From rave MC to Andrew Lincoln look-a-like. It’s Lucky 13 time with Jon O’Donnell, managing director of ESI Commercial.
1 – Summarise yourself in three words.
“Passion, energy, humour.”
2 – What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?
“Following a brief career as a rave MC and DJ my Mum told me to get a proper job and gave me the jobs section of the Saturday Guardian. I missed the point and joined the actual Guardian and never looked back.”
3 – Describe your ideal client.
“One who is prepared to genuinely take risks and break ground in order to exceed expectations.”
4 – Name your favourite ever campaign.
“I’m very proud of our recent campaigns for McArthurGlen and Lionsgate for Hacksaw Ridge. They are great examples of how publishers are demonstrating their unique ability to bring authentic content to life in the digital space.”
5 – Which award win are you most proud of, and why?
“The most recent – our Cross Platform Sales Team of the Year win at the Campaign Media Awards. We’ve been on an incredible journey together and made some big decisions that have seen us restructure our business around the multiple platforms we have for advertisers and consumers to engage with. The fact that we were recognised for that is testament to our desire to get better and better. I’m lucky to work with such a fun, talented and patient group of crazy mo-fo’s!”
6 – Who is the best industry speaker you have seen?
“Dave Brailsford from Team Sky (well, it was at an industry function). My pen literally couldn’t write down stuff quick enough. Utterly inspiring and insightful. If you’re going to force me to be ad industry specific then I’d have to say Dave Trott, who is always brilliant.”
7 – Which is your favourite social media platform, and why?
“I probably use Facebook the most for personal use and admire the manner in which it has become a virtual home for almost everything from content to commerce. Professionally though, I think they still have work to do acknowledging their transition from an ad tech platform to a provider of content. With great power comes great responsibility, to quote Spider-Man 2.”
8 – Where is your ideal meeting venue?
“The Terrace, Space, Ibiza (RIP).”
9 – What is your favourite restaurant?
“The best steak in the world is in a small Italian butchers on the Old Brompton Road, but you still can’t beat Hakkasan.”
10 – What is hot in international media and marketing, and what is not?
“Strong authentic content in premium engaging environments will always resonate more powerfully with audiences than a simple broad data play. This is why titles like The New York Times, Washington Post and The Independent continue to drive traffic and produce incredibly engaging commercial work.”
11 – Which industry buzzword would you ban?
“Adding the word ‘hack’ to anything to sound ‘current’. Thoroughly irritating.”
12 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
“So long as I’m happy, healthy, fulfilled and inspired I’m open to all eventualities.”
13 – Finally, who would play you in a movie of your life?
“It would be a close audition between John Thompson and Jonny Vegas for the earlier years, but post 40 I think I’d cast Andrew Lincoln as that’s the kindest (yet still implausible) look-a-like I’ve ever been offered to date.”