Thanks for taking the time to read my bio (aka the boring bit!). My name is Liam and I’m a Digital Director at Carat Global Management. Born and bred in Sydney, Australia but now living and working under the slightly greyer skies of London. Grey skies aside – London is a fantastic place to work, it really is the world in a city. Working in advertising here exposes you to the best of the best from all the globes corners.
I haven’t yet seen out my first decade in advertising, but I’ve seen digital go from being a specialist media that you used to launch a website, to being right at the heart of campaign strategy and activation. It’s been a hell of a ride.
Where and when did you start your career in advertising and marketing?
I started working at a company called OneDigital in Sydney in 2005. They were a full service digital agency aligned to Carat (where I work now).
How did you get your job?
I started working whilst I was at university – I managed to get a placement at Carat in Sydney in the TV planning/buying department whilst in my final year. I got to see a few sales presentations when I was there and I was far more interested in the TV channels websites and interactive TV ads (being tested at that time). So when I finished the placement, Carat offered me a job with OneDigital in their three-person digital media team (big at the time for Oz!)
Your proudest moment so far?
One of the first campaigns I worked on in the UK was for Transport for London, educating inner city teenagers on road safety. We reworked a story line for the Bebo show Sofia’s Diary - one of her friends in the show was killed by a car crossing the street. Not only did it win several awards for innovation, it really made an impact on kids that saw it. Road deaths in the target group were also down that year.
What's the best thing you've worked on?
If not that campaign – I’d say the Facebook Jaffa Cakes page that I set up a couple of years ago. The page was launched when Facebook wasn’t as big as it is now and it grew to about 100k fans in two weeks. It’s just short of 400k fans now. It’s amazing how obsessed people are with Jaffa Cakes – they wouldn’t stop talking about them! A lot of people still refer to me as ‘the Jaffa Cake guy’.
Your favourite brand and why?
Google – they’re blurring the lines between tech, data, creativity and innovation. Even as an advertiser, they’ve produced some of the best ads of the last two-three years.
What websites/magazines/advertising campaigns would you recommend to an aspiring student?
LinkedIn is the best tool for finding a job in the industry – it’s quickly replacing the CV and it’s where most recruiters go to now for leads. BrandRepuplic (and it’s sister titles) are a really good way to keep up with breaking UK campaigns. The IAB also has some great research available (and for free!).
Where do you look for inspiration?
Everywhere. If everyone just studied each other’s campaigns there would never be any innovation! We always need to look outside the box.
Who's had the biggest influence on your career?
My first boss, Caty. I think the first six months of your career are key – it’s when you start developing your set way of how to best to approach certain problems and tasks.
What did you really want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to play cricket for Australia. Didn’t happen – but I got some of them to appear in a KFC campaign I worked on, so that’s close I guess!
Where would you like to be in the future?
Onwards and upwards ☺
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