Episode 3 – Tim Riley

Episode 3 features Tim Riley, one of the most famous writers in our industry.

We say ‘writer’ rather than Creative Director or Head of Copy (both roles he excels at too), because deep down Tim is a man of words. Pithy, witty, cheeky, emotional, funny words. In his career he has written for John Smiths, The Economist, The Guardian, Boddingtons, Sony, Nike, Snickers, Sainsbury’s, winning awards on virtually every account he’s put his pen to.

This incredible body of work has propelled him to the lofty title of Creative Partner at AMVBBDO …..and yet you’d never know from listening to our chat he is a man with such a revered position. Tim is a humble, funny and disarmingly charming guest who was incredibly open and frank in telling us about his career to date.

We soon got into The Economist work and how over the past 22 years, Tim has worked as a writer and CD on the account. He told us the story behind the ‘Someone mentions Jordan’ billboard and the circuitous route to the final poster.

We’ll let Tim explain more, but as ever, it’s an unpredictable path to getting work out, and this is another great example that lead to one of the most famous Economist posters ever.

However, the main chat was about Tim’s John Smiths billboards when he was at DDB (now known as Adam&EveDDB).

This didn’t disappoint either for back story, involving a bottom drawer idea from a MAD magazine that Tim had had for years and magically pulled out to inspire the brilliant irreverent posters.

We also spoke about some of Tim’s work for Nike, and another Jordan…. This time Michael. Tim talked to us about where the inspiration from this idea came from, how hard research was before the internet for sports somewhat alien to the UK, and also about secret Santa presents…

We admire Tim for his honesty and it should give us all hope that the bottom drawer can still yield greatness.

Thanks again Tim for your spoken words, along with the written ones, that will hopefully inspire our listeners.