To mark the 10 year anniversary of B&T‘s 30 Under 30 Awards, we’ve embarked on a journey to hunt down our first ever winners and find out what they’re up to now.
In 2010, ten of these individuals were already principals of businesses (mostly agencies).
There were eight suits, five strategists, four creatives and three client-side marketers.
We’ll travel to New York, San Francisco, Massachusetts, London, Singapore and across Australia.
The talented 20-something year olds have become highly successful CEOs, MDs, group heads, investors, founders, creative directors, heads of marketing and, perhaps most importantly, parents.
We’ve already sat down with CHE Proximity boss Chris Howatson.
Next on the list is innovation expert Nic Hodges who now runs a strategic growth advisory for startups and media companies.
Then: head of innovation & technology, Mediacom
Now: founder – Blonde3; VP of Growth – inkl
After studying and working in Industrial Design, Hodges completed a Masters in Multimedia while working for a mobile tech start-up.
He then joined what was at the time a fledgeling digital agency, Sputnik. Working as designer, coder and builder he left in 2007, the year it won B&T‘s Interactive Agency gong.
Nic then moved into big agency world, starting at M&C Saatchi Melbourne as digital art director and moving the following year to Sydney, taking up a role initially as creative director of NetX.
The agency had just moved in with Clemenger BBDO where Nic turned the separate digital offerings into one strong integrated agency.
Over the next two years, the agency more than doubled digital revenue and picked up several international awards.
Andy Mallinson, Nic’s former NetX boss and then marketing director at Fitness First said: “Nic is a genius.
“A master of all trades and Jack of none. He has that rare talent in a digital creative of being both conceptual and technical.”
How do you think being nominated affected your career, if at all?
Advertising and media have always been an industry that’s embraced young folk relatively well.
We’re really lucky in that sense, and at the time I was lucky that people had faith in me to lead a significant and critical part of the business.
So in a sense, 30 Under 30 didn’t cause any huge external change.
Internally, however, the recognition gave me real confidence in what I was doing, and my ability to be a leader in the industry.
What’s been the biggest change in your life since then?
The last ten years have been a continuous period of change – that’s the nature of the things I’m fascinated by and the work I love doing. I’ve managed to remain based in Melbourne, but have been fortunate to work around the world with an increasing focus on media companies and start-ups.
These days I run my own strategic growth consultancy, which thankfully keeps the change coming thick and fast.
What words of wisdom would you have shared with your 29-year-old self back then knowing what you do now?
Most people won’t. So it’s those that do who change everything.
What are you most proud of?
There’s certainly not “one big thing” that I’m most proud of over the last ten years. The most rewarding part of what I do is the work with startups.
I work with founders for anything from a few hours to a few months to help them understand how to market and build a brand.
The leaps and bounds that these founders can make in such short periods are absolutely phenomenal.
What do you see as the biggest challenges that face young people in advertising, marketing and media these days?
Not robots. There’s never been more complexity, and more thinking required to create effective and interesting work in this industry.
The jobs aren’t about to be automated, and in fact, the biggest challenge is knowing what to focus on.
Conversely, what’s the biggest opportunity for those under 30 now?
It’s really related to that challenge of knowing what to focus on and knowing what’s next. I feel like many young folk I speak with today are either trying to be generalists or specialists.
I think there’s a danger in both – and I’d say the biggest opportunity is to aim to always be a specialist in 3 to 4 areas, and always be evolving what those things are.
What can the industry do better to attract and retain young talent?
The competition for talent used to be other big businesses. Increasingly it’s smaller, faster growing, and more interesting businesses.
Demonstrating the career opportunities and the variety that comes with this industry is something that I still don’t think is done well enough.
The experience and opportunities in the industry are huge, but it takes a while to realise that.
Entries for B&T‘s 30 Under 30 Awards for 2019 are now open. For all the details, click here. Tickets are also available for B&T Bootcamp, a day of speed mentoring and masterclasses aimed at up and comers in the industry.
Carlton Draught has delivered on its promise to launch limited-edition “#Baggers22” Carlton Draught cans in time for the club’s most important home-and-away game in at least a decade. In a last-ditch effort to rally the Blues faithful ahead of what could be the club’s first AFL Finals series since 2013, fans are expected to rush […]
B&T's Women in Media breakfast was a spectacular success. And that's despite us sleeping in & missing the opening bit.
LiSTNR has congratulated its podcast teams for securing eight finalist nominations in the 2022 Podcast Awards, including Podcast Company of the Year and two finalists in Podcast of the Year. The awards, managed by Radio Today, celebrate podcasting excellence across a number of categories, with a panel of expert judges drawn from the industry. LiSTNR […]
Australia’s Own has launched a re-branding, celebrating its longstanding time in Australian shops and bringing the brand into 2022 and beyond with the help of Jam&Co. The rebranding features a distinctive new look with an ‘Aussie’ character and green tone, and covers the brand’s full range from cow’s milk to the various plant-based options offered. […]
Pop sensation BTS and Samsung Electronics have continued their collaboration, releasing a campaign for the new Flip4 phone as part of the biannual Galaxy Unpacked event. As part of its global activation, Samsung launched an hour-long takeover of the world’s iconic screens in popular districts including 15 digital billboards across New York’s Times Square, one […]
Global digital merchandising technology company Coates Group has been named a global partner to quick service restaurant, McDonald’s. The relationship between Coates and McDonald’s, which currently spans 50 years, is set to continue thanks to the recent announcement which is the largest global agreement between the two companies to date. Coates was recently named McDonald’s […]
Reddit has today announced a new Developer Platform a unified space for developers to create and launch programs and apps to run specifically on the platform that will make it simpler and more engaging for users. The Reddit Developer Platform will focus on improving support, flexibility and performance for Reddit’s third party developers, and will […]
Michael Cassel Group today announced the appointment of journalist Nathanael Cooper as director, publicity to spearhead the company’s Australian and global communication campaigns and strategy. Cooper was previously the executive producer, audio at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, responsible for the audio strategy and distribution at both publications. He also hosted the daily […]
Programmatic marketing group Crimtan today announced the appointment of Jeff Purser (pictured) as its new ANZ sales director. In his new role, Purser will be responsible for driving revenue and results for Crimtan’s broad customer base across Australia and New Zealand. He will be working closely with JAPAC commercial director, Joshua Wilson, to build on […]