What were you doing before you role at mr.h?
Before mr.h I’d already done placements at several advertising agencies. It’s interesting to see once you’re in that work environment how different they all operate from one another, especially when it comes to the size of your team. Since the pandemic, the success of small agencies has expanded. They can’t afford to come up short on ideas and always push for the best so that they can perform head-to-head with larger agencies. Coming to mr.h felt like a really good challenge for that reason and a way to change from what my role at an agency had been before.
I studied film at NUA (Norwich University of the Arts) where I specialized in directing and production design. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do next so I took some time out after graduation.
Working in collaboration was an aspect that I really enjoyed about my film studies, so it was suggested to me to look into advertising. After some research I found an MA in Creative Advertising at Falmouth which sounded perfect.
What inspired you to work in the advertising industry?
At university I studied illustration, so I’ve always had an interest in how imagery can be used to convey ideas and express emotion. It was once I’d graduated from university that I began to familiarise myself with the advertising industry and how I could apply my expertise. I quickly became obsessed with what a huge asset advertising is to our society and how it’s come to define iconic brands. Using the best of both creative and strategy, I knew that I wanted to be a creative in this industry.
Everyone watches ads and I think everyone has a favourite. I can remember growing up watching all the Nike ads. The ones starring Rooney and Ronaldinho, thinking these are so cool. I also like silly ads like Guinness Clear, which is just so smart as well as funny. I guess I’d like to be making stuff like that one day or at least striving to.
What do you want to achieve as a creative duo and individually?
I'm always amazed by the imagination of the award-winning work shown during awards season. The creativity and strategy in the work are so fresh that I believe it is because there is a constant pursuit for new knowledge in advertising. Whether it is new technologies, trends, or the consumer market along with current affairs. I'd like it if we could continue with this in order to get the best of our creative skills and thinking. And hopefully, we could get some accolades at some point!
On a personal level, I’m just happy to be involved. Especially after last year, I could never have imagined I’d be working for an actual ad agency! I was 25 this year and still working in retail, so getting this break at mr.h is pretty surreal.
I want to be improving all the time, learning my trade. I can’t talk for Erica but as a team I want to continue finding our voice and style and keep pushing ourselves to make more innovative work.
How would you describe your day job to a child?
In the simplest of terms: drawing and coming up with ideas all day in order to sell as many products as I can! What child wouldn’t like the sound of that?
I find it quite hard to describe it actually, even to adults. To put it simply, I do the words below the pictures. It is of course so much more than that as well as knowing a little bit of a lot of things. But to describe it to a child, I would say that I make jokes about things to sell them.
How did the pandemic lockdowns impact your creativity?
Placement schemes took a hit and forced me to take time out from them, so I took a step back and began looking at online courses and submitting work toward creative-led competitive briefs. One of those briefs I’d entered led to my illustration being featured on the Piccadilly Circus billboard for an Alexander McQueen ad for the NHS. Not too bad of an outcome. Covid took a toll on agency experience, but I gained a lot as a creative.
Massively really, I became a single creative early on after graduating, so I was on the hunt for a new partner. Luckily I met Erica on single creatives and we became a team. We basically zoomed everyday until we secured a placement. Even though we only met in person recently, we spoke everyday and managed to put together a whole new book. So it ended up being a positive period as we were able to accomplish a decent amount of work.
One last question, for now! What three words would you use to describe your role?
Inquisitive, responsive, innovative
Creative problem solver
Learn more about the friendly faces behind mr.h here.
Written by: ERICA LAZ AND HAL REVELL
Erica and Hal are a savvy creative duo with a background in illustration, art direction, filmmaking and copywriting.