Young Guns: PHD Sydney planning executive Joe McCabe

By AdNews | 26 April 2018
Joe McCabe

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly 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.

Previously we met, Initiative partnerships executive Nick Archer. Today, we meet PHD Sydney planning executive Joe McCabe.

Duration in current role:

Eight months.

How long have you been in the industry?

Just over two years.

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

Growing up in country NSW limits the exposure advertising has on a career path early on. The original plan was to be an electrician for Essential Energy! Luckily, in year ten of high school, I was taken over to CSU Bathurst and they gave us a run down of a few arts/communications degrees.

The advertising degree and university life was too good to pass up. Three years later I picked up an internship with PHD that led to a full-time position. Happy days.

Who's your right-hand person?

A lovely bloke by the name of James Hanley. Always seem to be doing something with him. From creating presentations on why we should be on the PHD Exec table for Pitch-To- Punch, to entering the Young Lions competition.

What’s best thing about the industry you work in? 

The job changes every day. It gives me a chance to try out new things and learn different skills. I could be planning a consumer campaign with a broad target and endless budget, then suddenly shift to focus on driving recommendations for a B2B campaign with an audience of 20,000.

And the biggest challenge?

B2B planning on the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a completely different world with vastly different outcomes for success. The Australian market is still developing and its often difficult to drive results from channels. Analysing the different pro’s/con’s of a medium/publisher and uncovering ways to innovate in a heavily regulated category would be the biggest challenge I face.

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

It’s hard to say. The easy answer would be another planning role. With an industry that is as fluid as ours, it could easily be in something completely different to what I’m doing now.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Seeing people and teams within my agency delivering great work. It drives me to produce my best work and explore creative ways of achieving results.

My favourite advert is (and why):

“IT’S A BIG AD”. This has been my favourite ad since I first saw it! It captivates you from the start and holds your attention as it builds intensity. I think most people can still recite this from start to finish.

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

I was hospitalised in a tutu because of my sister when I was about five… Thus, ending my dream of becoming the red swan.

In five years' time I'll be:

London! I spent a couple of days working from the PHD office last year. Would be a great challenge to throw yourself into a new market and see if your knowledge and skills stack up. Maybe they’ll take me back.

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