• Creative director •
• Copywriter •
• Business transformer •
Ali is an amazing talent. Very smart, articulate and creative.
As well as rich creative skills Ali is also very strategic in her approach to her work.
She also is a strong leader of her teams, bringing out the best in all of them. A true natural with clients.
Global Chief Creative Officer, RAPP
Ali was drafted in (off the back of a glowing recommendation from a digital consultant) to steer the lastminute.com work in a more digitally interesting direction. Ali was a joy to work with.
A torrent of inspiring, on-brief ideas, coupled with proper craft skill and an inherent knack for writing great copy. But most of all she was an absolute joy to work with.
Ali cares. About people, ideas, craft, awesome work, doing the right thing, what's best for the client, what's best for the agency and what's best for her teams. She's a tour-de-force, a stellar creative director and above all, a great person, someone I hope to work again with in the future.
Integrated copywriter, RAPP
There are people whom you meet in your working life that make a huge difference to you as a person and the work that you do. For me, Ali is one of those people.
A truly amazing creative, first and foremost, Ali has that uncanny ability to keep finding new and fresh answers to briefs that are seemingly done and dusted. Secondly, she is a first-rate writer – from books, to emails to headlines, Ali can do them all with aplomb. Add to these two incredible skills Ali’s capacity to support and mentor those around her, and what you have is a formidable creative force.
Simon White, Creative
Consultant, A Little Bird
DMA Finalist – Best Use of Film (‘Potential’)
DMA Finalist 2012 – Our birthday, your party
Campaign’s top 10 direct campaigns 2012 – Our birthday, your party
BIMA shortlist 2013 - #cheerstotheyear
Third Sector Awards Finalist – ‘Potential’, Guide Dogs DRTV
Flash-talking Campaign of the Month, Nintendo Campaign Magazine Digital Award
Best Customer Relationship Programme for O2
WebAward Competition – Outstanding Website WebAward, dulux.co.uk
New York Advertising Festival – Silver World Medal – Felix Purrsonal Organiser
New York Advertising Festival – Finalist Certificate for Creative Kitchen
Internet Business Awards – Shortlisted – Cats Like Felix Nestle
Innovations Awards – Winner – Felix Viral Campaign of the Month – PG Tips
The Times – Interior Book of the Year– Contemporary Glamour
FAB Finalist – Creative Kitchen
Last year, I was a key speaker at Silicon Beach, talking about the challenges brands face in the 21st century. The fact is 92% of adults wouldn’t care if all brands disappeared from the face of the planet tomorrow (Havas Media research). So creative work needs to truly capture minds to provoke a response - and a real connection. This is the philosophy I follow after 15 years’ experience working across some of the world’s great brands (Nike, Dulux, Philips, Carlsberg, Bacardi, etc) at some of London’s top agencies (Ogilvy One, AKQA, R/GA, etc).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +44 7966 769 236
Creative director • Copywriter • Business transformer
Great creative captures imagination, engages minds, sparks participation, elicits response.
Words seduce, inform, persuade. Great words turn interest into action, readers into customers.
Creative is just part of my story. Digital transforms businesses from the inside and changes behaviour.
Creative direction for campaigns, pitches, projects
Creative and copy for all digital platforms: web, apps, social media
Content strategy, branded content, content creation
Ambient, experiential, PR
Customer relationship marketing communications
Pitches and bid proposals
Creating new customer behaviours and brand experiences
All advertising across channels
Digital business strategy
Mentoring and training junior creatives
Project: Always-on social content
Role: Creative Director
At TMS, as a freelance CD I ran six creative teams and worked across Weetabix, Alpen, Adidas, McDonald’s – and Carlsberg. On Carlsberg, I curated a weekly ‘newsroom’ creating planned, reactive and UGC content centred around brand propositions #ProbablyTheBest’ and #IfCarlsbergDid…’.
A few highlights
#MayTheFourthBeWithYou ’for Star Wars ‘Secret Cinema’: We created a suite of video content for Secret Cinema's showing of 'The Empire Strikes Back'. In less than 24 hours, the videos generated half a million views across Facebook, Twitter and Vine. We received engagement rates as high as 17% (average is 2%).
#ProbablyTheBest performing ‘Bottle opener’ video: our 'Bottle Opener' video received a huge 20.5% engagement rate on Twitter.
#ProbablyTheBest thing to wash up on Bear Grylls Island: a box of Carlsberg. Again, this smashed industry targets with a 16.5% engagement rate. One of the cast members retweeted it on the night of the finale.
Project: Adidas Ultra Boost
Role: Creative Director
Adidas Ultra Boost is a high-end shoe, which has received accolades from the running community. Runners convert once they try a pair on, so getting trial is key to sales. London TMS was commissioned by the Leeds office to come up with the overarching concept for Adidas global (with local market implementation).
We created ‘Always-On Energy’, a platform idea with experiential, social and in-store executions for a global toolkit. With dawn running events, ‘ghost’ celebrity running routes, tweet-able guerrilla ‘trial’ teams and a live window of #boxfresh trainers, the work was bought by the client and implemented through Leeds.
Role: Creative Director
Every portfolio needs a billboard or two, but this one burns. Which would have been a media first – and yes, it’s possible. Grimbergen is a boutique brand Belgium beer with a colourful past and a rich centuries-old heritage. In the UK, it has very little awareness amongst its target group of consumers: ageing hipsters.
The brand story is centred around the 888-year-old Grimbergen abbey, which has burnt down three times and risen from the ashes better, stronger and more powerful every time – like a phoenix, the brand’s iconic emblem.
We created a platform idea: ‘Raise the Phoenix’ (works with raising a glass, the profile of the brand and as a call to action to pass on Grimbergen’s legacy). The campaign would roll out like this: imagine street graffiti of the phoenix appearing around Shoreditch. Next, picture a giant billboard in Old Street roundabout, powered by Ruben’s technology, a 2D Pyroboard, appears with a call to #raisethephoenix. With an 8-day countdown, through a targeted influencer campaign, tweets would ignite the poster. And, after the billboard burns, in the ashes, a hashtag would reveal the location of a cloistered event, with covetable limited edition melted glasses.
We won the creative, then lost. It’s a long story, best told over a Grimbergen.
NESTEA pitch win
Role: Creative lead
In May 2014, Nestea Ice Tea invited R/GA to pitch for their global business. Working with ACD Kat Hahn, we led the creative with a platform idea, ‘Champion of Proper Breaks’. Kicking off with a ‘proof’-style video, we created a year-long campaign of tools, always-on content and digital/real world activation experiences to help consumers take proper breaks. Pitch won.
Weetabix-on-the-go is a ‘breakfast in a bottle’, designed for young urban professionals who don’t have time (or the inclination) to sit down for a proper breakfast. However, sales have been slow, as without sampling it, the product is perceived as ‘Weetabix mush’. In fact, it’s a delicious, nutritious drink.
I lead the all-agency group (Frank PR, Cake) with our platform idea #MorningCheats, based on the trend for life hacks. We created an interactive experiential sampling stand complete with Oculus Rift technology, which let people ‘experience’ the ultimate morning cheat: a commute to work across building roof tops. Check out our case study movie…
Client: Carlsberg/Mahou Miguel
Role: Creative lead/CD
Mahou Miguel is Madrid’s favourite beer, but in the UK it has very little awareness. To create real meaning for the brand and give it a real role in people’s lives, our idea was to solve a cultural issue: the lack of a late night culture (in the UK it’s just cabs, kebabs and excess consumption). We wanted to bring the Madrid penchant for bar-hopping, conversation and cuisine to the UK – and create a ‘campaign for late-night culture’.
The line ‘Tonight begins with Mahou’ dovetails into a Madrid cultural behaviour: every great night starts meeting friends with Mahou. We created an integrated campaign that would move around the UK’s biggest cities, working across various touchpoints, including PR, billboard, print – and most importantly, in-bar.
Working with Mahou Miguel’s restaurant partners, to create a late night culture Mahou bars in every city would open till 3am. To raise awareness, we’d create a series of interactive live ‘doors’ with windows into the streets of Madrid; and in our UK tapas bars, an interactive table would live-link Madrid’s top chefs, celebrities and locals with UK consumers, giving them a first-hand flavour of Madrid.
Contextual dynamic bus stops would advertise the events, driving footfall to bars, while for the off-trade, time-activated promos would give deals on Mahou. Black ‘gatos’ (the nickname for Madrid’s locals) could live tweet to Madrid’s gatos, sharing banter, events and tapas recipe tips.
Live date date: June 2014
Pitch won, now for the work…
About 84% of us say we can’t go for a whole day without our phones. But for Samaritans, not answering a phone is much more serious – it’s a matter of life and death. That’s why our idea, Phone Free Friday, won a three-way pitch for a new mass participation event (November 2013). With its launch just weeks away (at the time of writing), June 20, the campaign has gone viral, retweeted by the likes of Stephen Fry. Alan Carr, Russell Brand and Keith Lemon have all created YouTube videos of their famous ‘awkward phone moments’.
A fresh, simple idea
It’s a simple task. Turn off your phone for a single day for just £4, which is what it costs Samaritans to take one call. We created a downloadable toolkit with everything from posters to email signatures to spread the word, plus we crafted the ‘Phone Free Survival Guide’, with social ideas on how to revel in a phone-free day. The project involved a fully responsive website, social and email campaign.
Guide Dogs DRTV
Client: Guide Dogs
Agency: Rapp London
Live date date: August, 2012
Guide Dogs for the Blind runs ‘Sponsor a Puppy’. The proposition is simple: you sponsor a pup so it can become a life-changing guide dog.
When the pups are born, each one has the potential to save a life. Through training, they learn to be a blind person’s eyes, saving them from harm in ordinary situations. Dave Kent, a guide dog owner, experienced this first-hand when his life was saved crossing a busy road. His story shows just how important these pups are.
…were beyond expectation. We tripled the targets set by their previous control ad. The ad, which played during the Olympics, received 19,000 youtube hits even before it went on air. Many donations came from youtube, which is a first for Guide Dogs, a brand long wedded to traditional media. This ad was a finalist in the Third Sector Awards and won a Bronze DMA award.
'See for yourself', an NFC-enabled partnership
Client: Guide Dogs
Agency: Rapp London
Pro-active work: September 2013
To show the Guide Dogs client how they can innovate with digital fund-raising channels, I looked at NFC and contactless donations. Instead of getting their donors to sign up for ‘regular giving’, this was about encouraging micro-donations of £2 using guerilla tactics.
Specsavers is one of Guide Dogs’ partners. They have hundreds of stores across the country. The idea is to simply plant glasses (either with stickers on the lenses or bespoke glasses) that simulate serious eye conditions among their ordinary displays. When people are in the mindset of considering their own sight loss, they can experience what it’s like to be partially sighted or blind.
Every pair of glasses comes with an NFC-enabled tag, so people can simply tap to donate. The messaging brings in the statistic that ‘every hour another person in the UK goes blind’ - and ‘many can’t even walk to the shops, like you have today’.
Agency: Rapp London
Live date date: May-August, 2013
Dulux had more than 750 sites around the globe. Wow. Time to consolidate – and transform the business with one global platform. The strategy involved four key pillars: to connect their pieces, to dominate search, to ‘unlock’ their content – and strengthen their core: enter Project Columbus.
The site was based around two user types, ‘confidents’ and ‘tentatives, to help them ‘renew their lives with a colour they love’. The site has to be inspirational to all markets, but also functional, driving towards a paint purchase.
A nine-month project, Columbus is a single global platform, rolled out and adapted to local markets in a phased approach. The first site has rolled out to France and 10 markets will follow over 2013-14.
The colour of you
Agency: Rapp London
Live date date: December 2013
To socially activate letscolour.com, we’ve developed a Facebook application: ‘The Colour of You’. Our focus is to let users interact and play with colour in a simple way, discovering ‘their’ true colour.
By scraping your Facebook photos and your data, we show users their personal colours. We show them what colours say about them to deepen their understanding of colour - and create a covetable artwork to share with friends.
...are yet to come. This project has been put on hold till further funding becomes available.
International Committee of the Red Cross
Client: International Committee of the Red Cross
As a humanitarian organisation, the ICRC works in more than 80 countries across the globe. These conflicts no longer make the news, but victims of war still require on-going help and protection. Donors are compelled to give to more urgent crises, but how do we make them care enough to give to these forgotten conflicts?
One of these conflicts is Colombia, one of the longest running conflicts in modern history. The ICRC has been working in this region for 40 years, but their work has no sign of ending. A documentary about the ICRC’s work in Colombia was aired on primetime TV, so our insight was to harness this awareness and create a fund-raising campaign with highly targeted DM and email.
To make this forgotten conflict current, tangible and emotive, we commissioned reportage-style photography, fresh from Colombia. We highlighted real human stories, like that of Elsa, a mother reunited with her son abducted 10 years ago. And, to add need to the appeal, the communication was written from the point of view of ICRC worker, Abraham Doblado, featured in the documentary. While the conflict goes on, their stories demonstrate how the ICRC is a sure sign of hope.
Three Christmas Tree
A question of loyalty
Three has grown exponentially over the last five years. Now Three customers don’t just see Three as their mobile network, but as their mobile internet provider. But how do you keep customers loyal in an incredibly disloyal market?
Two savvy insights
Ethnopop revealed customers weren’t using their mobile internet to its full potential. Three’s strongest advocates are those who enjoy using the mobile internet and value their generous data plans. So we also wanted customers to experience the full power of their mobile internet – and see the benefit it brings to their lives. Three needed to give customers an incredible act of generosity and showcase the power of the ‘network built for the internet’.
One sparkling solution
The idea was the ‘Festive Fun Tree’, a prize draw throughout December till Christmas day packed with breath-taking giveaways, including an Apple Hamper, a Samsung Galaxy S4 and more, all built on a mobile-responsive site. We divided our customers into five segments defined by their mobile behaviour and data usage, then through real-time data measurement, we tailored the creative to maximise internet usage. Throughout the campaign, we harnessed the power of Data Drive-Thru, which allowed us to iterate the creative throughout the campaign – and optimise it to achieve these rather impressive results.
Results to celebrate
The campaign generated more than 1.05 million prize draw entries from 4.2 million website visits. 61% of visitors entered in the prize draw – a staggering conversion rate. Over 85% of all visits were from customers using mobile devices. We saw a 31% growth in the proportion of promoters in the post-campaign net promotion study compared to pre-campaign and a corresponding 12% reduction in the proportion of detractors.
‘The beauty beneath’
Agency: Rapp London
Live date date: February 2012
With three cutting-edge technology products in the skincare market, Philips is looking to ‘create an earthquake in the beauty industry’. The challenge is to play within the category, yet do something with a bold, distinct point of view. The idea won the pitch worth 2.4 million Euros, however, the wider agency group lost the work to Ogilvy.
Working with Diana Janicki,, we conceived: ‘The beauty beneath’. The technology at work is all about the power of natural inner rejuvenation working with the body’s own resources, rather than topical treatments. Currently, the beauty category is all about the exterior, however, we wanted to champion a new approach to bringing out ‘inner beauty’ through a new genre of portrait photography: ‘One Shot’. Instead of a fashion shoot with make-up artists and countless exposures, we’re about capturing authentic beauty, in one moment, in one shot. As well as generating campaign imagery this way, we would also hold exhibitions, public pop-up shoots, a web social platform, and go old school, with a covetable coffee table book.
I’ve set up Creative Equals, an independent UK initiative that aims to get advertising agencies to commit to take proactive steps towards equal representation in creative departments. From research, I discovered just 14% of CDs in London are female (just 11.5% globally). Creative Equals believes pathways to success for talented female creatives start from within agencies. That's why we're asking agencies of every size and shape to join us and commit to change the ratio for good.
My hope is that with more female CDs curating the ads women see, we may create a new type of advertising that inspires female consumers (who make 85% of all purchases), portraying a strong, positive image of women in the media. Over the last six months, I’ve engaged the support of adland’s top female and male creative leaders. And, with co-founder Becky McOwen-Banks, Creative Equals is up and running, launched at Digital Shoreditch, May 2015.
Take a look at the website. Creativeeequals.org