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Creative industry Leader Interview:

Dom Boyd

Group Head of Strategy at adam&eveDDB

By Joanna Ray, Team Assistant  Dec 2nd 2016

Career to date:

2015, Chair, APG 
2015, Group Head of Strategy, adam&eveDDB
2012, Head of Strategy & Planning, adam&eveDDB
2011, Joint Head of Strategy & Planning, Tribal / DDB 
2008, Strategy Director, DDB UK
2004, Founder, Neon State
2003, Head of Strategy, Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan
1997, Planner, AMV BBDO

creativebrief: As Group Head of Strategy of adam&eveDDB what is your primary focus?

Dom Boyd: Turning adam&eveDDB into the McKinsey of ideas agencies through a great culture, a great strategy team and creating great work.

creativebrief: Please share a para on your career to date – specifically talking us through the high points.

Dom Boyd: Hitchhiked from Alaska to Peru. Joined Saatchi & Saatchi, then AMV BBDO. Grew a start-up into a top 20 agency, started a record company before heading to DDB/Tribal (now adam&eveDDB). Too many highlights to mention, but winning both Agency of the Year and IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix two years running probably makes the cut.

creativebrief: What's unique about your agency / business? Why did you join adam&eveDDB?

Dom Boyd: The reason I joined is the reason we’re unique - we invented strategic planning. No other agency cares as much about getting under the skin of what truly makes people tick, how to turn that into transformative ideas, and proving its effect on a business. I’d love to tell you how, but…

creativebrief: Who are the people new to you (either within your business or externally) who have particularly impressed you in the last twelve months?

Dom Boyd: Emma Watson - someone who’s found their north star.

creativebrief: What has been your agency's best work in the last year?

Dom Boyd: For me, it’s the work you’ve not yet seen – we can always strive to do even better. For normal people it will probably be this Christmas’ John Lewis & Waitrose campaigns.

creativebrief: Industry wide, what work has excited you most this year?

Dom Boyd: The creative work from outside the industry, like PJ Harvey’s public album recording at Somerset House. And our work for Waitrose streaming their farms and animals live via go-pros was pretty groundbreaking.

creativebrief: Who or what inspires you?

Dom Boyd: Silence. It brings a clarity of thought.

“The reason I joined (adam&eveDDB) is the reason we’re unique - we invented strategic planning. No other agency cares as much about getting under the skin of what truly makes people tick, how to turn that into transformative ideas, and proving its effect on a business.”

creativebrief: How do you stay in-touch with the industry's best work and culturally relevant news?

Dom Boyd: A mighty combination of my retired in-laws and a digital firehose of culture feeds. 

creativebrief: What work or agency from outside the UK do you think is particularly influential?

Dom Boyd: Intermarche’s ‘inglorious fruit’ made me jealous - turning wonky fruit & veg into a discounted product line was smart, disruptive and hugely successful.

creativebrief: What do you think are going to be the main challenges for agencies in the next two years?

Dom Boyd: Keeping things simple in a world that’s ever more confused. And doing so more quickly.

creativebrief: How do you see the media landscape unfolding in the next five years?

Dom Boyd: Predicting anything accurately is a mugs game, so goodness knows - Rupert Murdoch will become a digital evangelist, Twitter will become a haven for quality conversations, and the Daily Mail will decide Brexit is a terrible idea. Or not.

creativebrief: What's your attitude to the 'traditional' pitch? Do you think there is a better/more modern way?

Dom Boyd: Pitching is pitching. You do whatever it takes to win. But using projects to work hand-in-glove with a client in practice is a smarter – and more profitable – way to work. That takes a confident client, however.

creativebrief: What's the best agency review process you've been involved in?

Dom Boyd: The only ones that matter – the ones we’ve won.

creativebrief: In what ways do you think the industry can change for the better?

Dom Boyd: Get remunerated better so it can invest deeply in skills. Get more diverse. Get paid for IP.

creativebrief: What's the next big thing for adam&eveDDB?

Dom Boyd: Only my dombot algorithm can answer that in public.

Topic of the moment

With increasing pressure on governments, do you think brands have a responsibility to step in and help local communities? How are you working with brands to help implement social good at a local level?

There’s more both governments and brands can – and should – do to implement social good.

The watch-out for brands is they need to add value in relevant ways reflecting their values, and be in it for the long-haul that reflects a wider corporate goal and brings more meaningful commitment. Without that, the public will quickly become cynical.

About the author

Joanna Ray, Team Assistant

Jo makes the office run like clockwork on a day-to-day basis, providing support to each of the individual teams.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanna-ray-8189a9a3