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Up-and-Comers: Kate Hobbs, Rainger & Rolfe

We’ve given the mic to the industry’s future leaders. Kate Hobbs, an account manager at Rainger & Rolfe, shares her thoughts on adland.

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

I studied a bachelor of communications at AUT and wasn’t quite sure what industry I wanted to get into. So I did an internship at a great creative talent agency Dusty Road, in order to get an inside look at what each industry was about. My first job out of uni was at a graphic design agency named Creature, which I really enjoyed and loved the team there. But, advertising is notorious for being a fun, fast-paced, ever-changing and challenging industry and I knew I wanted to give it a go.

My interest in the industry was probably first sparked by the “Yeah Right” Tui ads that were plastered all over billboards in my teenage years. I found them incredibly entertaining and was impressed by the boldness of it all. Even now, they really make me question how we can push any idea further and what kind of impact we want to make on the market with our creative.

I’ve also always thought that there’s a real need for creative innovation in business creativity and fresh communications. In order to change the world and consumer behaviour, the message that’s being put out there really needs to resonate. I was, and still am, incredibly passionate about being a part of crafting these messages, never forgetting that the people we’re talking to, at the end of the day, are just people who appreciate honest, authentic and entertaining comms.

How did you come to work at Rainger & Rolfe?

I went on a hunt for the advertising agency for me, and found it through Portfolio Recruitment. I got such amazing vibes from all of my interviews and I really respect the values that Rainger & Rolfe put on the table throughout the process. Ant, Jen, Chris and the wider team are really great people to learn from and I love working in a smaller agency because it’s given me so much autonomy, which has allowed me to wear more hats than I believe I would’ve in a larger agency. When you’re a part of a smaller team it’s like everyone is family and no question is too dumb.

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

We’ve recently completed a brand revamp for a company named Love My Money, which I was involved in and have loved every minute of. Working in advertising allows you to understand the importance of words, visuals and the magic created when they come together. It’s important to always consider who you’re targeting and to ensure that what you’re creating is aligned with their values while also remaining true to the business or product you’re selling. Getting to be a part of the process and learning all of the psychology that goes into the strategy before creative is even considered was incredibly thought-provoking and seeing this come to life in a creative way was so rewarding

Where do you get inspiration?

When it comes to advertising, change is the name of the game. It’s important to constantly be replenishing your brain with creativity when your job requires it daily. I enjoy staying up-to- date with industry news via Stoppress and Adweek to see how companies and agencies are staying ahead of the game, but I also think it’s important to get inspiration from other creative disciplines. Creative industries are collaborating in really exciting ways and it’s important to have your finger on the pulse of them all in order to spot opportunities, as well as build your knowledge of historical arts to see where we’ve been. I love books, music, fashion, design and art. All of these inspire creative thinking and help to form a more well-rounded picture of people, which are the heart of what I do.

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

There are always challenges in my role, but it just keeps it exciting! The most challenging things would be: 1) Choosing the best creative to run with when more than one concept answers the brief and would make great impact. And 2) making a million- dollar concept work for a much smaller budget.

Number one doesn’t seem that bad, but it can be a big decision that weighs on your mind. When this happens you really have to dissect the concepts right down to their core and ensure the creative you roll with is better than the other for every reason. And if it’s not, you have to ask yourself “how can I improve it so that it is?”.

The second challenge is something that definitely happens in little old New Zealand. It can be incredibly challenging to make a potentially expensive concept work for a smaller budget. But problem-solving and ensuring the impact is still there is all part of the fun and why I love this industry, you’re constantly kept on your toes and required to be nimble.

What advice would you give to those entering the industry?

Don’t. Unless you have a real passion for it.

If you do have a real passion for it, it’s important to make time to feed your creative soul and stay curious. Sometimes it might feel like you’re spending your entire life at or thinking about, work. Make sure you’re still going to that exhibition you wanted to see or that concert that you were thinking about going to. Inspiration comes from all places and I always find that when I’m immersed in arts and culture, I’m happier and constantly feel inspired.

And lastly, build your relationships and then keep them strong. This is a small industry.

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

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