“Are you going to Toronto? Vancouver?”
“Won’t you freeze to death?”
“Will you be eaten by a bear?”
These were just some of the questions I was asked when I announced to my friends and family in London that I was packing up and shipping off to Canada.
To which I answered, “No, Calgary”. “Hopefully not”. And, “Possibly, if I cover myself in honey and run naked through the woods”.
Having spent my career in London, Los Angeles, Singapore and Sydney, working for the world’s biggest brands – from Disney to Discovery, Fox to the BBC, you may ask why I put down roots in Calgary – a lovely city with even lovelier people but a little bit off the beaten track.
I’m lucky enough to have run my own agency and overseen some amazing projects.
I’m lucky enough to have run my own agency and overseen some amazing projects (even directed a few TV episodes for Dexter, True Blood, The Walking Dead and Nip/Tuck). You see, my true love in life is telling good stories and making people feel something – laughter, sadness, excitement, fear – anything.
But the world is changing. Rapidly. And I’m longing to find new ways to tell different types of stories in different types of ways.
And I found ‘different’ at Cult.
You see, while Cult does ‘do’ advertising, it’s not an advertising agency. I was shocked to learn they don’t even charge media commissions so that they won’t be biased towards traditional mass media. I love how they seek to find ways to help clients be relevant in a digital world filled with consumers who have too many choices and too little time.
More importantly, Cult has bigger ambitions than helping brands bribe customers with short-term promotions. Two for one offers, buy one get one free, 40% off – those all wreak of desperation and nobody falls in love with desperate brands.
Cult exists to create cult followings through honest, modern, engaging ways of interacting with a brand’s fans, and turn them into devotees.
Cult exists to create cult followings through honest, modern, engaging ways of interacting with a brand’s fans, and turn them into devotees. I look forward to working with courageous brand leaders who actually have amazing products and services – I’m done telling people something is great when it really isn’t.
So when people ask me why I gave up a seemingly glamorous life of advertising and directing in London and Los Angeles, I tell them straight.
“I’ve been there, done that. The most innovative and fresh thing I found in the northern hemisphere is Cult’s approach to engaging consumers.”
It may be selfish of me, it may be a gamble, but when I go to my deathbed I’ll be able to say that I created stories that changed people’s lives and made them feel something. Anything.
If I can help my clients make a few bucks along the way, then everyone’s happy.