Remarkable Marketers: Meet Foxtel’s Kieren Cooney

Remarkable Marketers: Meet Foxtel’s Kieren Cooney
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There are some pretty remarkable people in our industry, each offering their own unique perspective to adland.

While we spend so much time learning about our peers’ career highlights, B&T, in partnership with Carat Australia, thought it high time to dig a little deeper, and find out what makes the shining stars of our industry tick and, at times, tock.

So, for the next little while, we will be publishing a series of personal profiles.

Get ready to laugh, cry and be taken on an emotional rollercoaster as we hear more about adland’s most remarkable marketers.

Foxtel’s chief marketing and sales officer, Kieren Cooney: The code-language creator

I grew up in Stockton – a peninsula on the edge of Newcastle in NSW. To get to school, we caught a ferry across the harbour. There were two guys whose job it was to lasso the metal cleats on the wharf as the ferry grew close, and then draw the ferry in, before snuggly tying it off so people could get on and off. I wanted to be one of those guys more than anything. I also wanted to be [Australian world champion surfer] Mark Richards (and I still do).

My all-time favourite hero is my son. He is an amazing bagpiper, and his pipe band played at this year’s Anzac Day ceremony in Sydney’s CBD. It was so moving and I was so proud. I cried like a baby.

I’ve somehow avoided any real career disasters so far (touch wood), but I have changed careers a few times and each time it was pretty challenging. Going from something you were pretty good at to something you have no idea about is confronting. Looking back, each move opened a period of hugely rewarding learning and growth, and the inherent unfamiliarity of the situations seems to draw out my core strengths.

Over the years, my wife and I have developed a coded language to use at parties. It’s for when it would be rude to just say what we’re thinking. We use it if one of us gets trapped in a conversation that we want to be saved from, or if one really wants to leave. I can’t give away what these codes mean, otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a coded language, but two of my favourite phrases are “Have you tried the guacamole?” and “Did you see where Gavin went?”.

I find real motivation and meaning in working on big things that will improve – even a little bit – the way we live and work. But the day-to-day motivation generally comes from the people around me – my team, my peers, my boss. Businesses can be pretty abstract things – thousands of people bound together with complicated strategies – but the people you see every day are anything but abstract. They’re right there. And when you hit a groove with the right group of people, when you really care for each other and want to do amazing things together, that’s when things can be super-motivating.

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