Simon has worked on two continents, in three cities and for four networks and has been rewarded in more ways than one for his work on Rolex. He has worked on every kind of advertising account from fashion to baked beans, Mexican tequila and French beer, Italian tyres, the best Swiss watches and a variety of cars. Simon has been vetted by HRH Queen Elizabeth's agents (positively) and has her seal to prove it.
A member of D&AD since 1994, he has won pretty much any award worth winning in Europe and the US. Simon is currently Chief Creative Officer at EEI Global, a leader in experience marketing.
Interview With Simon Fairweather
How have the needs of brands and clients changed in the last 3 years?
It's about the media channels available to consumers. Consumers are less likely to pay attention to purchased media and be more interested in what actually entertains them, is informative and helps them make decisions. Clients need to address their core values and have them be true and sustainable and not just sell stuff. There's more emotion involved today than the traditional rational and analytical view of customers, products and competition.
What challenges are agencies/companies facing today in sourcing talent and scaling teams to service client demands?
The challenge for clients is to get agencies away from how they structure their business. They have huge overhead. They live in big buildings. It's where all the costs are. It's where the profits are. It's where everything they care about is. This is not how the best ideas are generated because the talent is a line item, procured for all the wrong reasons. The talent you want to get your hands on, doesn't see this as good enough anymore and is reluctant to be defined by just another godawful 30 sec TV spot or hideous print ad.
How can agencies provide more value to their clients?
By doing what's best and right for their clients.
What are your thoughts on 'crowdsourcing'?
"Crowdsourcing" is an awful idea. It is exploitation.
When do you feel is the best occasion to use freelancers: for existing projects, new business or as an ongoing resource?
A core group of people makes perfect sense today, aligned by principle and practice.
If you do great work, then great people will want to work with you. As projects allow and require, freelance is the perfect way to scale for a project and to bring in fresh perspectives, unique talent, people you want to work with and people you know and trust to work with.
Has the definition and role of an 'agency' changed?
Not sure how to answer this one, the definition and role certainly has changed for me. The ability of an agency to counsel clients seems to have evaporated. They seem to be not much more than facilitators these days. The term "agency" seems now to encompass an overly broad set of companies that the definition and role is diluted.
How can technology be used to improve collaboration?
It just does. Technology by virtue, aids and assists communication and is constantly improving. We embrace it, create it and build it.
How do you source talent at your agency/company?
Contacts and experience. Creative networks such as Behance.
Who makes the decision to hire digital creative, strategists and social media experts at your agency/company?
Myself & David Varady, CMO.
Please answer a question of your choice (one that is not already listed here):
Standing up, in a hammock, with rollerskates on.