Sitting on top of a double decker bus in Mayfair, I watch as the peacock ascends the stairs. Robin Wight, referred to as the flamboyant bird because of his love of outlandishly bright outfits, has arrived for a one-off live recording of The Creative Jukebox aboard The Drum Bus for Europe Advertising Week.
His outfit today does not disappoint. The President of the Engine group is wearing plum corduroy trousers, a hot pink trench coat with a fuchsia scarf and flat cap. Guests who have crammed on to the worn, red leather bus seats, drink in the riot of colour between sips of Peroni.
Once Robin is comfortably seated, the bus jerks and jolts out of its parking space behind the Bafta buildings and we set off. As we lurch around the streets we bounce from topic to topic.
First touching on the use of music in advertising, Robin explains the science behind why a good track is so powerful. “Music goes straight to a part of the brain called to Amygdala which is responsible for emotions… 80 per cent to 90 per cent of our decisions are emotional ones”. To illustrate his point he chooses ‘I’ve got the power’ by Snap, the song used on the recent B&Q ads created by Engine agency WCRS. As soon as the beat kicks in, Robin’s long arms start yanking up and down as if he’s painting a fence.
The dancing doesn’t stop there. Next up is ‘Satisfaction’by The Rolling Stones, which Robin has picked because it would be guaranteed to ‘get him out of this grave’. As his legs skid across the floor and his arms punch the air, this totally unselfconscious behaviour reinforces what I have read about his ‘insensitivity’. He sees it as one of his best assets. Because he isn’t concerned about what others think of him, he cares much less about rejection. In his words, ‘when people tell you to go-away and get stuffed you just go on’. A thick-skinned peacock is a creature well suited to advertising.
We finish off Robin’s eight tracks with the national anthem, which he encourages us all to stand for. We cling on the ceiling of the bus as it swerves to avoid bike couriers and tourists clutching Fortnum and Mason loose leaf tea.
Once we had safely parked up Robin is quick to head off, his pink trench coat flying behind him. The morning after our meeting he is to take part in a live panel for Europe Advertising Week along with the equally colourful Katie Price. The topic is about cultivating a personal brand. After spending only 30 minutes in his company, I have every faith Robin will put on a good show.