Home Cool Company Awards 2011 Meet Reactive, Anthill 2011 Cool Company Award Finalist

Meet Reactive, Anthill 2011 Cool Company Award Finalist [Global Growth Category]


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What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards?

The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More.


Company: Reactive
State: VIC
Category: Global Growth

Reactive is one of Australia’s largest and longest-running digital agencies. It was started in 1997 when its two founders, Tim Fouhy and Tim O’Neill were both 21 years old. A lot has happened since then.

Today, the agency has a multinational footprint, with full-service offices (not just sales staff) in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Auckland and New York. Clients include Tesco, STA Travel and British Airways.

Reactive’s services include insight and strategy on digital media; web design and usability; web development; e-commerce; integrated marketing; and project management.

“Our global presence has become a unique selling proposition over our direct competitors that our clients with global marketing needs can capitalise on,” the Reactive team writes.

London was the first overseas office, set up in 2006 by Tim O’Neill. The office generated $1.3 million in revenue last year despite a weakened British economy. O’Neill ran the London office for a while before returning to the Melbourne headquarters in 2009.

The Auckland office was opened about 1.5 years ago. It was a homecoming of sorts for “the Tims,” who studied computer graphic design in New Zealand before embarking on their digital careers. The Auckland office has had a rough start because of the lingering economic malaise and the Christchurch earthquake, but the company is determining to make it work.

Reactive says it owes its overseas success to years of refining its systems and processes. Also, it works to build strong partnerships with complimentary businesses such as magazine publishers, usability firms and IT specialists, giving Reactive easier access to larger brands.

The agency builds camaraderie by holding staff meetings every Friday where the projects of the weeks are discussed over beer, wine and finger food. Team members are encouraged to give a shout-out to colleagues for jobs well done. On a more unusual note, Reactive once took the entire London office to Mallorca for the Christmas holiday.

In terms of broader awareness, Reactive subscribes to 100% green energy in its Australia offices and carbon-offsets all business travel. Staff is encouraged to ride bicycles to work; the Melbourne office has bike storage, bike tools and staff showers. Reactive also has taken part in taken part in fund-raisers such as the Oxfam Trailwalker and Movember (which benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia).

“Our company is cool because of its diversity; we have hard-core geeks playing nice with some of the most creative thinkers in the country,” the Reactive crew writes. “We work with cool brands, and we work with uncool brands but do cool work for them.

“We love our staff and encourage them to love our clients. When the circle completes, we know cool nirvana has been reached.”


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