Jack Appleby, Director of Creative Strategy at Midnight Oil, chats with Adam about the importance of transparency.
Adam Pierno: Sounds good. Here we go. Welcome back to another episode of the Strategy Inside Everything. Once again, this one is brought to you by Twitter, not as a sponsor but as a connector and conductor [laughs] of these topics in conversations. I published a tweet as I've been trying to get ready for 2019 season of this show and I've been reaching out to people, not just in the agency world but producers of content-- God,I hate the word, content.Producers of shows that I like and entertainment that I like along with people on the brand side. I really try to bring more perspectives. I've been surprised how many times I've been shut down by their PR people who are just of general fear that, hey, I want to come on and talk about this, but I can't. Somebody raised their hands via Twitter and say, "Hey, I want to [chuckles] I want to come on and talk about that." I thought, "This is perfect," so, welcome Jack Appleby. How are you doing?Jack Appleby: Hey, I'm great. How are you?Adam: Jack and I have been connected for, I don't know how long, but maybe a year or so and chatting a lot. I posted this Tweet and I thought-- He said, "Hey, I'd love to come on and talk about that." I was like, "Let's do it because you are uniquely qualified and I would love if you could give a little bit of your background and then I think it will become apparent why I think you're the right guy to start this conversation."Jack: Sure, yes. I think it's a fascinating topic how agencies are so happy to talk about themselves, but maybe aren't empowering people to do the talking for them. They're not allowing them to transparently discuss things that are beneficial for everyone.Adam: Absolutely.Jack: Yes, but to your question, a little bit about my history. I've been an agency guy my whole life. Fell into it not fully understanding advertising. I was a marketing major and got hired by a social media agency back in early 2011 when we were all discovering that social budgets were going to become a thing. I spent many years at an agency that was purchased by a larger agency called Ayzenberg Group where I was a social media strategist. Worked my way up to senior strategist.Did a lot of cool gaming work there. Worked with WB Interactive. Worked with DC Comics. Did some Microsoft work. I was the strategist on the Xbox social media EMC of Record Account as well as the lead strategist on Microsoft surface, Mindcrafts there for a spell, and a bunch of other games. Rock Band 4 was one that I got to work on. That was a lot of fun.Adam: Yes, that sounds fun.Jack: Yes. All kinds of fun entertainment and gaming stuff. From there I went on to an agency called Laundry Service where I was the Director of Strategy for the LA Office. My main account was Beats by Dre, social media EMC of record. Since then I've been at a couple of other agencies. Recently worked with gaming agency called Petrol where I worked with a lot of Bethesda games, if anyone's familiar with a lot of the first person shooters they work on.Then as of the last couple of weeks here, I've actually started as Director of Creative Strategy in the gaming protocol at Midnight Oil. MC in Burbank. Got 300, 400 employees with 360 offerings that I'm there as part of a new team that's building the gaming protocol.Adam: That's awesome. That's an awesome background, thank you very much. Part of your job actually is to create the strategy for these brands to figure out how to communicate on social and what they're going to say, what they'r not going to say, how it's going to make people feel, how it's going to move people down the funnel or how it's going to make them react towards the brand and the products. Your own personal feed, it's pretty wide open.Just from reading your occasional tweet, I know a lot about you. I know you love the NBA, I know you're into gaming. I thought it was pretty interesting how quickly you jumped on this topic.Jack: Yes, I'm a big believer in transparency and just being candid and even let's go as far as saying, vulnerable. As far as who you are as a person or an employee and even as a brand. I think that a lot of that comes from having come from the strategy route of social which it's becoming more and more common now. As I've hired strategists over the year, a lot of people are starting in social just because there's so much availability with that title at the moment versus the kind of traditional planner or junior account planner, all the traditional variations of strategy titles.Because of that, coming from an editorial background and a social background, we've just always see