In this week’s edition of ’10 minutes with’, Starcom’s Hazel Kearney tells Newsworks about some of her favourite campaigns, how journalism matters to both society and advertisers and her dream musical theatre role…
How did you get into the advertising industry?
I studied marketing at Portsmouth University and went on to do a digital marketing masters. I think I’d say since choosing business studies for my A Levels, marketing and advertising have always made sense to me. I found it interesting and wanted to be part of it all.
What is your proudest career highlight?
Working on the Samsung zFlip3 print campaign alongside Stylist. It’s great to work with a client who is so receptive to bigger and bolder ideas and to see these activations come to life is a stand out moment.
To see through the magazine takeover from start to finish was very exciting. The client loved it, agency buyers were talking about it and other brands wanted to know if they could do it too. A huge success all round. To really top things off, it was shortlisted in the Campaign Media Awards this year.
What ad campaign or person do you admire most? (Other than your own campaigns!)
A fairly old campaign now, but it’s one that I talk about the most when asked and I remember doing a piece of work around it at university. It’s the BA #lookup campaign.
In 2013, a DOOH British Airways campaign was brought to life through dynamic messaging. A child on the digital out-of-home billboard pointing to British Airways planes flying overhead followed by what plane it is, where it’s come from or flying to. It was just effortlessly clever and brought back the “magic of flying” through advertising.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Funnily enough, me and my friends have a running joke around cliché sayings and advice. But there is a winner and it’s one that always sticks: “Fortune favours the brave”.
Why does advertising matter?
From a business perspective, advertising is there to fuel and drive growth. It’s an opportunity for brands to speak to us as consumers.
We can’t escape advertising. It’s all around us and consumes us and to someone who isn’t in the industry they probably don’t even realise it. It’s a part of society/everyday life and that’s the beauty of it.
Having said that, we as advertisers and brands have the responsibility to shape views and culture. We have the job of always telling the truth, but it’s the ability to make the truth sound interesting that’s the challenge.
What’s your favourite ad campaign featured in news brands?
I loved the M&S Christmas partnership with Metro. It was a media “first” where they produced its first-ever video-embedded cover wrap. The M&S Christmas jumper ad featuring House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ playing on the cover was a thrilling way to cut through the market, especially around Christmas/Q4 where you will naturally see a cluster of ads.
It was a stand out ad and an excellent use of innovation in traditional media.
You’re a journalist for a day: what would you cover?
Probably celebrity news, showbiz or reviewing the latest TV show. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve Googled “[Insert TV show name] ending explained”.
How does journalism matter to you?
Good journalism is important as so many people rely on it. People are invested in journalism and it exists because we need it to fuel conversations, opinions and challenge social norms.
Advertisers need journalism to reach users in their trusted environments, their comfort zone or form of escapism. But it must be done well in order for the relationship to work for both news brands and brand clients. You must align with the right content and the right time, hitting the right audience.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
People who are grafters and work hard to get to where they are.
Who are your fantasy dinner party guests?
Elton John, Barbara Windsor, Lord Alan Sugar, Yung Filly and Chunkz (they would just have me in stitches).
How do you switch off from work?
I hate to admit it, but I’m a serial TV binge watcher. Once I’m hooked on a show or series, that will be it. One minute it’s 6pm, the next it’s 3am and I’ve finished the new season of Top Boy.
If you weren’t in the advertising industry, you would be…?
If I could sing, I would have loved to have been in musical theatre. Dream role: Elphaba in Wicked. Sad truth is, I can’t hold a note to save my life, so I’ll stick to media and save you all the earache.
Gym or gin?