Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Thinkerbell's Jim Ingram and Adam Ferrier on the measured magic of life after PwC

Thinkerbell's Jim Ingram and Adam Ferrier on the measured magic of life after PwC

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade.

Today’s episode features an interview with Adam Ferrier and Jim Ingram, co-founders of full service agency Thinkerbell. The agency recently bought back consultancy PwC’s stake in the business, returning it to full independence.

Further down, we cover a slightly better day on The Unmade Index, which still can’t seem to break beyond its 700 point ceiling.

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Six years on, why we’re still talking about Thinkerbell’s ‘measured magic’

Thinkerbell has been bestowed with agency of the year awards by the likes of BestAds, Mumbrella, and B&T

It’s been six years since the launch of Thinkerbell, a communications agency with foundations in creativity, media strategy, public relations and until recently a foot in the consulting world too. Back when Russel Howcroft was leading PWC’s marketing consultancy arm, the company took a ten percent stake in the fledgling Thinkerbell which started with the simple proposition of “measured magic”.

That part of Thinkerbell changed direction last month when the founders bought back PWC’s stake in the agency as the consultancy struggles with its own existential crisis.

Now that Thinkerbell is fully independent, it was an ideal time for Unmade’s Tim Burrowes to speak to founders Adam Ferrier and Jim Ingram to try and discover why Thinkerbell has succeeded when so many others have not.

The discussion ranges from Thinkerbell’s new start, to the future of the CMO, the rationale for Ferrier’s above-the-parapet TV profile, AI in Thinkerbell, and the secret sauce of their ‘Tinker’ and ‘Thinker’ agency structure. They also tackle some of the agency’s defining work including February’s show stopping “Tall Poppy” mini film for CGU.

“The marketing science meets hardcore creativity was a really obvious meeting place for where we started the agency,” Ingram says, explaining the synergy of the varied backgrounds of co-founders Ferrier, and Ben Couzens along with Margie Reid who brought order to the agency when she joined soon after launch.

"When the ideas are being had, the concept of how they’re going to be executed and bringing them to life, all starts to happen at the same time as part of the creation process,” Ingram adds.

On the PwC departure, Ferrier says "It feels like the right time to leave.

“We’re now enjoying being 100% rather than 90% independent. Transparency of process is absolutely fundamental to good business today.”

Ferrier also did his best to avoid offering advice on how PWC should tackle its own PR crisis, despite being pushed.

He was more frank about his motivations to be on TV so often. “It must be my ego that drives it. That’s not mutually exclusive to good business sense. Will Leach once told me there’s no business model in flying under the radar.”

Unmade Index springs slightly further into the green

Seja Al Zaidi writes:

It was another small step into the green for the Unmade Index yesterday, which measures the performance of ASX-listed media and marketing stocks. The two biggest companies on the Index led the 0.39% lift to 698.9 points.

The index has been threatening to break back above 700 points for weeks now without quite getting there.

Domain led the board with a 2% lift in share price, followed by Nine’s 0.93% and Enero Group’s 1.68%.

Ooh Media stared down a 0.36% fall, while printing and marketing firm IVE Group also saw a 1.23% tumble. The radio companies didn’t fare any better - ARN Media dropped 0.49%, while Southern Cross Austereo tipped 1.06% into the red.

Time to leave you to your Thursday.

Today’s podcast was produced by Seja Al Zaidi and edited by Abe’s Audio the people to talk to about voiceovers, sound design and podcast production.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow.


Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade

Message us: letters@unmade.media

Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes