“Always Hire People That Are Better Than You”: 10 Of The Best With Wavemaker’s Peter Vogel

“Always Hire People That Are Better Than You”: 10 Of The Best With Wavemaker’s Peter Vogel

We’re making your FriYay even better with another interview as part of B&T’s ‘10 of the Best’ series, created in celebration of our inaugural Best of the Best awards.

[Looking for the live stream of B&T’s Best of the Best awards? You’ve found it – click here!]

Presented by Finecast, Best of the Best will bring something unique to this year’s awards season. While most awards focus on the work of an agency or company as a whole, Best of the Best will celebrate the immense individual talent on show in every area of advertising, marketing and media.

Our Best of the Best awards will also be celebrating the people who continue to do the most, with categories for mentors and social change-makers.

You can find a breakdown of all the different categories here, along with a downloadable file outlining the full submission criteria.

Come on, you know you want to enter! Head on over HERE to complete your submission/s by Friday 25 June 2021.

To inspire you even more to enter Best of the Best, we’re continuing to publish some fab interviews with a number of senior folk from Finecast and the broader WPP AUNZ network.

We’ve asked them everything from their best piece of career advice, to the best mistake they’ve ever made, to their best guilty pleasure.

Our next cab off the rank is Wavemaker’s CEO for Australia and New Zealand, Peter Vogel. Enjoy…

Best piece of career advice…

Always hire people that are better than you. Your people make the difference, so be sure to inspire and empower them. And, when I was on the client side, my first boss said: “Peter, your key job is to get everyone at our agency wanting to and asking to work on your brands.”

Best agency in Australia at the moment (that’s not yours) and why…

Mmmm, a difficult one, so will have to say the agency that my dearest friend founded, Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder. Creative, authentic and all-round great operators.

If I flip from a ‘heart’ to a ‘head’ choice, I will say AKQA. They are the leaders in digital transformation and customer experience marketing – key to future-proofing one’s business.

Best industry leader and why…

It would be unfair to single out just one person. Looking through my WhatsApp groups, all I can say is that Australia is very lucky to have a community of so many great industry leaders, be they at agencies, media owners, industry bodies or marketers. So, I will go with someone not in our market – Jim Taylor, who I founded an agency with. He was a true pioneer and leader in the media industry, a brilliant strategist with great ideas, and always looking for better ways to grow brands.

Best mentor in your life/career and why…

John ‘Steady’ Steedman. Not only did he give me my first job in Australia, but he has been a mentor to me ever since. I admire his qualities, principles and the way he operates. Honesty and transparency are non-negotiables. He’s always extremely supportive, sharing his vast experience and knowledge of our industry. But, most importantly, he was an inspiring leader who totally trusted and empowered the people that worked for him. It was never about himself – it was all about helping the people around him to succeed. And now that he is retired, he remains a great personal friend.

Best brand you’ve never worked on and why…

That’s easy. In Australia, it has to be Bunnings. One of the most trusted brands in Australia and a central part of our country’s fabric and community. Their advertising is authentic, and their customer service and experience are unmatched. One often hears, ‘I love going to Bunnings and just walking around.’ Not many retail brands can claim that. Not only do they have great products, but they’re also a destination. And who doesn’t love their sausage sizzles? All round, a greatly admired and very successful Australian brand!

Best song for inspiration and why…

“We are the Champions” by Queen. This is what we all strive for in our industry.

Best mistake you’ve ever made…

Like everyone, I make mistakes almost every day. The key thing is to learn from them quickly and be humble – fail fast to succeed sooner.

Best rumour you’ve heard about yourself…

I have the ‘biggest hands’ in the industry and that I am very shy and softly spoken.

Best ad of the past decade and why…

Wow, there are so many … one immediately smiles when you think of Old Spice’s ‘Smell like a Man, Man’ or Cadbury’s ‘In the Air Tonight’. But the real standouts for me are Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, and what has to be the best, boldest and bravest; Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad. It is very rare that brands take such a strong stand, particularly when they run the risk of being divisive. The great thing is that not only did they stand up for what they believed in, but that the ad also delivered strong sales uplifts, proving that sticking to one’s principles does work and will be rewarded.

Best guilty pleasure…

Red wine, cheese and my vape; very importantly, shared with close friends and family at The Crag.




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