This is my desert island industry podcast. I gravitate towards podcasts that make you feel like a fly-on-the-wall during a conversation among brilliant friends, and Adlandia scratches that itch. The hosts, Laura Correnti and Alexa Christon, are adworld pros with a ton of energy and an abundance of insightful takes on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. They host a diverse list of guests -- from industry folks to media icons -- for energetic conversations featuring strong POVs. No punches are pulled, as it should be.
Start Here: Ditch the Pitch is a frank chat about how agencies should, and shouldn’t, seek Trade coverage of their work.
The Real Famous podcast comes courtesy of the Plein Air agency, and focuses on longform interviews with folks who’ve built the brands people talk about. Each episode takes a deep dive into the career paths, successes, and failures of a well-known creative industry leader. Listeners can absorb life lessons and words of wisdom, but also come away assured that there’s no single roadmap to get to the top of their field.
Start Here: Even a 90 minute Rory Sutherland interview has scarcely a dull moment. This one’s a great introduction to the intersection of advertising and behavioral economics. But it veers beyond that, and offers a lot of persuasive predictions about where the agency world is headed as "new economy" brands reshape the role of marketing and advertising.
Two New York Times culture writers provide sharp and perceptive commentary on everything from whether to disown Kanye to which female celebrities should be awarded Aunty status. It’s refreshing to hear two friends wrestle with often complex (and sometimes trivial) issues in real time. For folks who work in a still relatively homogenous industry, it’s important to broaden our scope by seeking out underrepresented voices like hosts Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris.
Start Here: Last season’s We Discuss: Who Owns Stories About Blackness offers an important perspective for anyone who’s telling stories in the media, especially when it’s on behalf of groups that aren’t their own.
There are plenty of pop-psychology and sociology podcasts out there—and I listen to almost all of them. But NPR’s Invisibilia regularly leaves my head spinning by providing an entirely fresh angle on how humans exist, interact, and cope in the world. And if you’re strapped for time, or just starting to delve into the podcast world, these short, contained seasons are a reasonable time commitment.
Start Here: More than two years later, I’m still somewhat shook by a segment from The New Norm. The story of the bumpy introduction of McDonald’s-style customer service in Russia suggests that even something as seemingly objective as "friendly customer service is good business" is a cultural construct.
Please let me know what else I should be listening to. Sleep’s overrated.
Jeremy Cesarec is the strategy director at Planet Propaganda.