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An interview with...Andrew Greenhalgh, Creative Solutions for Talenthouse

Kelsey Martin
By Kelsey Martin  //  Mon 2nd December 2013

This week we spoke to Drew Greenhalgh, Creative Solutions for Talenthouse. We gained insight on his varied background, the next big thing in media and HBO's campaign for True Blood.

What was your first job?
I started my own car washing business when I was 12. I printed cards and drummed up quite a list of regulars. Every weekend, you could find me walking the neighbourhood with a bucket and sponge. My first ‘real’ job was working for the China Trading Corporation selling private services into the public sector in Hong Kong.

Favourite media campaign?
I like it when fiction crosses over into reality like HBO’s campaign for the first series of True Blood. What made it good for me was the way it was woven into the mythology of the show. Vials of ‘blood’ with secret messages got mailed to influential horror bloggers leading them to a ‘vampire-only’ site featuring ‘real’ vampires debating whether or not they should reveal themselves to the public…which were then ‘leaked’. An outdoor poster campaign supporting equal rights for vampires appeared in key cities too - none of which ever mentioned the TV show.

Best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
Always earn more than your age.

How did you get into media?
I’ve always been around it in some way shape or form. From lifestyle publishing I went into conferences and exhibitions, then into interior design and business management. I also used to hang out in the green room at the Beeb every week to mingle with the guests from Michael Parkinson’s show. Then I got side-lined into politics, where I championed the creative industries in the face of Michael Gove’s attack on arts subjects in the school curriculum. The co-founder of Talenthouse was in attendance at an event I hosted at BAFTA last year called ‘Create Britain’ and the rest is history. 

Who is your media hero?
Madonna. She’s my hero in a lot of ways, but how she has sustained various attacks by the media and continued to manipulate and play it so well is astounding. The pulling power and influence she has is also very enviable, everything she does results in column inches, clicks and sales. She’s a rarity.

What’s the next big thing in media?
Sponsored artist portfolios and sponsored creative collaborations. They drive real positive word of mouth and advocacy for brands that support creativity at grass roots level. The campaigns we design at Talenthouse are now renowned for their ability to replace brand rejection for consideration, purchase and peer-to-peer recommendation. It’s a whole new way for brands to reach mainstream audiences by attaching themselves to original and compelling content that people like and share. And it’s a whole new way for artists to make money, simply from making art. If sponsored, our members earn 15¢ every time their work is liked, shared or commented on socially.

Multi-dimensional websites using swipe and touch techniques will replace standard web formats – so designers make sure you’re creating touch / swipe ready UI’s.

Also, keep an eye out for Blade Runner style super structures floating above our cities. 200m billboards will soon be hovering above us all as bright and as visible as the moon and displaying the latest campaigns, which will be updated at the push of a button.

Best industry resource?
Ted and LinkedIn are great aggregators of quality content, but I also secretly love UGC tutorials – If I ever get stuck when using creative suite for example, YouTube is my first port of call.

Who has inspired you recently?
I recently spent two evenings with Madonna’s brother Christopher Ciccone discussing a project we may work on together. He’s a genuine creative hero of mine and very inspiring; with a wealth of knowledge and experience that spans a career as almost as diverse as his sister’s.

Biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn about it?
I purchased an old farm complex at the start of the recession in 2009 with the aim of turning into a high-end retreat for creative collaboration. I learned - buy a little closer to home or move out there to watch over the workmen, get a good bank manager and learn the language.

Favourite pub?
I never go to pubs.

If you didn’t work in media, what would you be doing?
Politician by day, masked superhero by night.

What did you want to be when you grew up…?
Always right.

Celebrity crush!?

Absolutely too many to list…anyone called Ryan, Bradley Cooper’s not bad…Henry Cavill would definitely get breakfast.

Andrew leads Creative Solutions at Talenthouse and works with global brands and established artists to create ground breaking social media and content marking campaigns that help ignite and amplify product launches, tours and other high profile events. In 2012 his work was recognised when he was included as a finalist for the Telegraph's media man of the year. This December, his debut novel, 'Jacked' will be available to download via iBooks and Amazon.

Check out media opportunities by Talenthouse here:

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