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Love Island fans will soon be drowning in a double dose of prime-time relationship meltdowns after ITV greenlit a second winter edition of the hit show to air alongside the summer staple from 2020.
The reality series has proven to be the one bright spot in ITV’s latest revenue update, pairing back advertising losses to just 5% on the back of a strong finish to the first half.
Enamoured by its golden goose the broadcaster hopes to replicate that success over the more barren winter months by commissioning a second seasonal edition of the reality format.
Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels at ITV, said: “Love Island has proven yet again to be the perfect format that engages younger audiences. In response to this viewer appetite, a new batch of young singletons will deliver some highly anticipated post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location.”
Most marketers understand the power of connecting a consumer with their brand in the real world, providing them with a unique, engaging and memorable experience. Despite that, The Park’s Jack Lamacraft argues experiential marketing is still struggling to shift the perception among some that it’s a costly, inefficient discipline.
The problem with experiential is that it’s often being compared to other disciplines solely on reach. Although we can wax lyrically about the deep connection we’re creating, when there are only 1000 people who physically experience our campaign compared to a digital deployment that reached 100,000 for the same budget it’s easy to see why those perceptions persist. However, with effective planning, it’s possible to optimise the amount of people who know about the brilliant experience we’ve created.
Amplification of brand experiences is nothing new, but I still feel that this thinking often comes too far downstream and too late to create any real impact. As a discipline we need to start looking at what we do as campaigns, not events.
Things to consider:
What’s the digital strategy?
It’s easier than ever to connect the real world with the digital world but the give-a-shit factor always needs to be considered. After all, why would someone want to watch other people enjoying a great experience on Facebook live? Think about what will actually be interesting for people to experience in the digital world and plan accordingly.
How are we using the attendees to spread the message?
Two words: shareable moments. People want to share unique experiences with their followers and friends on social media. Work out what is going to be a must-share moment and make sure every attendee experiences it.
How are we going to generate earned media?
It’s not enough just to invite the media along and hope for the best. Think about what you can create that is genuinely newsworthy, what they want to write about, that’s relevant to their audience. Target the right people, don’t just invite everyone along. Work with them pre-event to help shape their content , and think about different executions for different publications.
What’s the content we’re seeding afterwards?
The days of creating a hype video with a killer soundtrack are long gone; it’s no longer enough just to point a handycam at the experience and edit something together that gives people who weren’t there a general impression of what happened. It’s just annoying to see something great that you missed out on. Content should be taken seriously.
Work with proper writers and directors, and allow them to shape the experience to create content with a proper narrative that people will want to watch. The same goes for photography, where you can work back from the shots that will resonate.
By thinking about the secondary audience in the planning stage we can make sure we’re reaching and engaging a much larger audience that just those lucky enough to experience it first-hand, therefore delivering a much greater ROI for our clients and, in the end, hopefully getting more marketers to realise the potential of experiential.
The terrestrial broadcaster is well on its way to becoming a digital entertainment company with the launch of BritBox coinciding with its new ad platform, positioning itself for future growth while aggressively slashing costs to provide a firmer financial footing.
To do so the broadcaster has raised its full-year saving goal by £5m to £40-45m.
These efforts won’t bear fruit for some time however, with the company weathering a 7% decline in total external revenues to £1,476m – despite strong growth in online revenues which surged 18%.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall commented: “ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year. Online revenues grew strongly up 18% despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue.
“The economic and political environment remains uncertain but we are very focused on delivering our strategy and creating a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business to enable ITV to take advantage of evolving viewing and advertising opportunities.”
ITV blames the impact of political and economic uncertainty for impacting advertising demand, forecasting total advertising growth to sit at between -1% and +1% for the third quarter.
The recent round of redundancies at Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), first reported by The Drum, brings up the question of why the six holding groups are struggling in Asia Pacific. We take a look at how the groups are moving away from a regional strategy in APAC to a localised approach, why regional roles are disappearing and the future of the agency model.
The Asia Pacific region is often considered as "one market" by the top six holding groups. However, they have since realised there are enormous cultural differences throughout the word’s largest and most populous continent, specifically in critical markets like China, Japan, India.
Holding groups have hyper-competition in APAC too, notes Greg Paull, the principal and co-founder of R3, from the 48,000 advertising agencies in China to the increasing local shops run by ex-Association of Accredited Advertising Agents around the region.
“That means there is always a local competitor promising to do something faster, cheaper and just as good,” he explains to The Drum.
Andrew Kefford, the managing partner for APAC and MENA at Results International, concurs with Paull, and adds: “North Asia has always had different local ad giants, which are stronger now with APAC-centricity and the region is now the future due to economic growth and brand engagement.”
The cost of being a listed business and the associated requirements in terms of compliance and reporting is also a disproportionate burden for smaller, but faster-growing APAC markets, observes Hattie Marsden, a director at SI Partners.
She also points out that clients ask for services across the region that often requires a physical presence to provide an insightful local offer.
“However, in some of these smaller markets, unless the holding group is the number one player, there are not enough client budgets to make it sustainable when the group and regional costs are considered,” she explains.
The shift to local markets in APAC
For agencies in holding companies that are entirely reliant on global budgets, APAC can be increasingly challenging as brands empower local teams to make decisions, says Avery Akkineni, the vice president of VaynerMedia’s Singapore operations.
Now, other holding groups are doing the same. It has been reported that Dentsu Aegis Network is planning to drop the ‘Aegis’ from its brand name from 2020 and consolidate its APAC business under the ‘one Dentsu’ strategy.
DAN is currently testing this consolidation internally in Singapore to see if localised teams are able to make decisions. It created a component called Brand Solutions, headed by Joanna Catalano, the current chief executive officer for APAC at iProspect.
The second component created is called One Singapore Media Group and consists of the likes of Carat, Dentsu X, iProspect and Vizeum, headed by Audrey Kuah, executive director of the media business, Asia Pacific.
The final component is an “internal virtual team”, which draws on resources from agencies around the network.
Explaining the streamlining of businesses by holding groups to focus on local markets, Marsden says: “There are pockets of fantastic talent that are competing. It is difficult for the networks to be at their best in every market. In every market there are independents that are successful,”
“However, while being faster to change and more flexible they suffer from the same issues of adapting to a changing market, access to talent and a continued push from clients for faster, better and cheaper.”
Darren Woolley, the founder and global chief executive at Trinity P3, notes that while local markets are getting more autonomy, holding companies and clients have introduced increasingly well-developed frameworks that the local market must operate within.
“In the local markets where they are competing with the local independent agencies, global clients are becoming very comfortable with selecting best of the breed in the local market instead of selecting a network agency just for the convenience of the coordination, which they know they will end up paying for,” he says.
“Dentsu is planning to drop the Aegis name because it is looking to reduce the complexity of their business and thereby reducing duplication and maximising resource utilization. This will allow them to reduce costs and improve margins on the basis of making the offering more streamlined for clients.”
The decreasing importance of regional roles
The pivot to a focus on local markets is seeing some regional roles at agencies in holding companies becoming redundant.
For example, the consolidation at DAN, saw Sunil Yadav, the former president for APAC at Amplifi, Kristian Barnes, the former chief client officer, and Sean O’Brien, media chairman at DAN and former chief executive of Posterscope and MKTG departing.
It has been reported that Duncan Pointer, the former Vizeum APAC chief executive, Sonal Patel, the APAC president of programmatic services and Arvind Sethumadhavan, APAC chief strategy and innovation officer also left in the most recent round of redundancies at DAN.
Marsden explains that local knowledge and a physical presence is critical to the holding companies’ ability to compete in the smaller and hugely diverse markets across APAC. She says how the holding companies manage and structure this internally is driven to a great extent by culture and if this can be delivered without a regional layer.
In addition, she points out emphasis needs to be placed on incentivising local agencies to deliver consistently while being innovative and creative locally. The way that regional is interacting with local is changing, she adds, citing what MullenLowe is doing as a good example of adopting a forward-thinking approach to APAC.
“Keeping a minority stake, or working as an affiliate business partner, in the local market gives them the connection to teams with their DNA that can deliver work under their brand banner, while giving the local management enough agility to respond in a way that will get the best result for the client in that market,” she says.
Woolley points out the diversity of the region can be particularly difficult to manage from a regional base. He says as the output of the efforts from holding groups for both media and content needs to be customised for each market, or within the market, in the case of China and India, there is no need for regional coordination roles in the agencies.
“Particularly as clients are also taking more of the implementation in-house with in-house production and in some cases media planning and programmatic buying. So that coordination is occurring internally and not required from the agency or holding group,” he adds.
Akkineni suggests that pendulum between local and global decision-making power is a reliable one, which means regional roles are often caught in the middle.
She says recent agency re-structures indicate that the c-suite level regional roles are less necessary than in previous times, perhaps driven by cost-cutting measures, along with advancing technology.
“It's now easier than ever for local, regional, and global counterparts to be "face to face" through video conference or calls,” she adds.
Are large media agencies still relevant in APAC?
The businesses in holding groups most impacted by the new focus on local markets are the media agencies, as most media is ultimately local, so having a large central media resource in APAC was always going to be a challenge to get real funding.
Marsden says she is seeing media and creative starting to come back together, as new media purchasing and management platforms are available, such as CtrlShift’s ‘The Hub’ and Kobe’s influencer platform are enabling independents that have not traditionally had access to media, to develop an integrated media offer.
“Low or negative growth forces businesses to look at costs and if traditional regional setups look expensive to run then this is an obvious place to start. The landscape continues to change; new entrant and good local agencies continue to erode the holding companies’ dominance,” she explains.
“The independents can compete effectively because, due to the digital democratisation of media, they can now buy media, which allows them access to bigger budgets and to offer an integrated solution. I expect we will continue to see the trend of network brand integrations, simplifying the network landscape and potentially more vertical specialism and focus.”
“In-house is now prevalent amongst 78% of US marketers and an increasing number of Asia-based ones are experimenting with it too. That means agencies need to work on higher-order ideas, for which there will always be a need,” says Paull.
Akkineni agrees, adding that at VaynerMedia, the agency has several clients with hybrid in-house or agency models. She says VaynerMedia will happily help brands attract, train, and retain talent for their own in-house marketing functions.
“Ultimately, for many brands, it makes sense for certain functions to be in-housed for better data control, faster insights, or better connectivity to internal business functions,” she adds. “Agencies can continue to add value by helping brands achieve their goals; wherever they are on the path to marketing self-sufficiency.”
However, for all the benefits brands get from in-housing media or creating hybrid in-house media, this trend will also have its own cycle, says Marsden and it is probable that in time the industry will see some of these in-house solutions becoming new independents.
“The risk with in-house or hybrid solutions is that the drive for improvement and innovation can be constrained by having a guaranteed client,” she adds.
Woolley concurs with Marsden, and points out either in-house or transcreation partners will still need the assistance of agencies to develop the strategy and creative ideas that can then be implemented.
He explains that this does not need a network of agencies but just the one right agency and this is often sourced either locally or from the location where that best of breed agency exists.
“One of the things working against the agencies and their networks is technology is enabling this with global workflow platforms with digital assets management and collaboration tools to facilitate the coordination,” says Woolley.
“Yet few agencies have really embraced these tools, relying on the more traditional people-based system because it is how they charge for these services. The more people the greater the fee was the thinking which eliminates the incentive to invest in technology to make the agency and network more efficient.”
What is the future of the agency model in APAC?
With brands not willing to pay or can no longer afford, to pay for the huge amount of duplication they do not necessarily need as they move to a global platform with local implementation, especially on a regional level, agencies will need to become more adaptable and agile to what the brand needs.
Woolley says for local independent agencies this is easy, but for the holding groups with their tiered management hierarchy of local, regional and global management infrastructure, this is putting pressure on the reason for their existence and more importantly their cost.
“This means that as advertising budgets get cut, one of the areas to be cut is the multiple layers of management and coordination inside the holding groups and their agencies,” he explains.
“So the future is more local market centres of excellence with minimal global coordination. The only area where the regional efficiencies will continue is the backend such as finance, which the client does not see and the cost is built into the overhead”.
There is also a demand for an integrated service suite driven by client requirements, says Marsden, noting that some of the mid-tier agency groups and growing independents are enjoying success by structuring their business based on the way that their clients see themselves.
For example, Finn Partners is structured by industry practice, while Reuter Communications is growing through a focus on the luxury space.
“These businesses are reaping the rewards of a deep sector knowledge that allows them to solve business issues and take advantage of opportunities,” she explains.
“As market disruption continues from the consultancy and tech players entering the space through acquisition, industry specialism and service reinvention is key to the traditional players’ survival.”
At the end of the day, agencies fundamentally exist to service the needs of brand partners; and while brands' needs are evolving, Akkineni is confident they certainly aren't going away.
That is because marketers still need smart partners capable of adding unique value to their business, through creativity, strategic thinking, technical, media knowledge, and specialized skills.
She says there is no denying that there is a change in the legacy agency model; and agencies of the future will be more agile, integrated, faster and more transparent than ever before.
The Drum will hold the first-ever Agency Acceleration Day APAC on October 16 at Facebook offices in Singapore. This one-day event is filled with actionable insights and practical advice, to help marketing communication agencies, both big and small, reach the next level of success.
58% of chief marketing officers have said they are likely to bring more digital and programmatic capabilities in-house within the next two to three years, however they also believe there’s still a role for agencies to play.
According Dentsu Aegis’ annual CMO Study, 92% of senior marketers intend to maintain or increase their internal digital prowess. The trend is most pronounced across the energy, tech and telecoms sectors, with a respective 69%, 67% and 64% saying they planned to explore in-housing within three years.
However, although marketers have clear intent to follow in the footsteps of brands like Vodafone and Auto Trader in clawing back control of their media spend amid transparency concerns, it’s not a death knell for agencies.
The same report found that 41% of chief marketing officers anticipate an increase in the work they do with agency partners. Only 6% expect to do less. Marketers’ intentions to use management consultancies – which have emerged as competition to traditional ad giants in recent years – matched precisely with these figures.
Despite it looking like agencies will retain a place on marketers’ balance sheet, those in control of the purse strings paint a complex picture of their relationships with agencies.
Less than half (43%) of chief marketing officers agree that agencies do a good job of providing fully integrated solutions. Only 36% believe agencies are ‘good’ collaborators when it comes to driving long-term executions.
Brands perceive agencies’ core strengths as offering consumer insight, bringing creativity to the table and giving access to talent.
“Much has been made of the changing marketing landscape and potential risks for agencies. In the end though, it’s not the scale of these investments that matters, but what marketers do with them. That creates a huge opportunity for agencies, and this data reflects how we are meeting that need,” said Will Swayne, global president client solutions at Dentsu Aegis Network.
Dentsu’s survey questioned 1,000 chief marketing officers across ten markets (including the UK, US, China and Australia).
Here are the other top findings you need to know:
As well as in-housing, brands are buying direct
Marketers plan to invest more platforms like Salesforce, Adobe and Google in the next two to three years.
50% of chief marketing officers say they will increase the amount they invest directly with ad-tech partners like Facebook, Google and WeChat, with just 7% not intending to move towards more direct spend.
With sluggish market growth and the rise of adtech fuelling a demand for measurable ROI and optimisation, 64% of marketers expect to see “more pressure” to demonstrate tangible results in the next two to three years.
In addition to this, almost half of those surveyed say their marketing surveys plan ahead for two years or less, compounding a lack of long-term thinking.
Marketers are worried about keeping up with customers
Rising consumer demands remain a major focus for chief marketing officers, with 44% concerned that expectations may reach a point where brands will struggle to deliver.
Three quarters identify better internal integration as a critical element in successful customer engagement and 40% cite their own lack of integration as a challenge in delivering on current strategy. 28% identify a lack of integration from their agency as an issue.
On top of this, 79% believe they must transform, not just optimise, their businesses through digital technologies to keep up with the people who buy their products.
The latest research from Reach does little to dispel this. People who work in the industry, apparently, have ‘low levels of affective empathy’, are less likely to share and – in the slightly sinister language of the report – ‘have different ethical settings to the modern mainstream’. Much like, say, a torturer might be described as having ‘different ethical settings’.
I once pitched a sitcom idea to a BBC commissioner. It was set in an ad agency. Although the script was well-received, it was rejected. Why? “The audience won’t empathise with the characters. They think people who work in advertising are dicks.” (BBC2’s only foray into this genre, The Persuasionists, had worse ratings than your dad’s jokes and was cancelled after its first series.)
As my best friend likes to say, ‘some of my best friends work in advertising’. And while I have encountered some absolute Jeremy Hunts – I’ve also had unreasonably understanding bosses, experienced unprompted kindness from colleagues and even willingly spent my spare time with some of these sociopaths.
So is the industry really reeling from an innate lack of empathy, futilely virtue-signalling its way to ever greater contempt? Or are we maligned and misunderstood, trying to readdress the empathy deficit one 6-second pre-roll at a time?
At Ogilvy, we launched ‘Get Out There’ – an initiative to get planners away from their desks and out into the real world. In the aftermath of June 2016, it was an exercise in bursting our Veja-donning, liberal-leaning, Liberty-shopping London filter bubble. It wasn’t ground-breaking. It was just the basics. How can we understand people who have different perspectives if we never ‘get out there’ and listen to them? But is it enough? Are our attempts at empathy, as a recent BBH Labs post put it, simply ‘narcissism that passes as caring’? How can we be better?
I recently went freelance. Partly, for flexibility, but mostly, because I wanted to explore other things; other lives outside of advertising. So I spent a year training as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. And what trait does an actor need more than any other? No, not delusional self-confidence. The other one. Empathy.
When I was at school, I was, how do you put it – a precocious little shit. I was often given leading roles in our dramatic productions and took getting into character very seriously. For one end-of-year performance project, I played an elderly woman. How did a 16-year-old girl inhabit the physicality of an 86-year-old? I went where I knew I would find the biggest concentration of older folk: bus stops. Sat, and observed. For hours. How they sat. How they moved. How they spoke. And brought it back to my performance. Every movement, every sentence became slower, more deliberate, more effortful. I felt, in a very limited way, what it was like to be old. For 6 weeks, I was Edna. Proper method. Told you – little shit.
To become someone else is the ultimate exercise in empathy. And I’m not suggesting we all go off and ‘inhabit the physicality’ of a Marmite shopper. But here are some tactics to help us empathise more effectively:
Live in the real world
You are more than your LinkedIn profile. Go outside. No literally. Get out of the office. Walk, wonder, watch. Not with the microscopic gaze of a scientist scrutinising phenomena; not looking down – on the same level. Maybe (and I know this isn’t the North) but maybe even say hello to someone.
Participate in culture
Agencies waffle about wanting to ‘shape culture’, but how many staffers are actually ‘influencers’, in any context? You want to ‘engage communities’ but when did you last pay a visit to your local community centre? If you don’t ‘get’ TikTok, film yourself trying to ‘hit the woah’. And don’t talk to anyone about ‘social media strategy’ until you can.
Do things outside advertising
The term ‘side hustle’ makes me queasy, but myopically staring at Guinness ads from the 90s and falling asleep with Byron Sharp books on your face is not the only way to get to better work. Always wanted to open a coffee shop? Do it. You’ll learn so much more about ‘business metrics’ than reading another IPA paper.
Alibaba is opening up its Alibaba.com platform to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in North America for the first time, meaning that US businesses can sell goods on the B2B e-commerce site.
According to Alibaba, the B2B global e-commerce market is worth $23.9 trillion, six times more than consumer-facing e-commerce. It also explained that by launching into the US, the opportunity for growth is driven by the 30 million SMBs that are operational in North America.
John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group, said: “Alibaba aims to empower entrepreneurs and help them succeed on their own terms. With 10 million active business buyers in over 190 countries and regions, we are reshaping B2B commerce by providing the tools and services needed for US SMB companies to compete and succeed in today’s global marketplace.”
The move follows on the heels of a major partnership with American B2B brand Office Depot. The partnership sees Alibaba use Office Depot’s on the ground resources in the US, while Office Depot will use Alibaba’s 150,000 global suppliers to bolster its offering. Office Depot is now an ‘anchor seller’ on the platform and Alibaba plans to continue to make partnerships of this type.
Gerry Smith, chief executive officer for Office Depot, said: “We’re proud to expand our strategic collaboration with Alibaba.com. By becoming an anchor seller, we can reach a larger small business audience and provide them with the products and services they need to compete on a global scale.”
To promote the platform being live in America, Alibaba is planning a series of ‘Build Up’ events across the country. The first in Brooklyn is in partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Industry City and will provide workshops and training on how to use the e-commerce platform. Los Angeles will follow during the same week.
It now says that this is still happening and in order for it to stop, agencies need to say no to RFPs that include statements that attempt to transfer IP to the client.
Khairudin Rahim, chief executive of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia (4As), said that, after taking legal counsel, such statements are also not legally binding because “they do not provide a binding relationship between the Agency and the Advertiser in a situation of a service being provided where no formal contract or letter of appointment has yet to be signed”.
The types of statements included in unethical RFPs sound like the following examples, and agencies have been warned to watch out for similar sentences:
“All materials submitted in response to this RFP become the sole property of the Advertiser”
“All submissions for the RFP are not returnable and shall become the property of the Client”
Rahim added, “A pitch for all intents and purposes is an offer to provide a service to the Advertiser or Client. Unless the Advertiser is acceptable to this offer with an agreed consideration to be passed, ownership of the intellectual property (IP) remains with the Advertising Agency."
"The 4As has therefore reminded Agencies not to participate in any RFPs containing these conditions. Our stand has always been – and will continue to be that Agencies should learn when to say “no” to such unfair demands."
"We further urge CEOs of Advertiser companies to be aware of the details of their RFPs, and place an immediate stop to this unethical practice.”
The 4As in Malaysia said it has created a best practice guide that it will issue to brands and agencies that need the help, as well as provide further assistance to anyone who requires it.
GroupM's incoming global chief executive, Christian Juhl, has said he has “no plans” to turn the world’s largest media company into an augmented version of Essence – his former stomping ground. However, WPP boss Mark Read is clearly putting what the agency does best at the center of his turnaround plans.
Since 2014 Juhl has been global chief executive officer at Essence, a technology-focused media agency that’s recently won accounts for L’Oreal and Argos. It’s also counted Google as a client for over a decade.
Juhl said being well-versed in Google’s tech stack has given Essence a competitive advantage as it's allowed the agency to experiment early with new digital tools, like using machine learning to optimize campaigns or develop custom brand surveys to move quickly into mobile markets.
“The backbone of Essence is really a mindset around experimentation and test-and-learn to understand where we can find significant lift gains for our clients, whether that's on the performance-side or brand-side,” said Juhl.
While Juhl said that GroupM’s agencies will continue to provide different offerings for different clients, he noted that the media network understands there’s a need to modernize.
“I think GroupM realizes that the media marketplace is changing and the background in data and technology is helpful in an era where we're trying to move into more addressability,” said Juhl.
“When we look to the future, data and technology [will] become a key player… as media become addressable. Being fluent in those languages becomes really important for all of GroupM as we look to increase our ability to come closer between brands and consumers.”
Old school advertisers needed their agencies to find cheaper media and better value. Now, according to ID Comms North America chief executive officer Tom Denford, advertiser needs are evolving.
“Yes [advertisers] need GroupM to be a powerful media buyer to keep their costs low. But they also want GroupM to provide the data and technology to enable better buying decisions, which result in a business outcome and not just cost savings for the advertiser,” said Denford.
“That’s why GroupM needs someone new. That’s why Mark Read sees Christian Juhl as the best person in WPP to lead this next generation of his media companies.”
Part of WPP's consolidation plans involved the holding company selling off 60% of measurement firm Kantar. As for GroupM, Juhl said the company is “always open for more acquisitions” if they fit what the company needs.
“I think Mark’s a big believer in WPP as a company versus a holding company,” said Juhl, who will report to Read. “I think we'll be looking at GroupM in a very similar way. There are certainly synergies as we transform the broader business around people, culture and technology development that I [very much] expect to be able to share with WPP.”
Juhl will step into his new role on 1 October. He replaces Kelly Clark, who served as global boss of GroupM since 2016.
“Kelly has done a great job of making the organization more professional and accessible for advertisers,” said Denford. “Now Christian will make it much more relevant for advertisers.”
Juhl also commended Kelly’s work at GroupM, and he downplayed his move into the global boss role as not being a “dramatic departure” from his predecessor’s vision.
Essence has yet to name a new leader. Juhl said the company is currently running an "internal process" that will likely take about a month.
Juhl added that he’d been talking with WPP for about a month before being given his new role. Read was a board member at WPP when the holding company bought Essence in 2015.
Sir Martin Sorrell was leading WPP when Essence came into the fold. He commended the media agency’s work since.
“Essence has done brilliantly,” Sorrell told The Drum. “Christian's an excellent manager, and now he has a real job."
The Drum’s 50 Under 30 celebrates the world’s highest achieving women in creative and digital under the age of 30. For 2019, we present our first ever global edition of the 50 Under 30 after asking our readers across APAC, Europe and the Americas to nominate the talent they most admire.
Below, you'll find the third set of inductees to this year's list. We’ll reveal who’ll be joining them in a series of articles published on thedrum.com each day this week. Make sure you don’t miss them by registering for our daily newsletters.
Based in New York City, Erin Evon is the brains behind the ‘It’s a Tide ad’ Super Bowl campaign. Evon’s work has been recognised by the Emmy’s, Cannes Lions, D&AD, The One Show, Andy Awards and Clio Awards. She previously spent five years at Saatchi & Saatchi, rising to the role of art director before making the move to R/GA where she helped launch Shopify into the market with their first campaign.
What advice would you give to someone getting started in the industry today?
Leave your ego at the door! Be a pleasure to work with and someone others want to be around. I've found that the nicest, humble people are usually the best at what they do. They don't have time to clout their ego because they are too busy creating great, inspiring work. This advice applies to everyone beyond agency colleagues to directors, editors, sound mixers, composers, and everyone who helps bring your ideas to life. If people like working with you, they will want to keep working with you.
How would you explain what you do to a taxi driver?
I'm a creative person in advertising. This means I come up with ideas that are expressed through film, visual, and experiential executions to get people to feel something. Often, the ideas are for brands. Sometimes they're simply meant to inspire and help people. But all of them are crafted to grab attention and make people think, "Hm, that was good." Because these are the ideas I know are great.
What keeps you awake at night?
There's a time in your career where your ideas keep you up at night. Then you reach a level of success and people actually want to hear them. That's when a thought sneaks in: imposter syndrome. I've learned that with great success, there's fear of personal failure. It's the number one fear in a 2016 poll of Americans. But what I've realized is fear is good. It means you care. It's the natural response to an important situation. So, ultimately, what keeps me up at night is caring... about ideas and the work.
Bee Pahnke, head of voice, Dragon Rouge
At Dragon Rouge, Bee Pahnke helps clients to find the right voice to fit their brand identity. With her background in creative writing, Pahnke is able to use her skills to help clients understand the value that language can add. From her London base she also uses her skills to run seminars on period poverty and write articles on industry topics she is passionate about.
What's one thing would you do to change the industry for the better?
Increase diversity and representation. The work we do is responsible for shaping society's ideas of 'normal' in a myriad of ways. But our agencies don't reflect the real world today. The lack of women, black, Asian and minority ethnic people in our industry is staggering. And that lack of diversity affects the way we portray the world in the work we create less than 20% of advertising shows minority groups. When everyone in our industry looks the same, how can we represent the true diversity of the world we live in, or the people we're talking to?
What brand would you love to work on?
I'd love a chance to be part of the conversations Bodyform are leading. I'm a firm believer in breaking down taboos, and the way society has treated periods and menstruation is one of my biggest bugbears. (You can read more about that in my article, Tackling Taboos.) I'd love to get my hands on Mooncup too. I'm a huge advocate of the product, but there's a lot of stigma around it. I want to change that. With the right approach they could change people's perceptions of the brand and product, but they could also influence a huge behaviour-change in society.
How do you switch off from work?
I love learning, exploring, and doing things that make me a little bit afraid. I'm always curious about how things work or how they're made, so I do a lot of courses and workshops, like glassblowing, coppersmithing, pottery, spoon carving, calligraphy, silversmithing! I also do stand-up comedy. Prepping for a gig is a great way to stop thinking about work. And I live in Wapping, so have a gorgeous walk along the river right on my doorstep for when I need some space to think.
With over decade of digital-first media expertise, Avery Akkineni has deep familiarity with digital marketing. As vice president of media at VaynerMedia, Singapore she’s led the agency’s global expansion into APAC. Prior to her role at Vayner, Akkineni spent six years at Google, where she was worked with some of its largest agency partnerships on cutting edge strategy and campaign execution.
If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
Who wouldn't love an extra hour in the day? If gifted with an extra hour daily, I'd spend it tackling a new project from my "Wonder List," my ever-evolving list of startup ideas. I've launched a few small businesses, from media consulting to Amazon party packages to travel guides, and I love the challenge of building something new from scratch.
Where do you do your best work?
At work, in the mornings! I'm totally a morning person, and always do my best work before lunch. Days are busy at VaynerMedia, and we're lucky to have an energy-packed office. My favorite time of day is first thing in the mornings, at my desk with a glass of Cold Brew. It's when I plan my day, catch up on emails, build presentations, and think most strategically about upcoming challenges and opportunities.
What brand could you not live without?
Rent The Runway! I love the sharing economy, and the concept of designer clothing rental is a fantastic product for fashion-forward, professional and/or social women. I love RTR for work events, weddings, special occasions, and more. It's an affordable way to express creativity and style; and to try new things with clothing and accessories. After my recent move to Singapore; I am campaigning for them to open a South East Asia presence! Absolute brand loyalist.
Ruxandra Drilea, creative copywriter, Publicis Romania
In her five years as a copywriter, Ruxadra Drilea has already secured a Young European Creative Award, and was selected as one of the next generation female creative directors through the Cannes Lions' See It Be It initiative. Her impressive list of clients includes Coca-Cola, Burger King and Fuzetea. Based in Bucharest, Drilea also mentors young women through the IAA in her spare time.
What book should everyone in the industry read?
I think there are a lot of great must-read advertising books. They'll teach you evything using examples and with relatable agency situations. And they are important. But I think If you re-read what you loved when you were younger, you'll realise that you missed things that were in plain sight and it helps you learn that you can see things like an entirely different person. This experience makes you "re-read" anything you encounter in your job from that point. Sometimes we can be caught up in "I already know that".
What advice would you give to someone starting in the industry today?
Be the maximum version of your character. Never tone yourself down to please. Don't settle for one area of expertise. Have fun, you don't have to save the world with advertising.
Which industry figure do you most look up to?
Jessica Walsh is a walking crash course of inspiration. She's proof that there are no traditional models of success, because success is fluid. It has ups and downs. Its turning down jobs, interning, starting over, always learning something new, never being one dimensional.
Hannah McElhinney, senior creative, Vice Asia
After her stint as a radio DJ, Hannah McElhinney joined Vice where she has worked on accounts ranging from big banks to P&G and Unilever brands. From her Melbourne base, McElhinney is able to use her creative touch to help NAB talk to millennials about finance, create a gameshow about growing up for AHM Insurance, execute a hi-art escape room for BMW and produce a series of documentaries about unconventional love for CloseUp.
What brand would you love to work with?
My true dream is to work on the NASA brand. I find space and science so interesting, but I never bothered to learn much about it because high school had a way of extracting all the wonder out of it. I think creativity is the missing ingredient from science, so I'd love to be involved in making NASA's work more engaging and accessible for people like me.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
Definitely not advertising! I get inspiration from pretty much anywhere else. Novels, music videos, galleries, film festivals and talking to friends from all different areas of my life.
What was your route into the industry?
I got my start in the industry like a lot of other creatives, through Award School. After I made the top 10 I got a job in an agency as a creative and worked my way up from there. I took some time out to work at Triple J as a presenter for a year or so, but then eventually returned and found my new home at Vice.
Modupe Ogunniyi, social media and content manager, Cath Kidston
Prior to joining Cath Kidston, London-based Modupe Ogunniyi flexed her impressive skills at Mothercare and Media Bounty, where she pitched and won the Oxford Street Confashionals campaign. She has also run social channels for Bodyform, Jerome Russell and Plenty.
What brand could you not live without?
Sharpie. I'm an avid note-taker, writer, to-do list maker (if that's even a thing) and I love laying plans out on paper. Colours just make everything look better!
What’s your favourite ad?
Dove's Real Beauty Campaign - the first ever one. I remember using this ad as a case study when writing my undergrad dissertation. My dissertation was on how brands can convey their core values through advertising, and that ad was one that truthfully achieved that. Till this day, brand values and storytelling is something I'm still super passionate about, whether that's through Social Media content, on a blog or through email.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Just start. I'm a big idea person (annoyingly the Adobe Creative Personality Quiz labelled me as a Dreamer) however, fear disguised as procrastination can sometimes hinder me from executing my ideas. So, the advice 'just start' has encouraged me to do just that. Even if I feel ill-equipped or unmotivated. The worst thing you can do when you have an exciting idea is to sit on it; it's better to try and fail then not try at all, right?
Jessie Ayala, digital engagement manager, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
With a background in photography as well as marketing, Jessie Ayala has thrived in her role as digital engagement at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. Ayala has demonstrated her commitment to ensuring the people of San Francisco are reflected in art, dedicating 2/3 of the museum’s social media posts to celebrating those who have been underrepresented in history and in museums, including women, people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community.
How would you explain what you do to a taxi driver?
The job I was hired for is to promote our museum and collections across social platforms. But the job as I see it isn't to sell people on our art museum - it's to sell people on caring about art. To recognize art museums have an elitist reputation and focus all of our digital efforts on making art accessible by explaining not that we have an artwork in our collection, but what it means, why it's relatable, why it was created. Everyone should have a fair chance to develop an interest in art, it's my job to get them there.
Which industry figure do you most look up to?
The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) released a pledge campaign that challenged institutions to make changes towards supporting gender equity. I'm so impressed that this museum is dedicating so much of their marketing efforts to putting pressure on other arts organizations. I look up to them and all the aspiring change-makers across this industry who speak up in meetings, raise the difficult issues, and remind art museums of our missions to serve the communities and bring art to all. For some museums, it's the majority of staff, for others, it's one brave soul. That's who I admire.
What keeps you awake at night?
Racial injustice. No, really. There are a lot of parts about my job that keep me up -- the fact that people are intimidated into visiting museums instead of being welcomed by them, how to help young people develop a passion for art -- but I would be lying if I said those are what keep me awake. What keeps me awake is thinking about how I can use my influence as a marketer to get people to take action towards the racial injustices present in this industry and others. (Told you I was inspired by NMWA.)
Crystal Eisinger, strategy and operations manager, Miss
A Cambridge graduate with a background in history, politics and philosophy, Crystal Eisenger now dedicates her impressive intellect to strategy and operations at Google. Based in its London office, Eisenger was a 2018 Marketing Academy Scholar, an inaugural member of School of Marketing's Founding 50 and 2019 recipient of WACL's Future Leader Award.
If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
I'd spend: 20 minutes speaking to my parents, keeping them updated on what's going on in my life and hearing about their day rather than broken calls between the office and tube! 20 minutes learning, either reading or listening to a podcast. I love reading both fiction and non-fiction, for me it's the ultimate escape. In terms of podcasts I find Helen Tupper & Sarah Ellis' Amazing If Podcast the best way to start my day or Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History for some brilliant storytelling! I'd spend the final 20 minutes writing - either journaling or working on my book!
Where do you do your best work?
This is a tough one. In truth, my brain needs different environments depending on the type of work I need to get done. For deep thought, strategy and planning something as close to a library is best. I love being surrounded by books, the silence and solitude help me get into deep thought. The low-fi version of that is when I'm in transit - in the back of a car, on the tube, on a flight. Conversely for creative thinking and activation I need to be around people, absorbing the chaos and soaking up other people's perspectives. So, it depends!
What brand could you not live without?
Incredible brands have a phenomenal product that empower people to live their everyday lives better (be that feeling more confident, more informed, more understood, more connected). So the brand I couldn't live without is Google. It helps me to do more every day whether it's collaborating with brilliant people using the G Suite (docs, slides or sheets) or using Maps to prevent me from being foiled by my terrible sense of direction! Most importantly Maps and Reviews have been responsible for many gastronomic discoveries, be that an incredible hummus shack in Tel Aviv or a hidden sushi bar in Tokyo.
Georgia McGillivray, chief executive officer and founder, The Social Club
A born and bred Kiwi, Georgia McGillivray initially started her career working in the social media industry in the US and the UK. After a spell at Ogilvy Australia, McGillivray settled in Auckland to co-found The Social Club, which is now New Zealand's largest social and influencer agency. The Social Club has over 10,000+ influencers in their community and has generated results for well-known brands such as HelloFresh, Jeep, Visa, BMW & Mini.
How do you switch off from work?
I love being near the ocean, especially swimming, surfing or paddle-boarding. When you're surfing, you have to concentrate so hard you don't have time to think about your to-do list! In the ocean, I can be fully focused in the moment and I find it invaluable to be able to switch off and relax. I love that our industry is so high paced and there is a need to constantly think on your feet, but the ocean allows me to slow down and appreciate where I have come from, and where I am going.
Where do you go for creative inspiration?
Depending on what type of creative inspiration I'm looking for, I go to a variety of different channels. It's great that many of our influencers offer inspiration for different things through their channels, for example, Emma Galloway (@mydarlinglemonthyme) for recipe inspiration, Rambo Estrada (@ramboestrada) for surf location inspiration, Ruby Jones (@rubyalicerose) for powerful messages in creative artwork. It's inspiring being in an industry where I can see influencers doing some pretty epic things. For campaign and strategy inspiration, I follow a lot of blogs and podcasts to keep up to date with new successful and creative campaigns in the market.
What was your route into the industry?
I started my career in advertising interning at a boutique agency in California. I was studying Marketing & Communications at The University of California and was lucky that during that time, social media was just starting to take off and was given to the most junior person to own and upskill themselves on. This opportunity and experience set me up to move overseas and land a role at a larger agency, allowing me to specialise in digital and social media marketing at a time when these skill sets were in high demand but few and far between.
Nala Annous, account manager, The Trade Desk
Nala Annous was previously an account manager at Google before making the move to The Trade Desk. Out of its Singapore office, Annous advises clients and teammates on best practices, suggests product or market opportunities, and facilitates chances for learning within the industry. She was also responsible for coordinating the first Singapore Trade Desk career advice session for the next generation of students from her alma mater, the University of Canberra.
What brand could you not live without?
Spotify has been a life changer for me given I spend majority of my time in transit. Spotify is unique as it offers an undisrupted experience to adapt to my mood but also can influence my vibe with a solid playlist recommendation. The algorithm always seems spot on and is my constant while everything around me is ever changing. Spotify also happens to be a client of mine, which has been intellectually and professionally rewarding to help spread the word on the magical world of Spotify and run awesome campaigns in the process.
What’s your favourite ad?
With the rise of personalized advertising, I think the big, signature moments in advertising have gone. As a consumer I value stories or campaigns that mean something to me. In this context, precision targeting, rather than the single big ad spot, is more meaningful for users and more measurable for advertisers. We can see smart watch brands that use of technology to reach audiences at an incredible scale. Brands have been able to serve personalized creative based on the editorial the audience is consuming. Your favourite ad is going to be one that was written specifically only for you.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Profound advice from my mum after the loss of someone very special in our lives who was a huge gamer: "Life is like a game and we're all here to play our part with people finishing at different levels. Therefore, it's important to enjoy each level because you don't know when your game is going to end". Going to the..