Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Julia Burton Brown, MD, ReMake

Julia Burton Brown is MD at ReMake – a creative automation platform enabling brands and agencies to meet content demands and produce creative adaptations at scale. In a career spanning two decades previous roles included at Inskin Media, Aufeminin and Tailify.

Who is your digital hero?

It has to be Sarah Sutton, Global Media Director at Oatly.

Smart, brave, sweary, funny and has an enviable trainer collection.

Ollie Joyce (Global Chief Transformation Officer at Mindshare) describes her perfectly, so I’m going to steal his words: ‘Rare and exceptional. Also noisy and sometimes scary. Always great to work with’.

What has she done to win hero status in your eyes?

If Oatly was a person, it would be Sarah. Unconventional, breaks the rules, doesn’t follow the herd, provocative and never boring.

I learned all of this in a bowling alley in Amsterdam.

The fact she champions for the creative to take centre stage and not obsess over the data – is something we can all learn from.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

You just need to look at the work Oatly do.

She pushes boundaries, challenges the norm, doesn’t take the traditional approach with anything. Consistently staying true to herself and her ideas. 

They surely do the best creative marketing.

And the ‘F*ck Oatly’ website is genuinely (and genius-ly… if that’s a word) disruptive. 

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

The growing demand for content to fulfil media plans is such that creative teams just can’t keep up, or deliver the quality required.

It’s stressful and, above all, time-consuming. They’re spending up to 80% of their time making versions of creative – rather than doing what they do best: being creative. And that’s where the real value lies.

The good news is that the tech is here to help. The manual changes that your talented creatives are taking hours, days, months to do, can now be done in a few clicks, with zero compromise on design.

Now it’s just about the operational model keeping up. Organisations need to understand that this tech can fit seamlessly into existing creative stacks and workflows -and teams need to be shown that this tech isn’t here to replace them, but rather exist as co-pilots to help supercharge and scale their ideas.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I’ve done 20+ years of digital, and the fact I’m still learning every day, adapting to change, meeting new inspirational people and having so much fun in the process feels like a massive achievement. Seeing the industry go from selling an untrackable ‘button’ on a homepage, to what is possible today has been quite the journey. And now, we’re living in the era of AI – so it’s only going to get more exciting and mind-blowing.

Given its Pride month, I should also mention that I’m a gay woman in the industry. Early in my career, I felt I had to hide my full self – so I feel it’s an industry-wide achievement that there are initiatives, awards, networks and support groups for the LGBT+ community. Still a way to go, of course.