Industry Profile: XXVI’s Hamish Cargill

By AdNews | 7 September 2018

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.

This week we head to Sydney to speak to Hamish Cargill, director of brand language at XXVI (pronounced twenty-six).

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Six years.

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

We help organisations connect with words.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

I stand in the middle of an extremely talented writing team and try not to get in the way.

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

We’re leading the charge into artificial intelligence for our clients. And even though we don’t know everything about it, my experience so far tells me we’re still ahead of a lot of people. More importantly (but less sexily), our quality of strategic thinking, writing and client service just keeps getting better.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Those occasions when you encounter genuinely clever, creative and motivated people – whether as clients or colleagues.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

None. I came into XXVI from completely outside the sector.

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

Contrary to most career advice you get, I’ve never been one to plan that far ahead – I’ve just never found it that worthwhile. The good thing is, I have no career regrets so far.

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

Most of the excitement around chatbots is wildly out of proportion with what they can actually do. In 2017, there are a thousand better ways to do everything they can.

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

I hate talking about myself more than anything else. I’ve put off answering these questions for six months.

Top networking tip:

Be nice to everyone you come across – no matter how junior they are. Chances are they’ll turn out to be a client you’re chasing in years to come.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Anywhere that’s easy going, has great service and even better food. I don’t need overly dramatic lunches.

My favourite advert is:

I’ve always loved the big ads. Qantas, British Airways – even the beer knock offs. I’m a sucker for them.

My must-have gadget is:

iPhone. It deals with work, rest, boredom, and those awkward moments when you have no one to talk to and want to look busy.

My favourite media is:

Online newspapers and magazines.

My favourite TV show is:

I think Gogglebox is a rare example of how the right people can make a terrible idea into amazing entertainment. And The Crown was surprising.

The last book I read:

I just finished rereading Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. It takes a few goes to take it all in.

My mantra/philosophy is:

Don’t be an asshole.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

It’s an incredible opportunity to become an expert in new industries. It rarely gets boring. And you’re given almost unlimited opportunities to practice being intelligent, funny and articulate. I need lots of practice.

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

Riding and competing eventing horses in the UK or USA.

In five years' time I'll be:

Looking forward to my next skiing holiday. I’m always looking forward to my next skiing holiday, even when there’s not one in the works.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison?

A decent beer, on tap in a cold glass or from a bottle. I can’t fall in love with cans.

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