WPP ‘Young Guns’ Jack Elliott And Lochie Newham On Buzzwords, Challengers, and 2021

WPP ‘Young Guns’ Jack Elliott And Lochie Newham On Buzzwords, Challengers, and 2021
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
SHARE
THIS



The year of challenges, of woes, and of creative solutions is all but over. As the dust begins to settle, and 2021 comes ever closer, B&T chats with adland’s young blood to see what the future holds.

Jack Elliott (pictured, left) and Lochie Newham (pictured, right) are associate creative directors of Wunderman Thompson Melbourne, and a pair of WPP AUNZ’s ‘young guns’.

In the second in a series of interviews speaking with the best and brightest of the industry’s wave of young creatives, B&T chats with the pair, revealing their passions for advertising and where our industry can go from here.

What are the year’s best learnings that we ought to take into 2021? Do we need more challengers in the year ahead? And is ‘data’ the buzzword of 2020?

These questions and more were answered with finesse from the pair, in the interview that follows.

B&T: Jack, Lochie, why do you choose to work in advertising?

Jack: I grew up in regional Victoria, where a lot of my high school mates decided to become tradies. I liked the idea of having a finished product to show for my work, but as someone who barely had the dexterity for Year 9 Woodwork, I settled for making ads not houses.

It’s not just the finished product that excites me though, it’s the process. I love the problem solving, the teamwork, the uniqueness of every brief, and sometimes I even like the late nights.

Lochie: Advertising is the perfect career choice for someone who never really made up their mind about what they wanted to do. You get some of the creative fulfilment of an artist discovering new ideas. Some of the intellectual fulfillment of an engineer solving real problems. And some of the emotional fulfillment of a kindergartner receiving praise for a finger-painting.

The potential to help find solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues is the carrot that keeps the game interesting.

Has your perspective on the industry changed since you began working in it to now?

Jack: My perception of how creative advertising people can be beyond advertising has certainly changed since I first started out.

It feels like every week you’re hearing about someone in the agency or broader industry who’s starting their own fashion label, DJing on the weekends, or even creating their own brand of vodka.

It’s been great to see how these entrepreneurial side-hustles help us better understand the challenges our clients face, and how inspiring they are for those of us who get to watch from the best seats in the house.

As consumers prepared to spend billions on Black Friday, Patagonia revealed it would again not be taking part in Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. It said: “There are many initiatives we’d rather be drawing attention to … instead of encouraging rampant consumption.”

The brand also famously knitted “vote the assholes out” into its apparel, calling on people to vote climate denying politicians out of office ahead of the US election.

Is this what the modern brand ought to look like in 2021? Do we need more challengers? 

Lochie: The best and most interesting, creative work almost always comes when you’re taking on a well-held belief, category norms or ‘the man’. So, selfishly, I’d love there to be more challengers because it’d make my job easier and more fun.

From a brand point of view though, I don’t know if we can even still look at a lot of these causes as being ‘challenger’. Talking Politics doesn’t have the stigma it once did, and consumers are increasingly expecting brands to care about the things that they do.

Brands shouldn’t grandstand or be tokenistic—that’s never a good look. But if an issue relates to them and resonates with them, then they should be just as vocal about it as their audience.

Spotify just came out with its ‘Wrapped for Advertisers’, which breaks down audience insights globally and across different markets. It seems there’s a new breakthrough in data on demographics every week.

Is it safe to say ‘data’ is the buzzword of 2020? Or should we continue to take these announcements seriously in 2021?

Jack: 2020 has had its fair share of buzzwords—this guy even wrote a book about them—but data is here to stay far longer than ‘Quarantini’ (I hope). The thing that will be most interesting to see in 2021 is how brands harness it.

Data on its own isn’t the impressive thing, it’s how we analyse it or reframe it that’s most exciting to me; whether it’s the creative way that brands reframe their consumers’ data for them, like Spotify does so well. Or whether it’s how brands use data to tell a brand story, like Volvo’s E.V.A. Initiative.

Lochie: Our collective moods, especially in locked down Melbourne, have never been so directly tied to numbers and graphs; daily case numbers, rolling 14-day averages, logarithmic vs linear scale graphs.

There’s not a lot of people who will have come out of 2020 looking smug—maybe some epidemiologists, probably Jacinda Ardern, but definitely every single high school maths teacher who’s ever had a kid say, “yeah but when will I ever use this?”. Everyone’s become a sitting room statistician in 2020 and data has never been so relevant or democratised.

That said, my favourite 2020 buzzword is probably anthropause.

What are the greatest learnings of 2020 that will serve us well as an industry in 2021? And what aspects of our industry should we leave behind?

Lochie: Jack and I were the first people in our office sent to work from home. We’d been to a festival the weekend before where someone had tested positive, and as we were quietly escorted out of the building (so as to not cause a panic) I remember feeling like I was being sent on a little holiday.

A couple of weeks working from the couch, maybe sometimes in a hammock, it sounded too relaxed to actually be considered work. Eight months of lockdown later, I’ve never been more exhausted or gotten more work done. There’s good and bad to that. Working nationally and internationally has felt more seamless but the lack of distinction between office and home, and the need to mark a clock-off time, has I’m sure contributed to more drinking than is ideal.

So, I’d like to continue working from home, but not for five days a week. Maybe two or three.

We just learned that Dentsu, one of the world’s largest agency networks, plans to reduce its workforce by 6,000 employees. It’s the latest news of agencies struggling, during what is proving to be an extraordinarily challenging time for our industry.

After all that has transpired across the industry during 2020, are you hopeful or resigned to what 2021 holds? What will the year look like?

Jack: I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of guy, so despite how often 2020 has tried to smack that glass off the table, I’m still optimistic about 2021—and I think there’s plenty of reason to be.

As we’ve seen this year, crisis breeds creativity, and as we work with clients on some of the most unique challenges we’ve ever faced together, we’ll begin to uncover some of the most unique solutions ever.

With the growing list of problems the world is now facing, I think we’ll also have more opportunities as an industry to use our creative powers for good.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Jack Elliott Lochie Newham WPP Wunderman Thompson Melbourne

Latest News

TripleLift Expands Into APAC, Naming The Trade Desk’s Henry Shelley As Managing Director
  • Technology

TripleLift Expands Into APAC, Naming The Trade Desk’s Henry Shelley As Managing Director

TripleLift has today announced an expansion in their Asia Pacific (APAC) operations, with Henry Shelley [featured image] appointed as Managing Director, based in Singapore. Fueling TripleLift‘s expansion in APAC is its success in Australia, where the company works with 70 per cent of the top 50 comScore publishers. “As the home to several of the worlds’ […]

Rob Highett-Smith Joins Fiftyfive5 In Newly Created Role
  • Media

Rob Highett-Smith Joins Fiftyfive5 In Newly Created Role

Rob Highett-Smith joins Fiftyfive5 in the newly created role of head of performance measurement. Performance measurement represents one of the three core offer areas at Fiftyfive5 with tracking programs running across 40 countries; representing our fastest growing capability pillar.  Rob joins to lead this capability, which encompasses brand and comms tracking, multi market monitoring, CX and customer satisfaction, as well as other longitudinal programmatic work.   

Customer Messaging Platform Podium Launches In Australia
  • Technology

Customer Messaging Platform Podium Launches In Australia

Podium has continued its international expansion today announcing its launch in Australia. Podium serves more than 90,000 local businesses in the United States, Canada and Australia, and has seen its customer base in Australia almost quadruple to over 3,000 local businesses since the start of the pandemic. Through its SMS-based platform, Podium helps local businesses receive […]

The Misfits Partners With Business Leadership & Culture Experts To Expand Agency Offering
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

The Misfits Partners With Business Leadership & Culture Experts To Expand Agency Offering

Independent experience agency The Misfits has recently announced a strategic partnership with cultural change and leadership experts Nancy Hromin and Kate Chaffer. While the company has for a long time operated in the space of creative services, digital and content marketing, film production and events, The Misfits is now broadening this offering to include business […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
THE EDGE Welcomes New General Manager Emily Copeland
  • Media

THE EDGE Welcomes New General Manager Emily Copeland

Commercial DAB+ hip hop and RnB station, THE EDGE has appointed Emily Copeland, to the newly created role of General Manager. Copeland brings an awesome mix of skills and experience to THE EDGE, including cross-platform media content experience, partnerships and events (including music festivals – remember those?). Copeland also has a stack of achievements to […]

Sustainability 101 With Brianne West, CEO Of Plastic-Free, Eco-Focused Beauty Brand Ethique
  • Marketing

Sustainability 101 With Brianne West, CEO Of Plastic-Free, Eco-Focused Beauty Brand Ethique

Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique, a New Zealand-based sustainable, plastic free and cruelty free skin and hair care range. West sat down with B&T to explore what genuine environmental sustainability looks like, and how brands can better respond to eco-conscious consumers. B&T: Why are we seeing a rise in eco-conscious consumption?    BW: […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cities connected with lines on a blue globe.
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Interactive Dashboard That Tracks Consumer Movement In Australia

Blis has today revealed its new Consumer Confidence Pulse — the most comprehensive tracker of its kind — this interactive dashboard builds on its existing trend data around consumer mood to analyse behaviour during the COVID pandemic. The dashboard also now tracks consumer movement over a rolling 13-month period, across 18 retail and lifestyle sectors […]

Australian Seniors Releases ‘Dare To Date’, Second Series Of ‘Life’s Booming’ Podcast
  • Media

Australian Seniors Releases ‘Dare To Date’, Second Series Of ‘Life’s Booming’ Podcast

Following the success of Series One: Grey Nomads, Australian Seniors has launched the second series of the Life’s Booming podcast – Dare to Date.  Hosted by James Valentine (pictured with guests Liz and Barry), Life’s Booming explores the incredible stories and addresses topics important to Australians over 50. Series two titled Dare to Date is a six-part series that covers real-life love, […]

VERSA Announces Two Senior Appointments As Demand For Conversational AI Gains Further Traction
  • Marketing

VERSA Announces Two Senior Appointments As Demand For Conversational AI Gains Further Traction

World-leading conversational agency VERSA has bolstered its team with two senior appointments in response to growing uptake in conversational AI technology across various sectors. Vanessa Tout has been appointed global head of client partnerships and growth, while Michael Oso-Hughes comes on board as design director. Tout joins VERSA CEO Kath Blackham and managing director Michael […]

Patrick Rutkowski Joins Banter
  • Marketing

Patrick Rutkowski Joins Banter

Engagement marketing agency, Banter, has hired Patrick Rutkowski as Creative Technologist, to further bolster the digital and innovation side of the business. Rutkowski joins Banter after having spent the last five and a half years at independent creative agency, The Hallway where he was most recently creative technologist working with the likes of Rheem, Tourism […]

person using mobile application on smartphone, abstract close up of hands
  • Technology

Mobile Advertising Company Kargo Announces New Hires Following H1 Growth In APAC

Kargo has today announced several major growth milestones across the APAC region for the first half of 2021, more than doubling H1 revenue year-over-year with 115 per cent growth. Kargo also ran 41 per cent more campaigns in the region than in H1 2020 and the average campaign size increased by 32 per cent over […]