In Focus: Interview with Adrian Robinson, Managing Director of The Marketing Counselors Limited, Jamaica

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Adrian Robinson

Adrian Robinson is the managing director of The Marketing Counselors Limited, a full-service advertising agency based in Jamaica.

Interview with the 2018 Muse Creative Awards Winner - Adrian Robinson

1First, tell us about yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
I have had a multifaceted career. I started out wanting to be a broadcasting specialist and entered the broadcasting business as a radio announcer. A number of opportunities began to emerge as the marketplace evolved and I recognized the need to acquire additional skills. I embarked on that knowledge journey acquiring varying marketing skills and to learn all that I could about what that world had to offer. This knowledge acquisition led to a keen interest and new perspectives about the business of communication and advertising and the fact that it demanded lifelong learning commitment, one that I embraced wholeheartedly.

I recognized that if I was going to excel in that area, I would have to grow with it…learn with it, which resulted in my entry point into the business - an invitation to be a radio and TV scriptwriter. That experience kept the fire ignited within me and soon thereafter, I formed a partnership and established my first advertising business.

Inevitably, you recognize that people's ambitions differ from yours and I had a path that I wanted to chart that saw the formation of my own Agency - The Marketing Counselors.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
The Marketing Counselors was founded by myself in 1987. We are a full-service Advertising Agency with a full complement of professionals working across various disciplines in Creative, Strategy, Media, Design, and Digital.

Our Mission: “To develop excellent marketing driven advertising for every Client within a harmonious agency environment, and to provide consistently well-informed counsel which will contribute to greater profitability for our clients and, through their success, to our own.”

The Agency is organized along six (6) primary professional lines with two (2) supporting service bureau.

Professional Lines:
1. Marketing Analysis and Account Service
2. Design and Multimedia
3. Digital
4. Creative Concepts and Writing
5. Media Buying and Analysis
6. Accounting

Supporting Lines:
1. Library Services
2. IT Services

Our creative approach is guided by the principle that:
People don’t buy coal, they buy heat
People don’t buy circus tickets, they buy thrills
People don’t buy newspapers, they buy the news

3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2018 Muse Creative Awards, what does winning this award mean to you and your team?
There are never the right words, other than, "It means everything!" We live by the fact that good marketing ultimately leads to effective advertising. To be rewarded for creative excellence is more than a moment's gratification, it is what keeps us in business, it is what keeps our Clients happy, and what keeps us growing from one strength to another.
4Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
One can only answer seeing through the prism of the Jamaican market place and the changes in how and by what means people want to be spoken to using the creative arts. Increasingly the market wants to be entertained. It is in that area that you have to live and breathe day after day. We also need to acknowledge that the pattern of change is much shorter today than it was yesteryear and anticipate that it may become even shorter and continue to live and breathe in it as the change takes place.
5What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
1. It forces you to think extensively and broadly.

2. Getting the message across that are interesting and creative.

3. Plumbing the consumers' mind to break resistance barriers and make people feel good.
6Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Norman Manley.

He was a thinking man and his intellect was impressive…but more than that was the incredible integrity he brought to everything that he did. A handshake was all that was ever required. He was a trustworthy leader.
7What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
We are a small nation, yet we stand apart from other small islanders simply because of how we perceive ourselves. We think as if we were a continent. It is for this reason we have been able to give so much to the world…our music, our art.
8If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a career in creative industry, what would it be?
To recognise that it is wider and broader than might appear on the surface, and that it demands more of your intellect. You must be willing to give it the thinking space it requires.
9What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the advertising industry?
Read as much as you can about anything and everything.
10Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I don’t quite have an answer for this one.
11Finally, what is your key to success?
The reward for hard work is that you are invited to do more work.

Winning Entries

Ordinary People | 2018

Ordinary People | The Marketing Counselors Limited
The Broadcasting Commission has over the years shared public education messages on the importance of ratings to protect children from harmful content. The research showed that... (read more)

Pinchy | 2018

Pinchy | The Marketing Counselors Limited
The fake news phenomena have been dominating local and international headlines in recent times. Content is being fed to people continuously and... (read more)

The Marketing Counselors Limited

The Marketing Counselors opened its doors 31 years ago, on the first working day of the year. The reason for the business was inevitably the marketing conditions that existed at that time. The market tended to be under-sophisticated in the way that it saw the role of marketing in the development of good advertising.
Hence the opportunity to change the modus operandi and demonstrate how strategic marketing thinking will result in powerful advertising…we set out to put the horse where it belongs…before the cart. It is those considerations that should lead the advertising story, to bring to the market the point of view that examined the market considerations before we put pen to paper to write the ads.