This month, we get to know Creative Director Theo a little more as he fills us in on his inspiration behind setting up Rawww and his love for hiking…
1.What inspired you to set up a creative agency in Coventry?
On September 11th, 2001, I was in Boston at a global agency meeting for a company I used to work with, Circle.com. I was about to set out to the airport, when I heard about the news of terror attacks in New York. We switched on the TV and could see the attacks taking place. We were all deeply in shock and as you can imagine everyone around me was very traumatised by what was happening. Phones were jammed, people were in tears, and my family back home were desperately trying to get hold of me. They weren’t sure if the plane that went into the first tower was in fact the one I was meant to get onto. My phone wasn’t working, but we managed to get a message back to the UK office to tell them we were safe.
I was stuck in Boston for over 10 days and felt the local aftermath of the attacks. It really gave me time to think and to put things into perspective. There were benefits of working in a big company, but I wanted to leave the bureaucracy behind and focus on the great creative work.
Safely back in the UK, I decided I needed to be around my wife and eldest daughter who was only one years old at the time. I took a leap of faith and created a regional Midland’s agency, that’s when Rawww was born.
2.Where did the name ‘Rawww’ come from?
At the time of the digital web evolution, I wanted to create a name that was short but had an emphasis on world wide web, thus the use of the w’s. We were looking for a name that represented us putting in the raw ingredients to create great creative that really connected with people. It’s a bit of a talking point and seems to work with our positioning ‘Rawww create Good Stuff’, it’s simple.
3.How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Now that’s not easy, I would say ‘passionate’, I love the work we do and if you haven’t got your heart in it, there’s no real reason to do it. I also have a passion for travelling, I enjoy visiting new places and creating new adventures.
I would also say ‘wise’. It is true that the older you get, the wiser you become. The more I read and experience, the more I’m able to provide the support to people around me.
You’ll find I’ll give people 110%, so I would also say ‘trusting’. Trust is built on believing in people and I’m certainly open to helping people and the local community.
4.What’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your career so far?
There’s been many, but I remember a project we created for Gov.uk. It was a CD-ROM multimedia project and we had many problems with it. I was on a call to the client at 2am in the morning, telling them the bad news that we needed another 24 hours to get a gold master finished. To this day, that CD-ROM project always haunts me, thankfully they’re now a thing of the past.
5.In terms of creative ideas, what brands currently inspire you and why?
I’ve always been a fan of Cadbury campaigns as I attended the Bournville Art and Design School many years ago. I loved their Creme Egg campaign and also their new Cadbury bar recipe competition. It’s never easy to bring life into a very established brand, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job. Also the gorilla ad with the purple background is timeless and still funny.
As I worked on the Volvo european account for many years, I’ve always been a fan of the Jean-Claude Van Damme’s famous split. Such a great idea and the execution was faultless.
6.When you’re not buried in meetings or busy on a photoshoot, what would we find you doing in your spare time outside the studio?
I love to walk so you’ll find me hiking pretty much every month, be it in Wales or Derbyshire. I also enjoy landscape photography and this is a great way to find those epic photo moments.
7.In your opinion, what positive outcomes might we see in the creative industry following Brexit?
I think the industry is experiencing a very sober moment and everyone is keen to put it behind us and move on. As for positive outcomes, it’s very difficult to say as our industry is a big exporter and there’s a lot that is faced against us. That being said, I do think there will be an uplift in companies repositioning themselves, resulting in potential new opportunities.
I also think it will be ‘business as usual’ following Brexit and the relief will create a more positive need to crack on.
8.And finally…what would be your ultimate pizza topping for Rawww’s Pizza Fridays?
Cheese and tomato or hot and spicy, yum.