Features

24 hours with Meat and Livestock Australia’s Andrew Howie

Ever wondered what life is like spruiking the greatest meat on Earth to the masses? In this 24 hours with, MLA's Andrew Howie talks ads, the Friday strut and of course, meat.

5:30am, Friday

It is definitely dark. Most probably cold.

I managed to silence the alarm with ninja speed. Or so I thought. My wife tells me to get out of bed and go running. I think I heard her mutter something about my physical appearance, but I can’t be sure.

I creep past my kid’s bedroom and out into the street. Confirmed – it is definitely cold. I begin my shuffle and successfully manage 7km. Slow enough that I may have been mistaken for a power walker, but marginally faster than if I stayed in bed.

How the world looks at 5:30am

6:15am  

I wheeze back into the house and into the throes of my wife corralling two kids under the age of four, whilst getting dressed to head off to her highly successful career. I’m lucky she chose me.

I’m also proud of our little legends, who love to watch old Australia Day ads on the laptop in the morning. We are pretty vigilant on screen time in the house, but I don’t mind them watching my ads as they are an excellent education tool, right?

7:00am

Next it is into the car to drop the legends at day care. Both have matching shoes and their backpacks with water bottles which means we are doing better than most days.

Both also have toothpaste smeared across their face… ratbags. It’s one all on the scoreboard. Drop-off goes smoothly with no meltdowns today, so that is two one I say. It’s onto the bus and making a start on the emails that came in early.

8:30am

Into the office now with that familiar Friday strut – the diary shows a pretty busy little day ahead. We launched a really big Beef campaign last week so the team are working hard to do what they do best – delivering world class marketing campaigns. ‘The Greatest meat on Earth’ is very brave work and it is exciting to see it in market.

Last year’s MLA lamb ad:

There is also a kick-ass lamb campaign halfway down the pipeline. As usual there is a bit of risk associated with it, so we need to make sure we are really buttoned down on the detail and the consultation. “Defendable risk” is something we seem to say a lot in this job.

Our legal team are pretty patient and definitely tolerant.

1:00pm

The afternoon follows the same format, meeting with our partner agencies. We have long-standing relationships with them and the great thing is most of the team are long-standing employees of those companies. It means that we have built a really good, solid working relationship. We have a lot of stability on our business which we really value. Everyone is clear on their roles and we get great work more often as a result.

4:30pm

Closing out the day is a solid catch-up with the creative guys from The Monkeys, working through the lamb script. I really value the collaborative relationship we have.

I am not sure there are too many client/creative relationships where you get in a room together with lots of banter to thrash stuff out. Most of my ideas end up in the bin, usually after I leave the room, but it is cool to be included in a session like that. After a job well done we close out the week with a quick frothy one. Delicious.

It’s home time. I’m excited to get to day care to collect the kids. The greatest part of the day is the look on their face when you walk into the room – it’s a reminder of why you do what you do all day.

5:00pm

We get home and kick a footy out the back using the last remaining rays of sunlight before heading inside for dinner and baths. The kids have been well behaved all week so a Friday night treat after dinner is a Peppa Pig ice-cream.

8:00pm

And for our dinner, beef pillow steak. The greatest meat on Earth, of course. Well paired with a full bodied Shiraz from God’s country, the Barossa Valley.

Andrew Howie is Meat and Livestock Australia’s group marketing manager.

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