30 Under 30: How Sailing And Whisky Helped Open Jules Hall’s The Hallway

30 Under 30: How Sailing And Whisky Helped Open Jules Hall’s The Hallway
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The 2021 30 Under 30 Awards, presented by Vevo, are inching ever closer, with entries for B&T’s annual showcase of the industry’s best young talent open.

It’s an awards show that aims to set-up, and celebrate, the careers and successes-to-be of ad-land’s new wave; and as we near Thursday, 15 April, when the crème will be crowned at 30 Under 30, we’re chatting with Australia’s advertising success stories.

They’re the people you know, the faces familiar, the best and brightest and highest brass of ad-land. And chances are, they have a piece of advice or two that’ll set you up for your next step.

Jules Hall is the chief executive of The Hallway, a wholly independent, full-service advertising agency that picked up ‘NSW Agency of the Year’ at the 2020 B&T Awards.

It’s a company that lives by the obligation of, “every time we’re given a dollar, you’ve got to give more than a dollar back”.

It’s also an agency that began from unlikely beginnings, arising from Hall’s love of sailing, with Jameson Irish Whiskey as its foundational client.

Thirteen years on from first opening its doors, The Hallway now has the aspiration of being Australia’s most valued communications company. But what does it take to make it?

After all, as Hall tells me, “everyone knows advertising is not an easy game”.

His advice to young creatives beginning their journey into advertising is to tap into the experience and wisdom of others. Find the person who has done what you want to do, get to know them, and “it’s amazing what advice people will share,” he says.

“It’s taken me a while to learn this lesson,” Hall says, “but someone has always done what you want to do, already. And you can save yourself a lot of time by working out who those people are and by getting in touch with them early.”

Now in his thirteenth year as chief executive of The Hallway, Hall says that he still aims to tap into the wisdom of his peers.

“I think I’ve done that, subliminally in the early days, and I’m doing that increasingly consciously now. If I look back to my earlier self, I wouldn’t change a lot of the decisions I’ve made.

“But I could have had an easier journey at times if I’d been better at tapping into some of other people’s wisdoms a little more and a little earlier.”

The Hallway’s foundational client was the none too shabby Jameson Irish Whiskey. But as it turns out, there’s quite the story behind how the Pernod Ricard-owned distiller signed with The Hallway.

A former professional sailor, and GB Rowing Team member, Hall first established a relationship with Jameson in Britain, where he and a team of mates had convinced the distiller to sponsor them.

That relationship stayed after Hall made the move to Australia, in the years prior to the establishment of The Hallway, when opportunity came knocking.

“I moved over here and one of the directors from Pernod Ricard relocated to Australia, and I persuaded him to do the same again [sponsor us again]. So, we bought an old yacht. Jameson Irish Whiskey sponsored it. We raced on Sydney Harbour and the big thing was getting brand in hand moments, which was brilliant, because that meant we had cases of Jameson on the yacht.

“We’d finish racing, we’d tie-up with other boats and just have a party and we’d have all the booze. And anyway, it was actually off the back of that, that one day I was in the pub, or it was an Irish bar with the brand manager, and he said: ‘look Jules, you know our brand better than anyone in Australia. We want you to take on our advertising account.’

“Then I said to him, ‘Matt, I’m just about to start my own agency. I’ve got this vision, I need a foundation client, what do you reckon?’, and he choked on his whisky,” Hall tells me, laughing as he recalls the memory.

“When I spoke with his boss, and they came back and said, ‘we’ll give you a 12-month trial’. And that was how The Hallway was founded.”

As cliché as it sounds, Hall tells me, you just never know when opportunity can come knocking.

Be bold, and enter B&T’s 30 Under 30 Awards! You can submit your entry here.

The 30 Under 30 Awards will be held at The Factory Theatre, Sydney on Thursday, 15 April.

If you’d like more information on the event, head to this website.

Other key information

  • Entries close Monday, 22 February 2021
  • Late entries close Monday, 1 March 2021
  • People’s Choice Poll launches Wednesday, 3 March 2021
  • Judging period: Wednesday, 3 March to Friday, 19 March 2021
  • Shortlist announced Wednesday, 24 March 2021
  • Early bird tickets close at 11.59pm Wednesday, 2 April 2021
  • Full price tickets on sale at 12am Thursday, 3rd April 2021 (until sold out)
  • People’s Choice Poll closes Friday, 26 March 2021.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors for making this event possible.

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30 under 30 2021 Jules Hall The Hallway

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