Five minutes with David Bardell

For this week’s blog, we get into the mind of Mr Creative himself to find out how it shapes his life and why we’re lucky (most of the time) that he can’t keep his opinions to himself…

Define creativity?

It is the ability to see connections and routes that were possibly not seen before. But it’s also a kind of blindness – you sometimes don’t see the problems that others see.

In a full-service agency, why’ve you chosen to be a creative director (CD)?

I haven’t chosen it, it’s what I am, it’s what I’ve always done – it just took some time to solidify into a job!

How does this role match your personality?

Very well. This role is about encouraging ideas, developing and pruning ideas, putting ideas out there and into action. Most people you present ideas to are generally risk averse which means the default setting for new ideas is ‘danger’! This means a few things:

I have to sometimes plough on regardless of what others think, in the knowledge that I’m right – even if I’m not in the end! I need to be able to use an ego but as a tool to be picked up and put down, not as a personality.

I have opinions I can rarely keep to myself: I know what good is and I love the psychology of what people think. My imagination means I can predict or imagine where things will end up. I love to love work, which mixes very well with creativity. I don’t necessarily think in a linear fashion (actually a handicap in some walks of life!) and can make quick leaps in unusual directions under pressure. I’m not averse to making mistakes or taking risks.

Most importantly, I love motivating others to do things they love.

What’s the newest thing in your [professional] world?

The very interesting crossover between commercial activity and ideas for social good; some are calling the time we’re in ‘the purpose age’. This a combination of where brands are heading and what millennials (hate that word) are doing to the world they’re taking charge of.

What should we expect from you in the future?

Sometimes my influence is barely perceptible, as it’s part of the job to tease the good out of others. But our studio will be outputting more interesting work which makes us feel good.

How does creativity factor into your day-to-day life?

It is everything. I get creative with my diet, my exercise, the way I deal with my kids, my relationships, how I drive, what I enjoy, where I go, music, my home life. I apply it to everything because I love it and I can.

Name a creative director that you admire?

I’m not very good with names, but I’ve worked with a few good ones in previous agencies. The people I admire most have tended not to be CDs. They include a business leader who I used to work for, many artists and musicians. This is going to sound cheesy but I don’t care: I admire my current team, I really do.

What’s your dream project to work on?

A national/international campaign for a business that knows who it is (or wants to find out), and knows what it needs to achieve. They would want us to attract a particular audience, they would like a little bravery or some innovative results because they have a lot of competition to beat in the space. That or a branding project for a foodie related innovative business who are interested in social good too.

If a creative agency were a car, what part would you be?

The windscreen (complete with furry dice); enabling others to see where they can go and how to get there.

Which superpower would help you as a creative director?

Easy – mind reading! It would help in every area, not just CD stuff!



David Bardell

About David Bardell

Leads our creative team, co-ordinating ideas generation and implementation across design visuals. David has more than 20 years’ experience in creative and strategic marketing for international brands including Chevrolet, TFL, Monarch, IBM, Cisco, NEC, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel, Symantec, VisitBritain, VW and Vauxhall.
David’s passion: Creativity