Industry Profile: Nine branded content developer, Simon J Heath

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 28 February 2017
Simon J. Heath

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Last week we spoke with SoundCloud AUNZ commercial director, Shaun Alexander.

This week we chat to Nine Entertainment branded content developer, Simon J. Heath. 

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Six Months.

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does? 

Makes the best content on Australian Screens.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Working with clients and agencies to develop and produce great programs that connect a brand’s story to all Australians.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

The Nine Production Unit are doing some great work with Project Agencies at the moment and are about to launch  our first Australia wide branded program for the year… so stay tuned to your TV’s.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

You get to make cool stuff and tell stories that count.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

I just finished living in Little Italy, New York, for five years where I was Umbrella.tv’s EVP. They are based in Budapest and were a great bunch to work with – really bohemian and cool studio  – definitely a crew you want to hit Budapest’s ruin bars with.

Umbrella.tv are winning some pretty serious awards in Cannes and NYC with their work and are about to get into Film Production… awesome stuff.

I also directed work with National Geographic, Discovery Channel and History Channel while in the USA. Geoff Fitzpatrick at Beyond was my boss for these projects – he is easily one of the best content minds on the planet.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time? 

Still enjoying creating great content and stories.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

There is a tendency for people to pitch, create and produce content that is through their own lens – often to their own demographic. As a creative you should be able to get outside your own bias and tell the big, universal stories that engage an audience’s emotions.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you? 

I slammed so hard skateboarding in the Vans Skate Park in Los Angeles that I was knocked unconscious.

Top networking tip:

Everybody counts.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Peter Pan’s on Willoughby Rd in Crows Nest.

My favourite advert is:

The old OTC international phone call campaign from the 1980/70s. Great little stories packed into 1-minute ads… perfect messages.

That and pretty much anything Stacy Peralta created as branded content back in the 1980’s… before branded even had a name.  

My must-have gadget is:

A written diary… the battery never runs out on them.

My favourite media is:

A well-presented Cinema – the Cremorne Orpheum is perfect at putting me in the space to give full attention to whatever film I am watching.

My favourite TV show is:

The Avengers… with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.

The last book I read:

The Aeneid by Virgil.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Go Big.

I got into advertising because:

It’s a great way to create.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Finding some way to make what pays the bills is also fun.

In five years' time I'll be:

Enjoying what I do and creating great work… probably for a platform that hasn’t been invented yet.

Define your job in one word:

Storyteller.

What's your poison:

Cuervo Gold w/Coca-Cola.

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