President, New York
With an early career in full service media agencies in Australia, she is excited about the new world of content and the role of consumers and brands as publishers. She can geek out with the best of them on data but loves the insight that leads to a creative and compelling solution for her clients.
Briony believes that if she’s not helping her current clients grow their business, then she’s not doing her job. She says, “As smart media planners, we can guide channel mix, timing and targeting. We can optimize our trading, manage dayparts and frequency and all that stuff will drive a better return on ad spend. But that’s table stakes in my view. Innovation and creativity is what delivers transformational ROI for clients. At PHD we live by the idea of ‘Making Impressions, not just buying them’. We believe that smart media beats cheap media every day of the week. Media that create impact or an impression that makes change- that’s what we encourage our people to do.”
She adds, “As an industry, we are constantly reimagining what media is, so naturally our idea of what innovation in media is, changes too. I think the mistake is believing that change is purely driven by technology and data. Any good agency has that. For us, it’s how we use data and the ideas it inspires, not that we have it. It’s our approach to research, not that we do it.”
Work should be scrappy, simple and brave—that’s Briony’s motto. In fact, she believes that agencies should now be in the business of ‘making media’ and cites an example of what PHD has done for Converse. “We literally walked the streets of Brooklyn to find spaces we could create media where it didn’t exist-- on sidewalks and in alleyways-- and we sold out of Converse in 2 days. That’s scrappy.”
Her core belief now as NY President of PHD? “Innovation is not just about our clients and the brands we work with. It’s about thinking differently, too. I’m lucky to lead a collective of over 300 super smart minds at PHD. It’s my job to build, create and foster an army of different thinkers. Yes, we have to deliver a great product, but, we have to have put just as much energy and effort into forming, feeding and rewarding a hungry workforce of different thinkers.”
Briony McCarthy grew up in a town called Kangaroo Flat in Victoria, Australia, and she often admits that Americans get a real kick out of that. Growing up, she was obsessed with a show called Melrose Place, and aspired to be like Amanda Woodward from D&D Advertising. That’s how she found her way into advertising, but today she’s also forging a very new path.