Mark joined us in his finery of a Denton branded tracksuit, peaky blinder cap complete with bobble on top and of course trainers an sunnies. What more could we have expected from one of the most incredible London ad men over the last 40 years. Although don’t call him an ad man… he makes films…. “Please send your scripts to www.thomasthomasfilms.co.uk”.
Mark joined us with gifts [others take note, we like gifts], we talked briefly about his book the Power of Purelity. You can buy it here, and Mark will chuck in some free gifts… www.coy-com.com/shop
Mark reckons there’s a revival going on in Outdoor, some great work sitting proudly from the rest… Mark credits Nils Leonards Uncommon for their work on Habito:
Droga5 for Coal Drops Yard:
And Atomic for their work on the Royal Opera House posters:
Marks first billboard was for Milk Tray, something he concepted up with the late and great Norman Icke [who came up with the original idea for the milk tray man] while Mark was ‘just a visualiser’ at Leo Burnett. Within weeks Mark was hanging out in New York ready to shoot on top of the JCPenney building.
Mark met his long term creative partners Chris Palmer on set for a TV shoot, a set he shouldn’t have been on! The shoot was for Cadbury’s creme egg, and he’d slipped one of his ideas in with the creative teams one. On a sound stage at Pinewood he bumped into Chris, and he got Mark into BBH within months. Mark recalls John Hegarty hating half of his book in the interview…. But Chris helped nudge John in the right direction.
4 1/2 years later… Mark and Chris left to setup Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow Johnson where they worked on Nike among others. We talked about all of the poster work they did…. Originally they were engaged only for Soccer… but soon worked on Rugby, basketball, running, Olympics and many many others.
Of all of them, Mark picked out the Ian Wright football poster. ‘Behind every great goalkeeper there’s a ball from Ian Wright’.
We talked about Advantage Sampras, Charles Barkley and the Marathon no U turns. With the latter 2 styled graphically on political propaganda posters.
We moved on to Wrangler, and a lesson to all you creatives out there. If you believe in your concepts keep pushing as hard as you can. If you can invest in your idea and to help sell the concept to your client it might help get great work away.
Then onto another important lesson. Paying your suppliers back for the proactive work you get them working on. Having Malcom shoot the test work, led to more work for the agency and therefore more for Malcom.
Asda we spent a bit of time talking about a favourite execution for Free Range Eggs, featuring a model made chicken on a motorbike, escaping the chicken farm in the style of The Great Escape. The humour is there on all of the executions.
Heineken too had that humour running through it.
Top Tip: Don’t leave it on a Piece a paper. Mark gave us the example of his Samson Batteries, which he’d visualised up as a poster. He managed to turn that poster into 3 TV commercials!
Favourite Billboard of all time. BEANS MEANS HEINZ. Bring back the slogan!