In our exclusive Modern Marketing Industry interview series, the founder and CEO of G+G Digital and G+G Advocacy, Michael Gullan, discusses his 31-year long career in advertising, industry transformation, his favourite campaigns, and more.

Early life

‘I have been part of the industry for 31 years. I actually started when I was sort of a four or five-year-old child, I used to play in the studio of my dad’s advertising agency, so I grew up literally in the business. Of course, in those days, they used to make up ads using electricity, literally sketching the interesting characters onto a piece of cardboard to make up a print ad. And everyone had long hair and smoked a lot in the studio.’

Gullan grew up with an extreme love for advertising. He started fairly soon after he left school, he studied briefly and started at the bottom and has spent 31 years in the industry in various roles and positions. 

‘I have worked on the client-side and the agency side. So it has been a real privilege for me to build a career that allows me to understand the mindsets and the needs of my clients because for a long time I was a client.’

Industry-related changes

‘The first and most important change in the industry has been the transformation of our industry where all members of the country, our cultures and our beautiful minds and opinions come together to create really amazing advertising that talks to every one of our citizens.’

The second notable change is the evolution of digital internet data, the power of social media, and how those collectively give consumers more information. ‘If you want to employ someone or you want to buy a product, the first thing you do is ‘Google it’.’

What have you enjoyed most about working in this industry? 

Gullan said that there are probably three things he has enjoyed the most. The first has been the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as a person, both as a just as a human being. And intellectually, He finds that this is one of the few businesses and industries that every day is a new day not the same as yesterday. And that there is always an opportunity to learn something new, no matter how long one has been in the business.

‘And I also love the people that I’ve met along my journey. It’s a privilege to meet the people we have in our business, the curious minds, the quirky personalities, and to be part it and of produce some really amazing work with these people.

I have been privileged to see some of the people that have worked in my business going on to find their own agencies and some of them have done that very successfully.

Keys to success

‘An inquiring mind, and commitment to continuous learning and determination, because this is not an industry for the faint of heart. You have to have passion, grit and determination if you want to succeed.’

Watch the rest of of the interview below, where Gullan discusses his hobbies and interests, advertising industry trends, and advice on executing a successful campaign.

Gullan’s favourite ad was the Johnson & Johnson campaign where G&G Digital strategised, designed and implemented a digital platform to engage with the dental industry on an ongoing basis to achieve, and even surpass, the success of the previous sales team.