the right direction – We will tell you what we believe you need to do to achieve your goals, and if that’s not media, we will make that recommendation. Our hashtag is #thinktilted. It is built on the premise of thinking differently, everyone has preconceived ideas of what the solution should be, we try and ensure we always have a T!lt perspective.  And that also means not sticking with the usual channels, it’s very easy to put all your digital into biddable platforms as an example.  We get to know ALL local channels and platforms and go outside of the traditional Roy Morgan consumption or biddable media approaches to ensure we not only support local businesses but ensure our messages are where our diverse engaged audiences are.”

Davy-Whyte also said that T!lt is continually looking for more ways to adapt its business but also knows what not to offer clients.

“We don’t offer creative services ourselves as that’s not our specialism, instead we build a network of experts where we support each other’s strengths to get the best outcomes for our clients.”

According to Davy-Whyte, media specialism exists for a reason. She said it is complex, and it is important for clients to ensure they are with a partner who can implement, track and ensure that what they have spent will deliver results.

“Regional markets are challenging because everyone thinks they can buy media or white label another agency’s capabilities and say they do it themselves. For clients, it can be difficult to understand the difference, that is why we invest in the tools and resources to ensure our clients get the outcomes they need. You’ll know if your Media Agency has the right stuff because they’ll challenge the brief! If you want to ensure your media expenditure achieves results then ensure you work with a media expert that has access to all the latest insights and tools.”

While being in Canberra is a trademark of The T!lt Agency, Davy-Whyte said that this does not mean they only work with Canberra clients.

“We have worked with clients across all states and also other IMAA agencies at a consultancy level – those who wish to use our expertise in Government, regional marketing and/or past experience expertise. We recently partnered with some of my past work colleagues from Ogilvy in promoting a vaccine campaign around the country aimed at encouraging nervous people not to wait for Pfizer.”

Davy-Whyte said that Covid has also shown clients and agencies that they don’t need to be in the office to get results. 

“When we created T!lt we had staff in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne and we now have people in Brisbane too. Our business is built on accessing the right resources across the country but also on creating jobs for our local students.”

The Tilt Agency and The IMAA

Davy-Whyte said that there are many benefits to being in the IMAA .

“As a small independent business, the IMAA offers a wealth of training for our staff, continual updates from media owners we rarely hear from, and generally keeps us in touch with what’s happening in the rest of the nation.”

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