In my career I’ve worked alongside some incredible people, learnt from the very best and been fortunate enough to make some very special ideas. I’ve been humbled by it too, winning not one but two British Arrow Grand Prix’s and over 30 Cannes Lions.
This industry isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. A very exciting one. Here’s some of the moments i cherish the most from 18 years. Starting with the most recent.
I’m currently ECD/Creative Partner at Don’t Panic, working alongside some very smart thinkers. Don’t Panic didn’t begin life as an advertising agency, which is probably why none of our work looks like an ad! We bake engagement, PR and shareability into the very fabric of the idea, which gives creative work its own engine. The work I’m most proud of so far, is Wind in the Willows (which received incredible PR including three double page spread in national newspapers), Friends of the Earth and a very digitally led Netflix campaign. Over the past 12 months we've won awards at a host of award shows, including a pencil at D&AD, and gongs at the Andy's, Shots, Ciclope, Kinsale and AICP.
Before life at Don’t Panic I was at Droga5 on both sides of the pond. Most recently I was ECD of Droga5 London. When I started there in 2016, I inherited an office of barely 15 people, and with very little work on the reel, we had one hell of a challenge ahead of us. What followed was two electric years. Two years without sleep maybe, but electric none the less. We pitched hard, and won big. A success rate of 80%, including big brands such as Peroni, Asahi, Danone and Mini BMW. I personally lead each one of those pitches. I’m not just proud that we won them, but proud of how we won them - with work we believed in. We also built a reel. An award winning reel. During my two years there we won our first Cannes lions, first British Arrows, first, well everything. The piece of work that’s the most dear to me from my time there is Ancestry, because it embodies everything i believe creative work can be - an important timely message, brave, and hugely entertaining.
New York. I was lucky enough to call her home for four and a half years. I learned so much from my time there. When I joined Droga5 NYC we were small. Which meant that I got lots of time to learn from David Droga. I still remember how nervous i was in my first review with him! In my time there we grew from less than 100 people to over 500 in four years. A whirlwind. One of my most seminal moments from my time there was winning the Chobani Yogurt pitch - at the time it was far bigger than any other pitch the agency had won, and far more competitive. It was the win that kick started Droga5 NYC growing from a niche agency to the powerhouse it is today. Along with that win we made Droga5’s first Super Bowl spot. Other highlights included Under Armour and NRG. Again with NRG, I got to make work that is important to me - work that has real purpose in the world. The “Shoe without a footprint” and “Solar Forecast” are two pieces close to my heart.
And that brings me to the beginning of my journey and Saatchi & Saatchi. I owe the start to Kate Stanners who hired me from placement. Over the course of the next 7 years I worked tirelessly for her and Paul Silburn (like i said - lucky enough to learn from the best). It was about half way through my time there that my career really started - With T-Mobile “Dance”. At the time this was a hugely brave and different shaped piece of work. And we were well rewarded by it, winning over 8 lions in cannes and the British Arrows Grand Prix. The follow up “Welcome Back” went on to do just as well and also won the British Arrows Grand Prix. While i was at Saatchi & Saatchi I also tried my hand directing, with the European Tour spots. Something i definitely want to do again in the future.
Ah the future. So what’s next? Well the most important thing for me, is to keep working with incredible people who inspire me. And luckily, I work in an industry where there are many of those. Rick.