Industry Interview: Michael Gullan On Growing Up With An Extreme Love Of Advertising

Michael Gullan.

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

Gullan was introduced to the industry when he was four years old. ‘I used to play in the studio of my dad’s advertising agency, so I literally grew up in the business. In those days, they used to make up ads using Letraset, literally scratching characters onto a piece of cardboard to make up a print ad. Everyone had long hair and smoked a lot in the studio,’ he said. Because of this background, Gullan grew up with an extreme love of advertising.

He started in the industry fairly soon after he left school, 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 has been the transformation of our industry, where our cultures and our beautiful minds and opinions come together to create really amazing advertising that speaks to every citizen.’

Other notable changes are 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 finds that this is one of the few industries where no two days are the same – there is always an opportunity to learn something new, no matter how long one has been in the business. ‘I also love the people I have met along my journey – the curious minds and the quirky personalities – and to produce some really amazing work with these people.

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.