Alan Morris (Mo) Passes Away


1 April, 10:40pm: Alan Morris - the ‘Mo’ of Mojo (pictured left) - left us after a long battle with cancer.

Mo and Jo

Mojo (now Publicis Mojo) was formed back in the seventies by two Als, both copywriters, both short and fat, both with beards. To save any confusion when answering the ‘phone at the fledgling consultancy, they shortened Morris to ‘Mo’ and Allan Johnston to ‘Jo.’ For over two decades the Mojo brand became shorthand for Australian popular culture.

In the days before strategic planning the boys tapped into the essence of the people producing and inspiring such Mojo classics as ‘C’mon Aussie, c’mon’ for World Series Cricket, ‘You ought to be congratulated’ for Meadow Lea, “I still call Australia home’ for Qantas, ‘I feel like a Tooheys’, ‘I’m as Australian as Ampol’, ‘Every body loves Speedo’ and the classic ‘Slip another shrimp on the barbie’ with Paul Hogan for the then Australian Tourist Commission.

In last years AFA celebration of 50 Years of Television Mo and Jo’s distinctive style of advertising was evident. It was always more than a jingle; it was all about the brand and creating an on-going campaign rather than a one-off ad. To take the case of Tooheys: the brand was repeated over a dozen times in 30 seconds and imprinted on the mind of every drinker, what’s more the campaign ran for 15 years. (Sadly this was before the days of the AFA Effectiveness Awards it turned the brand around from 13 per cent share up to 48 percent).

Mo was 64. Together with Jo, he left an indelible mark on the advertising landscape. He made a difference. He will be missed and remembered.

Gawen Rudder - 5 April