Young Guns: Special Group account exec, Isaac Cerecke

By AdNews | 17 March 2017
Isaac Cerecke

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.

Last week we spoke to Webling Interactive creative technologist Ed Sheldon.

This time we chat to Special Group account executive Isaac Cerecke.

How long have you been in the industry?

10 months.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

10 months.

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

Trying to find stimulus at University. Being from New Zealand, my school bus used to drive past the Special Auckland office. Seeing that an office opened here, I sent a cold email, and we’re away laughing.

Define your job in one word:


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

Real - I thought that nice people would be few and far between. Cliché – I thought there’d be more drinking.

How does the reality match up? 

In my experience everyone is nice and normal and keen to give direction no matter how small.

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

We are a creative agency, with a focus in using creativity not just for creativity’s sake but to make the clients’ business better. I’ve sourced custom perfume, gone to shoots, and have day-to-day client involvement. It’s very hands on.

Special Group took out the gong for Specialist Agency of the Year at the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards for 2016. 

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Seeing something you’ve been a part of on TV after work. Instant satisfaction.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

In a startup/smaller agency there is an atmosphere where sometimes you just have to do it. Meaning you learn lots very fast, and have direct involvement with everyone in the team.

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

Design would be cool, not sure how my Microsoft paint skills would go down though. But, in reality, business development is an aspect I’m really interested in.

What's exciting you about the industry right now? 

We’re at a point where tech, transport and production is relatively cheap and accessible. This means that we get to work on brands and products that previously would have only been attainable to an elite or in a very small part of the globe. Simultaneously, we have a massive disruption industry where today’s major brands are replacing the guards of old in terms of brand recognition. With the ability to employ some of the most innovative creative, the industry has ever seen.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

Being a millennial obviously I’m one of the first generations where things like TV and print aren’t our largest ad consumption – I think this means that if the industry doesn’t adapt and shift their strategy this will have negative ramifications within the traditional agency business model and creative process – not to imply that these will go away entirely, but creative needs to be able to stand alone on each platform as well as a cohesive campaign.

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

Account director at Special Group Australia, Tori Magill, is my go-to guidance person and all round wisdom provider.

And your almighty mentor that you hope to dethrone?

Lindsey Evans our CEO is the type of person I’d hope to one day be similar to. The everyday focus and simultaneous big picture view is admirable.

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

Four years, not long, should probably finish my degree first. But would love to be getting involved more in account direction/business development, maybe in New York. From what I can see now, what that will take is getting exposure, doing the work, and the creation of opportunity.

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

The need for lasting inter-agency cross sector partnerships and alliances, it’s an oversupply industry – why not help each other out?

Where do you turn for inspiration?

General discussion. People are interesting, they should talk to each other.

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

I started studying to be a doctor…

Favourite advert is:

Can’t beat “Ghost Chips” for NZTA.

What’s your personal motto?

Don’t have personal mottos.

I got into advertising because:

It’s creative, can be fun and filled with normal people.

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

Probably still studying to become a doctor.

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