Daddy cool

Daddy cool
SHARE
THIS



We all want to know how we can be cool, don’t we? Lucy Clark gets the answers from behavioural scientist and Naked founder Adam Ferrier, as he prepares to take on his new role at CumminsRoss.

Adam Ferrier probably knows more about why you bought that pair of jeans you’re wearing than you do. He’s psychologist first, adman second.

Ever since his early days assessing sex offenders, Ferrier has been working out what makes people tick – and what makes people ‘cool’.

It was whilst working as a forensic psychologist for Corrective Services NSW that Ferrier was first inspired to work with brands. He landed a job with brand consultancy Added Value. And not just any job. Ferrier was Global Cool Hunter, looking at emerging trends. 

“Both consumer and criminal psychology are about trying to understand human behaviour, looking at the antecedence that leads to that behaviour, and trying to predict and correct people’s behaviour,” he explains. “There are a lot of similarities, but the tone and working environments are obviously massively different.”

Despite his cool new job, Ferrier still worked in the prisons at weekends. “It was fascinating and I didn’t want to give it up,” he recalls.

Even when he later joined Saatchi & Saatchi as a strategic planner, Ferrier ran groups for men with relationship issues in his spare time.

But when his friend Mike Wilson asked him if he wanted to be a part of a start-up (Naked Communications in Australia) Ferrier left his criminal work behind. With an impressive cocktail of founding clients Absolut Vodka and Coca-Cola, Naked – which was initially going to be called Stupid Media – got off to a flying start.

“Naked was very different,” says Ferrier. “It combined media strategy and brand strategy – no other agency was doing that. And it separated itself from execution, and just did the planning.

“A highlight for me would be creating what must be the coolest working environment in Australia –the whole vibe of the place was really intoxicating.” 

A cool theme runs through Ferrier’s life. During his studies, his thesis was entitled Identifying the Underlying Constructs of Cool People.

So, what makes someone cool?

According to Ferrier, the traits of coolness are self-belief and confidence, defying convention, understated achievement, caring for others and connectivity. “Also, you’re more likely to be cool if you’re male, in a career that’s borne out through passion such as the arts or politics, left-wing, and aged over 18,” he adds. 

Social sciences are, he believes, going to play an ever-critical role in advertising.

“As marketing budgets get smaller and the options of what you can do are increasing, marketers are finding it difficult to know what the right thing to do is,” says Ferrier. “Through behavioural economics, you can recommend what you think is right – not based on gut feel or intuition, but on past experience and knowledge.”

He’s looking forward to applying this to his new role as chief strategy officer at CumminsRoss.

“I’ve spent the last six years developing my thinking around what makes a grounded strategic approach, based on psychology and behavioural sciences. I’m excited about going into a fully functioning agency that does amazing creative work and buys and sells media, and then applying behavioural science.”

At the heart of consumption decisions is a general rule: Actual Self + Brand = Ideal Self.

“Most consumption decisions, after bare necessities, are made on the gap between how you are and how you want to be,” explains Ferrier. “Marketing is constantly creating a bigger gap between those two. If people accept themselves, I wonder if they will make different consumption choices that fulfill their needs more authentically.”

Ferrier’s wish for everyone to be less ‘wannabe’ follows through to his advice to industry newbies.

“My one piece of advice for people entering the field is ‘be interesting’,” he says. “Think about the most interesting thing about you and amplify it. It’s a competitive world, embrace your vulnerabilities.”

As such, Ferrier embraces his early years as under-12 state chess champion in Western Australia and his near miss as state goalkeeper for hockey. “I realised these things made me very uncool in the playground,” he says. “That’s kind of where my interest in cool and social identity stems from.”

Even the story behind how Ferrier met his wife Anna (they now have an 18-month-old son, Asterix) is offbeat. They met during through a cult called Brahma Kumaris. “I was interested in cults – I used to go along and try to disrupt what was happening,” he explains. “Anna was on a girls’ weekend and thought it was a meditation retreat.”

And he believes brands should take the same attitude: “I’d like to see brands embrace their weaknesses and be stronger and more authentic by doing that – I’d like to see a bit more honesty.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Sweeney Advertising Wins Five New Accounts, Adds Senior Staffer
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Sweeney Advertising Wins Five New Accounts, Adds Senior Staffer

Full-service boutique advertising agency Sweeney Advertising has announced five new business wins, adding $10 million in annualised billings. The agency’s new clients are real estate network Century 21, wealth creation and management company InvestSMART, online streamlined options trading platform HighLow, Japanese restaurant chain Sushi Hub, and swimming pool and accessories distributor Bestway Australia. Sweeny Advertising […]

Instagram Video: We Are Living In A Vertical World
  • Co-Lab

Instagram Video: We Are Living In A Vertical World

The way people record, share and replay their lives has changed dramatically since the advent of Facebook-owned Instagram. Once a place where only static, filtered photos could be uploaded, Instagram now offers photo and video uploads, shopping features, direct messaging and several other tools serving users and businesses. However, for Instagram head of business Jim Squires […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Yes! It’s Virtual Reality Demystified
  • Co-Lab

Yes! It’s Virtual Reality Demystified

Virtual Reality has been a staple of science fiction for some time, Though, in terms of real-life application, the world is still coming to grips with what the tool can offer us. In recent years, tech experts, doctors, medical students and videographers have used the tool as a way of exploring worlds not normally accessed in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook Messenger: The New Age Of Communications
  • Co-Lab

Facebook Messenger: The New Age Of Communications

The unparalleled success of Facebook-owned Messenger can be pinned down to its ear to the ground approach with users. Consistently listening to its user base of more than one billion, Messenger’s ability to stay not only on trend but well ahead of it has allowed the app to become a global tool for communication; be that […]

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact
  • Media

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact

UnLtd, the media, marketing and creative industry’s social purpose organisation has announced a total industry contribution of $10.5m to social impact in FY18. The total value of funds, services, inventory and time donated by the media, marketing and creative industry increased by 21per cent compared to the previous financial year due to a growth in […]

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright

We'd be headlining Danni Wright's Women in Media profile the "Wright stuff" if it wasn't utterly predictable and naff.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Posterscope Promotes Two
  • Media

Posterscope Promotes Two

Posterscope, Dentsu Aegis Network’s specialist out-of-home agency, has promoted Ryan Hedditch to the newly created position of national head of strategy and Samantha Summers to Sydney Group Business Director. In his new role, Hedditch is charged with driving the continual improvement and transformation of the Posterscope offering to clients and partners. Summers’ promotion will see her lead […]

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions
  • Media

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions

Native discovery platformOutbrain has announced several movements in its regional leadership team, with plans to make more new hires. This comes on the heels of two senior appointments it made in February, after closing a record year in the region with expansion into new markets. Yoav Tourel has been promoted to head of sales for […]

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team
  • Media

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team

Judging by the image, it seems Red Agency may have had no staff whatsoever prior to this hiring spree.

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]