Tell us a bit about yourself and your current role.
I lead business development for Trailer Park, a full-service creative agency specializing in content creation and entertainment marketing. I moved to Los Angeles 10 years ago to open the first U.S. office for a London-based creative agency, then after a 6 year stint in the advertising world (I was previously CMO for Saatchi & Saatchi’s Team One) I am back in the entertainment business, and I couldn’t be happier about it!
How would you describe the culture of Los Angeles?
Unique. Diverse. Exciting. Ever-changing. Ten years ago, LA was only about entertainment, whereas in my time here I have seen the advertising business shift West (from New York) and grow exponentially with places like Playa Vista springing up rapidly, and Tech companies heading south to create what is now “Silicon Beach” – these have all had a huge impact on the work culture at least from my perspective. A friend of mine is in real estate and he recently told me “LA is quickly becoming a global city” – at first my reaction was “LA is already a global city” but then on comparison to London, Paris, Singapore and New York, which are true “Cities”, LA’s rapid development and the connection of neighborhoods is starting to feel much more like one super-large city.
In what ways does the City of Los Angeles inspire you?
Anything is possible here. I’m just an average guy from a small town in England and I could never have imagined living the life I am lucky to say I have. I’m punching Waaaaaay above my weight! Don’t tell my wife! (or my boss for that matter!)
Los Angeles is a bit of a hotspot for so many young talents and industry leaders. What has contributed to that?
At the risk of sounding a little generic, I think the combination of the Entertainment Industry, Tech companies moving in and the Advertising boom makes today a very unique time to be in LA. Many of the world’s most successful (and wealthiest) people choose to live in LA, and when you get to enjoy 300+ days of sunshine per year (sorry London!), living in LA is a no-brainer for me.
What would you say is the most unique aspect Los Angeles offers agencies?
Talent! Hollywood has always been about storytelling, and these stories are brought to life with incredible production quality. As a result, LA has a huge pool of some of the best creative talent in the world. We all have seen how brands have shifted from “Selling” to “Storytelling” in recent times, so what better place than LA for an agency to thrive!? That’s what gets me excited about Trailer Park – 24 years of storytelling for the entertainment industry, combined with 500+ world-class makers that can bring your story to life across any channel or platform. It’s the perfect end-to-end model.
What is your favorite hidden gem in Los Angeles?
My new favorite spot is called Bondi Harvest in Santa Monica – their cappuccino is ridiculously good! My wife is Australian and introduced me to “proper coffee” in Australia a few years ago. The coffee down-under is incredible, and transformed me into a coffee snob overnight, so when we got back to LA I went on a mission to find coffee just like it. Bondi Harvest is the answer! They are based in the same neighborhood as super-cool start-up-esque brands like Goop and Tastemade. Go check them out. Promise I don’t get a free coffee for every new customer I send their way! ?
If you could change something about Los Angeles, what would it be?
Nothing. I’ve always been of the mindset that if you don’t like something and can’t change it, then learn to love it. I used to have a 45 minute commute every day to Playa Vista, so I subscribed to Audible and listened to audio books – I learned so much! (and I often found myself sitting in my car on the driveway at home for an extra 5 minutes while I waited for my chapter to finish).