Young Guns: Carat Sydney strategy director Danni Wright

By AdNews | 28 March 2017
Danni Wright

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the buzzing 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.

For our last Young Gun, we spoke to Mindshare Sydney business executive Christine Theophanous.

This time we chat to Carat Sydney strategy director Danni Wright.

How long have you been in the industry?

Nine years.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Two years.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?

I was transferred from the Carat London office as part of Dentsu-Aegis Network’s leadership development initiative.

Define your job in one word:


What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?

Mad Men…of course.

How does the reality match up? 

More women (thankfully), more grit & more graft.

How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?

Having spent the last 5 years trying to bring my fiancé up to speed, the best I can offer is: ‘Telling brands where, when and to whom their advertising should appear to make them the big bucks’.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

I’ve never had to experience Boredom at work.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

Bringing your two Chihuahua’s into the office doesn’t make for a productive day.

If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why?

Creative planning. I’m a big believer in the efficiencies to be gained from merging the creative planner with the comms strategist. Experience on the other side of the fence will help me to future face not only myself but the broader industry.

What's exciting you about the industry right now?

The democratisation of creativity, be it in the Ux, technology, or media space.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

The redundancy of the third party agency; its time for the industry to internalise the AdAge and ‘disrupt or be disrupted’.

Who's your right hand person/who guides you day to day?

One of the Carat legends that I get to manage-Jo Futcher. She’s the Batman to my Robin.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there? 

In our industry change is the one thing that’s certain so I’ve set my sites on a role that doesn’t fully exist. I believe that the industry needs someone who is responsible for crafting the overarching approach to comms and setting the parameters for creatives, technology and media to play in. I call this the ‘Brand Behaviourist’ and it’s the North Star for me.

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

A real understanding of the true drivers of business growth within the mar-comms mix.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Books. I eat them for breakfast.

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

I was a semi-professional cheerleader for 10 years (not the pom pom waving kind).

Favourite advert is:

Made of Black-Guinness

What’s your personal motto?

Try your best for no regrets (nauseating but true).

I got into the industry because:  

I wanted to be at the intersection between people, Brands and culture.

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

An undercover FBI agent, masquerading as a teenage youth.

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