Danny is one of the UK’s most talented creative directors of marketing and advertising communications, with well over three decades experience and a strong creative planning and copywriting bias.
The Triangle years – growing and growing
His early experience includes advertising agency, direct marketing, and clientside creative roles. After cutting his teeth below the line with 4 years as Joint Creative Director of Promotional Campaigns, he joined Triangle Communications in 1980, providing a special cutting edge to the agency’s creative reputation, as Creative Director. He stayed for a mammoth 24 years – possibly a record-breaking length of service for that creative role!
Danny helped build Triangle to become one of the most feared and revered leading players, winning Agency of the Year in 2002 and achieving top honours in the 2004 Marketing Week Client Reputation Survey. He wrote and directed over fifty of Triangle’s 100 award-winning, through-the-line campaigns recognised under his direction, helping to establish a creative style and reputation for the agency.
As a Board Director and shareholder, Danny played an active role in managing the business, with particular emphasis on improving the creative process and achieving consistent quality. He was also the architect of one of the industry’s most successful creative student work placement schemes that, over the years, grew new talent including many Creative Directors and senior creatives now working in the business.
Danny forged relationships with three specialist Universities, sitting on the curriculum committees, running workshops and helping to influence the course work for the mutual benefit of the industry and students.
Danny is one of the few creatives who are equally at home working in any media channel, above, below or through the line, and was therefore a strong influence on Triangle’s multidisciplined approach.
Danny’s Creative Direction style relies on empowering and motivating creatives by offering them full ownership of projects, ensuring that recognition and praise are an integral part of the guidance and support his unique experience brings to every brief. He sees himself as an architect rather than an autocrat, an environmental health officer with responsibility for creating precisely the right conditions under which truly original thought can flourish.
Having been surrounded by young creatives all his career, at 57 years old, Danny is often told he looks and acts much younger. He knows what makes creative people tick and is easily able to relate to, and provide the wisdom behind, the creative thinking of those half his age. He believes in leading from the back and was always regarded by his creative departments as a peer. He has an open management style and the confidence to be generous, honest and true to those around him. This bond of trust makes it easier for him to offer constructive criticism when it is required.
In 2004, he extended his role to include Creative Planning Director of Triangle, reflecting the growing importance of insight-driven creativity. Danny’s experience in many markets and strong writing ability lent themselves to this pivotal role, working with the Planning department, ad agency planners and clients, translating marketing briefs into creative ones, and developing strong platforms that inform creative thinking and execution.
The Big Kick – putting them on the map
Following the acquisition of Triangle by PublicisGroupe, and a corporate restructure in October 2004, Danny was made redundant, along with other senior partners and subsequently joined The Big Kick in 2005, as Creative Director, with a brief to put them on the map. His first major campaign for the agency won the ISP Grand Prix, and Campaign of the Year, amongst other gold, silver and bronze awards. The Big Kick were then nominated for Marketing Agency of the Year, every year after Danny joined. In 2006 The Big Kick won The Golden Globe Award for best International Sales Promotionand 2 Golds, 2 silvers and a bronze
Danny continued to help develop the creative function and brought gravitas and creativity to what was then a small company, allowing them to win business from clients in new sectors, like Becks, Stella Artois, Nestle and Heinz, adding to their first class client list. The Big Kick soon became known for punching above its weight and for the quality of its creative thinking, winning awards and pitches against agencies three times its size.
In March 2009 Danny played a part in buying the agency from its founder, Debbie Simmons, teaming up with the agency management. In that same year, Danny kept his foot on the gas, and The Big Kick kept all its existing clients, won a few new clients, and 4 ISP Awards, including a Gold for Brit Trips.
In 2010 The Big Kick won another clutch of ISP and MAA Awards and added Nescafe, Kit Kat, McCain, Budweiser and others to its client list, as well as a ground-breaking promotion for Walkers – “Win a tenner if it rains”, which has had the industry and the consumers talking.
As 2011 has progressed, Danny has also played a key role in winning work from Tesco,developing local marketing initiativesfor product sectors like Banking, International Calling Cards, Online shopping and Home MaintenanceServices.
Despite all the successes, or indeed, because of them, after a great deal of thought and consideration, Danny decided his life, health and future would be better and far more suited to the flexibility offered by freelancing.Accepting and understanding this decision, The Big Kick still want to call on Danny’s unique skillset from time to time.So Danny will be playing a key role in the development of their retail offering and continuing the work he has done on Tesco.
Danny’s contribution has made The Big Kick a centre of creative excellence much envied by its competitors.
Danny can create, develop and orchestrate original and distinctive ad campaigns, integrated communications, on pack promotions, experiential marketing, retail communication, traffic builders, direct marketing, loyalty schemes and radio ads. He is an expert at managing all manner of messages in all sorts of communication channels, from written ideas, copy platforms and scribbles, through to directing the finished artwork, photography, filming, printing or publishing. He can direct visualisers, designers, artworkers, photographers, musicians, editors, film crews, manage whole creative departments, do creative brief gatekeeping, liaise with account teams and help write and prepare presentations or pitches in Powerpoint.
He works mainly with a pencil (to scribble with), pen (to write with), and a PC/PowerPoint (for getting broad concepts across) and the internet (for research and picture references). He can provide examples of the different ways he works up ideas, upon request.
Awards since 1993
3 GRAND PRIX
2 CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR
29 ISP/IPM GOLD
23 MCCA/MAA BEST
6 HIGHLY COMMENDED
1 WORLD WINNER
1 GOLDEN GLOBE