Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Work Hard, Play Hard with Boys + Girls' Sam + Mikey

Advertising Agency
Dublin, Ireland
Recently appointed content leads take us through a handful of their side projects

A creative team relationship is an oddly special one. Facing such intense highs and lows together really does make you close. So close in fact, that at seven years this December, it’s the longest relationship either of us has ever had.

Over these years, we’ve had good times - scooping awards, representing Ireland and making very decent work. But, we’ve been through the wars too, surviving unpaid internships, late nights and getting idea after idea mercilessly killed in front of our very eyes. It was these tougher times that bonded us the most. This is what drove us to start creating our own work on the side.

We created a 'play' section on our work website, and we’ve been adding to it ever since. Here’s a few of our favourites:

1) Word Play (Mikey)

After yet another round of rejection, we decided to just go out and make one of our ideas. The result was cringeworthy, but it felt good to make something, so we kept doing it. We made eight sketches in total, all tied together by a common thread - a bad play on words. We shot them, starred in them, and used the office as a set. It doubled as a school, a 1940s secret organisation, and of course, an office. We performed a live show too, which may have been a pun too far.

2) The Side Project (Sam)

It weirds people out, but Mikey and I do work apart on occasions. The side project is a creative breakfast club I co-founded with friend, Caomhán Connolly. For eight Saturdays in a row, we filled some of Dublin’s coolest eateries for chats about passion projects, amazing food, and cool speakers. These included Maser, Vanessa Power, Tony Cantwell, and Chris Judge. We’re now gearing up to launch a new format, which will introduce creatives for one-to-one breakfast meetings to discuss side projects. 

3) Auto-Correbt Improv Comedy (Mikey)

Sam took a course in improv, as a tool for presenting, and I followed suit. Though, I may have gotten addicted, as four years later I’m still performing with my group Auto-Correbt. We performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the last two years, and this year our show in the Dublin Fringe Festival, ‘Sight-Unseen’, had a sell out 6 night run, with the exception of Monday. Damn Monday!

4) Boyz On Top (Sam)

Boyz on Top is a passion project of ours that we’ve been consistently working on for years now. It’s a 6-part mockumentary about a failed fictional boy band from the naughties, who decide to make an ill-advised comeback years later. We’ve assembled a great cast and crew, and we’re finally ready to make it a thing that exists in the real world. We’ve just launched our KickStarter, with a music video we wrote and directed called, “Poster Boyz”. 

Content Leads

Working on these passion projects down the years has been hugely beneficial for us. It’s made us a better team, it’s upped our profile in the industry, and it’s forced us to learn new skills. And now, most importantly, it’s prepared us for our new roles in Boys + Girls as Content Leads. 

As the industry changes, and the need for branded content becomes increasingly important, Boys + Girls are evolving too. Putting more and more emphasis on work that is entertainment-led, and outside the normal realms of advertising. A perfect example of this is a project we just created, First Data. It’s Ireland’s first ever dating show held entirely on smartphones. We’re not usually sticklers for facts and figures, but 1,747,383 YouTube views is good. Higher than First Date’s figures they tell us. 

As an agency, Boys + Girls have always explored new and exciting mediums, whether that be producing music videos with exciting new Irish artists for Three’s Made by Music, throwing an influencer out of a plane for FitBit, or creating ‘Bag of Cannes’ - an interview show we hosted in Cannes. So whatever the hell the agency comes up with next, Mikey and I are really excited to lead the way with the skills we’ve learned down the years. 

We’re really excited to finally merge our work with our play. 

Sam Moorhead and Mikey Fleming are Content Leads at Boys + Girls

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