Why did the chicken cross the road? To chat with managing director of integrated creative agency HBT, David Hayes. For this industry profile, Hayes spills some secrets to B&T about what he would change in the media industry and two pieces of advice he would give to his younger self.
What’s your backstory? (The non-LinkedIn one)
I started out as a trainee account exec. After two years, I quit, to try to get into the creative side of the business, but had to take another AE job to get back in.
That led to an AE job with Peter Harvie, who really gave me my start.
My heart wasn’t in it (account work) and Peter said, “Well, I think you’re good at something … but this isn’t it. You’d like to try copywriting, wouldn’t you?”
He was like that with everyone – very aware of his people. We used to say that we’d have jumped out of the (8th storey) window if he’d asked us to.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
The dream – being (Black Keys’) Dan Auerbach.
The reality – I have no idea.
Who’s your industry hero?
Like every copywriter, David Abbott.
Closer to home, David Blackley did an incredible job of building Clemenger’s creative credentials. He also wrote one of Australia’s best ever TVCs. (Mercedes Benz “Crash”.) World class.
What would you change about the industry?
I’d get creative and media under one roof again. What we’re currently doing to each other is insane, and clients are getting much less as a result.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
On the one hand, compromise less. On the other, “relax”.
What’s one thing not many know about you?
A lot of things. I tend to keep to myself.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I’m not sure about quirky … but I’ve always liked driving old cars, which are seriously impractical, then selling them just before the value goes crazy. If you want to make money off an old car, buy one from me. I’m also pretty good at picking the slow queue.
What’s your pet hate?
Drivers who don’t wave “thank you” when you let them in. It’s symptomatic of everything that’s wrong with the world. Oh …. and when people leave the fan on in the toilet in our office. You’re just burning that fan motor.
If you could be Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
If Tony was still PM, I’d say “resign”.
If I was Malcolm (presumptuous, because he’s probably about three steps ahead of the rest of us), I’d call an election as soon as possible, to give him the mandate to do the stuff that really needs doing – and get those right wing nutters off his back.
What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
A cheesy gag.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee. About that many.