Jordana Ripp, a Curtin University Master of Marketing graduate, had always wanted a career in entertainment marketing. But up until six years ago, that dream was looking unlikely. Job prospects in the Australian audio-visual industries were limited and competition was fierce. So, Ripp adopted another approach to break into the field.
“I decided to take the leap into the biggest creative pond there is and relocate to LA,” says Ripp.
“Luckily, Hollywood took.”
Thanks to her diverse résumé – which included a film and television degree, marketing for a construction company and reporting on fashion events – Ripp landed an administrative support position at Sony Pictures Television.
Six years of “wonderful stories and career highlights” followed as Ripp climbed Sony’s career ladder. Now, she is the Brand Marketing Manager, where she is a member of the marketing team overseeing brand strategy for Sony’s slate of original TV shows.
Currently, she is marketing the Hulu originals Woke and Crossing Swords (out now) and the Season 4 releases of The Good Doctor (out now in the US, to be determined in Australia) and The Crown (released on Netflix on November 15). She is also promoting a new Sony-led YouTube channel called Impossible Science, hosted by US illusionist, Jason Latimer.
“The marketing team supports networks in all promotional efforts at season premiere or show launch. Between pitching new marketing tactics and concepts to supporting existing ones, we are there to ensure we can attract as many viewers as possible for a successful season. What we do has a real impact on the success of our shows,” says Ripp.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entertainment industry hard. But it didn’t stop the Sony marketing team. Employing online creative spaces and collaborative learning, the team were able to go their separate ways yet stay together as a team.
“My co-workers are spread across LA, New York and London so trying to find optimum times to jump on calls, brainstorm and generally function as a creative team has its challenges,” explains Ripp, who is working remotely from Perth.
“In the current climate, our tactics are largely digital. A recent small, fun and effective campaign we did around Halloween involved carving show-themed pumpkins and encouraging fans to do the same on social media.
“Every show and campaign is different but I can’t say I ever thought I’d be carving jack-o’-lanterns for work!”
While Hollywood might now be a far cry from Perth, Ripp still has many fond memories to draw on, particularly those where she worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
In 2019, she met legendary auteur Quentin Tarantino after an invitation to review a rough cut of his film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.
“Sitting in a room with Quentin was definitely a career highlight,” Ripp says.
“It was great to have the opportunity to draw from my film and marketing background and give him my notes on what I felt did and didn’t work.”
She later worked on the film’s marketing campaign for Sony Movie Channel, and marketed across other traditional and digital media, including press announcements and ads.
Ripp has been active at red-carpet premieres and award ceremonies, tasked with interviewing star attendees and creating content for Sony’s social media channels.
She has worked with Tom Hardy (for Venom), Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart (Jumanji: The Next Level), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland: Double Tap), Lily Tomlin and Jake Johnson (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and Denzel Washington (The Equalizer 2).
“There were often some very unglamorous moments where I ducked, weaved and crawled through masses of photographers and journalists to get the right shot, soundbite or interview,” says Ripp.
“The balance between editing video, posting live, capturing content and remembering interview questions can be tricky. Luckily, my years in the press pits at New York Fashion Week helped hone my ability to multitask.”
Ripp says these remarkable experiences wouldn’t have been possible without Curtin’s Master of Marketing providing her with the knowledge to build her marketing career.
“Curtin gave me the tools and confidence to pursue ongoing on-the-job learning and help me chase my dream of working in the entertainment industry. I continue to build on project and time management skills, and the marketing constructs I first learned about at Curtin.”
She advises graduating marketing students to “network, be persistent and have staying power” to turn their own career dreams into reality.
“Don’t be discouraged by lows or failures – they are necessary learning tools and building blocks for the future you are striving for.”
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In our Master of Marketing, you’ll apply critical and analytical thinking to solve modern marketing challenges.
You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of digital advertising, analytics and consumer biometrics, reflecting some of Curtin’s areas of research excellence. You can specialise in luxury branding or digital marketing.