Young Gun: Initiative Melbourne strategy director Sam Enshaw

8 August 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 Initiative Melbourne strategy director Sam Enshaw. 

Time in current role/time at the company:
Nine months in current role, four years within Mediabrands.

How long have you been in the industry?
Six year.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?
I met my first media boss at a brewery where I was working during Uni and like most others I know, hadn’t heard about media. Once I got here however, I knew it was the industry I’d been looking for the whole time and one that I’ll be in for quite a while.

Who is your right hand person/who guides you day to day?
We have an incredible team at Initiative, I’ll be bouncing ideas and asking for help from the team each day and we all chip in to help each other crack whatever we’re working on. It’s a super collaborative vibe here so I’d say they are my right hand people.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
The platform it gives us for change. I genuinely believe that our industry gives us a platform to do good in the world and it’s something I think we as an industry should focus more on – More inclusive, diverse and respectful ads that unite us as a society at a time when there are so many forces trying to drive us apart.

And the biggest challenge?
As the infamous Roy Morgan Facebook account shared, I think it has to be the pressure our industry puts on people and the mental health effects of that pressure. There’s a lot being done like our Mental Health first aid program here at Initiative that aims to train people to recognise early stages of mental health issues, how to react to them and arming people with a range of preventative skills, but there’s always more we can do. We are at least organised and talking about it which are great steps forward.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
Has to be our chief strategy officer Sam Geer’s. While that’s a very very long way off… “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”

Where do you turn for inspiration?
Music. At work I’ll throw on some headphones, smash out a daily mix on Spotify and hope inspiration strikes. I’m also a mad record collector so if I’m home I’ll throw on one of LCD Soundsystem or Paul Simon - Graceland to get the creative juices flowing.

My favourite advert is:
Nike - Write the Future (2010 World Cup)

Split decisions that can change a life, the stories of rags-to-riches and the legacy these idols created...to 10-year-old me, that was life changing and I still watch it from time to time.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m a massive introvert. Our job requires us to be on, to be high energy and brave which is incredibly fun but tiring. Outside of work I love nothing more than staying home with my wife and my puppy and closing myself off from the world with a glass of red and a trashy Netflix movie.

In five years' time I'll be:
Better at doing my timesheets and catching flying Ubers to client meetings!

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