When we asked London College of Communication to find us an expert on advertising, what we didn’t think they’d give us was a forerunner in the advertising industry, who runs his own agency and has experience working for big brands such as Mars and Audi. Here’s how Rachel Bilson got on chatting to Ben Tucker…
Ben graduated from Buckinghamshire University with degree in advertising and has worked for all kinds of agencies, on all kinds of brands across all types of media. His clients have ranged from Audi to Armstrong and Miller, Dr Pepper to Durex. The Cannes Gold Design and New York Festival Gold are just two of the awards he has won. Today, as well as running his own agency Tucker Concept and Copy, Ben teaches Creative Thinking for Advertising and Confident Copywriting at London College of Communication. Here’s what he had to say when I spoke to him in between lessons…
How did you get into advertising?
A short, sharp slap of an idea from Tango had me creating my own little films and characters on pads and Betamax. My university course promised to funnel this creativity into ads. Companies funding the creation of ideas? I couldn't resist.
Which campaign do you consider your greatest achievement of your career so far?
'How Refreshing. How Heineken' and 'Withabix/Withoutabix' campaigns were a joy to work on. Since then, the 'Mars Megavendor' and 'Mini Flow' executions have been exciting pieces.
The sound it! Blood, sweat and tears or natural talent – which do you need more of to succeed in advertising?
Both can be learned. Once you know yourself and what makes you tick, you can create your own discipline. If you really want to succeed in advertising, you can.
Which campaign do you wish you worked on?
Royal London 'Over 50s Life Cover TV Advert' because it’s one of the few ads that feels like a real treat. It reminds me of Python's 'Holy Grail'.
How do you think technology is changing advertising?
Posters are becoming TVs, TVs are becoming computers, we watch TV ads on YouTube, read newspapers through websites, and the whole damn lot can fit on a phone. The hype is shifting, yet people are still as bored and excited as they ever were. I relish every opportunity to shake them with something new. New ideas, stories, characters and inventions.
What's your prediction for the next big thing in advertising?
If it's predictable, then it's not new. If it's not new, or done right, it won't be big. So I'm going to go with dancing walrus eggcups.
Ok! We’ll look out for those! Lastly, have you got any advice for people looking for jobs in advertising today?
There's a lot of crap out there. Try not to add to the pile. If it smells familiar, flush it. Make what you would like to see, and show it to people you'd like to work for.
If Ben’s insights have inspired you, have a look at the full list of advertising courses available.