Up-and-Comers: Josh Reiri-Allen, Carat New Zeland

We’ve given the mic to the industry’s future leaders. Josh Reiri-Allen, a senior digital manager at Carat New Zealand, shares his thoughts on adland.

How did you get into advertising? What sparked your interest in getting into the industry?

I kind of fell into if I am being honest. There was not a lot communicated about the media industry while I was at university as the curriculum tended to focus more on marketing principles than anything else. One of my friends happened to be working in the media team at Ogilvy at the time and told me there was a role going in the digital team as an operations executive and that was it!

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on so far?

Last year we launched a campaign for DB Export called Save the Entire World that involved getting people to send in their “world saving” idea with a chance of winning $50,000 if the idea was chosen. There was a heavy push on social where we shared some of the better ideas to help get the creative juices owing and generate some hype. The reason this campaign resonated strongly with me is that sustainability is such an important topic that needs to be voiced, and it was awesome to be involved in a campaign that championed people that were coming up with these ideas. For a brand that ultimately wants to sell beer, it was a unique and innovative approach to creating brand awareness and favorability in a different way.

Where do you get inspiration?

The benefits of working in a global network are that you don’t have to go far. Working on Heineken we have access to our global teams, which is great when you need a spark of inspiration on how other countries have approached a problem on the account. Other than that, speaking to any of the local Dentsu arms is always helpful for a different perspective.

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve had to deal with in your role?

Being a small fish in a big pond has its downsides. When you are trying to get some big projects across the line or do a market first with some of the bigger global suppliers it can be di cult when you are working with local budgets. In a way it is also a good thing, as it encourages you to work closer with local partners.

Are there any misconceptions about the industry you’d like to see busted?

An “us vs them” mentality. There is this idea that media agencies and creative agencies are constantly trying to step on each other’s toes to get the biggest slice of the pie, but realistically the lines between a media agency and creative agency are so blurred now that a campaign will suffer if all parties aren’t on board with the approach. It’s a lot easier to have a chat up front rather than try and retrospectively fit a piece of creative into a channel that hasn’t been recommended or vice versa.

What advice would you give to those entering the industry?

Don’t let it overwhelm you! The industry is so fragmented and it can all quickly become a confusing mess. The upside to fragmentation is the number of experts it creates in different areas of the business that you can talk to and learn off, so make the most of those opportunities and you’ll quickly get the hang of it!

This piece originally appeared in the 2019 Agency Issue of NZ Marketing magazine. Subscribe here.

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