SKETCHES FOR THE 'CATS WITH THUMBS' AD
Creative genes run throughout Freddie's family, with his father being one of the worlds leading product designers, the mother an incredibly talented artist and the rest of his siblings all in creative fields, it seemed inevitable that Freddie joined in on the action.
Having recently been featured in Forbes’ 30 UNDER 30: MEDIA and one of the most awarded Advertising Creatives in the world, at the ripe age of 27, Freddie Powell seems to have the golden touch when it comes down to advertising.
AW: Did your father warn you against the creative world?
FP: He has done nothing but encourage me to go down a creative route. He warned me against Product Design however.
AW: Why CATS and why with thumbs?
FP: To normal people, milk is just milk but Cravendale are crazy about it, from the grass the cows eat to the music they're played at milking time, everything about the milk 'matters'. They think incessantly about it. So our ads always start with a milk truth and then get 'carried away'. We wanted to start with something that people would sit up and take notice of. The internet loves cats... and cats love milk. We found a picture of this cat with thumbs... and it just set us off. It was just mad enough to work.
AW: Did you always set out to make a great TV spot?
FP: We actually cooked the whole campaign to work primarily online. The internet is basically a free media space. If you make something people want to see, they'll pass it around organically. So we put Bertrum Thumbcat (the hero/lead cat) on Facebook on Twitter and did whole bunch of stuff with him. He now has over 50,000 followers hanging on his every word.
AW: Am i right in saying, all creatives have a partner?
FP: Yep: I work with an utter genius - Hollie Walker (see image above). One of those exceptionally rare people that knows when an idea is good or not. She's like a miniature buddha.
AW: How did you get into the industry?
FP: I studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins and had some fantastic tutors. The best bit of Graphics is the communication side to it. Finding out the best way of communicating a message. That dovetailed nicely into Advertising and still provides, daily, some of the hardest challenges in my life.
AW: What can we look forward to in the near future from yourself?
FP: We're baking a new campaign for Cravendale at the moment (the highlight of my day) and another new campaign for a major mobile network.
AW: We know you have various hobbies, including candle making, magic and perfumery. If you weren't in Advertising, would any of your hobbies interest you enough to take on full time?
FP: I have the attention span of newt. I'm surprised i'm still in advertising. I get really bored by stuff, really quickly. But knowing how stuff works and trying to master a field is something i'm guilty of. I get obsessed by things and just do it solidly for a couple of years. I'd love for a hobby to become a profession but i don't think that'll ever happen. It is however nice when they cross over with your job... when you can implement something you've learned in your free time.
AW: And lastly, we know you're a foodie: We'd like to know from everyone we interview, what they'd cook to impress us?
FP: I'd do a slow cooked knuckle of pork with a rich chocolate gravy and garlic potatos. I ate it once at the Hartwood (think you featured it here a few months ago) in Tulum. One of the best dishes on this blue marble and i've been trying to mimic it ever since.
Sounds horrendously delicious. For more on Freddie and his goings on, see his and Hollie's website below: