Creative team Paloma Reed and Nick O’Brien have officially been on the payroll at M&C Saatchi since March. Before that, they managed to extend what was planned as a four-week internship at the agency into four months’ work, such was the impression they made on m&c creative head Graham Fink. What’s more, they’ve just seen their first tv script, for Kronenbourg, directed by none other than Tony Kaye. Not bad for two ex-interns not yet a year out of college.
Both studied graphic design and photography at Kingston University and met in the second year during an eight-week advertising workshop led by Dave Trott. After graduation and some work experience at ideo (who spotted their work at D&AD’s New Blood) the duo decided to approach creative directors at a host of London agencies. “Graham asked us in and liked that we didn’t have an ‘ad’ book as such but rather a portfolio of ideas in different disciplines,” recalls Reed.
Fink offered them a placement at M&C and it wasn’t long before they found themselves pitching on an open brief for Kronenbourg. “We were so rushed with other things that we didn’t have much time for the script,” admits Reed. “But it evolved in our heads and we wrote it in one evening.”
Emphasising the new ‘widget’ now installed in cans of Kronenbourg (the idea being that smaller bubbles make for a smoother taste) Reed and O’Brien’s successful script saw a group of chefs working furiously in a circular kitchen, using all manner of knives, mashers and graters to slice and dice hundreds of bubbles.
“So then we were trying to find a director, but we didn’t really know who was good and who wasn’t,” says O’Brien. “And then Graham said, ‘There’s this guy called Tony Kaye.’ Well, we had no idea who he was! But then he showed us his ads.” A Google search on the ever-controversial Kaye further heightened the pair’s sense of unease but this quickly dispelled as soon as they met the director who was, they assure us, “very nice” to work with. In fact, he inspired them to start working on a short film.
More recently the pair have been honing their copywriting skills on press work for NatWest, while trying to catch up on sleep. “It’s all self-inflicted,” says O’Brien of their long stints in the office. “We’re just trying to get the best out of this.”
While they’re clearly a creative team to keep an eye on, what media they work in next is anyone’s guess. And this cross-disciplinary approach seems to suit them just fine.