About me, in thirty seconds…

A unique thinker with a rare combination of upstream strategy; brand and channel excellence and solid business understanding, with experience in almost every marketing discipline.

My knack is for making complex problems simple, adding clarity to uncertain briefs, reassuring clients through the straightforward application of intelligence to their problems. Clients ask for me by name.

Headline work...

  • Brand visual development and situational analysis for MINI – a five-year brand strategy to keep MINI relevant as automotive sales decline towards 2025.
  • Brand launch for Detroit Electric, the first electric vehicle to be made in Detroit in nearly a century. From brand conception to sales website and campaigns, responsible for sales of $80 million from launch, and secured a second round of funding.
  • Led a reinvigoration of the Absolut brand in The UK, Re-establishing them in the arts community via a unique mobile to real life gameplay working with Punchdrunk and the estate of Andy Warhol. The first time Punchdrunk had worked with a brand.
  • Launched the campaign which eventually became the single most awarded campaign in UK media history - NIVEA's ASOS partnership for their Black & White Deodorant, delivering £2.4 million of incremental revenue.
  • Delivered the 14th most awarded piece of creative worldwide in 2012 for Durex Performax, and stabilised their income on a brand with serious supply issues.

David Burns Strategic Services (September 2016 – Present)

U-Dox (January 2017 – Present)

  • Brand relaunch of an under-performing part of the adidas portfolio
  • Making adidas’s classics of the 20th Century into ‘Icons’ of the 21st Century.
  • Proactive pieces on how a fashion brand can have a higher purpose than just clothes, and taking football to a wider style audience. Both resulting in new business pitches.
  • Insight and strategic piece on the ‘Creative Class’ for MINI which led to brand positioning and creative comms for MINI A/D/O in Brooklyn, making it a relevant part of the brand’s evolution towards their electric vehicle launch in 2020. 

Bountiful Cow (June 2017 – Present)

  • Brand and comms strategy for Jura, Shackleton, Propercorn and Groupon

Momentum Worldwide (July 2017 – August 2017)

  • Pitch work on Baileys

The Grid Creative (November 2016)

  • Brand development pitch for BBC 1Xtra Live, which required extensive qualitative and ethnographic research amongst young black music fans in The UK, subsequently developed into design language, copy strategy and brand redesign.

Pulse Group (October 2016)

  • Brand pitch strategy for Amstel Gold Race UK launch, creating a tech partnership with Strava to replicate the famous race in The UK.

ODD London (September 2016)

  • Communications strategy for the launch of Kingsman 2.

Havas Media, Strategy Director (Jan 2015 – August 2016)

  • Strategic lead on all Pernod-Ricard brands, including launching a Father’s Day gifting and fulfilment campaign via Facebook which delivered over 300% uptake on target
  • ‘Future of Nightlife’ project with Absolut Vodka, which comprised of a partnership with Marshmallow Laserfeast and R&S records for an evening of music, light and technology at bankside Studios
  • 2016 planning for all O2 products, managing the junior strategists in the team and assuring quality of output.
  • Led a radical reworking of Clarks’ media output, reducing paid output, in favour of creating cachet through film, Ad Funded Programming and creative partnerships.
  • Also strategic lead on Nandos and Jacobs Douwe Egberts

David Burns Strategic Services (July 2011 – December 2014)

Rocket Network (Extended Twice, April 2014 – Dec 2014) 

  • Worked on Ferrero, Co-op Food and Bank and various brand culture pieces.

POSSIBLE London (Extended twice, June 2013 – April 2014) 

  • Working in the GreyPOSSIBLE joint venture, on GSK and Brother, creating a digital strategy for Brother’s use of video, which then became agency I.P. and Led the brand and digital strategy on the valuable Peroni, pitch win

Amp London (Extended, Aug 2012 – June 2013) 

  • Main clients were; Detroit Electric, Sony TV Europe, Four Four Two magazine, Carluccio’s and Russell Investments. 
  • Working with Lotus’s head engineers and a former right hand man of Steve Jobs at Apple for Detroit Electric, required Apple-sized thinking to keep the lights on.

Flamingo International (April 2012 –July 2012)

  • Protected Guinness in Ireland against the onslaught of Heineken by leveraging Diageo’s lagers portfolio and insulating the jewel in their crown from threat.
  • Positioned Brown Forman’s American whiskies, as ‘urban bourbons’, modernising them and taking them out of the Deep South and into the minds of the cognoscenti.

Euro RSCG Global – Creative Strategist, Reckitt Benckiser (July 2011 – Jan 2012)

  • A specific remit to challenge an institutional reliance on short spots and demos, which we did with Durex Performax. Awards included...
  1. Gold Clio award
  2. Golden Rose of Montreaux winner
  3. Shortlisted at Cannes, D&AD and Creative Circle

Carat UK, Strategy Director (March 2010 – June 2011)

  • The most successful media campaign in UK history for NIVEA black and White deodorant with ASOS, winning…
    1. Campaign Media Awards triple winner 2011 - Media Campaign of the Year; Best Fashion, Beauty & Healthcare Campaign; Best Total Comms Programme.
    2. Revolution Awards - Gold in the FMCG category.
    3. Media Week Awards - Double Gold; best collaboration, best media launch.
  • Appointed to the Kellogg’s European Brand Council – the first time a media agency person has been invited to the forum.

Prior career…

  • BD Network, Senior Planner (September 2008 – January 2010)
  • Twentysix London Digital, Head of Strategy (June 2007 – September 2008)
  • XM London Digital – Deputy Head of Strategy (August 2004 – June 2007)
  • Manning Gottlieb OMD – Digital Strategist (January 2001 – July 2004)

Other Things…

I am a former amateur boxer, nearly pursuing it as a career. I remain involved in the sport through charity work with disadvantaged youths in the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe area.

I am a lifelong collector of clothing, which has led to a huge collection of rare pieces. I also read relentlessly, everything from social science to boxing and football biographies. I am equally passionate about design and film, writing mini scripts when I have time.

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