"We genuinely love what we do - as long as we can inject some good creative thinking, we're happy."
Creativepool meets Ben Stainlay and Brian Jefferson - better known as wonderful wordsmiths Ben&Brian - to talk cross-platform creativity, prestigious UK awards and startling chopstick skills.
When and where did you two meet?
We were both single at the time. Our eyes met across a crowded agency and the rest is history
Describe your work in one sentence.
Simple, lateral, informative and relevant work that sells.What attracted you to your chosen field?
BEN - You get paid to come up with creative ideas - who wouldn't want to be in this industry?
BRIAN - I knew I wanted to work in some area of the communications industry from a really early age. Apparently I was a bit of a noisy brat whilst my ma' was watching her soaps on the box, but during the ad breaks I'd shut up and stare at the TV.
What can a prospective customer expect from you?
Hard work, plenty of ideas on the table and a good result.
Tell us about your best project to date.
BEN - Being the UK winner of the Cannes Young Creative Competition is one of the best. We won an all-expenses paid trip to the Cannes International Advertising Festival, where we competed against 35 other teams from around the world in a 24-hour competition. And the parties were amazing. If you ever get the chance, you have to go.
BRIAN -Shooting a short film for a Mobile Network Provider in Malawi which focused on how villages without modern electricity grids can now access mobile communication through solar-powered masts. It wasn't the most creative piece of film-making, but spending five days in luscious, remote green surroundings and meeting the warm and friendly people of Africa is an experience that I'll never forget.
Tell us a random fact about yourselves.
BEN - I once caught a fly with chopsticks. No, really, I did.
BRIAN - I once was a Skysports Fanzone Commentator but sadly never got invited back - it's impossible not to swear when your beloved team is losing.
What do you think sets you apart from your competitors?
We genuinely love what we do, so I guess you'd have to put passion and enthusiasm in the mix. We soak up every book, magazine, annual and blog we come across. And we enjoy working across all disciplines; Press, DM, Online, TV - as long as we have the chance to inject some good creative thinking, we're happy.
What's the most important thing you've learned in your work?
BEN - That I've still got a lot more to learn.
BRIAN - As a creative, don't get too disheartened when a project doesn't turn out exactly how you would have liked. The next brief will always be waiting for you to tackle.
If you could have ONE super power, what would it be?
BRIAN - The ability not to suffer a hangover would have to be a strong contender, but probably teleportation - how handy would that be on a packed Oxford Street, or when you come out of a club at 5am in January?
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing creative teams like yourselves?
Now, more than ever before, creativity and good ideas have taken a subservient role to speed, cost and not ‘rocking the boat' - it's much more difficult to create great work in that environment.
What do you like about Creativepool?
The concept of Creativepool is great; it helps to link customers and recruiters directly with creatives looking for work. It's certainly helped us to get in front of people and make some good contacts.
And finally, what's your favourite bit of kit?
BEN - My Award Annuals.
BRIAN - The Sharpie: ‘it makes the world a better place.'
Words: Miranda Dickinson www.miranda-dickinson.com
If you would like to step into the Creativepool Spotlight, email us with examples of your work or a link to your site or profile.