Young Gun: Clemenger BBDO Sydney planner Vince Usher

12 September 2019

Our Young Gun profile takes a look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to Clemenger BBDO Sydney planner Vince Usher.

Time in current role/time at the company:
Three months.

How long have you been in the industry?
Three years, nine months.

Was this always the plan?
No, not at all. Ultimately the plan was to become Prime Minister of Australia. But I noticed quickly that somewhat opposite to captcha technology, political party screeners are designed to keep the humans out and let the robots in. Although, I feel there is still a chance to pull off an overthrow of a micro nation like the Hutt River Province.

Who is your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
Max Learmont, look out for our Strategy podcast Son of a P*tch which is launching soon and will feature industry legends like Adam Ferrier, Dan Gregory + Keiran Flanagan, Nick Cummins, Jason Lonsdale, Tristan Burrell, Lil Sor, John Halpin, Frances Clayton, Leif Stromnes and many more.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
It provides an opportunity for absolute weirdos like me to make money out of owning a bizarre perspective on the world. Clems as an environment embraces this, so I’m incredibly thankful for that.

And the biggest challenge?
Safety. 

I entered the industry thinking I’d find George Lois types, people furiously risking it all to make big, clever, ostentatious statements about the world. And don’t get me wrong, there are those people still out there (Droga, Bogusky etc.). But, as history fades, so to does it’s example. It seems to me that todays industry is forever geared toward looking for comfort in the optimisation of work to suit false and inconsequential metrics that are quite frankly pumped out of algorithms of which we have zero understanding. It’s witch doctor stuff. We won’t get anywhere interesting working to the mean of the big tech companies. Interesting work exists outside of the ontologies of Hadoop, Amazon, Facebook, IBM or Google.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
Tommy Lee Jones’, he makes big money pretending to be a space alien/octopus in Japanese television commercials.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
I generally gravitate toward people who have the courage to embrace whole heartedly what makes them different, sometimes at a massive personal cost. Most recently: Rob Auton (Poet). Artists: Moon Patrol, Salvador Dali, Nychos, Mik Shiida, JM Basquiat, Keith Haring, Anthony Lister, Grayson Perry, Cone the Weird. Musicians like, Floex, Herbie Hancock, Max Cooper, Mf Doom, the entire Ninja Tune catalogue. In Advertising Martin Weigel, Rob Campbell, Ferrier, Bogusky, Droga, In life Arnie Schwarzenegger, Monica Rattanong, oh, and family like Mum, Dad, Sis, and my partner Alix.

My favourite advert is:
People are going to cringe at the choice, especially given the current social climate. But, I find a bucket-load of selfish nostalgia in the early to late 90’s ‘Hard Earned Thirst’ spots. As a child I remember venerating my dad for bringing home a case of VB. I’d been programmed to think it meant that he must’ve been working hard, which he was, so it made me proud to see the ad.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’ve been here three months, so hi, my name is Vince. I feel like this interview is revealing enough.

In five years' time I'll be:
Fishing from a Kayak in Japan. 

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