Did you miss B&T‘s latest mag issue? Firstly, subscribe here so you never miss out again. Secondly, you’re in luck, because we’re bringing you all the best from the mag and putting it online. You’re welcome.
Marketing Mavericks was a supplement in the latest mag, featuring some of Australia’s most daring and bold marketers. Today, we’re bringing you IAG’s chief marketing officer, Brent Smart.
Yodelling Liverpool Tragic
Brent Smart was once a bigwig ad-man. These days, he’s a marketing maverick. Across a 20-year advertising career, he’s spent time in senior positions at M&C Saatchi, Colenso BBDO and BBDO San Francisco. Before taking on the CMO role at IAG, Brent spent nearly five years abroad in the Big Apple, heading up at Saatchi & Saatchi as its chief exec. With a hard-to-top resume including working on Super Bowl spots and plenty of Cannes Lions winning work, it’s no wonder Brent’s new marketing career has been quick to take-off.
After 20 years in agencies, I was frustrated the marketers I worked with weren’t buying what I thought were the right ideas. So I thought, what if I could be the person that says yes to ideas? Maybe I could make more great work actually happen. That was my sole motivation and remains so today.
What makes me a marketing maverick is I always put the work first. Always. It’s the only thing that actually touches the customer, builds a brand and drives a sale. Not enough marketers do. I mean, just look at the state of marketing: most of it is pollution. So I guess that makes me different from most … and a bit of a maverick.
The most innovative campaign I’ve directed at IAG would be the idea that the homes of koalas need protecting, and planting a tree for every policy we sold to do just that. It doesn’t sound all that innovative, but it was an innovative way to talk about home insurance. When the bushfires hit, we doubled down on our commitment to koalas, and in just three days we created a partnership with the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and revised our creative. In a typical month, the whole insurance category gets about 40,000 actions (likes, shares, comments) on social media. We got 90,000 in 48 hours. I love it when we move at the speed of culture.
What always works in marketing? Great work. It can be emotional, it can be funny, it can be insightful, it can be beautiful, but it needs to be crafted and crafted some more. People can tell the difference, they can feel the craft, it stands out, it moves us, it stays with us. But it’s not easy, or everyone would be doing it. What doesn’t work is good enough. It’s good enough for the brief, for the category, for the budget, for the timeline, for me not to get in trouble with my boss. Because when customers see it, it’s not good enough for them to remember, talk about or care about.
Best day of your life that doesn’t involve soppy stuff?
Liverpool winning the Premier League. I’ve had to wait 30 years.
Any hidden talents?
Karaoke. Although people who work with me would say it’s not that hidden. And definitely not a talent.
The latest NGINX campaign is live as The Misfits Media Company, and NGINX creates parodic ‘investigative reporter’ content with Dan Ilic on the streets of Sydney. The Misfits recently partnered with the APAC marketing team at NGINX to take an investigative deep dive into the world of mobile apps as the good, bad and (even) […]
Trade publisher AMT Pty Ltd has announced the acquisition of Radio Today, the Australian media and marketing sector’s go-to source for radio news, analysis, ratings and jobs. AMT currently publishes Radioinfo in Australia & New Zealand, Asia and Africa, and was a key partner in bringing the annual Radiodays conference to Asia. Radio Today will continue to […]
Mediahub Australia has made its most significant restructuring to date, as it positions itself to professionally manage the changing world of broadcast technology and consumer viewing habits. The most significant new appointment, and one of many, is Scott Jolly being promoted to the role of chief operating officer. As COO, Jolly now has full responsibility for the […]
For Melbourne, the past 18 months have been largely dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Despite this, The Trade Desk has managed to establish one of its most successful offices. Here, The Trade Desk lead director, client strategy, Kali Guillas [pictured], explains how the Melbourne office has managed to thrive. We are in a […]
Australian Comedian Hannah Gadsby has slammed Netflix executive, Ted Sarandos after he used Gadsby’s presence on the platform to defend Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special on Netflix. Chappelle’s recent comedy special, The Closer, which debuted on Netflix last week, has been met with backlash, after Chappelle used his special to discuss transgender and gay people, […]
Acast has announced its partnership with Samsung Electronics Australia to produce and distribute the company’s first branded podcast within the Australian market. The Rule Benders podcast will feature conversations with extraordinary Australians who have bent the rules, defied convention, and redefined what is possible. Rule Benders is a six-week branded podcast campaign, with a new […]
DocuSign Australia this week unveils its first work with independent creative agency, Hardhat, encouraging people to ‘Next time, DocuSign’. Spearheading the campaign is an influencer series featuring entrepreneurial business leaders Janine Allis, Jules Jund and Emma Isaacs sharing stories of oversights and slip ups during important business deals. The three ‘That time I screwed up’ […]
Global experience design agency Imagination, has expanded its Sydney team, with the appointment of two new key hires. Ashley Diamond (pictured below), with over 18 years experience across large scale events and broadcast quality content production, joins as project director to continue driving the growth of Imaginations’ largest clients. “The people, the work and the […]
Switch, an award-winning digital agency has announced the appointment of Matt Watson as its technical director. Watson joins Switch at an exciting time as the business focuses on its growth strategy and bringing the best talent in the market to deliver exceptional outcomes for customers. Watson is the most recent talent appointment by Switch, after […]
Rolling Stone Australia publisher The Brag Media has announced that the Sailor Jerry Rolling Stone Australia Awards will be back for a second year in 2022, with a star-studded party to reunite the music industry following extended lockdowns. For the first time, a free live event series will spearhead the return of live music in […]
Hayley Fisher [pictured] is the AUNZ Country Manager at Adyen. In this op-ed, she discusses the upcoming holidays sales season and explains marketers can help drive sales. Over the 18-months the pace of ecommerce has accelerated to new heights. According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record $44.2 billion was […]