Young Guns: Pedestrian TV advertising manager, Jordan Gelbart

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 27 October 2016
Jordan Gelbart

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the buzzing young talent under 30 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. Last week we spoke to Fairfax Made social strategist, Natalie Sutton.

This week we head to Sydney to speak to Pedestrian TV advertising and partnerships manager, Jordan Gelbart.

How long have you been in the industry?

One year and nine months - yep, I’m a baby.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

One year and nine months.

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

I was actually working as a financial adviser helping young families and individuals achieve their financial and lifestyle goals through tailored plans. I was recommended this job by a friend/mentor who was already established in the industry. I was looking for something more dynamic, fast paced and creative then the financial sector. Pretty happy with my decision.

Define your job in one word:


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

What I had heard before beginning my role was the industry consists of lots of long lunches, boozy afternoons and hungover mornings…

How does the reality match up? 

If you’re not hitting targets, keeping your clients happy, working hard and building relationships these long lunches will simply not exist.

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

Pedestrian TV is a website that delivers news in a unique tongue and cheek way, we create content, activations, work with influencers but most of all we create bespoke ideas for brands looking to reach a unique and hard to reach youth audience.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Being able to build relationships with all types of people that will no doubt last throughout my career. I love tapping into the creative parts of my brain and pushing the boundaries when creating ideas for my clients. Being a part of a memorable campaign is extremely rewarding.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

Most days I am faced with hard learnings, adapting to a brand new and ever-changing industry has its challenges. I think the biggest challenges involve finding the balance between creating an amazing, memorable campaign for a client while also making it relevant and worth reading for our audience. Essentially successfully finding that balance is the difference between having your clients work with you again or never again.

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

I’d love to get into a managerial role, I have a passion for helping people, I’ve got a huge amount of respect for the people who have helped develop me over my career so if I can pay it forward to the next up and coming young guns, I’d be extremely pleased.

What's exciting you about the industry right now? 

Technology advances and its impact on how business and brands create campaigns. With the explosion of things like Snapchat, virtual reality, real-time marketing and streaming services like Netflix. Although technology is becoming a tad terrifying it also creates more opportunities for the business and of course my clients to deliver more innovative campaigns.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

The huge advancements in technology threatening jobs of young driven sales people.

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

Brian Florido our client aervice director. He does an excellent job at keeping me focussed as my attention span at times has a tendency to float away with pixies.

And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?

My mate and mentor Simon Scarf at Uber.

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

I am extremely attracted to the idea of starting my own business in the tech space, running a team of young hungry sales people and leading by example. Think Wolf of Wall St without the corruption and Quaaludes.

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

People in media don’t get paid enough. Just kidding, but seriously.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

I have a strange obsession with Parks, having “me time” I find is extremely important. Sometimes we can get so caught up in work and trying to keep everyone happy that we have a tendency to forget about number one. Next time you’re walking past a park, or a relaxing setting take 10 minutes, put your phone away and see for yourself. Also, my mum, she’s my biggest fan.

I’m constantly looking for inspiration, from friends, colleagues and even strangers. You can find it just about anywhere if you look close enough.

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

Here’s two: I play the bagpipes and have represented Australia at the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Also, I was the lead role in my high school musical South Pacific.

Favourite advert is:

Absolutely loving the new Air New Zealand with Dave the Goose. Would’ve loved to have been a fly in the wall on that brainstorm.

What’s your personal motto?

“A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.”

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

I wanted to be in an industry that was fast paced and that would complement my personality. I also wanted to prove to myself that the skills I had learnt in sales over the years were translatable to just about any industry.

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

A sports reporter or Kim Kardashians bodyguard.

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