Thicker Than Water: The Tucker Family

Thicker Than Water: The Tucker Family

They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and, with the Tuckers, that’s certainly the case.

Lead image L-R: Mum Carolyn, Dad Stuart, daughter Sophie, daughter Rachel.

Father Stuart has 35 years of marketing experience across multiple brands including Amex, KFC, Optus, CommBank and Aussie. He’s now the chief customer officer at hipages.

Meanwhile, daughters Rachel and Sophie started their careers in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Sophie is currently a business manager at TBWA while Rachel, after a spell at TBWA as well, is now an associate at advisory and investment business Sayers, responsible for brand momentum. B&T caught up with the Tuckers to find out why the family has such a connection to the industry.

As an industry family, how did you all get started in the business?

As little kids, Dad would ask us what we think about ads all the time. “Look at that billboard – the branding is terrible!”, “What do you think of that ad on the back of a bus”, “Did you like that TV ad?”.

It was inevitable that we’d eventually go on to study and love brand and marketing.

At school and uni, no one ever teaches you about the different kinds of roles within marketing. They don’t tell you about creative and media agencies, or consulting, or all the sub-functions and teams within a marketing department. We were lucky to have Dad explain that to us pretty early on.

The younger Tuckers. L-R: Stuart, Sophie, Rachel.

Both Sophie and Rachels’ foot into the industry was via Stuart. Rachel did unpaid work experience at M&C Saatchi and Ikon Media (AKQA) when Dad was a client, and Sophie did work experience at Binge through a colleague in the industry.

Though it sounds ‘nepo’, thankfully we’ve learnt from Dad how to make and keep relationships, in life and work, so we were able to secure our first full-time roles through relationships we’d made during work experience stints (or an enthusiastic referral from a big sister at TBWA!).

Were other family members supportive?

Mum (Carolyn) is a chemical engineer, so she feels left out regularly when we talk about industry stuff. She’s learning though! We bombard her with marketing BS and acronyms, constantly telling her that ‘she wouldn’t understand’.

Stuart’s parents have always thought it would be a good idea for us to start a business together – cute – but never going to happen…

Your family connections, is it an advantage?

It’s absolutely an advantage for all parties.

The girls ring Dad as the first point of call for advice. Always.

We get introduced to contacts, clients and mentors. In some instances, the girls have introduced Dad to senior clients who have become peers in the industry. And in some instances we have shared mentees/mentors – Dad has mentored people, who have mentored us!

We get invitations to events and speaking events like SXSW and marketing conferences.

Dad has helped us both so much. He’s helped us crack briefs, prepare for big exec presentations, and come up with ideas for clients, AWARD school and work social events. We get advice on everything from award submission, to interview responses, to thought pieces and articles.

It also means that Stuart is generally across the ‘Gen Z’ trends as well – #slay.

It can be frustrating when senior marketers don’t have a properly informed understanding of new and emerging trends, cultural sentiment and comms channels (i.e. TikTok, Threads, or even evolving formats of digital platforms), so it’s awesome that Dad is always armed, not only with 35 years of knowledge and things he knows to be true but also with the latest trends and channels intel.

Have your paths crossed professionally? If so, is it awkward?

Soph and Rach have worked together briefly at TBWA. We didn’t work directly with each other as we weren’t on the same team or the same clients, but it was really nice being able to see each other every day.

It’s nice having someone to pull up a chair with or make side-eyes across the office.

When you get together or attend a family event do you have a no-work talk rule?

No way – it’s on for young and old.

Rarely do we catch up without talking about campaigns (good and bad), plus new trends, and new media. Also people movements within the industry. “Did you hear that such and such moved to…..?”

Any fun stories at family Christmas that impact your work lives?

We always have a fun time at Christmas, but luckily nothing too impactful for our work lives.

Tucker family Christmas is generally filled with lots and lots of amazing food cooked by Nana (Stuart’s mum) and a range of robust conversations. No doubt this Christmas we’ll debrief everything; from the big issues like The Voice and the Israel-Palestine conflict to the trivial like the best and worst Christmas ads we’ve seen.

Oh, and lots and lots of wine. What could possibly go wrong?

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