Solving A Crossword with A Crayon! A Chat with Grey London Creative Director Will Adam

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Daniel Marks Builders and Breakers interview series continues
Solving A Crossword with A Crayon! A Chat with Grey London Creative Director Will Adam

At Daniel Marks, we care deeply about our candidates and clients and everyone in our industry. We conducted a series of interviews in late February/early March as part of a series to provide motivation and inspiration. The early interviews in this series are virus-unrelated and we have made the decision to publish these in the hope that they provide insight and welcome relief during this challenging time. As well as continuing to provide inspiration and motivation in these unprecedented times that we find ourselves in.

To all our readers please keep safe and well.

Welcome to the second in our new series of interviews entitled, 'Builders and Breakers.’ In this series our team interview industry leaders who are breaking down traditional barriers, changing the rules and building new pathways – innovating, implementing change and inspiring others to do the same.

This time we caught up with Will Adam, creative director at Grey London who shares what motivates him, his favourite creative work and the creative work he wishes he had done!

So, let's get to it...


Q> Hi Will, so you’ve had a very successful career working within the creative industry. What is it that you love most about what you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

Will> Trying to solve a crossword with a crayon. If you think about what we do, it’s ridiculous. We come up with ideas that people go out of their way to ignore. Staying motivated in the face of mass meh is hard. I’m motivated by jealousy and deadlines. Damn, that idea is better than anything I’ve ever dreamed up and, fuck, I have a presentation in three minutes. There’s nothing that crystalizes a thought better than the fear of presenting it to others.


Q> What’s your favourite piece of work that you have ever worked on and why did it inspire you?

Will> Probably Gillette’s 100 Years of Hair. We got to tell a brand story without talking about the brand at all. Plus, stop motion is so tactile and satisfying to watch.


Q> What’s the one piece of work you love that you wish you’d done? Why?

Will> A one-off print ad for Crayola that had a picture of a crayon broken in two and the line, “Toys break. Crayons multiply.” Took the only negative and reframed it. I like ads that don’t give you all the information. There was still one synapse that the viewer had to fire. You’re let in on the idea instead of it cornering you.


Q> What are the challenges that you have faced in the industry and how do you seek to overcome them?

Will> Everyone going in house or being picked off by tech. Not sure that’s a bad thing though. We were due a change. Production is cheap. We need to prove that our ideas are still worth it.


Q> Who has inspired you throughout your career? Did you have a mentor and how did that impact you?

Will> Nils Leonard. I never knew what a good leader was till I actually had one. I had a mentor in New York who critiqued my portfolio when I was starting out. I didn’t go to ad school so that advice was crucial.


Q> If you could work on any brand or campaign what would it be and why?

Will> A brand at a real low point. Like Lindsey Lohan low. Chrysler in the 80s low. Kendall Jenner Pepsi low. Some brand so kicked around that they’ll bet it all on black. I would’ve loved to work on the Absolut Vodka campaign. Obvious, I know, but when I was a teenager, I used to carefully tear out those print ads and pin them to my wall. Who knows what my parents thought of that!


Q> When it comes to your career what’s the one piece of advice you would go back and give your younger self if you were able to do so?

Will> When the people you love leave, leave. Be loyal to personalities, not places.


A huge thank you to Will for taking part in this series. Look out for our next interview coming very soon. If you would like to nominate a member of the industry who inspires you to take part in this series, tweet us @TeamDanielMarks and we will be in touch!

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Genres: People

Daniel Marks, 3 months ago