Industry Profile: Spark Foundry national head of strategy Anna Cherry

14 September 2021
Spark Foundry national head of strategy Anna Cherry

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, 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 Spark Foundry national head of strategy Anna Cherry.

Time in current role/time at the company:
Going on three years.

How would you describe what the company does?
Fuel Famously Effective Ideas that drive growth for brands.

What do you do day-to-day?
Identify the insight and rationale to deliver the big leaps of faith clients should be taking.

Define your job in one word:

I got into advertising:
By accident - not by design.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
‘Strategy’ is one of our industry’s most overused and misunderstood words. A lack of clarity undermines strategy’s value.

What is the biggest industry-wide challenge you would like to see tackled?
We are developing a myopic vision of what it means to deliver effective communications, where short-term efficiency is prized over sticking to a long-term strategy.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
PHD, dentsu, Naked Communications, Red Bull, Haystac and ICON Communications.

Notable ads/campaigns you have worked on:
Ancestry - ANZAC Day
Menulog – Building a Menulog habit
Federal Department of Health – Girls Make Your Move
Art Series -The Overstay Checkout
Red Bull - Stratos

Who is a great mentor to you and why?
I have two: my two-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.

The authenticity, vulnerability, laughter, tears and pure joy they indulge in every day is a constant reminder to exist in the present, always. They taste colours, they see sounds, hear shapes and touch emotions in myriad combinations uninhibited by the beliefs and generalities the consciousness takes as truth. Their purity of thought keeps me grounded and fuels my passion.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours:
A combination of risk and difference is where you get the best strategic outcomes and that requires a high degree of experience in life and the industry. It also requires a high degree of empathy.

The most talented strategists I know have made it their mission to collect professional experiences across a spectrum of industry and, most importantly, consistently walk in the shoes of others.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Hosting and producing a cooking television program.

My philosophy is:
Day to day you’ll hear me claim “everything communicates!” but I’m also quite a competitive soul which really translates to “anything is possible. It just hasn’t been done yet”.

My favourite advert is (and why):
Nike’s viral marketing campaign, featuring real park benches with no actual seat portion. The bench also featured a simple Nike Swoosh logo and the word ‘Run’.

Aligning to the brand promise, it is clever, powerful, effective (as always) and is the perfect articulation of ‘everything is media.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Anything with the Wiggles or Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I won a smiling competition at 12.

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