What’s the best ad campaign you’ve seen recently?
I’m particularly fond of the We’re The Superhumans ad for the Rio 2016 Paralympics. It was very clever yet it still managed to pull at the heartstrings.
What website(s) do you use most regularly and why?
I use the New York Times as my homepage. It’s a great place to start out the day. But I suppose I’m usually on YouTube watching some sort of Jimmy Fallon skit or laughing along with one of John Oliver’s insightful rants.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?
Tesla. It’ll go down in history as the one single piece of technology that will change how we will relate to transportation. I love the idea that we can step away from fossil fuels and start to be more self reliant as a society.
I think when the Model 3 comes out we will see a massive shift from gas to electric. I’m looking forward to the day when we are all driving electric and combustion engines are just a novelty item that are just rolled out for the classic car shows.
What’s your favoured social media platform?
I’m a long time fan of the classic chit-chat.
What’s your favourite app on your phone?
I’m constantly on WhatsApp as I have close friends in Switzerland, Hong Kong and France, so it keeps me close with those folks.
What’s your favourite TV show and why?
I can’t pick one. Boardwalk Empire, Bloodline, House of Cards, Homeland, Narcos. All great TV. I had refused to watch Game of Thrones for years, but last year I tore my achilles tendon and was laid up for a couple of weeks, so I ripped through all five seasons in a week.
What film do you think everyone should have seen and why?
I loved The Graduate, Gandhi, The Social Network and anything by Wes Anderson, but I think everyone’s film choices are very personal so I would never offer why people should see a specific film.
Where were you when inspiration last struck?
On the beach in Portugal with my son splashing around in the surf, thinking how painfully beautiful life can be.
What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?
I would say the most positive change is that since there is so much clutter in the world of advertising that clients are having to go above and beyond their acceptable levels of normal to get noticed. They are breaking out of the status quo of what is traditional about their brand and trying new things.
That gives agencies and directors more latitude to take brands further than they’ve ever gone before. It allows room to innovate the idea of what that brand means to consumers.
Great agencies stand out. Great work stands out. That will never change. Great work has now become accessible to the masses no matter where you are in the world. I think that is forcing clients to try to rise above the clutter in their own backyards and experiment with their brand’s potential.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
I would say it ties in to my earlier answer. The clients need to be supported to make an effort to rise above the mediocre and have the intention to make something great.
What or who has most influenced your career and why?
Two fellows named James. James Bland of Blink Productions in London, who got me into the industry and remains a dear friend. And a fellow James, James Davis, who founded Reginald Pike. An executive producer with great taste and creative insight who was kind enough to show me the ropes.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
I’m a little on the short side for a tall person…kind of an optical illusion.