Online, you can find Chief Creative Officer Ben da Costa referring to himself as someone with a "big nose" and "big ideas." Now we know which one of the two is true.
You must be secretly a genius to name your advertising agency NOW. There's no way it can slip out of any conversation (surely we used that word at least once since the beginning of this piece) and everything about NOW feels quite unmistakably unique. It's not a surprise that such a strong identity is extremely well reflected in the personality and creative vibe of NOW's Chief Creative Officer.
For this Company Spotlight, we had a quick chat with Ben to learn more about NOW and what makes it such an incredible agency to work with.
How was your company born and where are you based?
It’s an exciting time for us, the company was born in the legendary Soho and we’ve got some great memories there, but as with any journey it’s time to move to the next phase. So you’ll now be able to find us at Exmouth Market, which feels like the right place for us. Clerkenwell has welcomed regeneration without saying goodbye to its history (we also can’t wait for the great food!).
Can you explain your team’s creative process?
We start with the principle that no one gives a shit about advertising (except for those who work in it) so we have to make audiences care about the work we make. It should be simple to explain. It should be totally relevant to the audience we’re talking to and it should stand out and be noticed, otherwise there is no point doing it. But most importantly it should feature a talking Goblin.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
Certainly, during this awful year, technology has been brilliant at keeping our business going - we’re building presentations together from across the country and I’ve still been getting a Nando’s at home during a pitch. But honestly, nothing beats creativity in a face to face environment - can’t wait to get back to that.
What’s your team’s secret to staying inspired and motivated?
A desire to make work for clients that we honestly believe will work and that we all want to make. It takes the same amount of time and energy to make a rubbish campaign as a good one, so may as well make it amazing.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
I am so proud of NOW’s total commitment to making brilliant work for our clients, it’s a journey we’ve just started. As we’re moving offices we have planned a purpose-built space for creativity. Designed to allow our creatives to think, mess around, and challenge each other with ideas. I am convinced that it will have a huge impact on our output. (I haven’t told the creatives it doesn’t have aircon).
How do you recharge away from the office?
I have two small children. I have no concept of recharging. What I’d give for an extra hour in bed.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Blag. Hustle. Meet whoever you can and don’t ask for a job before you meet, always ask for “advice” – oh and just start creating stuff.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That an algorithm can create incredible work, but only I know about it.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
We’d celebrate those getting on creating the best work, not those who talk the most.