In 1999, Graham Daldry took his own advice (although he hadn’t put it into words yet) and went to Specsavers – not as a customer, but as the brand’s in-house creative director.
Daldry has now left the eyewear retailer after two decades to "pursue new challenges", the company said. During his time at the brand, he grew a team of six art workers into an in-house agency, known as Specsavers Creative, of more than 80 people, with responsibility for output across all of Specsavers’ UK consumer-facing advertising.
He wrote one of the most recognisable lines in British advertising in "Should’ve gone to Specsavers", which has been running since 2003, has been used in Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand, and has won awards including an IPA Effectiveness gold.
Before joining Specsavers, Daldry worked on the agency side at Poulters and Ogilvy & Mather. He also holds a PhD in English literature.
Specsavers Creative is now being led by Nicola Wardell, who joined Specsavers in February from Havas London, where she was chief client officer.
Daldry said: "It’s obviously a wrench leaving a great company like Specsavers when we have achieved so much over the years, but I think the time has come for me to move on.
"I believe we have changed perceptions of what an in-house creative agency can achieve and have demonstrated that the ideal of having creative teams working direct with client teams can be realised to the benefit of businesses. I am very much looking forward to some new challenges."
Daldry follows former global brand director Richard Holmes, who left Specsavers in 2018 after 11 years and was replaced by chief marketing officer Katherine Whitton, who previously held the same role at Barclaycard.
Whitton said: "Graham has led the creative team at Specsavers to become one of the best-known within the industry, with an advertising slogan that has been adopted by the nation. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the very best for his future endeavours."