An Interview with Jay Gelardi- CEO at Gypsy Inc. [VIDEO]

Charlie Cadbury and Norbert Horvath sit down with Jay Gelardi, CEO at Gypsy Inc and discuss innovation and where the industry is heading in the coming years.

Speakers: Charlie Cadbury, CEO, Say It Now; Norbert Horvath, CTO, Say It Now; Jay Gelardi, CEO, Gypsy Inc.

Read the transcript of the video here:

Charlie Cadbury 0:12
So we’re here this afternoon in Marina Del Rey with Jay gelardi of gypsy and obviously, Norbert here and to establish you. Do you want to give us a little bit of intro to who you are? Gypsy is sure. Well, I’m the CEO and co founder of Gypsy, which is an advertising agency, we differ a little bit from the norm and that we are a global platform of about 3500 Creative specialists based all over the world. And we work with companies like Twitch and HBO, Max, Netflix, Tinder into it and a range of others. Amazing. And is this is this what you expected yourself to be doing when you were 16 year old man? Honestly, I didn’t really know that advertising was a job when I was 16. I, you know, I obviously knew that had existed and they were

Jay Gelardi 1:06
interrupting my TV viewing but, but I never really understood it as an industry. And I certainly didn’t understand that being a creative in advertising was a was a job and let alone a career. So so I didn’t expect it. And I kind of fell into it through the backdoor.

But yeah, it’s a, it can be fun, it has its moments, it’s a, it’s a job that, unlike a lot of other industries is always evolving. The landscape with which we, you know, inhabit changes all the time. So we have to change with it. Part of the reason that we started gypsy is because, you know, the way that advertising was done in the 50s is not really the way it’s done now. But interestingly, the agency model hasn’t really changed with it. So this is our attempt at rewriting the the rulebook for the way advertising agencies function. And, and yeah, it’s good scan. Well,

Norbert Horvath 2:08
where do you see your role in the intersection of innovation and creative with innovators?

Jay Gelardi 2:15
Well, I think now they’re sort of indistinguishable. And that, you know, in the same way, as you can only write so many songs with the same three chords, you know, like, that’s the way advertising has been for a very long time, you would do your TV and your print and your radio out of home and a few other bits and pieces, but now, the media landscape just keeps fragmenting. And because of that, you need to have all these different specialists to, to come on board. And a lot of those specialists are in the innovation, space, and innovating. The ways with which you can reach people is critical, because, you know, they get bored very quickly, now people’s attention spans are limited. And I think you need to rethink your approach every time especially now where everything is so throw away, you know, they people are on such a short lifecycle of the things that they are exposed to. So innovation is critical, because in the same way, that it’s an interesting way to reach someone, if you can reach them in a way that they’ve never seen before, then they’re likely to talk about it. And if they talk about it, then that’s something that really money can’t buy and cents.

Charlie Cadbury 3:36
And so, um, on a day to day basis, you know, what’s what is there a typical day? And what’s that look like? And

Jay Gelardi 3:43
it varies hugely, you know, we work with big established brands, very storied brands that have been there and done everything. And for those brands, we might, you know, have a, maybe a more, I guess, traditional approach to things, because that’s where they used to, but then with those guys, we’re always trying to push the boundaries and get them to step out of their comfort zone. So, you know, that’s an interesting part of the day when it’s those kind of brands. And then equally, we work with startups that, you know, quite candidly, maybe don’t understand marketing. And, and so for those guys, you know, the, the job to do is almost to explain the fundamentals and then take them through it and then explain how that applies to them as a company and the interesting ways that they can reach people. So it’s, it’s really varied, you know, you might have a day where it’s back to back meetings, and you’re just doing the same old internal stuff. And then other days, you’re out on a shoot and you’re creating something really cool or you’re, you’ve come up with an idea and the whole team is completely jazzed about it and you’re just trying to figure out how the hell you’re actually going to execute it, which is a lot of fun. I think when you’re at the forefront of innovation in communications, like a lot of it is that you have the idea whether or not you can pull it off as like a big, big question mark. So I think those are the best days when, when the team is visibly excited about something. And then the challenge of like, how to actually crack the code as is like, on everyone’s mind.

Norbert Horvath 5:28
What part of the technology innovation Do you see being most impactful in the coming years? Range of Metaverse to vote and where do you see? Well, this?

Jay Gelardi 5:43
The Metaverse, I mean, that’s a loaded word. I think now. Because, you know, we work with a lot of companies that are blockchain based companies. And they’re and the metaverse is like this word that gets thrown around. And and I think it’s in the way that it’s talked about, it’s not the technology is not necessarily there to back up the claims. But what was the question again?

Norbert Horvath 6:17
What is she the most impactful channel of technology with regards to that?

Jay Gelardi 6:21
Yeah. It’s a good question. I do think in terms of comms. You know, we we live on social, essentially, and social is not a new thing. But the way social functions, I think, changes all the time, people’s viewing habits are changing all the time. So, you know, I think we’re still screen based for the large part. And, and I think there’s innovation within screen interaction, you know, like, truly interactive entertainment, is something that, I think is just that people have scratched the surface of that. And I think that is really interesting, I think, you know, a few brands have done things where they’ve created interactive storytelling. I think the entertainment industry, you know, we work with HBO and Netflix. And, and I think those companies are starting to look at, like, what is what is the future of interactive entertainment, like, you’ve got these worlds converging, essentially, gaming is a form is all interactive, and that’s, you know, that’s moulding into storytelling, and TV and linear stories. And so I think that whole, that whole space is ripe for some really, really amazing, you know, immersive entertainment that is, you know, can can also have commerce built into

Charlie Cadbury 8:02
it, where we’re exploring, you know, that shooter audio, so in terms of kind of audio and radio listening throughout your life, you know, what, what’s been your, your attitude, and how’s how’s that affected your, your life?

Jay Gelardi 8:16
I think it’s changed over the years, you know, I think when I was younger, you know, radio was a big part of everyone’s life, you know, they would listen to radio station to know what music to listen to. And, and, and I think, as you get a bit older, there’s a bit more a kind of opinion and talk radio, maybe like, crept into your life. And, and then now podcasts are obviously huge. And the podcast market is just ballooning. And I think even that’s gone through quite a significant evolution from, you know, it was it was it was indies, and it was guys like going out on the road and creating podcasts, and now it’s big business, big companies moving into the space. So I think even the way podcasts have evolved as changed people’s listening habits, but yeah, I mean, music has always been a huge part of my life, along with most other people. And to think that the, the way that we consume music is has changed, not necessarily for the better. I think it’s interesting that having every single song in the world at your disposal is not really is not necessarily the best way to be because I don’t think you treat the music with the same reverence that maybe you did when you went out and bought an album, you know, a CD or whatever it was, and you listen to every track. So I think, the way that we’ve we’ve got this like, it’s, it’s a, it’s a great example of, it’s a microcosm of the world, right? We have everything that we could ever want and it’s instant gratification. And I think that’s not necessarily helped the music in industry so, I personally, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and various things that I’m into usually recommendations one off stuff like that, but there’s a certain number that I listened to regularly and and I find like it’s a great source of sort of curated information which you never got from radio, you know, radio was just kind of in your face shouty but you would listen to it for the music and the DJ and the ads were kind of a necessary evil. And, and now you know you there’s so much curation in the podcast space, you can find exactly what you’re into. And there’ll be someone waxing lyrical about that exact thing. So. So I think that’s really cool. And yeah, you know, in terms of my listening habits now, it’s it’s a mixed bag, but it’s mostly podcasts and Spotify and Pandora and all the rest of it.

Charlie Cadbury 10:57
And we’re looking at kind of best best practices for kind of what what advertising around the audio space moves you can you remember first the first all the iPads, Zen at all, and all your ad or a radio station that sticks out from

Jay Gelardi 11:10
I mean, I used to listen to Capital FM, back in the day. And I seem to remember there was a Carphone Warehouse ad that was like, I can’t remember now, but they were just on there all the time. And, and they weren’t good. I don’t think I did that. I think a lot of radio ads are especially on those kinds of radio stations were very kind of shouty and in your face. And and they would normalise the audio so that it was louder than everything else as they do with TV ads. So So yeah, there’s that there’s nothing that sticks out in my mind that fondly about radio advertising. But I think there’s, again, when you blend, sort of editorial with like advertorial audio, when podcasts, start talking about products and stuff like that, where it’s actually genuinely interesting, I think that is, that’s why you’re way more likely to listen to that, take it in, and have it affect your behaviour than a shouty radio ad from the 90s.

Charlie Cadbury 12:22
That could have melange of, you know, the ads and content, you know, you think of any other ways that radio ads have changed over the last kind of 1015 years.

Jay Gelardi 12:34
You know, I don’t listen to the radio now. So. So I don’t know, I mean, I do listen to podcasts and their ads and set it into podcasts. And I think, just because of the way that the podcast is delivered, the way the advertising is like, has had to like shift to match that, you know, if if you’re listening to a long form podcast, and it’s some true crime thing, and some shouty ad comes on, it just kills the vibe. I mean, it’s just gonna have, it’s gonna give you a negative feeling. I think also, in a way, a lot of podcasters do their own ads during the, during the podcast, and they do it in their own style. And that lends itself to just the whole thing kind of feels more in keeping with, like a real recommendation from the person that you’ve just been listening to, and you trust them. And it’s sort of like the old fashioned way of TV advertising from the 50s, where they would like, you know, give you an ad as part of the show kind of thing. And, and I do think that is definitely better. I do think that sort of the packaged up, like shouty 32nd or 15 second ad is, is maybe not the best way to reach people, I think if things feel in keeping with the content that you’re listening to, if you can target through the content, and the style and the genre and all of those things, you’re most likely to get to get a positive reaction. And then

Charlie Cadbury 14:01
what then what’s reviewed, like, and obviously like, you know, we just we allow people to invent, engage with them, those kind of answer making is a medium, you know, we’re using using their voice, what do you think the role of that kind of interactivity?

Jay Gelardi 14:16
Well, again, you know, we live in a world of instant gratification, and we want everything to be, you know, instantly delivered. And if it doesn’t come in 48 hours, it’s some kind of outrage. And that’s like such a new thing. It’s like, just in the last five years, suddenly, if you go onto a website and order something and it doesn’t come at the time that Amazon would deliver it, then then you’d never go to them again. So I think having a platform whereby when you hear about something, you can essentially order it or see something that you can essentially order it it’s like everyone’s doing a million things at once. That’s right. And having a mechanism by which there can be a moment of inspiration. And I’m getting older, right, and I have a terrible short term memory. But I see things all the time, whether it be something, you know, on Instagram or, or on TV and, and I think about it and I think about like ordering it, but honestly don’t even go into my phone seems like it might be too much of an inconvenience and break my flow of whatever it is I’m doing. So I put it in the back of my mind. And I say, Well, I’m gonna look into that product later on, that sounds really cool. And then by and large, I never do, and they may pop into my mind at another point. But I’ve usually forgotten about it, or I’ve forgotten to buy it or whatever. So I do think the mechanism by which like the moment inspiration strikes, you can essentially transact is always going to be good. And I think that’s what you know, digital advertising did when it was it was a one click to buy. And I think that’s that’s happened over the years. And this just seems like the obvious evolution of that,

Norbert Horvath 16:04
in terms of awareness, marketing and brand awareness, and based on your experience, one of the main drivers that actually achieve maximum brand awareness and campaign.

Jay Gelardi 16:15
Just general brand awareness. Well, I mean, I think that’s gone through a few evolutions, just in recent years, I think. If there’s a difference between brand awareness and brand love and advocacy, and I think that’s, you know, you can be aware of a brand, but not necessarily want to engage with them. Because I think, you know, what used to just be like, shout at people, and they’ll know your brand, and then they’ll remember to put that in your basket. And that shopping mall, or whatever it is, is now people understanding what brands stand for, or even this is this is a few years ago, I think people would really look for brands that share their values and, and that kind of stuff so that so so brand values move to the forefront of a lot of advertising. And that that led to, you know, brands that exist that have an almost intangible brand love, like it like a Patagonia or something where everyone’s just like, well, I love them, and they’re expensive, but I’ll buy them because they have all these, you know, they’re doing all these endeavours to essentially make the world a better place. And so I’ll pay over the odds, or whatever it is. So I think there’s a lot of brand stories that have been very well told, that lead to massive brand awareness and word of mouth, you know, if you love a brand, and you go out and you’re wearing it, or you’re, you know, you’re consuming it, or whatever it is, and you tell someone about it, like that recommendation from a friend is worth more than 1000 TV ads. I do also think that people generally vibe, well with clever ideas, and they vibe well with good storytelling. And, and it’s, it’s not to speak ill of clients, because obviously they have their own things to worry about. But very often, you know, the, the creative, the creative integrity of a piece of work, gets chipped away out through that process. And, and it’s always frustrating as a creative person, because you can see that what we’re getting at what we set out to produce would have been this incredibly impactful piece of columns. And then you know, gradually, you know, there’s input from various different parts of the client business and essentially they they break down those those pieces that we’re going to tug on the heartstrings, or, you know, make people think about the product in a different way, and essentially, to lessen the impact of that piece of communication. So, you know, there are brands that, that see that and there are brands that don’t. I also think if you talk a lot about yourself, you’re in your own product, generally. That doesn’t resonate as well as when you talk about the people who consume your product. It’s very basic rule, not followed by a lot of brands but but I think when when people can see themselves as part of the audience of the product, and they can see themselves in it and it’s not just all about like, talking about themselves, that also leads to brand love, brand awareness, all those things that essentially all brands want.

Charlie Cadbury 19:45
Consumer obsession,

Jay Gelardi 19:47
consumer obsession and, and and advocacy and like, you know, some brands have advocacy that is illogical, you know, and like it’s a very delicate thing and and it takes a deft touch to make that work. But the best agencies managed to do it and, and the best brands see that value, and a lot of others don’t. And, and they essentially have to pay more for their advertising, you know, they have to, again, they got to do it again and repeat it 100 times and get the message into your brain that way. So

Charlie Cadbury 20:21
this is absolutely crazy Goldust in terms of just wrapping this up with a kind of an audio theme, like any particular podcast or radio station that you would be listening to, as we leave this today

Jay Gelardi 20:42
or the webcast, you want to recommend the movie recommendation you have to know the blind boy podcast No Yeah, you don’t know the binary podcast. Maria should should know this. Like it’s a it’s this Irish guy who, who just talks about the most random things ever. But he’s super smart. He does disparage advertisers a lot on his podcast. You know, he makes a point of every time the ad the inserted ad break comes on of talking about how he’s not beholden to, you know, the corporate swines who make advertising but his his podcast is absolutely brilliant. It’s like he does a lot of mental health stuff but in a packaged up in a really palatable format. But also he does the best things is when he does these random hot takes on things that are so just interesting, and he’s very erudite and check it out the blind boy podcast.

Charlie Cadbury 21:46
Fantastic. Amazing. Well, thanks so much for carving out some time for us this afternoon. See you again. Cool, thank you. Cheers, guys.