When she’s not showing off cycling around corners with no hands, or appearing in Harry Potter films, creative Charlie Bruton is digital agency THe NEST’S executive producer.
What drives you?
Whenever I’m travelling or taking some time away from work and I see or experience new and incredible, creative digital, the excitement rushes back. There is something absolutely thrilling about seeing something new come to life, and watching it change the way our friends and family are experiencing daily life. Banking apps like ANZ Grow and the kid-friendly PayPig from Westpac along with websites like AirBnb have changed the way we vacation and manage our money. I now order three out of five lunches a week via Hey You. It’s the elegant ideas like these that push me every day; it’s hard not be to excited by the possibilities.
What’s the hardest brief you’ve ever received or hardest job to execute?
We are currently working on creating a clinical research app in association with Sydney University. The timeline of the project will span over five years so I have to teach myself a new version of patience. It’s an absolutely fascinating project and one that is allowing us to develop a totally new way of designing and producing research technology. It’s challenging in the best way possible as it’s forcing us to think and develop in an innovative manner. It’s a professional dream to work on something that is pioneering the way in which we collect and analyse medical data.
What has been your favourite job in media and why?
I was a very small part of an activation years ago to turn Bondi Icebergs into the world’s biggest eski for a Bourbon brand. I’m British, so having the chance to do something this outlandish in my adopted city at such an iconic location was ridiculous fun and will always be memorable.
What brand of campaign would you like to get your hands on and why?
When I first moved to Sydney’s Darlinghurst over four years ago and saw ACON’s ‘Ending HIV’ campaign, I thought it was genius. It was highly creative, incredibly engaging and in my eyes, transformed a serious clinical topic into something easy to discuss and human, whilst reducing stigma at the same time. I’ve been lucky enough to work on Frost*collective’s 2015 campaign for ACON. I think every marketer dreams of working on campaigns that do genuine social good, so I feel honoured to be a part of this one.
What would be your ultimate role?
I’m most excited by elegant digital outdoor executions that have elements of gamification. My ultimate role would be working on projects that use digital solutions to encourage us to interact with each other and our surroundings in a more meaningful way.
What gets your goat?
V6, V7, V8… endless tweaking, although I respect the studio’s passion to get things right. Interestingly, I’ll often look back at original creative and it’ll have the most powerful impact.
What’s your proudest professional moment?
I recently spoke on a panel at VIVID alongside some of my most respected peers. Discussing the global digital landscape with such a passionate audience reminded me how lucky I am to work in such an exciting industry, where we are creating and defining the digital landscape rather than just watching it unfold.
Who do you think is the best creative in Australia and/or the world?
I saw Stefan Sagmeister speak last year at Sydney Theatre and was in awe.
He showed and said things that have genuinely changed my life. I can’t get enough of his TedTalks, he is truly an inspiration.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I can cycle no-hands around corners. Cycling is my personal form of meditation.
One thing no one knows about you?
I was an extra in the first Harry Potter movie. Depressingly, I was in Ravenclaw for most of it.
What are advertising/marketing’s biggest threats and opportunities?
The democratisation of technology and the proliferation of such varied and evolving social media have to be up there as the key threats. Traditional advertising is constantly battling with an ever-growing pool of multi-platform content that users are dipping and diving to avoid, always aiming to curate their own personal channel of visual and audio consumption.
Right now anyone can “talk” to a brand; we no longer rely on painstakingly and artistically crafted messages to aid those relationships. Trusted conversation and personalised content means more to us than powerful themes that used to act as the hook. If an agency can learn and own this type of communication in the express manner users expect then the opportunities are seemingly endless.
What’s different in a creative role today compared to five years ago?
I can only speak from a production perspective, but I think multi-skilled collaboration is much more predominant now. Five years ago I could brief one designer on a concept or design for a new web environment or an app, now as a team we involve 3D render artists, art directors, copywriters for online content pieces, video content producers and even wearable specialists. Everything we create can and should work on up to ten platforms, so learning how to cooperate effectively and in an agile fashion is more important than ever if you’re looking to produce digital and design excellence.
What do you think are the most exciting things in the marketing and creative world at the moment?
I’m really enjoying watching how service applications are affecting us politically right now. It feels like there’s a new dawn in regards to what can be achieved using technology. The UBER case study is proof that technology can be a key driver in changing policy, which is very exciting. I believe that these channels will also morph into the next platform for brands to market. Who doesn’t love the UBER/ Kittens/ Puppies/ Messina co-labs!?
Describe your average day?
Our whole team scrums at 9am for 10 minutes and then the rest of the morning is usually taken up with WIPs and client meetings. I think it’s important to have a really straight to-the-point understanding of what everyone is up to on a given day; it sets the tone for the day and stops you stepping on toes. I try to save afternoons for producing documentation and focusing on strategy. I try (and often fail) to spend at least 45 minutes every day teaching myself something new. It’s a good habit to fall into. Mashable’s free courses are an incredible resource.
Tea of coffee?
Cats or dogs?
Dogs. One day I’ll own 10 huskies. Currently training my white ragdoll cat to bark.
Cheese platters for dinner three (sometime four) nights a week.
What’s your favourite TV programme?
Luther! Or Would I lie to you? on UKTV. It’s comedy genius.
Your house is on fire and the arsonists have nicked your car. What would you save?
I’d try my hardest to save my housemates. After grabbing the barking cat.