Young Guns: Katherine Lewis at Bastion Amplify

By AdNews | 11 July 2023

Young Gun profiles takes a look at the young talent across the Australian advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector. Aiming to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Katherine Lewis, social strategist at Bastion Amplify 

Time in current role

Five months (junior strategist for seven months prior).

How long have you been in the industry? 

Four years.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan? 

I always knew I wanted to work in advertising even from a young age, when I was making my own jingles up for fun (my personal favourite was for a nose spray).

After previously working as a travel agent and finishing up at a role within a coffee company, where I was doing a bit of everything (setting up socials, eDM curation and send out and being a PA), I knew that I needed to move somewhere I could be creative and harness my newfound passion for social media, as the new age advertising tool!  

Who is your right-hand person? 

Obviously, my Italian Greyhound Bowie, who is my office companion and is the epitome of main character energy. However, in all seriousness, Brogan, my manager and mentor is my right-hand person, together we are a strategic powerhouse team, and I am so lucky to count her as a close friend too. She was the one who inspired me to start on my strategic journey and I know that I can come to her with anything, from needing to solve a client issue to genuine life or career advice, she is always there for me.  

What is the best thing about the industry you work in? 

100% the people. There isn’t a more creative, enthusiastic or hardworking bunch of people out there and the friendships that I have made are everlasting. I also genuinely love the work and how my team works together. I pinch myself every day that I can be as creative as I want and be a part of endless discussions, bouncing ideas off people and working in high-pressure environments to finally see my ideas come to life and be engaged with by audiences.  

And the biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge I have is not letting disappointment get the better of me when clients don’t understand the reason for a recommendation or don’t have the budget to invest in our ideas, separating the work and the emotion is always a challenge. There are always also tricky projects in general that have lower budgets but higher expectations of results or have longer approval processes which can be challenging.  

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future? 

I have said this from the start, working at Bastion, but the job that I would love is our general manager’s Shirley. Shirley is the ultimate female powerhouse and I think it would be an honour to even emulate half of who she is and what she has accomplished.

I would love the opportunity to lead and be a mentor to those in our social team, whilst also strategically pitching for the future. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll be expanding my horizons, learning new skills and would love a role like Samantha Heckendorf’s role as Head of Brand at Tourism Australia.  

Where do you turn for inspiration? 

I am a TikTok fiend and always feel extremely inspired by everyday creators and the content that they produce. I find that as a platform the amount of content that you can consume and the campaigns that are produced are awe-inspiring, seeing what people can do with simply a camera, some filters/transitions and by being themselves.

Another one of my favourite places to turn to for inspiration is advertising trade and because I love to see what other agencies produce both in Australia and globally, across multiple mediums and for a range of brands and services.  

My favourite advert is: 

The Big Ad by Carlton Draught (2005) was the first really big piece of advertising that I can remember igniting my passion for the industry and making me stop and think – I want to do this! Knowing that I could work in a room with people to bounce ideas off of, to produce something that was nationally loved and remembered. The older I have gotten the more that ad has stuck with me… I want to work with a budget this big! 

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

First thing would be, that when I dream, a lot of the time it’s campaign or ad-related (maybe where the jingle where I was younger came from), the most recent one being the ultimate ASMR for tourism Tasmania… (hit me up). The other thing they wouldn’t know would be that I was a part of a ski team which won first place in a moguls skiing competition in high school, granted there were only two teams!  

In five years time, I will be: 

If somehow, I haven’t won the lottery and bought my dream home in Italy setting up and running my own café, I want to have bridged the knowledge gap and expanded my skills into creative and brand strategy, working with some of the biggest brands in either the UK or Australia to bring to life their vision in creative campaigns across multiple mediums.

I would love to work somewhere where I can push myself out of my comfort zone by changing what is comfortable and meeting more people within the industry.  

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