“Be As Generous As You Can As Often As You Can”: 10 Of The Best With VMLY&R’s Alison Tilling

“Be As Generous As You Can As Often As You Can”: 10 Of The Best With VMLY&R’s Alison Tilling

Have you been waiting with bated breath for your daily dose of B&T’s ‘10 of the Best’ interviews? Well, here it is!

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

Of course, the series was created in celebration of our inaugural Best of the Best awards. What are they, you might ask?

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.

Here’s VMLY&R’s chief strategy officer for Australia and New Zealand, Alison Tilling. Enjoy…

Best piece of career advice…

Read fiction, make decisions and be as generous as you can as often as you can – all advice I should act on better myself.

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

I’d have to say Special Group, a bunch of people who really live up to their name. Exciting work and a generous spirit to match. Looking beyond ‘mainstream’ agencies and our own shores, there are some pretty interesting groups out there.

Best industry leader and why…

I got to work with Jonathan Mildenhall (ex-Coca Cola, ex-Airbnb) early in my career and he really is a force to be reckoned with. I still aspire to his combination of energy, creativity and kindness.

Best mentor in your life/career and why…

There are lots, and one of the things I’m really trying to do better at is supporting others in the way I’ve been supported through the years. I’ll highlight Christina Aventi – one of the smartest, funniest, insightiest and just best strategists and leaders you’ll ever meet.

While it sounds cringey, I do get a lot of mentoring from everyone on my team, who are all brilliant and in different ways. Mentoring is a two-way street, isn’t it?

Best brand you’ve never worked on and why…

Hmmm. See, when I first started working on Aldi, I’d never have predicted it would become a career highlight.

My favourite work is when there is potential in a brand and as a team you get brave around that and grow it. So, every brand can be that brand, and having that belief in the potential in everything, is pretty important.

Best song for inspiration and why…

When I started at TBWA\London many moons ago, there was a quite (okay, really frickin’) scary creative director. Whenever any of us lowly juniors went to speak with him, we played “Eye of the Tiger” to get us going. Still holds a special place in my heart.

Best mistake you’ve ever made…

Approving an incorrect posting order for iPod ‘Silhouette’ outdoor ads in Paris, on Steve Jobs’ route from his hotel to the expo hall for his keynote. Made for an interesting late-night trip around Paris in a JC Decaux van. The devil really is in the detail.

Best ad of the past decade and why…

Okay, so this is tricky to pick one. I know it’s cool to be all cynical, but I really love advertising, and while there is a lot of mediocrity out there (and I’ve been involved in my fair share over the years), there is a lot to love and aspire to, too.

At the moment, ‘Womb Stories’ from Bodyform and AMV BBDO would be up there.

Best guilty pleasure…

I don’t believe in feeling guilty about pleasure. There’s plenty else out there to feel guilty about.




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