The 30 under 30 Awards are BACK! Ahead of this year’s awards, we spoke to 2013 30U30 Winner David Gray about the value the awards provide to the industry, the MADDEST thing he’s done in his career to date and what’s next for him in the future.
What does winning a B&T 30U30 award mean to you?
Winning an award such as this is incredibly motivating as it’s a nod from some of the most successful people in our industry that your hard work is paying off and you are heading in the right direction. It’s also been a fantastic opportunity to connect with others who share my passion for shaping the future of this industry.
What value do you think the B&T 30U30 awards provide to the media industry? Why are they so important?
I think it provides a lot of value to the industry because it drives young people to push themselves. Knowing there is a platform available to get you on the industry’s radar is a highly appealing proposition to many in the earlier stage of their career. It encourages young people to strive for greatness despite their years of experience, and everyone benefits from this – themselves, their individual agency or workplace and the industry.
Any advice for those out there looking to enter the B&T 30U30 awards this year?
Time, time, time. Yes, not the most exciting advice ever but it’s important. Such big questions to answer in such a small amount of words – allowing yourself the time to craft these answers perfectly is invaluable. And show your personality – that is always the best way to differentiate yourself from others.
What’s the MADDEST thing you’ve done in your career to date?
Attending the Cannes Festival of Creativity. Hands down. I went as part of the Young Lions competition which is a phenomenal experience to have at an early stage of your career. The people, the seminars, the parties, the friends made – there is nothing else I’ve experienced in my career that even comes close!
What’s next for you in the future?
New York City. I’m packing my bags and leaving next month. For me this step is about challenging myself in a totally new environment – new people, new city, new working culture. It’s something I’m throwing myself into in the hope I come out the other end a more rounded strategist and person (and also alive!).
What three words would you use to describe the future of digital media?
Shaped by people.
What is the biggest challenge you are facing when it comes to engaging with a digital audience?
I wish it was only digital audiences that posed a challenge! I believe it is a challenge for brands to truly connect with people regardless of the channel. For me, it has less to do with the channel and more to do with the role a brand plays in the life of its current or future customer. If you can uncover that you will have a much higher chance of engaging with someone no matter what channel you decide to communicate in.
What are the MADDEST words you’ve ever heard?
“Control the controllable.” It’s something my Dad says to me and although it may not be as inspiring as some other quotes I’ve heard or advice I’ve been given it is something that helps me a lot… It’s all about not wasting your energy worrying about things outside of your control, channel that energy into the things that are in your control and make them great.
Find out more information about the 2014 B&T 30U30 Awards