Writer. Copywriter. Creative Director
(UK; European; Global; Executive)
Richard is one of the last remaining people on earth to like advertising. In a world where the word itself has become dirty, where ads struggle to have any cultural impact, and where ad-blockers are rightfully seen as the only way to get these crass and uninvited distractions out of your online eye line, he refuses to give up on advertising.
Done right, an ad can be something useful and memorable that many millions of people can be touched by and respond to. No matter how many terrible ads are made, that truth remains.
In a long career, Richard has occasionally made things both useful and memorable, but maybe not as often as he’d like. He started at London’s BMP in the mid-eighties and over the years has worked at some of London’s greatest (and not so great) agencies on hundreds of different brands.
His best-known work was probably produced at Wieden + Kennedy, where he was responsible for much of the early years of the world-renowned Honda ‘Power of Dreams’ campaign – from the brand book that won the pitch, to the ‘OK Factory’ launch commercial, to the launch Print and Radio, to the later ‘Banana’ print ad, and the Diesel ‘Grrr’ TV spot. (Today, Richard’s original ‘Grrr’ concept of ‘Hate Something, Change Something’’ is still being taught to underprivileged New York kids in workshops.)
In 2010, ‘The Power Of Dreams’ was voted ‘Campaign Of The Decade’ by Campaign magazine. Despite this accolade, he says that it’s only his second- favourite campaign, but I think he’s just saying that for effect.
Outside of his day job, Richard has also written a successful golf book: MY BABY GOT THE YIPS. (A small, curious volume…it very nearly qualifies as a masterpiece – The Sunday Times.) If the Amazon reviews are anything to go by, it might be worth placing an order. The book was reprinted in 2014 as a ‘Sports Classic’, ten years after it was first published.
Richard freelances as both a Creative Writer and Creative Director. If you’d like a hand with anything then please just get in touch. His daily rate is less than it probably should be.
Feb – Sept ’18: DDB BERLIN. Interim Executive Creative Director (freelance).
Oct ‘17 – Feb ’18: CREATIVE FREELANCE.
Mar – Sept ’17: WCRS/ENGINE. Government/Home Office Creative Director.
Aug ‘16 – Feb ’17: CREATIVE FREELANCE + GLOBAL TRAVEL.
Feb – July ’16: INNOCEAN EUROPE. Kia + Hyundai European Creative Director (freelance).
2010 – ‘16: DDB EUROPE. NetworkEuropean Creative Director.
McDonald’s Global Creative Director.
Mars Global Creative Director.
Unilever Walls/Ola Ice Cream European Creative Director.
DDB network pitches and projects.
2008 – ‘10: NITRO.Executive Creative Director.
2007 – ‘08: SAATCH & SAATCHI LONDON.Toyota European Creative Director.
Produced creative work that the markets wanted to use, rather than make their own ads (which had been the problem).
Toyota Prius 90” TV even ran in Japan, unheard of for a European ad.
2005 – ‘07: OGILVY LONDON.Creative Director.
Oversaw the creation of a new European campaign for Toblerone that increased sales by 400%.
Oversaw the creation of a new strategic direction and launch campaign for SlimFast that increased sales by 400%.
2004: FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED: ‘MY BABY GOT THE YIPS.’ (Golf book)
Sold around 10,000 hardback copies. Re-printed twice, most recently in 2014 as a ‘Sports Classic’.
‘A small, curious volume…it very nearly qualifies as a masterpiece.’ – THE SUNDAY TIMES.
‘The book all club golfers have been waiting all their lives for.’ – GOLF WORLD.
‘My friend found this book while we were in Portugal on a golf holiday. He read it in four days, finished it, and with a smile that suggested he was at one with the world of golf, passed it to me and nodded. It was one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me. I passed it on with the same confidence, knowing I was doing someone a genuinely good deed. I have now ordered it from Amazon so I can give it to my brother. I can’t think of many books that have touched me in the same way. It is a true pleasure.’ AMAZON REVIEWER.
Author nominated for ‘Best New Sports Writer’ at National Book Awards.
Part of the agency team that developed the Honda ‘POWER OF DREAMS’ campaign at pitch. Wrote much of ‘THE BOOK OF DREAMS’ that set up the new idea and tone of voice, and most of the launch work that introduced it.
‘OK FACTORY’ brand launch TV commercial. (“One of the most original and powerful car commercials in years.” – CAMPAIGN.)
‘POWER OF DREAMS’ brand launch radio campaign. 2 x D&AD Silver.
‘POWER OF DREAMS’ brand launch press campaign.
‘BANANA’ brand press ad. D&AD Silver Nomination.
‘STAMP’ brand press ad. D&AD entry.
Diesel ‘GRRR’ commercial. The most awarded commercial ever made. Including 2 x D&AD Gold; 8 x D&AD Silver; Cannes Grand Prix; Cannes Titanium; and the Grand Prix/Best In Show at every other major UK, USA, European and global awards festivals.
‘GRRR’ voted ‘Commercial Of The Decade’ by Adweek in America.
‘GRRR” voted ‘Best Car Commercial Of The Last 25 Years’ by The One Show.
‘GRRR’ inducted into the Clio ‘Hall Of Fame’ in 2012.
Honda’s revolutionary diesel engine was only fitted into the Accord model. In 2003, the year before ‘GRRR’ aired, Honda sold 518 Accord cars in the UK. In 2004, the year ‘GRRR’ ran, they sold 21,766, bringing £544m in sales.
Today, the Honda ‘GRRR’ concept of ‘Hate Something, Change Something’ is still being taught to groups of underprivileged New York kids in workshops.
Honda ‘POWER OF DREAMS’ voted ‘Campaign Of The Decade’ by Campaign magazine UK.
Since the ‘POWER OF DREAMS’ campaign started, sales of new Hondas have increased in record-breaking numbers.
Mitchum: created a low-budget press and poster campaign for Mitchum anti-perspirant – a little-known, highly effective brand, languishing on the bottom shelf at Boots. The campaign had an unfashionable, but distinctive and quirky, look and feel. After two years Mitchum had become the fastest-growing deodorant in the sector, even though growth in the category was falling overall. Boots had also moved it from the bottom shelf to the top, where it remains to this day.
Served as a UK judge on the 2003 Cannes Film Jury.
1997 – 2000:D’ARCY LONDON.Mars Creative Director.
Within three months of joining had conceived and sold the Maltesers ‘LITTLE BALLS’ campaign. Arguably, at that time, the only work for a Mars product to win the approval of the industry, the client and the public. D&AD entry.
The ‘LITTLE BALLS’ campaign has now been running for 19 years.
Won COI Child Literacy brief at pitch. Subsequent commercial generated a million phone calls. (Govt. require only 25,000 to deem a commercial a success.) D&AD entry.
Grand Prix at APG Planning Awards for COI Child Literacy.
Took over Compaq account as client was cutting projects and briefing other agencies. Initiated an award-winning Brand and Business print campaign that increased business sales, as well as client spend.
Grand Prix at APG Planning Awards for Compaq campaign.
Land Rover Discovery press ad used as question in an A-Level English paper.
1987 – 95: LEO BURNETT LONDON. Copywriter/Creative Director.
First TV commercial – Biactol ‘TWINS’. To this day, the most successful worldwide commercial in Procter & Gamble history. (Meaning: the commercial most often run, or re-made, across all P&G global markets.)
First radio campaign – Biactol ‘SFX’. A rare D&AD entry for P&G, back in the ‘80s, when that never happened. 2 x Creative Circle Golds. 2 x Independent Radio Advertising Golds.
First multi-media campaign – Gordon’s Gin ‘GREEN’ campaign. Won account at pitch with ‘GREEN’ campaign; made over 150 ads in five years. Launch cinema commercial made for £7,000 (4 x 15 second spots, appearing between other ads); witnessed a cinema audience applaud it. Contacted by a man who wanted one of the (actual-size) 48-sheet posters to stick on a wall inside his huge 16th century mansion. Enthusiastic national media interest. 1992 Eurobest Poster Grand Prix. Cannes Silver.
First Creative Director post on Gordon’s account. Developed enjoyable, trusting, successful relationship. Over CD period, and ‘GREEN’ campaign, Gordon’s was the only gin to hold its sales steady in a declining market.
Vortex ‘BOTTLE’ TV (shot in 10 minutes at the end of another shoot) won top award in the ill-fated (and ill-judged) industry initiative – The ‘Best Ad That Never Ran’ Awards in ’94.