Stonewall, the UK’s most prominent LGBT+ rights charity, needed a new brand campaign to help galvanise their ‘silent allies’. This coincided with a shocking new report that revealed hate crime against the LGBT community had increased by 78% since 2013.
My solution? Come Out For LGBT: A big, bold rallying cry to get these silent allies to come out and show just how supportive they are of the LGBT community.
And, oh boy, did they.
#ComeOutForLGBT was the UK’s top trending topic on Twitter, with organic support from Russel Brand, JK Rowling, Manchester United, Overwatch and even a general from the British Army.
The idea has since gone onto redefine the Stonewall brand. And even got an Alexa mod, which ran a LGBTQ+A at Cannes in 2018.
Agency: Mr President.
CCO: Laura Jordan Bambach.
Directed by William Armstrong at Prettybird. Photos by Mads Perch.
European Diversity Awards: Campaign of the Year 2017
To mark their twentieth anniversary as main sponsors of the Brit Awards, Mastercard wanted to do something really special. And also launch their new 'Start Something Priceless' global brand positioning in the UK.
So I said, everyone knows the hoary old truism that music speaks louder than words. But could it go further than that?
Could music say what words can’t?
So I conducted a social experiment with four sets of people who no longer talked.
All they had to do was sit and listen to a piece of music we had especially composed by David Arnold — Musical Director of London 2012 Olympics and an awarding-winning composer for film and television — to take them on a journey to reconnection.
This was a TTL beast of a project, encompassing the main film, TV idents, OOH and digi OOH, press, branding at the O2 Arena on the night of the Brits, social and digital.
Agency: McCann London.
Global CCO: Joyce King Thomas. Global ECD: Adrian Botan. CD: Chad Warner.
Directed by Blake Claridge at Craft.
A global brand campaign for Buitoni, launching with an ad for their Bella Napoli Pizza.
My idea was bringing the lifelong dedication of Butoni’s incredible chefs to life in a series of quirky, Wes Anderson-esque stories (tick that one off the creative bucket list).
So meet Marco, Buitoni’s doughmaster — the living embodiment of Buitoni’s Real Italian Obsession, Since 1827.
This is in French (global see!), but the idea is strong / visual enough to translate. An English one is incoming though.
Agency: McCann Worldwide & London.
Global ECD: Adrian Botan.
CD: Simon Hepton.
Directed by Loz Perez at Blink.
I launched a brand campaign — 100% from pitch to final concept (Advertising Achievement Unlocked!).
My idea was simple: no one really cares about renting a car, they care about what they do with it. So let's stop faffing around talking about how great car rental is. And start inspiring people to just Budget... and Go.
This has since gone on to become a global campaign (Double Advertising Achievement Unlocked!).
Deputy ECD: Jim Thornton.
Directed by Truman & Cooper at Blink.
I went to Nonsense to help them out on a pitch.
It was for Lottoland, a gambling brand who wanted to stand out in the cacophony of noise that is half time around the footy.
A load of ideas where promptly thrown up on the pitch wall, one of which was to describe using Lottoland — the only betting service where you can "play" loads of different lotteries at once — as like having more fingers in more pies.
Not going to lie, this was one of those, "There is no way this flies but it might make the CD giggle," kind of ideas. Well it turns out, not only did he giggle, but they won they pitch and even made the ad.
ECD: Rob Mosely.
Directed by Sebastian Hedin at Hobby Films.
I’ve been lucky enough to work on several campaigns for O2's sponsorship of the English Rugby team.
Including what to do with the carcass of English Rugby after we got beasted at our own World Cup in 2105.
There was no idea who the team would be, no idea who the coach would be and no idea if we’d be any good again. So I decided to celebrate the one bit of English Rugby we could really be proud of: the fans.
I went to Edinburgh on the first matchday of the 6 Nations. Set up a pop-up photography studio right under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. And took majestic portraits of all the real English heroes fronting up on enemy soil.
I even managed to not get lynched by the locals.
Other awesome Rugby-flavoured shenanigans I've got up to include:
Hanging out with the lads.
Creating a (RdP patented) dogcam, then setting it loose around England's training camp.
Dressing Lawrence Dallaglio up as a mugger, raising £70,000 for charity in the process.
Convincing O2 to make a Welsh referee the star of their England campaign.
And even winning Silver at the prestigious 2013 Q1 Toilet Media Awards. Smashed it.
ECD: Darren Bailes. Deputy ECD: Jim Thornton. CDs: Jim Capp, Jonny Parker & Chris Birch.
“Dogcam” directed by Yann Secouet at 76. Photos by Jim Fiscus, Josh Cole and Mitch Jenkins.
More Th>n wanted a big, ownable event to become the cornerstone of their Happy Dog Project.
So I came up with Bark in the Park. A dog and cat show where dogs and cats run the show.
Events included Dog Diving, Best Beg, Most Excited Welcome Home, Car Window Endurance and Extreme Post Shredding, to name but a few. The whole thing took over all of More Th>n's social channels, with events livestreamed on Facebook Live to boot.
Agency: VCCP Kin
CDs: Andy Booth and Dermot McPartland. ACDs: Sophie and Fiona Clark.
I was tasked to come up with a whole new brand idea for Wagon Wheels (and their little brothers Wheelies) that brought the iconic biscuit bang up-to-date for the Xbox Generation.
My answer: what if the adventurous spirit of Wagon Wheels was so awesome it was literally bursting out of the biscuit?
Introducing the Epic Inside.
ECD: Darren Bailes. CD: Dave Johnson.
3D modelling by Vault 49.
Traditionally, Nationwide were known for mortgages. But they wanted a campaign to drive up current account sign ups.
My insight / idea was very simple: that your bank statements are like the story of your life.
The client actually canned it all last minute, as they decided they didn’t want to make an ad about current accounts. But we’d already made it, so here is is anyway.
Fun fact: the director bumped JJ Abrams for the privilege of shooting it too.
Deputy ECD: Jim Thornton. ACDs: Peter Reid and Rob Ellis.
Directed by James Strong.
Starbucks asked me for an idea to help to make their Chilled Classics range more relevant to that elusive market of mid-twentyish millennials promenading around Shoreditch en route to a production meeting about something or other.
I said, the best thing about Starbucks' aforementioned chilled coffee products was how they acted like a moment of calm, or mental reset, in people's otherwise hectic days.
And so our 'Rest your day' campaign came to fruition.
ECD: Martin Homent.
Directed by Mary Clerté at Partizan.
After winning a Holland & Barrett pitch for FCB Inferno I was asked to come back and actually make the pitch work. (Who knew, right?)
I'd won said pitch with a simple strategy: Holland & Barrett's expertly trained staff were like a soporific secret weapon in the battle against bad sleep. But, unfortunately, campaigns based around how great a brand's staff are usually end up as total snoozefests.
So what they really needed was engaging way to talk about their staff's brilliant... ahem... bedside manner.
And so became "Sleep with the Experts". A TTL campaign that asked the nation just how bad in bed they really were, then showed how Holland & Barrett could help — all fronted by a talking sleepy bunny nightlight, of course.
Our digital and social activity was based around a Buzzfeed-style quiz people could take to find out which of our six sleep personas they were, from tweetaholic Late Night Browsers to coffee-crazed Caffeinators, and the best Holland & Barrett products for them.
Some of the funnier pitch work lines never quite made it live, but are worth a look for a wry chortle (if that's your sort of thing).
Agency: FCB Inferno.
CCO: Owen Lee. CD: Elspeth Lynn.
As a business, easyJet had revolutionised the air travel industry through affordable fairs to hundreds of destinations. But, as a brand, they had never really developed any sort of emotional relationship with their customers.
They were just seen as a means to an end.
I said, but they’ve been operating for about 18 years now. Enough time for a whole generation of people have been born, raised and then used easyJet to discover the world.
You could call them generation easyJet.
ECD: Darren Bailes. CD: Dave Beattie.
Directed by Ninian Doff at Pulse Films.
The Body Shop asked me how to celebrate Mother's Day in 2017.
I said, whilst the whole world thanks women for their time being a mum, let's celebrate the incredible achievements of that twenty-something Sue, and all the other amazing women out there, who (luckily for you) took a break from conquering the world just so you could call her mum.
Launched on International Women's Day through all social channels.
Agency: Mr President.
CCO: Laura Jordan Bambach. CD: Thea Hamren.
BMW are one of the Frieze Art Fair's lead commercial partners. To celebrate this in 2016, I created a social campaign that reinterpreted some of BMW's most famous Art Cars as new works of 'art' — homaging the work of Esther Mahlangu, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons along the way.
A small campaign, but, conversely, some of the work I'm most proud of.
And there's a little content film we cut together about the bespoke car Esther Mahlangu created for the 2016 show, too.
Agency: FCB Inferno.
CD: Becky Mc Owen-Banks.
A bunch of stuff that I’ve CD-ed that I quite liked but wasn’t part of a bigger campaign / memorable in its on right.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a host of talented directors, photographers, illustrators and animators over the years, the best of which you’ll find here.
Burton's wanted a way to launch new Cadbury Mini Finger snack packs and get people putting them in everything from purses to lunch boxes.
All they are is little versions of the fingers people love so my idea was “A Little Bit of What You Fancy” framing the fingers as the world’s premier 90s throwback boy band.
I was going to launch them as a real band complete with trope filled 90s cover videos of epic boy band tracks as they burst out of bags in any situation you could eat them.
Alas Cadbury wanted to ‘free to joy’ so the boys were forced to break up.
I was asked to come up with an idea to celebrate O2 becoming an official sponsor of Gay Pride.
So I came up with Retrievr — a Soho-specific Tinder for dogs.
Yes, they thought I was a lunatic.
This is a lovely idea I had to bring the magic of Christmas to the people who need it most: the children of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
I’m currently waiting for a response.