Lessons in branding from a 5 year old.

…is about ideas. Ideas that make people think, make people smile, make people laugh, make people change the way they behave. It’s about creativity. Creativity in advertising and design. Creativity in the field of poetry, literature and screenplays. It’s about art. Sharing it, discovering it. Trying to understand it. It’s about getting things done. Not waiting for someone else to do it, or relying on someone else to get it done for you. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I have over 25 years experience in the ad industry working for agency brands such as: DDB; TBWA; BBDO; O&M and McCann’s as a CD / AD / CW. I have won over 100 awards, including Cannes; D&AD; One Show; Campaign and Epica. For brands such as: VW; Audi; Carlsberg; Black & White Whisky, Smirnoff, Coors, Cadbury’s; Coca-Cola; Heinz; Peugeot; Nissan and Meteor to name a few.

I’m also a published writer, I was short listed for the Independent on Sunday Short Story Competition in 1997. My short story, “Woman’s Best Friend”, also appears in the IOS New Stories published by Bloomsbury.

My poetry has been widely published in Ireland, Britain and the US in anthologies and periodicals such as: The U.S. Literary Review, Envoi, Cyphers, Electric Acorn, W.P. Monthly, Lifelines 3, The Haiku Quarterly and The Amnesty International Anthology: Human Rights Have No Borders.

I am the author of six feature length screenplays, six short films, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection and my first novel which contains 85,000 words, some of which are in the correct order.

“Daddy, why are the words all different on the top of the shops?”

We are stuck in the school-run traffic jam.

My daughter is looking out of her window at a row of shop facades.

“They are called typefaces, darling.”

“I can’t see any faces in them?”

“No, what I mean is they’re the same letters that are in your alphabet book but they make all the letters look a little bit different so that people notice them a bit more.”

“I don’t like that curly one, it’s hard to read.”

“That’s called a ‘script’ typeface. It’s sort of like handwriting – only neater.”

“It’s not neat if you can’t read it.”

“That’s very true.”

I’m drumming the steering wheel now hoping the lights will change. Only two cars got through the lights the last time. Bloody right-turners.

“Why do they want people to notice them more?”

“Er, so they stand out from all the other shops.”

“Stand outside the shop?”

“No, er… So they can appeal to people who might want…”

“Like orange peel?”

“No, love. Not orange peel. A-ppeal. It means to get you interested. To attract your attention.”

“To stand at attention outside the shop?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes.”

“Well, I don’t like it.”

“Why not?”

“I just don’t?”

“You must have a reason?”

“No I don’t.”

“Are you going to be a client when you grow up?”

“No. I’m going to be a mermaid.”

“You can’t be a mermaid, it’s physiologically impossible.”

PAUSE.

TEARS.

“Okay, you can be a mermaid.”

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