With an incredible 40 years of experience working within creative agencies, we have ourselves a bonafide marketing master in our Business Development Manager, George McKay, here at Red Media. We were delighted to get the chance to sit down for a chat with our official studio songster and storyteller, George, for this interview. As he provided us with an insight into what four decades in the agency bizz is really like. With a few great stories thrown in along the way, of course!
Allow us to introduce you to our latest blog ‘An Interview With a Creative Veteran (After 40 Years)’ featuring oor George.
So tell us, what first led you to work in a marketing agency?
“I’ve been working with the marketing sector since 1976, initially starting as a graphic designer within a creative studio and I’ve been in the industry ever since then.”
What’s kept you in the industry for all these years?
“It’s always great to engage with and meet new people and new companies and to help them become a success through all the different elements of marketing support.”
What’s been the highlight of your career?
“I named and designed the first packaging for a well known Scottish milk brand, ‘Fresh’n’Lo’ many years ago and the brand survives today! That and getting to work personally with high profile entrepreneurs like, Sir Tom Hunter, Michelle Mone and Sir Philip Green. Very interesting!”
What advice would you give to budding creatives?
“Show your passion for the project, even though it may be a bit dull.”
Have you ever considered leaving agency life?
“I started work in a design agency, worked in advertising and PR agencies, ran my own marketing support agencies and now I work within a digital agency…so no, I reckon I’ll stick with it!”
How has the marketing industry changed since you first started in your career?
“In one word. Technology.”
Do you think marketing has changed for the better & where do you think marketing is heading?
“There’s less time given by some clients to “thinking time” in terms of creativity, research and planning. If we don’t retain and strengthen the thinking time, we risk sending marketing down the route to producing work which has been seen before, is repetitive and “off the shelf.”
What has kept you inspired all these years?
“Working with creative people and solving client problems.”
What’s something everyone should know before entering into the marketing agency industry?
“Listen, look closely, work hard and the rewards will come.”
Has your creativity changed over the years or is it static?
“It has changed dependent upon the clients, the agency and the people I have worked with and the references and the creativity I have come across…but never static. It will only be static when I am dead!”
With the wealth of experience you have in this industry, I am sure you have many great stories to tell our readers. Tell us something shocking! Name will be redacted, I promise!
“Shocking? Well, I once had to art direct a photography shoot for an advertisement which I had designed for a major UK national newspaper client. The job involved a photo of a nude model with a strategically placed football and scarf.
I had to assist with this strategic prop placement on said model which turned out to be a much trickier task than first anticipated with the scarf constantly slipping. Definitely a memorable client encounter!”