Young Guns: Sam Somers at SKMG

By AdNews | 15 June 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.

Sam Somers, general manager, SKMG

Time in current role/time at the company:

Pushing three years now.

How long have you been in the industry?

Let’s go with eight years.

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

An IT degree charted off course and ended me up in media for a good six years before I powered-through one fateful afternoon of go-karting with the partners at SKMG. I made the jump pre - “The Great Resignation”, mid-pandemic, and post-go-karting without ever looking back, nor looking down to see if there was water in the pool! It’s been smooth sailing ever since.

Who is your right-hand person/who guides you day to day?

Neil Shoebridge. We sit at opposite ends of a long table hurling everything from advice to insults to wise cracks at each other all day long. It’s good to learn from one of the so-called “comms greats” but it’s even better to do it when they’re a friend.

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

I think the way in which it has evolved. Comms, especially corporate comms, used to be thought of as this spin-doctoring, lying-for-the-corporations-type industry.

Looking at it today, it’s really about transparency, honesty, and – as per one of SKMG’s values – amplifying the good, not hiding the bad.

And the biggest challenge?

Trying not to write or edit another piece on AI and the future of this apparent God-forsaken industry!

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

My obsession with organisation and process has led me to be served a lot of ads from warehouse solutions companies. While it’s a fallback career for me, some days I see these ads and seriously wonder how good I could be in the floorspace efficiency game. Watch this space.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Substack email newsletters. My morning inbox is full of them.

Also renowned essayists Chuck Klosterman, Joel Golby and Durga Chew-Bose.

My favourite advert is:

I think Spotify’s user data campaign from about 2016 is beautiful. Using data to be specific and niche, while also being funny, really speaks to me. I’m always vaguely afraid that my listening habits will be broadcast to the world, and it will be over for me. Seeing some of those ads around people’s peculiar listening choices makes everything seem alright in comparison.

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

I love country music.

In five years’ time I'll be:

Just as positive a person as I am today.

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