Sam started out in publishing, as a web designer/developer – back in the days when Netscape and IE used to battle it out for browser dominance and everything took ages to load. He gradually started doing less and less web design and more advertising – working at various design and creative agencies in London. Soon, he grew tired of being given scamps to design up, or copy to flow in to a design – selfishly he wanted to be doing it all. So, he setup his own shop with a creative partner who had just left Lean Mean Fighting Machine. He ran this successfully for 4 years - working for the likes of Virgin Media, NME, WWF and The New York Times. Since then he’s worked for AKQA, AMV BBDO, Possible, BETC, Isobar and for the past 3 years has been Creative Director at AllTogetherNow/The&Partnership London – where he works for Hive, Onken, Lexus, iD mobile and Sainsbury’s Tu. He loves music (playing and listening), riding bikes downhill at speed and doesn’t like chocolate.
What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
I worked in the kitchens of a Surrey ballet school with a very angry man as my boss. He was ex-army and used to scream at me for putting milk on the wrong shelf in the fridge.
Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I’m Creative Director of AllTogetherNow. We’re a digital creative agency within The&Partnership. I oversee the creative department – working with clients such as Onken, Lexus, NatWest, iD mobile and Sainsbury’s Tu. I also CD the Hive account for The&Partnership London.
How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
The degree I studied involved a bizarre mix of modules – TV production, physics, programming, animations, electronics, radio, law, marketing and web design. I loved all the creative modules and knew I wanted to a career in the creative industry. To get where I am today, I started out as a designer, but started asking for creative/copy briefs to prove myself as a creative. After a number of years, I went freelance, built up my portfolio as a creative, got myself a few clients and became Creative Partner of my own agency. I wound that up after 4 years to work at AKQA on Nike. I’ve been CD at 5 different agencies now.
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
When I was a younger, I used to take things apart – radios, bikes, guitars etc. – curious about how things worked. Didn’t always get them back together again, but that curiosity has stayed with me – always wanting to better myself. Whether that’s teaching myself how to animate, become a better writer, or work out how a piece of tech works – I try and stay curious and take inspiration from everywhere. From the latest Tick Tock challenge – to the epic 20 minute one shot episode of The Haunting of Hill House, it can all have an impact.
If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?
I’m really proud of our pitch win to become creative agency of record for Onken and our Inner Happiness campaign we launched for them back in the summer. It was their first ATL campaign for 6 years and it was a great opportunity to do something different and help them stand out in the category.