In 2019, Victoria Brennan was awarded a B&T 30 Under 30 award for media planning and buying, a prize that came shortly after her promotion to Wavemaker’s coveted head of technology role.
The B&T 30 Under 30 Awards are back in 2021, held at The Factory Theatre, Sydney on Thursday, 15 April.
But prior to the awards show, we’ve been chatting to professionals around our industry to see where their journeys began, and to find out just what has brought them their successes, to date.
Victoria Brennan joins this cohort as a recent 30 Under 30 winner and the current head of technology at WPP AUNZ’s Wavemaker, with a decorated CV of working with some of the world’s biggest companies.
But you could find that out on LinkedIn. Here, Brennan reveals what got her started in adland and why she’s stuck around, and revealed perhaps the most unique hidden talent I’ve ever encountered.
She also reveals why she considers technology to be a double-edged sword, a space where adapting means staying alive. “You have to be quick to get your head around it and respond,” she says.
Vic, what advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to own your success.
If you weren’t working in our industry, where would you be?
I always wanted to be an English teacher, inspiring the younger generations to love literature. (Think Dead Poet’s Society). Settled for inspiring them to love Excel instead.
What’s a hidden talent of yours?
I can name the artist and song of any Motown track within the first five beats. My dad is a die-hard fan so it’s a Brennan family initiation.
When and where did you begin your professional journey?
My first job out of university was working in recruitment. I was absolutely rubbish and I hated it. But as chance would have it I was recruiting for digital media roles—I’d never heard of this industry before so it became my gateway.
After 10 painful months recruiting, I resigned and recruited myself into a graduate role at MediaCom in Manchester. And the rest is history!
How has the advertising, marketing and media landscape changed since you entered it?
Working in digital, it’s changed immensely! It’s a double-edged sword because I have always said what drew me into this was the opportunity to be constantly learning—you can never know everything, and expertise doesn’t always correlate with tenure.
But the flip side is you always have to be prepared for that breaking news on a Tuesday morning about a technology update which is going to impact half your annual plan. You have to be quick to get your head around it and respond.
Looking to the near future we know there are some seismic changes on their way which are going to flip a lot of the foundational elements of digital advertising on their head. It’s going to mean unlearning a lot of what we’ve taken for granted for so many years, and look a new ways to deliver equivalent outcomes.
Exciting but verging on overwhelming at times!
…. Aside from that I started out doing a lot of faxing and filing which I don’t think today’s grads would be able to get their heads around.
What has remained consistent in your time, up to now?
The vibrancy and energy of the industry. I love the people that are drawn to work in media and advertising. I’ve made some of my best friends through work and my colleagues are a big part of what keeps me coming into work every day.
What qualities and circumstances helped you to get to where you are now?
Physically—working for a large global organisation made the move to Australia very easy. I jumped on a global mobility program back in 2014 and once I’d been accepted for the role everything else was arranged for me.
GroupM has always been awesome in that respect—probably why I’ve worked for four out of the five agencies!
What has been your greatest source of pride during your journey? Is there something—perhaps a quality—that has helped you succeed?
Hard one to answer but starting a new life at the other side of the world has got to be up there.
Perhaps a cliché but I tend to swing on the optimistic side of life—I think a positive attitude will get you through most challenges, and people will respond much better to you if you’re looking for solutions rather than focusing on obstacles.
The 30 Under 30 Awards will be held at The Factory Theatre, Sydney on Thursday, 15 April.
If you’d like more information on the event, head to this website.
Other key information
- People’s Choice Poll launches Wednesday, 3 March 2021
- Judging period: Wednesday, 3 March to Friday, 19 March 2021
- Shortlist announced Wednesday, 24 March 2021
- Early bird tickets close at 11.59pm Wednesday, 2 April 2021
- Full price tickets on sale at 12am Thursday, 3rd April 2021 (until sold out)
- People’s Choice Poll closes Friday, 26 March 2021.
Thank you to our incredible sponsors for making this event possible.