10 questions with… Amelia Torode, founder of The Fawnbrake Collective

The Drum speaks to people across the global media and marketing sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions With... Amelia Torode, founder of The Fawnbrake Collective.

Amelia Torode

What was your first ever job?

I’ve always worked, always wanted financial independence even at a very young age I was babysitting the kids in our street, but my first real job where I got a weekly pay packet was as newspaper delivery girl. I delivered the local free-sheet that no-one wanted but I didn’t care, I just loved having a job and not have to ask parents for pocket money.

Why did you get into marketing?

When I started at university there was only one supermarket and it was the time when no-one had a mobile phone, 1994, so I spent a lot of time queueing up in a crowded Sainsbury's, bored trying to think of anything to pass the time. I invented a game which I now call Basket Economics - without looking at the person, only looking at the items in their basket, what kind of picture can you build up about the shopper - how old are they? Where do they go to on holiday? What’s a great Saturday night look like? What do they order in a pub, do they go to pubs? It didn't matter whether I was right or wrong, what I found so fascinating was that brands could be such markers of identity. I then found out about the WPP Marketing Fellowship which was, and still is, the best possible grounding for anyone interested in brands.

What’s the most surprising thing you have learned about the creative sector since working within it?

The snobbery from within certain creative disciplines about other creative disciplines.

What campaign or work have you most enjoyed being a part of?

Pretty much everything that I worked on at VCCP - it felt like a golden time, surrounded by smart people like Steve Vranakis, Charles Vallance, Buster Dover, Michael Sugden, all thinking differently about creativity, technology, ideas and culture. In terms of specific campaigns O2, comparethemarket.com, London 2012 all stand.

What have you learned from any mistakes you’ve made in your career?

When you work with people you have to like, respect and trust them. I used to think that you could get away with two of them, but I have learnt the hard way that you need to have all three.

Ideal pet: Dog, Cat, other?

Cats, they just get on with stuff. Dogs are just too needy.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting thing about my job is the incredible independent talent that Sera Miller, my Fawnbrake co-founder, and I are connecting with - smart, principled, creative, funny. Talent who want to stay in the game, but get out of the system (that's Sera's line by the way!)

Ogilvy or Bernbach?

Ogilvy. “We sell or else.”

Four happy years in OgilvyOne / OgilvyInteractive in New York a long long time ago.

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon what would it be?

Side hustle.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Back in 1997 Jeremy Bullmore told me: “no-one cares about your own career as much as you do.” He was right.

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