In this week’s edition of ’10 minutes with’, MediaCom’s Jakob Hake speaks to Newsworks about his love for cleverly executed campaigns, some advice about how to bounce back from mistakes and who would make the all-important fantasy dinner party invite list…
How did you get into the advertising industry?
In a somewhat cliched way, completely by accident. I was looking for a job after university and found the role digital spaces play in people’s lives really interesting. I saw a job ad for a role working in paid social and paid search at MediaCom so thought it might be a good opportunity to learn more about how these online spaces work.
What is your proudest career highlight?
It’s hard to pick a single moment. Just getting day-to-day things right that I previously wasn’t confident about, or comfortable doing is really satisfying.
If I had to pick one thing, it might a client presentation we did for Q1 this year which I helped coordinate. They had a lot of senior people coming and it went very well with lots of positive feedback internally and externally.
What ad campaign or person do you admire most? (Other than your own campaigns!)
My boss Alex because he’s going to read this!
In terms of ad campaign, I really liked Tesco’s campaign recently where they had a billboard during Ramadan that had food appear on it only when the sun was down to coincide with the breaking of the fast.
I thought that was a clever execution, and more importantly a good way to reach an audience that’s maybe not always the focus of brands or addressed directly by them. Generally speaking, I love any exciting OOH campaigns. Another one that comes to mind is the BBC’s ad for their show Dracula.
Best piece of advice you’ve received.
I’m not sure if this counts as advice but while in my first team at MediaCom someone on the team used to say “We’re not packing parachutes”. I thought it was kind of funny but also reassuring. If you make a mistake, no one’s going to die (at least in advertising) and it’s just an opportunity to learn.
Why does advertising matter?
I’d say advertising has influence on society and the impact of that can be negative or positive.
Since we’re trying to influence people’s behaviours or how they think about things or brands there’s an element of responsibility as to how that’s done, for example when thinking about who is shown in ads, how they’re shown and who is included in the process deciding those things.
What’s your favourite ad campaign featured in news brands?
I liked some of the ads that were run after the England Women’s Euro victory, as well as the Nando’s ad where it used its heat scale for the heatwave.
You’re a journalist for a day: what would you cover?
Given my studies at university, this is a toss-up for me between nuclear weapons or (a lighter subject!) food or travel.
How does journalism matter to you?
Journalism has an important role in a democratic society, exposing wrongdoing and holding power accountable.
Personally, I also really enjoy reading the news and all sorts of different kinds of journalism in my own time.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Seeing the people around me — my friends, my girlfriend and family — do brilliant things inspire me and motivates me to try and do cool things myself.
Who are your fantasy dinner party guests?
Assuming I can invite fictional or dead people, I’d invite Jackie Moon from Semi Pro, James Baldwin because his work got me back into reading books, Alicia Kennedy whose writing is also amazing, and the Wu Tang Clan. Maybe Drake for my friend Raul (who I’d then invite as well… or maybe not), but jury’s out on this last one.
How do you switch off from work?
I love cooking, especially during Covid it was a great way to unwind and engage my mind in a different way.
If you weren’t in the advertising industry, you would be…?
I like the idea of doing some sort of small-scale food production but probably romanticise this compared to the reality.
Gym or gin?
Don’t really like either of these, but gun to my head I’ll go with gin.