Meet the MD – 11 Questions with James Cooper by
Laura Bissett

May 7, 2013

After a number of interviews with our Metropolis Staff over the history of Blog inc. we finally had the chance today, to sit down with our Managing Director James Cooper.

What was your first job?
Working in my Dad’s factory on a packaging line. I did that every school holidays to earn pocket money since I was about 12. My parents told me they wanted to teach me the meaning of hard work, the value of a dollar and to get some first hand experience in what I might NOT like to do for a career.

What is your favourite part about Metropolis the Company?
As an entrepreneur / business owner I believe that your business and your personal life are intrinsically linked. Therefore, I like that Metropolis fills me with a personal sense of pride, happiness and optimism for achieving something great.

What is your favourite piece of advertising (Past or present)?
It’s a 30 second TV spot for Gravox in New Zealand. The ad alternates between a product shot of a Gravox packet and a headshot of a large Ox with a voiceover saying “This is gravy – This is an Ox – This is gravy – This is an Ox.”  I like it because it reminds me that at times, we advertisers have a tendency to over-complicate things. Sometimes a basic gag with a product shot can still be effective and memorable. I also like that the client must have had a sense of humour about themselves and what they do and that’s always refreshing.

What excites you most about the industry?
Change. In the next 10 years this industry will change dramatically. Convergence of media through technology will continue to bring about incredible change to the way we’re communicating with consumers and the way that we are managing brands and campaigns. What excites me most is working with clients to help them understand, implement and impact change in their businesses through marketing and creativity.

What is the best meal you’ve eaten in Sydney?
BBQ sausage in a roll with tomato sauce or steak and salad. Simplicity is the greatest sophistication.

Where will the most significant growth occur in the company in the next few years?
The convergence between our media and digital departments and our growth into Asia.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
I keep forgettin’ by Mike MacDonald.

What is your view on trends in the Australian Communication landscape?
My view is that it is all about data and creativity. Those businesses who can make meaningful sense of their data and use it to drive innovation will be most successful. Whether you’re an agency or a client, striving to achieve a level of data quality that accurately informs your marketing strategies is critical.

What matters more than money?
Freedom and family.

What was the last movie you watched at the cinema?
Zero dark thirty. I’m not sure if the question now requires that I write a review?… In the words of Margaret Pomerantz… ‘I’m giving it 4 stars’.

What effect do you feel Social media is having on the Advertising and Branding Industry?
I think Social Media is a new type of media that most businesses haven’t worked out how to measure or monetise properly yet. Whilst attracting people to your business or brands on Social Media is important, it’s also important to realise that in doing so, you don’t own that relationship. It’s facilitated by and filtered to your audience by the Social Media outlet.

I can certainly see its value in building and quantifying your brand’s audience and the potential for zealots to share and encourage a wider connection on your behalf… but like anything that spreads via word of mouth, it generally needs to be driven by a unique insight, a brilliant idea or a scandal.

For me, Social Media must at some point deliver the opportunity to have a more direct, meaningful relationship with your customer. Just because people ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you doesn’t mean you know anything about them. The challenge with Social Media is to take the audience created on Social Media and turning them into actual customers.




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