Best film of all time?
I have a bit of a reputation for liking fairly naff films, so it’ll come as no surprise to people who know me to hear that Cocktail is probably my favourite. Does that make me sound a bit ‘in touch with my feminine side’? What do you mean people already thought that?!
I love the dialogue between Tom Cruise and Brian Brown’s characters – witty and fantastic diction – which is perhaps where my love of words began. This, coupled with the combination of Gina Gershon and Elisabeth Shue, rendered me helplessly in love with this film as a young teenager. I guess I’ve had a soft spot for it since then.
More recently, and at the slightly less embarrassing end of the spectrum, I thought The King’s Speech, which I was expecting to be totally bored by, was excellent.
Favourite holiday destination?
I’ve been fortunate enough to go to some amazing places around the world when on a six-month travelling stint that masqueraded as a honeymoon – South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. I was also lucky enough to spend three weeks in Canada on a school rugby tour, which was awesome for lots of reasons.
I’d say my favourite of these was New Zealand – the scenery, the wealth of activities, the adrenaline sports and the laid back pace of life make it the perfect holiday destination. The amazing views are in danger of getting boring, there are so many of them! Shame it’s quite so far away – if it was where Wales is I’d move there tomorrow.
Ever since I read a short story when I was younger about deep-sea fishing for Marlin in Mauritius, I’ve also had a fantasy to go there one day and do just that. Definitely one for my bucket list.
Ooh, probably the one that was worth £10m. Oh, not that kind of quote?
I really love quotes and envy those that have the insight and ability to capture something succinctly that will be remembered for generations. That said, they can get really cheesy sometimes when splashed on T shirts or appearing at the bottom of your diary day.
From an industry perspective, there’s one I’ve come across recently from Henry Ford that is spot on (and one I’d love to remind a few clients of):
“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
And, not terribly exciting, but I really relate to “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. It’s easily overlooked and ignored because it’s tainted by its commonality but, if you really think about the words, it’s difficult to argue with.
In a similar vein, and for more comedy value, I’ve always loved “If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly!” made famous by The Cannonball Run but, believe it or not, originally coined by Mahatma Gandhi!
What do you enjoy most about working for F3?
I’ve worked in a much larger agency where I was exposed to pretty much everything this industry has to offer and given a thorough initiation into agency life. There’s lots that’s great about big agencies, but there are just as many negatives (beware the lure of the big, experienced agency that will cost you a fortune and where you’ll never get to see a decision maker!). In Factor 3, I’ve now settled for the long haul at a smaller (but not small) agency with a culture, quality and set of people that are second to none.
I’d say the camaraderie here, both internally and that we share with clients, is the thing I enjoy and value the most. I really believe that people and relationships trump products and brands when it comes to determining marketing success.
What do you do at Factor 3?
My job title is Account Director, but that’s probably not that enlightening in terms of what I actually end up doing with my days.
One of the best things about Factor 3, I believe, is our flat structure; it means we can be really agile and responsive, and also that the people clients and prospective clients meet and interact with are the people actually working on the account – there’s no cumbersome game of pass the parcel up and down the hierarchy. As a result, I find myself doing everything from the menial at one end through to the downright strategic at the other. I’ve also recently become a shareholder, so that puts a whole new slant on what you do and how you look at things.
Whether it’s brief writing, copy checking, meeting a client, having an international teleconference, typing up a contact report, estimating, invoicing, writing a proposal or constructing a new brand pyramid or marketing plan, no two days are ever the same. That’s one of the things I love about this industry in general, and Factor 3 specifically. I’d hate to lose the day-to-day client contact and project management, and that’s one of the things that can happen in bigger agencies as you move up the food chain. Sometimes there’s nothing better than switching your brain off and doing something really simple and process driven, but equally it’s great to get the old grey matter engaged and sink your teeth into some new thinking that’s going to change the fortunes of a client’s brand.
Nickname, if you have one?
‘Mincer’ when I was at school, and to this day with my school friends, because I was one of the first to get a girlfriend, which meant that I spent all my time on jaunts to the cinema rather than trying to get into pubs under-age with my mates.
I somehow seemed to acquire ‘Supermike’ in my early days at Factor 3, thanks James Akerman, but that seems to have died a death (read into that what you will). I now have a plethora of insults adorning the wall behind my head on a sheet of Magic whiteboard. ‘Pernickety’ is probably the one I’m fondest of.
Where do you come from?
Oop north – I’m a bit of a plastic Mancunian as I actually hail from Cheshire. Even in these cosmopolitan times, I still get jibes about my northern accent (which I’ve barely even got!), not least from my esteemed colleagues and my wife. Now my son says ‘barth and ‘grarss’; I am an island.
After going to uni at Warwick, I ended up working in Leicester for about six years. Then, after getting married and taking six months out to trot the globe, I’ve ended up settling in Cheltenham with my family for lifestyle reasons (no offence, Leicester).
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.