Harry Manion

Harry Manion  

Agency: Clemenger BBDO
Age: 23
Degree/education: Bachelor of Business at UTS


Diary Entry 3 (May 2016)

Quite a lot has changed since I last checked in.

As my first 3 months rushed to an end, so too did my first rotation at BBDO. My time with the Virgin Australia team couldn’t have been a better introduction to the world of advertising. As such a fast paced client with a constant output, it was a great opportunity to be thrown in the deep end and gain a lot of experience running jobs myself, and getting to know the process as work moved through planning, creative and studio. The VA team were all legends who did a great job at showing me the ropes and providing some quality laughs along the way. After finally feeling completely comfortable down in BBDO, it was a strange prospect to think that I’ll soon move to a completely new environment with new faces and a new way of working. That’s the beauty of this program I guess.

I’m now working up on the top floor of the Clems building at the experiential and shopper agency, Traffik. Traffik pride themselves as innovators, fusing technology and creativity to create truly memorable experiences that live outside of standard above the line outputs. The enormous variety of work that comes through the building means that every day is completely unpredictable and equally exciting.

Another continuing highlight of the grad program are the talks and seminars that we receive from leaders in our company and from around the industry. Over the last few weeks we’ve had senior planners, studio managers and traffic managers run through the various processes involved in their job to help us get a more holistic understanding of the various agency components. Google Bob, our head of creative technology and resident nerd, went to SXSW festival in Austin, Texas to get the low-down of the latest and greatest in the tech world. Upon return he a special presentation for the grads to run through his learnings, which was a truly inspiring and maybe even a little bit spooky insight into how powerful technology is becoming these days - but also how reliant upon it we are. He raised a number of interesting points about the need for regulation and data security, comparing it to the ‘wild west’ where brands and technology platforms are currently stockpiling scary amounts of data about our movements, interests and actions. For example; if you’re served a mobile ad on Facebook for a McDonalds burger, the Facebook app can then track your movements through GPS to determine if you enter a McDonalds store within a certain time period. Fantastic opportunity for advertisers, but maybe a bit concerning for unaware users.

Diary Entry 2 (March 2016)

This last month in the Clemenger Graduate Program has been just as exciting, fast paced and varied as the first. Although I am still being constantly presented with new things to learn and do, it really feels like I’ve found my feet and possess more confidence and autonomy in my work.

I am now running a number of small recurring projects on my own including a weekly client newsletter and blog, social analytics reporting and the coordination of our fortnightly client WIP. I have also been involved in several retail campaigns that have included print, digital, social and OOH media. This has given me a great overview of agency process right from initial brief through to planning, creative and eventually into studio and final despatch. Things have been pretty busy, so it’s always great to finish a long week with a beer on the balcony with everyone from the agency.

On the 10th and 11th of March we attended the IPA Inspirational Foundations course, themed: Why Creativity Matters. Set over 2 days, this course featured presentations from industry leaders discussing the importance of creativity in all of its forms as well as a group project that we were working on throughout. It was a pretty inspiring and educational few days. I think the most important takeaways from the course were:

  • Obviously “creative thinking” is essential in the creative department, but it is also important in absolutely every other aspect of the agency. Whether this be account managers looking for creative business or opportunities or planners uncovering unique insights, it is important that everyone is constantly thinking outside the box.

  • Departmentalised thinking, aka “Passing the Baton Culture”, is outdated and ineffective. Although difficult at times, the varied (and often conflicting) opinions of different agency departments leads to exciting new ways of thinking.

  • It has been definitively proven in academic studies that creativity drives results

This coming month will be my last in BBDO before I rotate to a different agency in the group. Considering how much I am enjoying my current position, it feels strange to think that soon I will be starting all over again. But at the same time I’m looking forward to learning about a new aspect of the business and getting to know a bunch of new people in the process.

Diary Entry 1 (February 2016)

It’s a great feeling to wake up in the morning and be genuinely excited to go to work. After 5 years of university and other entry level jobs I can’t say it’s something I’m particularly used to. Every day so far has been a crazy blur of new names, concepts, processes, and free peanut M&Ms, that seems to fly by in a matter of minutes. It really is true that no two days are the same around here. One day I’m working with studio to roll out a big airline sale, the next I’m taking the afternoon off for an important “product orientation and tasting” for an alcohol client. I’ve sat in on big creative briefings, helped with social media management, written a blog to share with clients and plenty of other tasks. The most important thing I’ve picked up so far is to just say “yes”. Take every opportunity that comes your way and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try new things, including writing journal entries about your time in the graduate program.

As the end of my uni degree loomed ominously, I was equal parts excited and anxious by the prospect of entering “the workforce”. I was hesitant to leave the relative flexibility and freedom of university to commit myself to one single job. I’m restless, so I knew that I wanted to work somewhere vibrant and dynamic, where personality and individuality were rewarded and each day brought unique opportunities and challenges. So when I heard about the Clemenger graduate program, it seemed perfect. The rotating structure was a major draw card, with grads moving to a different Clemenger Group agency every 3 months. This ensures that we are exposed to all aspects of the industry and allows us to meet and learn from industry leaders across a variety of departments. Most importantly for me, it meant that I could dip my toes into the pools of advertising, to determine if it was the right fit for me and help me find my niche to settle into in the long run.

The application process was both extremely tough and rewarding. It involved a written/video submission where we were asked to present 3 behavioural insights we uncovered whilst studying people in a public place, followed by a five-on-one interview with the agency heads. The interview seemed like it would be pretty intimidating at first. It was my first proper job interview and I had no idea what to expect. In reality it was anything but - we just sat and chatted about my time overseas, love of music and some of my favourite ads.

It probably sounds obvious, but the best advice I can give to anyone applying is to just be yourself. They just want to see that you’re someone that they can work with for 8 hours a day and then grab a beer with afterwards. Don’t be afraid to share your eccentricities, but at the same time don’t feel pressured to be “quirky” or force anything that just isn’t you. Come prepared to talk about your passions and ambitions and the rest should just flow from there.