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The Essential List: Damian Hanley


In the Company of Huskies’ creative director paradoxically likes both surfing and the film Jaws

The Essential List: Damian Hanley
Damian Hanley, creative director at Dublin agency In the Company of Huskies, has spent 20 years in advertising, during which time he’s worked as a lead creative on accounts such as Club Orange, IBTS, Donegal Catch and Bank of Ireland. Of course he’s won a bunch of creative awards, but he’s particularly proud of his ADFX record, including a Grand Prix, two Golds a Silver and a Bronze award, proving that his work has made a positive business impact for clients. He joined Rothco as creative director in 2006 and was lead creative when the agency won AIB the same year. For three years he’s been at Huskies, eating a lot of peanut butter and trying really hard to get a script shot by Ringan Ledwidge.

Get to know Damian as he provides us with his Essential List!


o Place of birth: Dublin
o Hometown: Dun Laoghaire
o Staycation: Wild Atlantic Way

o Vacation: Biaritz
o Place of work: In the Company of Huskies
o Place of workout: Bike, and whenever I can, the sea
o Mode of transport: Bike, and whenever I can, a surfboard
o Miscellaneous Travel Essential: Kids


o Musician: Sorry I was going to try and be cool, but screw it - AC/DC (Bon Scott era though)
o Commercials director: Ringan Legend, sorry Ledwidge.
o Film director: Nick Kelly (Nick if you are reading this you owe me a pint for some advertising)
o Photographer: Neill Mac Dougald (he makes me look like I know what I am doing) 
o Film: Jaws. Not a great mix with the surfing though 
o Series: As a relationship-building exercise I watched Lost – I never felt the same about committing to a series again. I prefer to watch books generally 
o Commercial: Barnardo’s ‘Life Story’ by Ringan ledwidge (Ringan if you are reading this I have a great script for you. Budget is a bit small, but you’ll love it, come on!) and Guinness ‘Surfer’, Volvo ‘Epic Split’ 

o Music Video: Maybe just watch it! 

o Book: ‘Longitude’ by Dava Sobel. Better than fiction

o Graphic novel / comic book: Viz (does that count?)
o Newspaper (off or online): Irish Times. It is a Trust you know – so they can say what they like 
o Podcast: 99% Invisible 

Food and Drink

o Restaurant: I won’t hear a bad word about McD’s!
o Cheap bite: Oh crap I went too early with my restaurant
o Working lunch: Peanut butter, on peanut butter and the odd banana
o Dish: Sky
o Snack: Peanut Butter. And the odd banana. Bored yet? I only eat good stuff though. Here is a kilo vat of the stuff:

o Bar: Keoghs in Dublin, if they ever do it up, I’ll never go back
o Tipple: Refer to favourite ad
o Soft Tipple: Tea
o Miscellaneous food: Who wrote these questions? Weetabix? 
o Miscellaneous Beverage: Milk? Wine? 


o Phone: iPhone 6 Plus. I had to get surgery to fit it in my pocket 
o Computer: Mac
o Headphones: Actually this is my outlier – Bose sound cancelling. I am wearing the damn things now because people are shouting at me to get this article done
o Camera: iPhone – I’ve shot TV ads on the thing for God’s sake. The camera is great – I find timing better than trying to have the right equipment
o Soundsystem: The kids would just ruin it, I have a crap one for now
o Pen / pencil: Simple clutch bic. I’ve tried the fancy ones – the ideas are the same 
o Where you document an idea: Looking for an idea is like looking for something at the back of a very messy closet. You have to get all the crap out before you find it. An intern actually gave me a tip years ago and I still use it – divide your pad into rectangles and fill everyone with an idea.  After 20 pages stop and look back over it. In among the dirt, you’ll see something shining – but go for a walk first

o Watch: G-Shock (so I can bring it surfing, yes I know I am going on a bit now about the stupid surfing)
o App: Windguru. Amazing if you like that sort of thing
o Website: Best Ads. Simple, and not overdone
o Blog:  brilliant
o Digital work tool: YouTube, ad sites 
o Analogue work tool: 1. The overnight test. 2. ‘Investigating the product until it talks’ I heard someone once say. I find the most useful tools are not in the office. Rather than showing a shot of me in the office - picture below is me out checking out stores to win a recent pitch – You get more work done!

o Grooming: Life is too short
o Miscellaneous Kit Essential: A Fyffes bananas baseball cap – it’s my Samson hair

Final thought:
I basically try to do stuff I want to talk to my mates about. That’s always a good sign – make yourself happy first. Your friends are a good barometer – they tend to ignore the lead-in slides and they’ll always tell you the truth – either “crap” or “not bad” (“not bad’ is like winning an award).
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In The Company Of Huskies, Thu, 22 Mar 2018 16:40:30 GMT