PWA24 1130 x 154 Banner Jan Sep

Full throttle as Driver takes Sainsbury from win to win

FOR confirmation of the agency’s credentials, one need only ask Dairymaid, Kellogg’s and Amka Products, which have relied on Angela’s team for 18 and 16 years, respectively. ‘Of everything, I’m probably most proud of our longstanding client relationships,’ says Angela, who joined the company in 1991 as a AAA School of Advertising graduate and bought it from founder Joan Sainsbury nine years later.

‘When Joan raised the possibility of me buying the agency, I knew I couldn’t pass up the prospect of growing an already well-known and respected business. I worked side-by-side with her for a year before taking over. 

‘She continued to offer support and advice afterwards – never intruding, but always sensing when encouragement was needed.’

Just as Joan inspired, so does Angela. ‘Her management style is very engaging and hands on,’ confirms client service executive, Nicole Galbraith. ‘There is no time I feel I cannot ask for Angela’s guidance and valuable advice. She’s dedicated and determined, but also adapts with ease to change.’ 

Angela is part of a team of 11 – Sainsbury prefers a flat structure in which each member has space to explore and make mistakes. Responsibility and ownership are key.

With solid client relationships, Angela measures success by the low churn rate and accolades earnt, including IPSA Gold Pack and Nielsen International Design Impact awards.

‘We consistently create opportunities for everyone, from intern to senior designer because if you treat someone according to their potential, they’ll soon realise it,’ she states.

‘Ours is a dynamic agency family with a multiskilled, innovative approach to meeting, even pre-empting, briefs, and exceeding expectations.’

As a trendsetter, Sainsbury has mastered sustainability, authenticity and the melding of real and virtual worlds. ‘We make use of greener packaging materials and biodegradable plastics, and develop designs that can be reused or repurposed,’ Angela explains. ‘It’s exciting devising novel ways to tell brand stories and use augmented reality technology. 

‘We have also invested in research to understand the hearts and minds of consumers. This allows us to speed up prototyping and product launch phases, and help our clients avoid expensive missteps.’

The joy of using both halves of her brain daily keeps Angela motivated, as she is equally at home discussing balance sheet intricacies as debating holographic foil merits. That and the support she receives from four equally-driven Drivers – husband Brad, her ‘rock’ and non-emotional voice of clarity and insight when the going gets tough; Haydn in the third year of a US golf and academic scholarship; Travis at Tuks, and Erin in Grade 5.