Women In Media: It’s JWT’s Carly Yanco!

Women In Media: It’s JWT’s Carly Yanco!

In today’s installment of our Women in Media profiles, where we dive deep into the worlds of amazing industry women, we chat with senior planner for J Walter Thompson Sydney, Carly Yanco.

Describe your average day?

They are always different. As a planner you’re often working across a range of different brands, which each having their own range of dynamics and challenges to navigate.

One minute I could be developing an approach to for a new type of chocolate bar, the next I might be digging into consumer data around home loans and then the next briefing in our creative teams on a haircare social campaign.

There’s an art to switching gears quickly and maintaining the depth of knowledge you need to be effective for each.

What’s the most challenging thing about your job?

Trying to explain it to my parents.

What drives you?

Unfamiliar situations and people that give me an opportunity to learn. I’m the most motivated when I feel there’s something I don’t know and need to figure out.

What’s the hardest brief you’ve ever received or hardest job to execute?

“Build affinity for coal”.

What has been your favourite job in media and why?

I think you have to make them all your favourite at some point. Finding something to be passionate about in every job is tied to my sense of satisfaction at work.

You can’t expect to just be handed wonderful briefs and brands at every turn (though that happens too) – it’s like a relationship, you have to make an effort to find the passion over and over again.

What’s your proudest professional moment?

When I realised the part of my job I was most intimidated by (public speaking!) was probably the part I was best at.

One thing no one knows about you?

I think magic exists.

What are advertising/marketing’s biggest challenges or threats?

The biggest challenges would be shrinking budgets and increasing risk aversion. On a smaller scale there are also some dynamics at play that are having a significant impact on our industry.

One I face almost daily is this special sort of chaos that’s emerged as result of the hype and uncertainty attached to social media.

There’s equal amounts of anxiety about what works and excitement about the latest and greatest new platform that we can lose sight of what we’ve always known, which is that good creative told via the most appropriate channel for that audience is what is effective.

What do you think are the most exciting things in the marketing and creative world at the moment?

Despite it being a challenge, by far the most exciting prospect for us creatively is the explosion of new technologies, platforms and formats for us to communicate through.

It’s easy to be sceptical of “six second ads” and “the next big social channel” but we’re essentially being given an entirely new canvas to paint every month.

If you were CEO what would you do differently?

Assign KPIs against “we failed but it was worth it” projects.

Hardest lesson you’ve had to learn (in or out of workforce)?

Being out of my comfort zone is my comfort zone.

Cats or dogs?

Dogs – I like to be needed.

Guilty pleasure?

Red wine.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – there’s genius in the way he makes people care about subjects that are dull but important.

What turns you on, emotionally, creatively, spirituality?

Clarity of thought.

What turns you off?


What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

An astronaut. I think space holds all the answers.

What profession would you not like to do?

An astronaut. I’m afraid of heights.

Have you ever felt like giving up?

Of course, it’s usually right before things start going to plan.

What are the pearls of wisdom you know now, that you wish you knew when they were younger?

For better or worse, people buy confidence as much as they do experience.

What is your favourite word?


What is your least favourite word?



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