Kev O’Sullivan is our Creative Director and we’ve managed to grab some time in his first week working at FleishmanHillard Fishburn to add him to our Introducing Series.
Kev what made you choose FleishmanHillard Fishburn?
Having grown-up in noughties public relations, I always saw FH and… err… FH as two of the biggest and best names in comms. So for me, last year’s merger was like a mild-mannered version of Bey-Z. Meanwhile, I am of the very strong belief that creativity is a cultural and environmental feature, not a function or the responsibility of one person. This new agency seemed like the best fit for that philosophy. I look forward to generating winning ideas with everybody.
What do you want to bring to the agency?
Some definition and clarity around what it actually means to be creative – one clue, it doesn’t involve beards, Oliver Peoples or an E1 postcode. We are all creative, and with new methods around creativity in place, we’ll be solving even more clients’ problems in the most interesting and effective ways. The most crucial thing is finding a way of generating ideas that works for you – I’ll help with that.
You’ve got a long list of experience working in agencies, has working on the client side ever been of interest?
Never. I imagine it’s like being at a party and only speaking to one person. I’m far more promiscuous than that.
What is the most memorable campaign you worked on?
Haribo. In 2006, we lobbied the Government to shift the official age of adulthood to 30 so that people could be kids for longer. While it secured the then-much-coveted page 3 of Metro, the online petition received just 63 names. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pressing concern for policymakers.
You said “memorable” not “best”. From funeral directors to the world’s most famous circus, I have marketed most things at some point in my career – the work I’m proudest of didn’t necessarily win awards but built clients’ and team’s confidence and made us think, “wow I can’t believe we just did that”.
What advice would you give to budding Creative Directors?
Introverts or extroverts, good ideas don’t just come from within – you need insight, inspiration and an objective eye. You also might want to stop saying, “that was my idea” if you want people to take you seriously.
Finally, what’s the legacy you want to imprint at FleishmanHillard Fishburn?
More ideas from more people more of the time. Plus, having everybody feeling more confident in their creative abilities.
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