Old fashioned target audience demographics rarely paint a clear picture. for example, A Wealthy Male, aged 65, UK born with teenaged Kids, could be Prince Charles or Ozzy Ozbourne, both fall within that exact classification. I doubt you'd speak to them the same way.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I've been kicking around digital for the last 10 years or more, working with leading agencies in Aus and the UK across brands like Cadbury, Contiki, Pepsi, Halifax, Virgin, Hertz and so on. 2 years back I started Hi Mum! Said Dad with our CTO, Savvas. We set off with a mission to create a full service mobile agency that offers innovation, creative technology and measurable impact.  We set up in Shoreditch with our team of creatives, technologists, strategists  QAs, PMs etc and work with a handful of brands we love. 

What do you do for inspiration?

Read everything.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Growing Hi Mum! Said Dad is definitely up there. We kicked off without a single client and no idea on how we'd get there, a couple of years on we have a great body of work, a great team and clients that we love. it's been a team effort and there's still plenty of room for growth.

How many hours do you work each week?

The lines between working and not working are blurred. 

How do you relax or unwind?

Go for a run, read a book. On rare occasions, i'll try go surfing. London is not so good for that. 

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

Well, I started off in Copy... so, i guess I'd be hacking out something or other. 

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

I love a good brand strategy, thinking through the client challenge, the market, audience and touch points gives me some strange joy. i should probably get out more. The hardest part is probably new biz cold calling. Equally terrible for the doer and receiver.

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

A two week stint of working until 3am every night. 

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

Moving from Australia to the UK and taking a jump from copywriting to client service/ strategy was a game changer.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

We love FWA and Contiki was thrilled too. A happy client always helps.

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

It's important to think about target audience in relation to a uniting characteristic or attitude towards a product or subject. This'll enable the positioning to appeal to a wide demographic but still keep messaging single minded.

Old fashioned target audience demographics rarely paint a clear picture. for example, A Wealthy Male, aged 65, UK born with teenaged Kids, could be Prince Charles or Ozzy Ozbourne, both fall within that exact classification. I doubt you'd speak to them the same way.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

Built in Dreamweaver 1 and made mostly with assets i creatively pasted, cropped and adulterated in powerpoint, it lives a floppy disk somewhere. My first CD ROM was a little better though. 

Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?

A few years back i worked with Virgin Mobile on a campaign that centred around Jason Donovan's mobile number being leaked and the resulting chaos. The number was leaked on a 'for sale' sign plastered on his beaten up old Range Rover. We set it up to feel like the real deal, adding the car on Jason's ebay account months before for authenticity. We made fan sites,  hater blogs, seeded it everywhere, built an intelligent sms mechanic that responded to people texting Jason, if you called, you'd get a voicemail message from Jason, (that got increasingly angry over time). Virgin made public announcements that a celebrity number leaked and begged the public to respect his privacy, radio picked it up and called on air. Finally the campaign broke with TVCs showing Jason harassed by random calls and texts in day to day situations and going bonkers.  The pay off was "Please...Use our rates responsibly". 

It was a great example of how good storytelling across social / digital channels can make a campaign take on it's own life and organically spill across channels. 

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

Mobile / digital always works best when it's part of a wider communication strategy. People access content from various mediums. Using the right medium to say the right thing at the right time is key.  If anything, digital solutions have given traditional mediums a whole new dimension, this is particularly true of Mobile.  I wouldn't say thinking digital is a hinderance, rather i'd see it massive and relatively untapped opportunity. However, understanding the consumer context across mediums is the is key to making digital solutions work hard for brands. 

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

Contiki has had a positive impact on the client's business so we're proud to make a difference. Cadbury's mobile site is also a beauty. 

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Ha!  long live JS

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

It's a competitive market but generally, the proof is in the pudding. Some of it will come down to natural skill, some will be learned basics. If an untrained candidate can show that their work is better than trained talent, there no reason not to hire.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

It's a hard market for grad students. Sounds harsh but from a commercial point of view the difference between a grad and someone with a years experience will be negligible, but that 1 year experience sets them world's apart.  Agencies will think like that.. so being commercial about your approach helps.

How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

Yeah, finding the right people is a challenge across all roles. Sounds cheesy but if a candidate is dedicated and self starting, they're already in front.  You can't teach someone to care, but finer points of the craft can be taught overtime. 

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

Friends, contacts and referrals have always been the best way to get a foot in the door. 

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

Trends and 'the endless possibilities' are a regular conversation around the expresso machine. The whole team are genuinely excited about design and tech innovation, taking part in these chats keeps me pretty filled in. 

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

Japan is always worth a look but right now the UK feels bubbly. Lots of innovation, new businesses and an attitude that a long shot is still worth a crack. 

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

Hi Mum! Said Dad are all about creative and technical innovation, the rate of change has been so rapid as uptake shoots through the roof and usage behaviours become more and more advanced. We're increasingly seeing mobile tackled as a key part of the bigger picture and as a result of that we're getting involved in a really broad range of technologies and strategic challenges that had been the territory of traditional agencies - TV viewing behaviours, how customers chose a product in a grocery isle, response to outdoor activity etc, mobile is alway there and so it makes sense that brands start thinking holistically.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thanks FWA 



Dexter, the office mascot.
Dexter, the office mascot.

Hi Mum! Said Dad headquarters
Hi Mum! Said Dad headquarters

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