Born: United Kingdom
Worked in: United States, France, United Kingdom
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? As agency CEO, I am responsible for providing our clients with advice on how to roll out successful international campaigns and how to manage the difficulties of integrating global branding with local tactical requirements. In general, the management of a client’s internal structure and policies between headquarters and local offices are among the most challenging components of any international campaign. After working on European campaigns, it is satisfying to offer U.S. marketers the experience gained through the many long lessons of accommodating cultural differences with the inevitable media nuances. The secret to making multinational advertising work is to get feedback from local markets early in the process. Most local country managers will agree to a broad principle if they retain a level of control, which may simply be adding one favorite media vehicle.
How do you characterize innovation in your work? Innovation is generally achieved by pushing any client just beyond their comfort zone. If we can get a client to take a risk, then we have achieved our goals of adding creativity and innovation to their media plans.
Describe an innovative idea or business solution of which you are most proud. One of my most innovative campaigns was well ahead of its time. In autumn of 2000, we helped Creative Labs run a full-Flash/sound-enabled interstitial across MP3 download sites in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Nordic countries. The ads, for a revolutionary high-volume MP3 player, the DAP Jukebox — which predated the iPod — generated an average click-through of 17 percent. Never were a device, message and audience so perfectly matched.