Taking advertising creativity beyond the line

What I do

My expertise is leading teams through creative integration, and delivering that perfect blend of big idea, broadcast, broadband, and mobile.

>> Want to know more? Download my CV (PDF)

So let’s create a killer campaign. Something really, you know, through the line. But first, a question: When is your customer above the line? When do they consider themselves below the line?

Let’s put that in context.

How do you go about getting a small New Zealand beer brand into the Big Apple?

The easy answer is to buy a nice, big, above-the-line billboard in Times Square for a month. But the right answer? That answer ends up being a totally unique experience, connecting directly with jaded beer drinkers in their Brooklyn bars and transporting them to the land of Steinlager Pure, by giving them their very own piece of native New Zealand forest that they can visit any time they like – through a motion-tracking panorama that exists right there, on their iPhone, in their hand, and a whole heap of picturesque posters promoting the idea.

That’s the kind of work I like to produce. Not a line in sight. And it works.

You see, when I started in this industry, I’d never even heard of the line. That didn’t stop me from crossing it every day in my first gig – creating radio ads that people recorded to play back to their friends.

Nor did it hold me back at my second gig: running a boutique agency where we often turned down the offer of work if the brief was “we want an ad.” Nobody wants an “ad”; they want sales, or recognition, or to use up their budget before year-end – and there are plenty of ways of achieving that, which aren’t disposable. Like sponsoring the subscriber base of the most active radio station in the country. Or putting kitchen designers on the catwalk (ask me about that one).

My third gig – freelancing ideas in a Tokyo collective of architects, designers, artists and musicians – had no line. Nor my fourth, at a world-famous agency where we tore up the brief that asked for an ad, and instead teased geeks into showing off for us – revealing their security secrets in the process.

And now, at long last, our erstwhile line is fading. So much so, that regular people armed with a Twitter account and a YouTube channel and the knowledge that the salesman does not have their best interests at heart – they’re stepping straight over the line while you weren’t even looking.

And it’s about time. Time for us to take this industry beyond that old-school line, with new, absolutely relevant, wildly creative ideas based on genuine data-driven insights. Radical ideas that change behaviour and get results – regardless of where those ideas once sat on our mythical line.

I’m talking about innovative, integrated ideas that aren’t easily commoditised. That means ideas that not only sell, but ideas that can be sold.

Generating that kind of idea takes a team with direction and drive. A team that knows where it’s going and why. It’s my job to lead teams in developing those radical, relevant, beyond-the-line ideas. Preferably in a company that respects and cultivates extraordinary creative thinking. A company full of people who want to win more awards, for more effective work, for more demanding clients.

Take a look around the site here, at the kind of ideas I love bringing to fruition – or just call me and I’ll bring some over.

Managing creative teams in an integrated environment requires a pretty broad range of skills, all of which I offer:

• Creative Solution Development – Listening, leading brainstorms, and extracting solutions to create rare, refreshing, relevant, useful, campaignable ideas, with clear implementation options.

• Communication Strategy – Combining insight with consumer advocacy, communication flows, dialogue marketing and results analysis to get the right message to the right people in the right way.

• Digital Expertise – Applying broad connection ideas to the ideal mix of search marketing, mobile image recognition, personalised emails, usable websites, social network profiles and applications…

• Direct Marketing – An obsession with results and the knowledge to produce them.

• Copywriting – Great headlines, persuasive print, evocative long copy, and comprehensive direct and digital experience; focused in IT, telecommunications, banking and FMCG.

• Presentation – A love of storytelling, a desire to communicate with clarity, an eye for an audience, an ability to close the deal.

• Team Management – Opportunity definition, strengths development, forecast and budget management, conflict resolution, team building, entrepreneurial approach.

>> Want to know more? Download my CV (PDF)