Communicator’s Corner – Madman Entertainment’s Gabrielle Oldaker


Gabrielle Oldaker

With IMDB turning 20, we thought we’d chat with Gabrielle Oldaker, Theatrical Marketing Manager, Madman Entertainment

Tell us about your typical day in communications?

I like to arrive at work early so I can read the news and settle in before the madness starts! My day varies depending on what stage we are at in a campaign but usually includes watching a film and brainstorming how we want to take it to market. Establishing the audience, the themes, what is newsworthy and liaising with our Sales Manager to determine what we can expect at the box office. I then spend my time briefing the creative team, our media agency and our team of very talented publicists as well as speaking to producers and licensors. With international titles, I look at how we can localise a campaign. With an Australian release it all starts from scratch, which is a lot of fun, but can also be very challenging.

When did you first know you wanted to work in communications?

Not quite sure exactly how old I was but I knew from an early age I wanted to do something that combined my love for talking and my fascination with human behaviour.

Who’s your communication hero/mentor?

I really admire Radio National’s Fran Kelly. She’s always so well versed on every topic she discusses, has valid and clear opinions and can have a laugh.

Which tools can’t you live without?

My mobile phone. and Neilsen EDI (box office tracking tool)

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

The biggest challenge but equally as rewarding is working with producers, directors and writers who are handing over a film they have spent years living and breathing and getting them to trust that you will market it effectively.

Tell us about the best campaign you’ve ever worked on?

I think it would have to be the marketing campaign for Animal Kingdom. We knew it was a great film from a very early cut and I loved watching the reactions from people as we tested it in focus groups and determined what resonated with the different audiences. Then taking these insights and developing the creative, building a mammoth publicity and advertising campaign, spreading the word on and offline and ultimately watching a brilliant Australian film become a box office success – it was a very rewarding experience.

Which campaign do you most admire?

I admire a campaign that uses smart simple communication ideas that cut through. Most recently I found the Chat Roulette clip for THE LAST EXORCISM very clever.

What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations since you began your career?

How social media has allowed everyone to become a critic. Feedback on your campaign is instantaneous, very public and not easy to control!

If you had to cut/keep something in your communication budget, what would it be?

I’d cut out having to pay for ads to secure editorial in some publications – what happened to editorial integrity?

I’d keep the fantastic people I work with.

What quality do you look for in your communication team members?

Passion for what they do.

What’s your favourite brand?


What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communications?

You have to be able to say what you mean, because if you can’t say what you mean, you can’t mean what you say.

Finish this sentence

‘Communication is…’ a fun industry to work in.

One response »

  1. Pingback: A year of communicators « cellophane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s