Industry Profile: Orchard brand and digital strategic consultant Mikaela Crimmins

11 June 2019

Our Industry Profile takes a 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.

This week we speak to Orchard brand and digital strategic consultant Mikaela Crimmins.

Time at the company:
Three months…but I’m on my second tour of duty at Orchard. I’m the human boomerang!

How would you describe what the company does?
A relentless focus on inventing better brand experiences using creative, technology and data to get there, with a whole heap of hutzpah thrown in for good measure.

What do you do day-to-day?
Weed through the complicated to get to the one simple, remarkable plan, and then work with a bunch of Orchard legends to make sure it sees the light of day.

Define your job in one word:
Detangler.

I got into advertising because:
I find people fascinating. I think good communications can be powerful. And I get the opportunity to work across a range of categories and brands, so boredom never sets in.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Keeping clients and agency peers committed to long-term thinking. Short tenure often means that clients want to make a big impact in a short amount of time which often comes at the expense of long-term thinking. Novelty and short-term tactics can seem exciting but, just like some of the best vices, they’re addictive with a negative impact for the future self.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Making advertising attractive to the next generation. Somehow we’ve become a career choice by default, surely if anyone could improve our perception, it’s us!

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Ward6, HealthOne and Ogilvy.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
They’re not mentors in a formal sense but they’re certainly people who have shaped my caeer to date. Carl Tuhtan taught me how to ‘sell’, Toby Harrison instilled an unwaivering focus on effectivess, Wai Kwok fostered a sense of entrepreneurialism, and Sally Kissane showed me what women in leadership are capable of, everything and more.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Experience. Theory gives you the foundations but you need to expose yourself to as many gnarly problems that you possibly can. And if you can look at a problem from all angles, not just the lever of communications, you will become a weapon in the boardroom.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
A florist or a diplomat. Perhaps a diplomatic florist?

My mantra is:
Stay kind.

My favourite advert is:

I love this ad for so many reasons. It’s ridiculous, remarkable and persuasive. I want more of this in my life!

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
All of them. And I have been known to “borrow” my sister-in-law’s subscriptions. Sharing is caring, right?

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
My first basketball team was called the Hoodoo Gurus. I was 12 with the music taste of a middle aged man.

In five years' time I'll be:
Detangling the chaos of even more channels and industry buzzwords but hopefully with the help of a diverse set of thinkers who made this choice of career with intention, not by default.

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