Today we’re catching up with Bim Ricketson, our Executive Creative Director. Bim’s what we call an agency boomerang, having first been part of GPJ in 2007, but made a fearless return in early 2018. It’s been a solid year and half, so we sat down with Bim to get on update on his creative team, explore his new Instagram account, and talk about his determination for the months ahead.
Hi Bim, or should I call you Duck_Fader?
Ha! Duck Fader is my alternative persona on Insta, where I share the hilarious things my kids say. Most popular post so far: “Did Gordon Ramsey make up plates?” FYI ‘Duck Fader’ is what my son, Arlo, thought was the name of the bad guy in Star Wars 😉
We heard you just got back from your first time in Vegas—give us four words that sum up your version of Vegas:
Normal rules don’t apply!
Anything that happened there, that didn’t stay there?
No accidental face tattoos or surprise Elvis weddings, but I did sample some very questionable cocktails
Ok, back to Sydney—describe your average day at GPJ?
Lots of banter with my team, usually sharing cool stuff that inspires us – or just GOT memes! In my role I’m across the total creative output of the company, so you’ll usually finding me ideating, reviewing ideas, or talking to clients.
What’s the most exciting thing happening in experiential marketing at the moment?
There’s that saying ‘think global, act local’, and I think those brands who ‘think epic, act personal’ are the ones that see the most effectiveness. Yes, we have our big picture ambitions, like sales targets or reach, but you have to bring it down to crafting experiences that will move people on a personal level.
And the worst thing that’s still happening?
A brand experience need not have a single logo if it’s done well! It should clearly capture everything about the brand, without shouting about it. We pay a lot of attention to transposing clients’ brand guidelines into the intangibles of an experience, like lighting, soundtrack, space, texture, and of course, the user journey. Less logos, more meaningful experience creation.
If you could write a perfect brief, what would be the goal/objective, target audience, and budget?
We love briefs which are rooted in a brand’s purpose. We’re living in an era of trust deficit – we don’t trust the media, we don’t trust governments, we don’t even trust scientists. And it’s the same with brands. But those who are clear on their purpose, and act in a meaningful way, are the ones drawing the deepest connections with their customers. So the ‘perfect’ brief would be challenging us to build experiences which express something meaningful that a brand is already doing.
Name an ‘oh shit ‘moment from the past 18 months:
When one of the biggest electrical storms of the year rolled into Sydney just as we were in the final moments of preparation for the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games. They almost didn’t happen. The Opera House was struck by lightning, all our AV was soaked by the rain, we missed crucial rehearsal time. But everyone scrambled and we got the show on!
You’re a bring-your-lunch to work kinda guy—when does this lunch making occur?
After I’m back from the gym in the morning, and before I leave for work, it’s a hectic hour making four breakfasts and three lunches for the household – two for the kids, and my own. I’ve got it down to a fine art!
What’s on your radar to accomplish in the next 6 months?
A camping trip that surpasses the last one! A few days with good friends, fine weather, a camp fire and good wine – that’s a constant ambition.
When you’re building a team, and looking for talent, what attributes do you seek in candidates?
Yes, I want people with original thinking and diverse experience, but the number one asset I’m looking for is a decent human being. No ego, a good communicator, likes to have a good time, looks out for their team mates. Life’s too short to spend time with ‘brilliant jerks’.
Hardest brief you’ve had to pitch on in your career?
A great idea defeats even the ‘hardest’ brief! But certainly the most challenging briefs are the multi-disciplinary ones – creating an experience for many audience types, in multiple spaces, on different days, in the real world and digital realm. But when you get it right, the result is amazing. The recent IBM Think Summit is a great example – a complicated large scale event what came together as a very satisfying holistic experience.
Reading anything good at the moment?
The same two paragraphs of the book I started last Christmas, just before I pass out
What’s your favourite word?
I seem to say the word ‘feels’ a lot. It’s what we want to make sure we’re creating for our audiences. Otherwise we might as well just do banner ads or billboards. Yawn….
Least favourite word?
Keep up to date with Bim on LinkedIn, email, or mobile (insert links). Follow his (and his children’s) Instagram accounts here: