Feature

Faces to Watch 2015

This year, Campaign has identified 24 of the biggest talents aged 30 or under across the industry. While working in different disciplines, they all have a unique angle on what advertising means today.

ALEX DELANEY 27 OLI O'NEILL 27 FRAN DOCX 21

CREATIVES AND STRATEGIST 18 FEET & RISING

18 Feet & Rising has a singles policy when it comes to its creatives, but individuals often come together on projects. There’s a board in the agency with all the combinations of teams and the name given to each alliance written on it – and The Jeckells have distinguished themselves as the ones to watch.

Formed of the creatives Delaney and O’Neill and the strategist Docx, The Jeckells were behind Kopparberg’s "beards" campaign and the Skoda "fight for attention" film, which used eye-tracking technology to tell viewers which car most interested them.

In fact, their work and ideas were a big factor in 18 Feet & Rising landing the Skoda business. Michael Lamb, Skoda’s head of digital, says The Jeckells were "exactly what we need in terms of creative and agency".

"This trio scares the shit out of me with ideas and thinking that is well beyond their years," 18 Feet & Rising’s executive creative director, Matt Keon, says. "I wish I was that good when I was their age."

And, in case you were wondering, the name "The Jeckells" doesn’t have a story. It just sounds cool.

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: The endless opportunities and the people. We don’t think you could do this job if you didn’t look forward to coming into work every morning and spending your time with the people you work with. 18 Feet is a family. There’s nothing better than working together to create exciting work and sharing in the belief that we can make a difference.

SUCCESS IS: Contagious excitement when an idea takes off. And answering this question without sounding smug.

GARETH LEEDING 29

CREATIVE CONTENT DIRECTOR WE ARE SOCIAL

Last year, Adidas delivered two World Cup campaigns that were lauded as "industry-defining": "all in or nothing" and "@Brazuca". Leeding was the creative lead on both.

His vision combined creative storytelling and flawless planning to allow Adidas to turn around social content within minutes from the grounds. He has since created a YouTube show, "Gamedayplus", that has attracted eight-figure views and is driving a "brands as publishers" philosophy in the agency.

Jim Coleman, the UK managing director at We Are Social, says: "Gareth has a superb creative brain, an incredible work ethic and a great attitude. He gives everything 100 per cent and consistently smashes expectations."

Leeding learnt his craft at Bournemouth University before holding full-time positions at Achtung!, Clinic and Blast Radius alongside freelance work.

His advice for others is be motivated, be collaborative and hustle: "I’ve found the more you put into your career, the more you get out of it. The good briefs don’t just land on your desk – you have to earn them, search them out or invent them."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: Being able to work on sport in a creative capacity. I’m obsessed with sport: football, tennis, golf… To focus on innovation in marketing across those categories makes every day a new and enjoyable challenge.

SUCCESS IS: Subjective.

LAILA MILBORROW 29 PAUL PEARSON O’NEILL 27

ART DIRECTOR AND COPYWRITER KARMARAMA

Milborrow and Pearson were already Cannes Lions winners by their mid-twenties after hijacking a live televised sex hotline all in the name of charity. With the help of Peter Dickson, The X Factor’s voiceover guy, they helped women understand how to spot breast cancer for CoppaFeel!.

That was when the pair were at AIS London – a job they got when they were still studying at Bucks New University. So when CoppaFeel! called on the duo once they moved to Karmarama, Milborrow says: "It’s the biggest compliment from a client."

Milborrow and Pearson say they like to change behaviour with their work instead of producing creative work "for the sake of it". This philosophy has seen them put mock iPhones and iPads into people’s pockets to raise awareness of pickpocketing and present Air New Zealand as a boutique airline "connecting cool people from London to cool people from New York".

Caitlin Ryan, the executive creative director at Karmarama, says: "There’s something so exciting about the way Paul and Laila approach briefs, life and learning."

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: Our job allows us to work with a huge variety of talented people from other industries. We’ve had the pleasure of working with composers, directors, photographers, illustrators, typographers, stylists, TV-show writers, DJs, music producers and even landscape gardeners, where we won a Hampton Court Palace Flower Show gold.

SUCCESS IS: For us, it is when we know we’ve changed behaviour and solved the client’s business problem with a generous idea. Sounds like a textbook answer, we know, but it’s the truth.

CAROLINE GRAYSON 26

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR ADAM & EVE/DDB

Since she arrived at Adam & Eve/DDB in 2013, Grayson has been the "consistent driving force behind John Lewis Christmas". Quite the accolade for someone just four years into her advertising career.

She is just as comfortable working with new digital technology as she is at leading big film ideas, as the hugely integrated "Monty the penguin" campaign demonstrated last year.

Grayson also put her talents to good use by overseeing Adam & Eve/DDB’s winning pitch for £100,000 worth of outdoor space at Advertising Week Europe. The space will be resold to brands and the cash used to buy a wheelchair for a colleague’s daughter.

Tammy Einav, the managing director at Adam & Eve/DDB, says Grayson represents a "new-age account handler" whose passion for brilliant work extends beyond traditional advertising into every channel. Einav adds: "Her talent and energy is a powerful combination."

For her part, Grayson modestly says she feels "incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many brilliant people all the time" at the agency.

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: That I’m allowed to have an opinion on anything – in fact, I’m expected to have an opinion. No-one here has the monopoly on what’s right – no matter how senior they are or what specialism they’re in. It’s very liberating.

SUCCESS IS: Sitting in a room with all our clients on John Lewis Christmas launch day, pushing the ad live on social and watching the reactions unfold in real time. It’ll be hard to beat seeing "Monty the penguin" trending globally within an hour of launch.

LUKE WICKER 27 WILF EDDINGS 28

CREATIVES R/GA LONDON

Wicker and Eddings approach their creative work as users. "A lot of it is about whether we would really use the product and then we make it a beautiful thing," Eddings explains.

The pair met at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, after which they gained a one-year placement at Google Creative Lab.

They then landed a job at R/GA London – the only agency they say they wanted to work at – and, just two years later, the duo have a number of successful campaigns under their belts for clients including Heineken, Beats by Dre and Google.

As big football fans, Wicker and Eddings were excited to have the opportunity to produce a microsite for Google during the World Cup last year that tracked trends in searches.

They also want to move the industry away from the "white male bias" and have set up an R/GA creative placement scheme to help bridge the knowledge gap between leaving university and working in the industry.

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB:  Meeting interesting people from all walks of life and learning about the craft they specialise in.

SUCCESS IS: When those using and talking about your work aren’t just people from the industry but those it was intended for.

ROSIE BARING 29

BUSINESS DIRECTOR, STRATEGY MINDSHARE UK

Baring joined Mindshare as a graduate intern but, five years in, is now held in high esteem by the agency as leading the next generation of strategists.

As the business director, she has overseen digital strategy for TK Maxx across Europe and Mindshare’s winning pitch for the National Trust.

Baring’s training in psychology and linguistics, she believes, is ideal for a job in which she has to study behaviour and consumer data and provide creative solutions through communication. She insists that technology will widen, not diminish, the industry’s creative opportunities.

She says: "I think I have got to where I have because I find my job genuinely fascinating – something that I think is pretty rare nowadays. The best thing about being a strategist is that you are at the beginning of the process and therefore everything is still possible."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: It’s big, sexy problem-solving – it’s fun!

SUCCESS IS: Being paid to do something you would probably want to do anyway.

MIKE KENNEDY 24 PAULINE ASHFORD 29

CREATIVE TEAM GREY LONDON

"WLTM copywriter with GSOH." This isn’t a real dating ad, but it could have been. In 2012, the art director Pauline Ashford posted an ad on the creative "dating site" Singlecreatives.com. Mike Kennedy, a copywriter, answered.

Sparks flew on their first placement at The Corner, where their idea for Adidas ("it’s blue, what else matters?") won the pitch for the shop. The pair settled down at Grey that year and have since worked on Vodafone, News UK, Schwartz, Duracell, Lucozade and United Biscuits.

"For a team of their age and experience to have got that volume of work out the door is impressive.

The fact it has all been of such high quality is the icing on the cake," Dave Monk, a deputy executive creative director at Grey, says.

Their surprise hit of last year was the "beard baubles" they created for the agency Christmas card. A deluge of orders sent them running around London buying baubles and working late into the night to fill the packs.

Their secret is that they fight for their ideas. "We’ve worked on lots of projects that might have died early if we didn’t keep badgering and putting in the passion and energy to make sure things happen," Kennedy says.

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: All the cool people we collaborate with.

SUCCESS IS: Eating spaghetti bolognese wearing a white T-shirt and not getting sauce all over it.

CHAPMAN LEE 23

CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIST SAPIENTNITRO

Currently working on how to integrate a smartphone into his arm, Lee’s love of technology has been with him since aged ten. This notion of pushing the boundaries in creativity with technology saw Lee receive a runner-up prize at this year’s Cannes Young Lions contest.

Lee describes his way of working as "orderly but chaotic". He says: "I tend to think of it as a game. I have a main goal to reach and many sub-tasks and checkpoints that I have to go through to reach the end goal." Lee also has a keen interest in sci-fi, which led him to try turning sci-fi into reality by taking up cosplay photography.

Thomas Cowell, the UK head of experience technology at SapientNitro, says of Lee: "Although deeply talented, he is unassuming, highly motivated and deeply passionate about exploring the convergence of the physical and digital worlds. It is inspirational to see his motivation to bring together people around his passions for gaming, technology and photography."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: All the opportunities to practise my craft, trying out new technologies – from programming web and apps to coding Arduinos [a prototyping platform for electronics], building physical prototypes and experimenting with drones.

SUCCESS IS: The feeling of finally accomplishing the quest, which has been dogged by so many failures.

ALICE BURTON 24 PSEMBI KINSTAN 25

CREATIVE TEAM RAINEY KELLY CAMPBELL ROALFE/Y&R

Burton and Kinstan have only been a team for a year and describe their partnership as an "open relationship" – that’s millennials for you. Burton was on placement at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R in 2013 with another partner before moving to Fallon, where she worked on Skoda and Netflix. But RKCR/Y&R missed her "faultless" copywriting and hired her back after a year. Kinstan came to RKCR/Y&R from Clemenger Harvie Edge in Australia. He’s quite possibly the youngest Australian to ever win so many advertising awards – highlights include "Air Force FM", which won a silver Lion at Cannes, and "every man remembered" for The Royal British Legion, which was awarded a wooden Pencil at D&AD this year.

"Together, they bring a fresh perspective and a real sense of energy to the team. With a very diverse skillset between them, there is no brief they seem unable to tackle," Mark Roalfe, the RKCR/Y&R founder and chairman, says.

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: The rush you get when you create a great big idea from a blank sheet of paper.

SUCCESS IS: Having fun. It’s only advertising, after all – the more you enjoy it, the better your work.

TIM HARVEY 27

GLOBAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BARTLE BOGLE HEGARTY

Persistence, Harvey says, is the key to success. After a week’s work experience at Bartle Bogle Hegarty in 2004, when he was still in sixth form, he knew where he wanted to work. Over the next few years, he applied to BBH twice – to its graduate scheme and then as an account manager – and was rejected.  But he didn’t give up. "I pushed for it. Timing is 90 per cent of it. You have to keep knocking," he says. After several placements, he spent four years at Leo Burnett working on McDonald’s: "It was amazing to cut my teeth on." But he finally got his wish in 2012, becoming BBH’s new-business team manager. He has since risen quickly through the ranks, culminating in his promotion to a global role in November 2014. Now, he works closely alongside BBH’s global chief executive, Neil Munn, to ensure the agency’s "connected specialism" model is working around the world. Munn has praised his energy, willingness to get stuck in and his ability to build strong relationships. But it’s perhaps Harvey’s persistence that is the real winner.

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: Learning from the best people in the business, across different offices and specialisms. Each day brings something new.

SUCCESS IS: Continuing to help move the BBH brand on (through growing our global footprint and diversity of offering) without moving it off (staying true to our philosophy and maintaining creative excellence). Being recognised in Campaign’s "Faces to Watch 2015: Where are they now?" in 2025.

JO STEVENSON 30

DIGITAL GROUP MEDIA DIRECTOR AMPLIFI

Having just celebrated her 30th birthday, Stevenson is the youngest group director within Dentsu Aegis Network’s media investment arm, Amplifi, and leads a team of 18.

Her strong work ethic has seen her quickly assume more responsibility and she is credited with helping to shape digital trading strategy across the group.

Stevenson has a track record in producing award-winning work – none more so than during her time in the digital team at Vizeum. This includes a landmark piece of research that made Ikea the first brand to use EE data to prove that social media can drive footfall to retail outlets. The campaign went on to win a host of awards, including a gold for Research Insight at the Campaign Media Awards.

Outside of work, Stevenson is a keen sportswoman and is particularly handy on the tennis court. As the captain of a London ladies team, Stevenson always plays to win.

Paul Davison, the head of digital trading at Amplifi, says: "What is obvious with Jo is her passion for the industry and for her team. She leads by example: encouraging and supporting individual growth while building key collaborative and commercially beneficial relationships with media owners. It is her grit, determination and out-and-out hard work that serve her so well on the tennis court that make me believe she will go to the very top of our organisation."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: No day is the same; I learn something every day.

SUCCESS IS: Not the route to happiness. Happiness is the route to success. When you find something you enjoy doing, work hard and success will follow.

MATTHEW ADAM COX 27

INTRAPRENEURIAL STRATEGIST WUNDERMAN

Campaign can only imagine how excited Cox, a massive Disney fan, must have been when he kicked off his career with a placement at the animation company.

Since graduating with a first-class degree in management and marketing, he has worked in planning at Engine’s Fuel, Publicis Chemistry, Iris and The Brooklyn Brothers on brands including EE and Virgin Galactic.

Inspired by Tinker Bell, Cox likens ideas to fairies that die when people say they don’t believe in them.

He believes his role as a planner is to try to keep them alive. Cox is currently trying to prolong the life of ideas for Virgin Media Business and GlaxoSmithKline.

"Matt has just what a strategist needs these days: endless curiosity, a sense of playfulness and the ability to go full geek too," Richard Dunn, the chief strategy officer at Wunderman, says. "Most importantly for an agency, he’s never dull to work with."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: Believing there’s a better way.

SUCCESS IS: Making a belief a reality. Failing that, just giving it a fighting chance.

VICTORIA HUTCHINSON 27

SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR PROXIMITY

A child of two accountants, Hutchinson grew up dreaming of becoming a ballerina and had even been accepted into a ballet school before she had a change of heart. She quickly decided that advertising was the best career to combine creativity with business.

Hutchinson joined Proximity from OgilvyOne last year after standing out as a member of WPP’s high potential group. She was promoted within her first 90 days after impressing colleagues on the Halifax account.

She says her mentor is Proximity’s deputy chairman, Sharon Whale, from whom she "really learns something new almost every day".

Hutchinson adds: "You can’t do this alone. It’s a people industry and you have to be able to really build trusting relationships that will help you. I hope my team feel I’m providing the same level of learning that I had when I was starting out."

Proximity’s planning director, Nick Myers (a former Face to Watch himself), says: "We all love Tori.

She’s the consummate suit: extremely professional, brave and always has the clients’ best interests at heart. Tori’s also mature beyond her years. In fact, we’ll all be working for her soon enough."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: Working with amazing people who can look at a bit of data, turn it into a jaw-dropping insight and create really inspiring communications that change behaviour.

SUCCESS IS: The buzz you get inside from winning, no matter how big or small the win – from new-business pitches to selling in that extra-brave creative idea you never thought would fly, or even just beating my swotty friends at Scrabble.

GARETH MORGAN 26 MARTIN TIGHE

CREATIVE TEAM LUCKY GENERALS

Morgan and Tighe are both frustrated artists. Tighe wants to direct and Morgan has promised himself that he will tour as a musician at some point in his life. But, for now, the pair must content themselves with being – according to Helen Calcraft, the Lucky Generals founding partner – "without exception, the best team at their level in London".

Danny Brooke-Taylor, another founding partner, hired Morgan and Tighe after they proved themselves with "rainbow laces" for Paddy Power, and the pair went on to work on the bookmaker’s public-baiting "shave the rainforest" campaign.

Morgan and Tighe met and joined forces at Watford and were named Team of the Year by the course leader, Tony Cullingham. "They were the hardest-working team in their year and deservedly won our award in 2013," Cullingham, who has taught many of advertising’s great and good, says. "They are also very cheeky in their thinking, which will take them a long way."

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: Our mums being really proud when we get an ad on the telly. Even when it’s crap.

SUCCESS IS: If at first you don’t succeed, you need to make sure you do succeed after that, at some point.

STACEY BIRD 28 JACK CROFT 26

JUNIOR TEAM 4CREATIVE

Bird and Croft met at Bucks New University, where they studied creative advertising. After placements at Creature, Grey London and BETC London, the pair were working freelance when they found out they had bagged permanent roles at 4Creative, which had placed an announcement in the back pages of Campaign.

Since then, they have been working hard on campaigns for Channel 4 events such as the Grand National, E4’s election shutdown and the "4newswall" project for Channel 4 News.

Croft, who describes working at 4Creative as a "dream", advises wannabe creatives: "You have to quickly develop a thick skin and we have really benefited from lots of experience on placement at different places."

Bird adds: "It’s really important to choose a goal and aim for it. Don’t just take the first thing that comes along."

Chris Bovill and John Allison, the heads of 4Creative, say: "They both possess deceptively lovely faces that cunningly mask their ferociously odd minds. They really are one of the most talented and prolific young teams we’ve ever had the pleasure to work with."

BEST THING ABOUT OUR JOB: Working for a client with great big sweaty creative balls.

SUCCESS IS: Getting your idea talked about by a bunch of strangers in a pub in your hometown. Failing that, it’s a giant, delicious pork pie.

JENNY CARRICK 28

HEAD OF PAID SOCIAL MEDIACOM

Carrick is a true digital expert, demonstrating an inherent and deep understanding of the sector and a can-do attitude towards clients and new business. At the beginning of 2014, she led a team of four with 11 clients; she now manages 16 specialists, overseeing almost 100 demanding advertisers.

Credited for her ability to proactively seek out new product developments, Carrick has made it clear that she is striving for a totally joined-up and connected way of working between client, agency and media owner.

Carrick is loved by her team and by the business partners she works with, who all cite her eagerness to lend a hand on day-to-day issues. Among her fans is Facebook’s client partner, Phil Clayton: "Jenny has been instrumental in helping us navigate the agency, connecting us to the right people and driving social up the agenda across the agency."

Sarah Treliving, the joint head of digital at MediaCom, says: "Carrick joined us to manage affiliates but, within a year, she had learned paid social and was growing business at a pace that even outstripped the breakneck speed of the growth in the media itself, winning awards along the way. She is someone who can instinctively turn her hand to anything, and clients and her team love her displaying a gravitas beyond her years. She has already achieved a lot but we know she has far more success ahead."

BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: Working every day with such a fantastic team across some of the most exciting brands in the UK.

SUCCESS IS: Knowing you’ve made a difference – be it driving great results for my clients, championing a new idea or solving that seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Topics