Tommy McCubbin—advertising Creative Director, dad and podcaster—joins me on MATE to discuss why he thinks advertising sucks, how to avoid the #1 start-up mistake and share his thoughts on podcasting. We jump right into his controversial opinions about the advertising industry and why traditional ads don’t work. Tommy reveals the harsh truth behind why his start-up failed and the warning signs he ignored. And we also talk about exciting new technology, trends in podcasting and how to succeed with side projects.
Topics and links:
- Tommy’s podcast: Future Sandwich.
- Family (not work) is the only thing that ultimately matters.
- Writing lists to be productive
- OmniFocus, the to-do list app mentioned in MATE episode 004, with Leigh Price.
- Written lists reduce stress and get things out of your head
- Why traditional ads suck (why we should be creating platforms and products instead of campaigns).
- What does an advertising Creative Director do?
- Why is advertising work called “the creative”?
- Advertising teams were originally organised into departments by discipline; there’s a documentary film about it called Art & Copy.
- The shift towards everyone in an ad agency being “creative”.
- Happy Wife, Tommy’s gift reminder app (which has since been shuttered).
- WhisperTip, bringing pub sports tipping to the 20th century.
- Why you shouldn’t fall in love with your start-up idea
- Prove your concept by trying to extract cash from people for your start-up prototype
- Friends are the worst judges of your start-up because they’re inherently biased
- The Future Sandwich podcast was modelled off Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
- The trend of narrative journalism in podcasts (i.e. shows with a “story arc”).
- Recent Future Sandwich episodes:
- Here’s the video of PJ Vogt talking about how the best podcasters on Earth don’t even really know what they’re doing:
- Gimlet Media, the darling child podcast network, who produces the following popular podcasts:
- Serial, the most successful podcast in history (hosted by Sarah Koenig and produced by This American Life).
- Media businesses (including podcasts) need massive scale/reach to be able to generate any revenue from advertising.
- CPM = cost per 1,000 media impressions.
- Nobody looks at banner ads
- The global state of ad blocking
- Tommy pays me $5 AUD cash for 5x episodes of MATE ad-free:
- MVP = minimum viable product (i.e. a quick prototype of your business/idea).
- Celebrities with podcasts doing well right now:
- Alec Baldwin’s podcast: Here’s The Thing
- Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast: Revisionist History
- Lena Dunham’s podcast: Women Of The Hour
- Treating projects as experiments allows you to adapt and be agile
- MATE episode 002, with Athan Didaskalou.
- MATE episode 001, with Jayden Seric.
- Learning by doing is the only true way to understand something
- What’s exciting you right now? Virtual reality.
- What’s not exciting you right now? Ad products.
- Nic Hodges, Head of Commercial Innovations at News Corp.
- Steve Sammartino, author of The Great Fragmentation.
- Ben Birchall, co-host of the Ingredipedia podcast.
- Kain Tietzel, CEO of Start VR (Sydney based virtual reality studio).
- Ben Keenan, Interactive Creative Director at Clemenger BBDO.
- Harriet Wray, Director of Operations at CHE Proximity.
- The guest on this episode: Tommy McCubbin, host of the Future Sandwich podcast and Creative Director at CHE Proximity.
- Editing help by Morgan Dunn
- Podcast logo cover artwork by Courtney Carman
- Music from “Ghosts I–IV” by Nine Inch Nails, used under a Creative Commons licence.
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MATE podcast is a show about Marketing, Advertising, Technology and Entrepreneurship. Hosted by Adam Jaffrey: Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur. Made with ❤ in Melbourne, Australia.
MATE podcast is a production by branded podcast agency Wavelength Creative.