Rob Mayhew: The king of agency comedy
One thing that all of us in the advertising and creative world like to believe is that we’re all really, really funny. It’s a wonderful sense of humor that carries us through the deep despair we often feel when our creative and business hearts are dashed against the rocks of so many failed client pitches. In fact, many of us think that we’re indeed blessed with immaculate timing, fleet minds and agile thought patterns. It reminds me of that scene in The Simpsons when Homer imagines himself at last night’s party like an Oscar Wilde character, charming everyone with his wit and wisdom when, in reality, he was a hot, gibbering slobbering drunken mess. The point is, it’s easy to think that we’re funny until that is you come up against someone who genuinely is funny. Example, I’m lucky enough to have my good friend Jeremy Davis occasionally popping on the show to provide a cutting sometimes snarky monologue about the new business world because what a lot of us what we really do in agencies and in selling, pitching and working for clients can be funny when observed from a distance. I used to work for a famous CEO who was a legendary smoker and the agency had the Imperial Tobacco account. During one of his famous presentations to the client, it proved a stark reminder that burning cigarettes and paper flip charts don’t actually mix. And it’s also very hard to continue making a point when the fire alarm is screaming for you all to exit the building. And my point is that things that happen in agencies have a lot of humor embedded in them, but it takes a special talent to highlight them and to actually make them funny, as I’ve just proved. There’s a handful of truly funny people in the marketing world. There’s Jeremy Davis, who I just mentioned, there’s Tom Fishburne of the Marketoonist. But in the last two years, unless you’ve been completely ignoring social media, you won’t have failed to notice Rob Mayhew, whose fame and popularity arc has been stratospheric. So stratospheric, in fact that Tiktok asked him to emcee their big annual extravaganza recently, acknowledging that his short Lo Fi comedy sketches about agency life have attracted millions of fans, and probably consequently, millions of advertising dollars. Rob’s a big deal dressed in eyewatering knitwear. He’s also an actual PR agency director and now a fully qualified influence marketer. His short comedy routines about different aspects of agency life have cheered us all up at various points in our careers. And it’s not just humor, Rob manages to tug at the heartstrings and capture the loneliness of being the new starter, the joy of phoning home after a successful first week. He’s also really good at nailing the pointlessness of group meetings and stuff birthday celebrations. I feel a bit like a salted slug right now because I’m wondering if podcasters might get his getting his crosshairs soon. We’ve had some advertising legends on this show. But I consider this to be a true high point. So let’s not spend any more time blowing his trumpet for him when he’s sitting right there. Ready to go, folks? Allow me to welcome to the show. Rob Mayhew.
Thank you, everyone. Standing ovation, will give you loads of cheers. There’ll be cheers all over this. Don’t worry. I’d like that. Can you add them in in post? That’ll happen. Perfect. Nice to see You
and you my friend. How are you?
Very well, slightly, slightly hungover. Had a team away day yesterday. So just a bit fresh? You know? It’s fine. It’s fine. I’m right. It’s I think by my wife says that I’m I work harder when I’m hungover. And I’m less annoying. And I’m funnier. So you’re in for a treat today. Perfect. Excellent. Excellent. So hard working half drunk. Funny, man. I’m not so drunk. I’ll just put that out there. What was what was the what was the drink of the day out there on the problem drink was Jager bombs some people’s birthday. Again, my suggestion? Why don’t we get shots in here, but I do that and there was no bomb they had no they didn’t have the Red Bull or other energy drinks that are available in the shops. But they but they had Jager. And I had three. I was home by nine. So yeah, but I mean if you start drinking, like 10 in the sport, and in the morning, four in the afternoon, right. But it was brilliant. We had a lovely time. It’s nice to see everyone. It’s always good. Because we you know working from home, and obviously there’s always new starters. So it’s always nice to kind of actually put faces to people and see how tall everyone is in real life. And see what kind of shoes they like to wear. That’s always see if anyone’s wearing shoes without socks, which is a big bugbear of mine. And course, I mean hot off the press. Congratulations. You’ve just picked up a gun that the video week European awards. And what was this? Is it the Shangri La. Look at that. Lovely glistening Gong. Yeah, I won the editor’s choice at the video, European Video Awards with video week. And yeah, it was brilliant. I mean, it was an absolute surprise. And just really nice to see. It’s my first award I’ve got from really anything substantial. I did win the 19 A The seven best boy dancer at school and the 1989, Sunshine soccer course penalty competition when I was nine, I fell outside of that. I haven’t won much. So this is, this is lovely and very meaningful.
So yeah, well, I’m sure it’s gonna be the first of many I have to say, I mean, in advance of us talking, I was reading your, your tiktoks. And having a look through them. And I mean, it’s, it’s prolific, absolutely prolific. So. And I just want to say thank you very much, because what you’re doing to the world of, you know, the, the world of agencies is, you’re shining a light on, you know, sometimes quite a funny, you know, a funny world. And you’re bringing humor to a lot of people who I think, you know, sort of feel that they’re a bit unrecognized. So I mean, fairplay to you for doing.
And I always like to say that, like, it’s a love letter to the industry that I love agency life, and I love marketing. I know I work for a PR agency now. But I’ve worked for digital agencies, below the line agencies above the line agencies, all types of independent, global, all of that. So I’ve kind of been everywhere, because I’ve done a lot of freelancing as well as just been doing it for 20 years. So yeah, and so it’s I love everything about the industry, of course, not everything. Of course, there’s some things like pitching and bad clients and things that obviously, you know, also very funny. But it’s I do it all with a wink. Like it’s all it’s all in good. Good humor. Sure. Sure, is. Also, there’s a nice message there, because it’s all real. I mean, all the sketches that like, it’s pretty much stuff that I’ve experienced or seen, or, you know, it’s all hyperbole as well, I kind of, you know, add a funny thing to it. But it’s all very, it’s just observed. I think the difference between me and anyone else that I write everything down in my phone that I observe and have done, because because I did stand up comedy for six years before locked down. So you just naturally I write down things because you forget them. And actually, it was been great, because you just write down premises. I’ll try. Let me just think of one that I’ve just written down. Keith, I know you didn’t ask. I’m going to tell it to you. Anyway. If you’ve got any recent examples of that, then rob. Yes, I do. Exactly that I do have right here. So let me just open up my notes on my phone, everyone. So let’s have a look here. This was funny a few minutes ago. So reminding people, you’re not working tomorrow. So you know, when you’re not like you might have Friday off, and you’re sort of in the middle of a conversation. You go, oh, sorry, I’m not in tomorrow. Or you go say Monday. I can’t knock tomorrow. So I have to be Monday. When is it tomorrow? Just reminder that I just find that funny because it’s just gives off someone with briefing you sort of waiting to jump in that you’re not into tomorrow. Is it funny? Who knows? Keith? I’ll make it funny, though. So premise. The I mean, the point is, is that there’s almost kind of like a sort of, it’s a get out as well, at the same time, isn’t it? Yeah. And you’re like, oh, sorry. I can’t be Monday. Okay. It’s too late. Is it? Oh, that’s a shame. Maybe next time? Yeah, just keep me when it’s email me any updates? Then we can? Or if it goes back a day, or whatever, I’m flat. Yeah, I was they moved it. Yes. The client wants to meet on Monday. That’s fine. But they wait, so I won’t bother them. You sort of tried to be as helpful as possible, knowing there’s no way they’ll do it. Yeah. Knowing that exactly. That absolutely superb. Absolutely. And of course a week before you go on holiday actually is the best, isn’t it? Because it can’t really take can we take on any any work? To be honest? No. And then you do your I always do my hand over like 48 hours before I leave, and then send it around the garden to send it to you in advance. You can ask me any questions and then it’s kind of theirs now. They own it. Yeah, cuz you’re two weeks off becomes at least three weeks. And then you’ve got another week on the back of it. Because you just keep keep let’s have a catch up on Wednesday, when I’m, you know, I’ll be back in on Monday, but let’s just, you sort of slink because it’s working from home, you kind of like trying to stay invisible for the first couple of days. You’re back though. That’s another good. That’s a good premise. Okay. So I mean, you have I mean, you have always been observing kind of the the humor of office life and stuff like that. I mean, I think so. And also like, it’s things that you don’t wouldn’t dare say in a meeting, right? Or like at your daily standup or in a company meeting. I’m always thinking I’ve always thinking what would be like the worst thing to say or not the worst thing like the fun it was the funny that often have funny thoughts but you can’t because you’ve been professional whereas in my sketches I can do that I can say these things like I can you know, if you if you’re going you know you when you go around the table in a client meeting and everyone’s introduces themselves, and then everyone’s at home Rob and account director at this agency and it gets the client they always go, oh, you will, you will know me.
Go on to the next person. I’ve always Ready to go? Well, you can stop a minute, introduce yourself. Why are you exempt to play the game, because everyone’s always that away. Now I’ve worked with a client for six years, I’ve worked with Maggie for six years. So it’s always like a bit of a one upmanship. As well as I just find all of that. So funny. Just the culture, the way people behave in meetings, highly stressed situations. And then the processes like what just in the industry, what we will do with like pitching the stress of a pitch company meetings, being asked to present last minute on something, you have no idea who your boss has edited your slides without, you know, without telling you and stuff just changed a couple of words, but just throws you or you’ve got to present, you’ve got to present a video, like a mood video, with some music on in the background, you got present that in a meeting, and you’ve kind of got to stand there nodding along video for two minutes, staring at the client going are they liking it? My favorite was because when I when I was in ad agencies, I mentioned that guy at the start, when we had the Imperial Tobacco was
I was I was a specialist in web stuff, right? The very sort of in the, you know, the mid 90s. And I used to get dragged into meetings unexpectedly I used to be I’d be sitting there, you know, working with some, oh, come and speak to you know, fill up. A new client, you know, is less, I had no idea who he is now, and you sort of like, tell him about the internet.
And that’s another thing as well, having worked in social and digital, you always been after for the pitches for meetings. So you do some slides you might work quite late you do all this all this all this work, you go to the meeting and Milton Keynes, so good few hours away. And then we’ve run out of time. Well, let’s just quickly go through Rob’s your liquidity just go for you got one minute. bit longer and the toilet elevators are great as well. And that’s the same you get dragged into things, don’t you? Can we quickly just talk about tick tock social media and the rise of Tiktok? Right, well, whoever they are, they’re, they’re a gun company. Okay.
One of the one of the worst, most awkward experiences I’ve ever had. And it’s one of those things I’ve I’ve subsequently done a couple of times and you learn how to deal with it is when for Have you traveled to a venue in a car? That that rific conversation in the car is just it’s priceless? Absolutely.
No wait, that person with their laptop out is always that person who’s like holding a bag of USB sticks and the dongle and all these things. And then it’s just like, right have you got did you get the slides from Simon the strategists did you get everyone’s like, is this the right version? Like it’s just high energy? And then you’ll you’ll say no, you should have taken the tube as well would have been much quicker. would have been way quicker. And now you’re stuck in like, oh, rush hour traffic. Oh, this wasn’t going to be busy. Does anybody want to stop and get a drink or so? You know? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you turn up all sweaty. And then someone you put to get some misogynist man, male sort of directed guy in the in the Who’s coming with you who’s hadn’t done any work to the pitch and it’s gonna say something sexist to the receptionist when you arrive. And it’s horrible. Well, they’ll just have a really, really public conversation and they’re like the clients reception. I used to get shifts all the time by my boss at time, Amelia. She’d always shift me even in the lift after pitch. Okay, that went well. This wrong with that? Oh, that’d be like, what that client wasn’t very nice. Where they were, it’s just you’re great. And so we had to get like, like a mile away from the client’s office. Otherwise, someone would hear
oh, God, fantastic. This the show’s already gone sideways. So well done, congratulations. But now I remember I had a boss on a train. Once we were we were going through a it was the client was subject to a takeover or merger or something. And, and I was I was going through the documents on the train going down. And he leapt all over me and told me to shut the file up because I was just a paper file. Because he said, What are you doing? And he said, Look, he said don’t just show it. He said you never know who’s traveling on a train.
Yes, I say that because often you are if you’re pitching you do get trains with other agencies. If it’s outside London you can you recognize that although there was a guy with a big creative director, you can spam a mile off sort of loitering around Ustadh around the prep Monday. And then you’re sort of like well, they’ve got boards they’ve got they’ve printed out they’re creative. They
always this thing out is you might hit you one day you’ll hear something great. We should have done that. Yeah, absolutely. But anyway, um, now thank you for putting the time aside for all this. We will get into the meat of the interview in a minute but and you’ve got a you’ve got a New Baby as well, haven’t you?
New Baby? And yeah, so it’s beautiful. She’s beautiful and wonderful. And yeah, it just means my time is even more precious now. Exactly. I work four days a week and then one day is for like making content. But, you know, I was a one point case when I was freelancing. I was posting eight times a day on Tik Tok eight sketches a day, that’s going down to one a day, I’ve never missed a day could Wow, my child. And I mean, I wasn’t filming the sketch on the birth, my child front, I filmed loads of sketches and had them saved up, which is what I do. So I’ll film like 1010 on on a Friday 10 sketches on a Friday, if I’m lucky. Wow. And then if something if something happens, and I think I’ve got to make a sketch about that, I’ve always got my ring light here to quickly whack on a jumper. But ya know, it’s wonderful. It’s nice. I’m, you know, I’m 40 years old. It’s great to be a dad lived my life. And it’s a lovely thing. It’s a big change, big change in lifestyle lifestyle. Well, yes. Jasmine is the word I’m looking for. It’s the sleep thing took a while. Today’s the first day I’ve ever been hung over with a child. So that’s nice. But you know,
well, that’s fair enough. I mean, it’s always good to to go through these things. But I’m, I’m very amazed that you managed to be quite so prolific. I mean, is there anything
you have to be? What are you doing? To ask a question? Is there a different stuff on LinkedIn? I mean, are you do you tailor stuff for LinkedIn? Or are you making one thing and then chopping it up? So LinkedIn has been brilliant to me, so I joined LinkedIn. So I was been making tiktoks for kind of two years in November. And then about just before Christmas, maybe it was November time. I started posting sketch the sketches on from Tik Tok onto LinkedIn. And I went from, like 300 followers on LinkedIn didn’t know there was such a thing as followers to like, just shy of 70,000. In what, six, seven months? So it’s been amazing. So no, I don’t I still, it’s all the same stuff that I post on tick tock. Sometimes I don’t post certain things onto LinkedIn, because it’s might upset someone. But then I think I do keep in mind if things don’t necessarily go amazing on tick tock, I pretty consistently do well on LinkedIn, because there’s just an audience there who work in agency or marketing or don’t use workplace relatable sketches a lot. Often it’s the same, you know, people can identify with a lot of it, even if you don’t work in agency, but it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s been incredible for me and I, the one thing I’ve always thought is, is, is consistency. And just yeah, just showing up with a good, just good quality consistency. If you keep doing that, then you should be able to grow an audience. And I Yeah, LinkedIn has been great. And I don’t It’s nothing special for LinkedIn. Although I just I’m aware of LinkedIn now. So I kind of it’s given me a confidence, I’d say that I can be quite niche and very specific with sketches. Like I can talk about, like, I can really I don’t have to kind of before before I, about a year ago, when I started doing workplace sketches. It wasn’t agency sketches. It was workplace sketches, because it was I thought that’s wider appeal. But quite quickly, they became agency sketches, because that’s what I know. And actually, it was you just because LinkedIn has given me a confidence that I can be really specific. If I find something funny. Then I hope other people will and I don’t I don’t try and pander to every one way. Sometimes there’s a bit of that on Tik Tok, where you kind of, you know, if you want to go viral on Tiktok, I thought that it would have to be something that’s quite generic, but actually, one of the most popular ones got 3.3 and a half million views was about if you’re honest, in your daily standup. Yeah. And I thought, Oh, I talked about timesheets. I talked about POS I talked about, you know, it’s very specific to our industry, I thought but 3.2 million views on tick tock so actually, that’s, it’s great. People just think funny is funny. And actually, it’s a bit of a I think people like to see what goes on in agency life as well. People hit me up for tips. And, you know, I think people, I’ve had a lot of feedback that people use my sketches as insight into what it’s like. And it’s, I mean, obviously, it’s sometimes the bad stuff and the ridiculous that is funny, so I do stuff about that. But I will say celebrate the silliness of what we do. I think
it’s genius. It is absolutely genius. But, I mean, unless just give a shout out to I mean to the The agency that that you are sort of working with, which is FleishmanHillard.
Deserve big credit for, like, just being really supportive and not not. Not, you know, sitting there making me kind of, I think if you’re on LinkedIn, you probably wouldn’t even know I necessarily worked with lightning, and I’m not like, I don’t, you know, create a lot of contents of them, Am I I’d love to, I’m thinking of, you know, creating some, like, I’d love to do, there’s a few things I’d like to do, to kind of, you know, might be to get some recruitment drive for them or new business as well. I’m sort of thinking out how best to do that. I mean, they’ve been fantastic. So they deserve you know, they deserve all that.
That brings me on to a great. My next question anyway, which was, I mean, the the, you know, it must be, I’m wondering if there is if it’s difficult for you to balance the kind of, you know, where you draw the line in, in sort of comedy. And in fact, that does kind of get in the way of you when you want to try and be taken seriously, or people always kind of waiting for you to drop a, like, an unsavory sort of punch line or something. A bit. But I,
I, I’ve always struggled to be taken seriously, in my job. I’ve always been this guy. So what you the guy you see in the sketches is me. I’m not a genius actor. This is like, this is literally what I’m like. So I’ve, I’ve always been a bit silly in the office. And I, you know, I say 70% personality, and then 30% talent. But um, so, yeah, I mean, I do get a little bit of that. But I think people are always so like, positive about the sketches. And I always say this, the sketches you’re seeing now, are not about FleishmanHillard. They’re not about their, you know, 20 years experience I’ve got working in all different agencies. So it’s like an amalgamation of moments that I’ve experienced over the years. I mean, and things that have happened to me just so much really, Keith, that I don’t need to mine. And also I don’t do working from home sketches. In my world, yeah. Yeah, it’s, I’ve ignored the pandemic, because I was looking more into the long tail of my comedy platform. So I thought you might ignore the pandemic, hopefully, that will go away and also other people on Tik Tok were doing really good. Working from home comedy. And I thought, well, I don’t I wasn’t sure what I can add to it, to be honest. Whereas I, being in the office, being in an agency, you know, that kind of what goes on is where I kind of know, I’ve got a mine of, of content. But yeah, it’s so people don’t people always sometimes people will say, Oh, this will this will be a sketch. And I’m like, No, it won’t be that. Yeah, you don’t have to worry about that now. And then sometimes if someone does do something, or say something, or inspire something I’ll ask, I’ll say, Oh, I might. Do you mind? If I’ll take that? And then normally, they’re like, Yeah, go for it. That’d be amazing. And I love it. People do share ideas with me all the time. And I’d say I only really recreate only do sketches that have happened to me, really, or something that I can really relate to, because otherwise, I just can’t, you know, I don’t I can’t find the funny in it really struggle. So, but occasionally someone will send an idea. And it’s just brilliant. And I don’t give them any credit. So I won’t make a note of who they are. We I forget. But I remember posting again, I think that came from someone, but I know you signed the waiver when they sent it to me. We had that that chat when I first checked we were talking about you know the protocols for how long do you leave it if somebody doesn’t turn up for a video call? Exactly that isn’t it. But that’s the same when you’re I was thinking about this the other day, like when you’re when you’re in a meeting with something like teams, when you log in, you can see someone’s stuck kicked off the meeting because you get notification. And I’m always like, if it’s the client, I’m always like, wait a bit then. So who you don’t have to make small talk. You don’t have to be the first they’re like, Hey, how are you? You Good? How’s the holiday to Tenerife? You know what have that chat looking forward to the weekend? The keyboard it always hot, isn’t it? Yeah. hairdresser talk? Yeah. Oh, it’s warmer. There was got all you hot in your sweater. I’m like, Yeah, I am. Yeah. Are you a fan? Yeah. Fantastic. Have you seen what to watch for sketches? A lot of them don’t. A lot of them down. But a lot of them also really support to be honest though. Because of my day job. I’m a head of influence and and within the consumer, London team and retail as well. So a lot of what I’ve started to do now was a lot of tick tock. So brands like tick tock strategy and a lot of ideas for campaigns with it within our existing client base are actually all just tick tock knowledge of God is very useful.
I was gonna say with three odd million, you know, sort of views on, you know, on just one sketch and stuff that must give you a huge amount of gravitas when it comes to, you know, when clients are asking your opinion on on, you know, sort of tech media strategy,
I had a client put in the pitch, there was a q&a, and they put a link to one of my sketches. In in the RFI, wherever it’s called, we didn’t win the pitch, but it was like, Oh, this is sort of what we’re looking for. Okay, well, that’s actually me so?
Well, you know, I guess that’s nice to do that. Yeah. So listen, to do that, too, including. And, I mean, just so by the by, I mean, you know, the just to get your kind of social commentary on it more than anything. And then I want to cut straight into your sort of comedy work as well. But I mean, FleishmanHillard, just to give them another name check. I mean, as recently, you know, top 10 company for executive women, you know, and stuff. I mean, it’s, you know, sort of very big on that. I mean, do you think I mean, just generally just toss this in? I don’t know whether I’ll keep it in my editor out? I don’t know. But I mean, as far as the pandemic is concerned, I mean, do you think that was actually as actually helped put more women into the sort of executive positions? I mean, it’s kind of opened things up.
Yeah, I don’t know, I’m probably not the best authority to talk on this. But what I do now about FleishmanHillard, is that there’s, I’m surrounded by amazing women all the time, and actually, the agencies I’ve really enjoyed working for, have had strong women leaders within it. And, you know, now I’ve got a family, you know, it’s that kind of, I want the path. We want one of the things I hate about agencies, I hope that that’s kind of moved away from it now is that, that kind of toxic working late, you know, not saying no to a client’s and all that sort of attitude. And I like to think that and FleishmanHillard is not, you know, there’s such a wonderful bunch. And it’s they’ve got the culture down to a tee. I mean, it’s been going, they’ve been going for years now. But they’ve just such a nice bunch of very talented PR people and creatives that, yeah, it’s a joy to work there. And I think you’re, you’re right to highlight, there’s some really amazing women who work they’re like my boss, Nina, and then Lauren, her boss, who’s heads up the consumer team. It just, they’re just amazing. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s good for other, you know, women coming into the industry, to be interviewed by other women. And that when you go for the job and to see to go to talks, like when you go to I was at can, you know, you want to see people, not just a, you know, a straight white man talking every conference, you want to see that diversity and different types of people. And I think that, you know, it’s still it’s still very relevant. I know that, you know, you Yeah, I’ve, I honestly, couldn’t talk speak more highly about FleishmanHillard. I know. It’s not as this isn’t, it’s a PR exercise for them. But like, it’s, they’re, they’re wonderful and they’ve got some great clients and I get to really do some fun work. And they let me do what I’m good at, which is influencer strategies, and, you know, tick tock and social elements for the consumer team. It’s like, it’s brilliant. Love it.
I can, I mean, it must be a bit of a dream job really, because I mean, you know, you’ve got you still got, you know, you’ve got the opportunity to blend your kind of, you know, your hobby, if you want your sort of comedy sort of hobby in with him with work. And I mean, you’ve married it so beautifully done. It’s brilliant
at taking 20 years. Okay, so it’s taken me 20 years to find that sweet spot I try not to ruin it took me 30 years to get into podcasting. So there we go. Always.
The new Joe Rogan There we go. Very low budget version Joe Rogan. But anyway, I mean, let’s get on to the sort of comedy thing, because I’ve been dying to talk to you about this anyway. I mean, we, you know, we have our own kind of resident resident guy turns up every, every, every other show, or whatever, Jeremy Davis Does a usual kind of comedy sketches and stuff. And, you know, we’ve had sort of, you know, we do recognize the role of comedy and, you know, in the creative world, and we’ve had plenty of guests on who’s sort of worked in agencies in the sort of 80s and 90s. And, and they kind of, you know, they’re, they were saying the other day, a couple of guys have spoken to have all been talking about, you know, what, where’s all the humor gone and commercials and, you know, and stuff like that. I mean, do you think that, that a lot of commercials now, you know, could use a an injection of humor?
I think so you’ve got very much got. There’s a lot of work. I mean, it’s great. There’s the worthiness, and all of that is great, but there’s all that kind of like the new normal, and I think coming out of the pandemic, there’s all that kind of like, everything’s a bit more kind of like that. You know, just slowly, slowly. So but I think now people people always want to be entertained and funny. And I remember like the tango ads and just humor can play such a wonderful role. And also you can it’s a nice way of getting a message across not I’ve noticed there’s kind of what the ad was now, I think, Oh, it was, I think it was like, it’s one of the tea companies. There was a really new nice TV ad, based in an office with the guy from Star Trek. I was Yorkshire tea. That was your tea. There you go. I thought that’s a funny ad. Yeah. I love humor in in marketing and copywriting as well, like, there’s some great Vicki Ross is a brilliant copywriter, and she, she’s always championing that humor, in copywriting. And I think that has been lost a bit. I mean, you know, not studying copywriting, but just, you know, well, every TV ad, you saw over the last year was like, black and white. We’ve almost like a poem, some guy read, maybe someone from up north reading a poem, or we’re all in this together. Yeah, we’re all we’re better together in this together. We hear you, we see you. We are we are you, man. It’s like, it’s like those perfume ads. And it’s like, yeah, I love it when there’s humor, and I think there is a role for it. I just think there’s a role for it in agents, like just being silly and enjoying work. Like, I just, I’ve always been silly in the office. I mean, I get the job done. I’m professional. Sure. But I think you know, we were there. So often in the office, it’s like, just gotta have fun, of course, absolutely. Gonna have fun. You know, this. And so,
I mean, yeah, I know that you’re, you’re a big fan of, of American comedy, in particular. I mean, as opposed to, you know, sort of everything else. But I mean, what in your observation, I mean, what what is it that that makes American comedy so different from from British comedy? So
it’s funny as having this conversation yesterday, I say I like I like, America. I love UK TV, comedy, but when it comes to like, stand up comedians, I love New York stand up comedian, comedians, I think, probably because in New York, you on one night, you could probably go and perform like five or six different places, because it’s quite small. And there’s a great comedy scene. So I think you get fast tracked quite quickly, to being excellent and brilliant. So I think there’s some amazing comedians, like, you know, Bilbo. Jessica Kirson. Who else is there? Chris de Stefano. Matteo lane, there’s like, just, there’s a whole Brian so if you’re if you’re ever in New York, you go to like the comedy cellar. Any night, you can get it anytime and you’re just gonna see the best comedy in the world. And I think the difference is, I didn’t know really in the humor. I always think that humor. I mean, funny is funny to me, and I’m not sure I think you do Americans get sarcasm and all that sort of stuff. I think, you know, I think I think that’s probably changed now where they probably do, but I just I love I have a real soft spot for like New York comedy. It’s my favorite thing in the world. So big Seinfeld, my favorite place in the world at the comedy cellar, right. Love it. And Seinfeld fan. Yeah, love Seinfeld. Love Jerry Seinfeld. I think he’s a he’s a master. He’s an acquired taste if you have to have to be in a mood to watch one of his specials, but he’s, he’s he treats it like an art. And he’s obviously Seinfeld is a work of art. And Garry Shandling as well. I love him. Yeah. Great documentary about him. I love the history of comedy as well. And, you know, there’s a great comedy club in London called the Bill Murray, that is in Angel, Islington, and is a great place to go and see sort of UK comics. And also they’ve been over some comic comics in New York as well. But it’s, you know, I still do love seeing you. UK coming. I haven’t been out a lot to see it. I haven’t performed a lot since locked down just because I knew baby and because of I hadn’t caught the virus until recently. So I was trying to say, oh, yeah, just before I went to can, I managed to catch it. I think it was a bit bedridden for a few days, but I’d be kind of comedy clubs, you could imagine a breeding ground. So everyone’s spitting on each other. So but now I’ve had it. You know, I think there’s no excuses. Really? Yeah, you’re back out and, and I mean, so what’s the you know, is there a
a loss now of kind of audio comedy versus sort of visual comedy because I mean, talking of sort of comedy favorites. I mean, one of the shows I love to watch when during lockdown when I first got notice of it was the the amazing Mrs. Maisel, which I thought was a fantastic show growth, showing about the career path of a female comedian. and stuff. And there was that great, Lenny Bruce character that was on there as well who I thought was superb. And but back in those days, a lot of comedy was was designed to be just audio. And there was very little kind of visual stuff. I mean, you know, do you think comedy now has to rely on it has to have a visual component or, like for podcasts and things? I mean, do you think this podcast is gonna be funny?
Yeah, I listened to loads of really funny podcasts. And so I know, I think there’s all different types. Because I think you know, you can, there’s nothing beats a live performance, I think that’s, but then you can still, you know, podcasts and radio, you know, BBC decent, great comedy shows. And I think it’s all just, it’s just different art forms. And the more you can kind of like, just experience all of them, the better comedian you’re going to be. But nothing beats the stage. I think in terms of sort of watching and enjoying comedy, but I do love podcasts. I think it’s a, as you know, it’s a hard thing to you just get takes a while to get good at it. I haven’t I haven’t really tried it to be honest. I did. I did. I did a, I did something called on Vogue, which is still on Spotify. And it was basically a spoof. This was a couple of years ago, a spoof fashion person who worked at Vogue magazine, who would go through that month’s Vogue magazine and tell fake stories about that and make up stories about the shoots and stuff. I thought was brilliant, but it was a lot of work. Sure, I’d have to like, every, every night, I was just, I the reason why I loved making tiktoks is because I literally have an idea right in my phone. Friday, I’ll wake up, get my ring light out, stick on a green screen. And like, three minutes later, I’ve got a sketch, I can send it to the world. So I’m inherently lazy, and also I just I, I things that I can do quite easy and quick, I’ll just really enjoy doing like, that’s why tiktoks Great, because I’ve got zero production skills.
I mean, they are very low phi, your tiktoks very low phi. I think there’s a there’s a there’s a beauty to them in the fact that because of that, I mean, you know, even though, you know, everything’s back to front, you can’t read the mottos on your sweaters and all that sort of stuff. I mean, that’s exactly
perfect. Exactly. And you’re absolutely right. And I like the fact that it’s Lo Fi because it doesn’t, it’s funny, it’s funny, isn’t it. And exactly, I think that’s why I’d never really create, I think Tiktok made me fall in love with social media again, because I often, you know, working with brands, when you work with like on Instagram, you do a content calendar, then you get that song signed off, then it has to go into the studio, then you’d need like, all these designers would create stuff, maybe some moving image and then you get it signed off by legal then it goes up on Instagram and it’s like high production values. And it’s taken a month to get one piece of content out. And whereas was Tiktok you know, you can work for a brand and still you don’t have to have high production values, you can come up with an idea quickly get signed off on the script, and then you can get it up there and you don’t need a studio you don’t you can still do that stuff. And maybe that’s good for campaign stuff, but you for the organic always on content. It’s a bit more raw and a bit more kind of just try it Have fun, be entertaining, and that’s what I love about Tik Tok as a channel for brands as well like it’s just an you have to be entertaining otherwise you’re just not gonna be entertaining can also be like learning and education and doesn’t have to be funny haha. But it’s just it’s such a good platform for that. It helps certainly helps. But I mean what what, what pulled you into Tik Tok to start with? Well lockdown, really. So I was doing stand up comedy. I’ve been doing it for like six, seven years before lockdown. And I was doing sort of this night we are funny project with a bunch of guys and running it sort of not running and sort of hosting it every week. And it was a lot of fun. But we’d locked down that all went overnight. And so I kind of like chilled out for a bit. And then I was writing. So I was writing like strategy. So I was writing loads of social media strategies and Tik Tok was coming up and I was sort of lump lumping it in with all the other platforms like I do one strategy for Instagram and Tiktok. And, you know, this is the content you need to do better. It’s actually what I need to get on tick tock, I need to understand what it’s about. Is it just for kids? What’s it all about? So I yeah, I joined I thought, you know, whilst I’m here, I’ll create some content. And it was just rambling for like, the first three months was me walking around the streets rambling, like bits like, like stand ups, things are funny stories. And then I think Winter came along as I kind of have to leave the house. So I suddenly realized well just do green screen. And then I just started doing sketches and like characters trying to this was all still on tick tock. You want to go through my teeth. Yeah, and you’ll just see like the evolution Kind of like what happened. And then I’d say about six months into joining six, I just started like creating these, I started one about what happens when you go to a meeting room at work. And someone’s in the meeting room already, even though you’ve booked it, or you think you’ve booked it, and it did. Well, it got like, so I went from like getting 200 views, consistent, consistently off to four to 200 to 400 views and maybe 1000, if it did well. And then this one got like 6000. And that was like, the most amazing thing in the world ever. And then so I thought, You know what, I’ll just create some workplace type sketches, very, like generic observations, like someone’s stolen your market work, that sort of thing. Everyone can relate to that one. And then and then that they were doing really well, I thought, well, this is great. I’ve got millions of ideas, and then slowly, they evolved into really specific, you know, agency stuff quite quickly. And, yeah, it sort of took me caught on quite quickly. And, you know, it’s, and one of the things I’ve just learned is just that consistency. There’s so many different like ways to kind of make a winning tic toc. That Are you just kind of learned by doing, I don’t think there’s any other way that you can really sort of be an authority unless you’re sort of really kind of creating this content. So much fun. It’s so much fun, it’s so easy to do. Anyone can do it. And that’s the thing, there are no barriers, really just use the phone in a ring light. Yeah, you’ve got to, you’ve got to have something worthwhile, though, I think
you need something to say. But I always think that like I didn’t have anything to say for like, six months. So there’s, there’s there needs to be you kind of need to lose your inhibitions and not overthink it. And but just also don’t give up, don’t give up after a month or two months. Like give it six months. And and even then like, you might have a couple that go viral like couple of 100,000 views or even a million if you’re lucky. But then you might go down again to like a few 1000. And it’s like doesn’t matter. Just keep keep creating them. Because just create whatever you think is funny, is I think really important. Because then you know, then you’re, then you’ll be able to keep doing that. Because if you find something funny, then hopefully other people will say don’t then quit
well, and and I guess you know, the secret to all this is I mean, as you you sort of mentioned at the very start of it, the guy that we see in the TIC tock videos is you I mean you are being quite genuine about it. It’s not like you’re trying to be somebody else and trying to act in you know, act it out, you’re actually just doing
that. It is exactly that. And I think that’s what’s really nice is that it’s an all the kind of characters in the world have built around me like the Jenny’s the Gavin’s the towers, like it’s, it’s I can easily put every Friday, when I come up with the idea that I can just put myself into an agency I worked in 10 years ago. And I’m like, right, so let’s say a company meeting. What happens as an email go rounds? Like what gets people to go to that meeting at 9am and people late? And I’ll just start thinking what what sort of things used to happen, that were funny, like, what mistakes were being made? Like, what if someone was leaving, but there was no other senior there to kind of wish them off? Well, would someone just step in and do it? So there’s like millions of things you can think of? Oh, like the pitch process or just a meeting? You know? Are they going to be pastries? Are they gonna be teas and coffees? Is it going to work? Are people going to turn up on time? To when do we get a break? Like, it’s too hot, it’s too cold. All of these things that’s like 30 sketches basically. And, you know, it’s fun, it’s just doing the hard thing is like not just being relatable, like, I had to keep reminding myself not just to do something that’s relatable, but to try and have a joke in it. Say like, what’s the payoff? So it’s easy to write something relatable, like, oh, you stole your mug of tea. But what’s going to be the thing that makes it funny at the end? Like, What’s the surprise? What’s the delight? What’s the kind of payoff for watching it will make will make you want to watch it again. And that’s always the thing that I think that makes content creators go from good to brilliant is when they can really hone what that funny is that’s going to make that thing pay off. And I think that’s what makes it that’s what I’m always looking for is like, what’s the real good joke here? Rather than just, you know, a very just an observation, just an obvious observation, which is funny. And actually, sometimes, you know, the observations are just funny because what we do in our industry is sometimes very ridiculous. But it just takes a little bit extra to kind of try and make something a bit funnier. Or surprise. Yeah, that’s kind of the I always think the challenge so I mean, a Tiktok kind of bigging you up now. I mean, could you do The you did the you did your competitive advantage can I went to Can I went, I handed out the best use of tic toc at the end, independent agency awards. I have a VSO. They’re incredibly supportive. And they’re wonderful. And they’re I talk to them all the time. A lot of them are ex agency anyway. So I actually know a few of them just from my, my years, just from being in it, 20 years. But yeah, they’re there, they’re good, or they didn’t, I didn’t get any advantage when it comes to my views or anything. But what they really what they’re really interested in, is my audience. So my audience is agency people in small businesses and brands. So actually, they’re, they’re aware that part of the challenge that the industry has is, you know, is how slow agencies and brands are to really see the the power of tick tock so actually, they’re quite interested to see kind of how I can, you know, help, you know, just tell people how amazing tick tock is around and, you know, I’m often being asked to go and talk at different places, and host different things, and I’m doing some stuff with the drum. I did a thing. Last week talking about productivity. I did like 1015 minute standup about productivity, the drum HQ in front of loads of CEOs and founders of agencies. So, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s great. It’s really opened doors for me. And it’s nice, because I get to perform again on stage. And but talk about agency stuff. It’s, it’s brilliant.
And I mean, interesting enough, I mean, this is just sort of just an observation here. I mean, you talk about characters in your sketches, you know, the Gavin’s and the towers and stuff like that. I mean, you know, we make a bit of a joke about them being kind of, you know, very kind of a B, one type, sort of personalities, demographics and stuff. I mean, what, with Tiktok being so accessible by all of those, I mean, do you think there is a role for you wait, where you are in the sort of the agency land, to be able to sort of increase or to further it’s kind of diversity and inclusion sort of ambitions?
Yeah, I hope so. I mean, there’s, that’s always a key thing that needs to happen. And I what I liked what I, I’m always people always, not always, but I often get people kind of messaging me and I’m always driving a lot of people from Tik Tok to LinkedIn to come and message me if they’re, if they’re breaking into the industry, if they’re like, I’m always there to help people of different, you know, it can be expensive to be an intern, you know, it’s hard if you’re interning at an agency. So it’s often it’s the wealthier people that have all had parents in London that can come and do those sorts of things. If you’re living at home, so yeah, there is a job to be done. And I hope I’m a positive part of that conversation. But, you know, I’m fully aware that I am a straight white man. So, you know, there’s, there are better people who were there to kind of carry that conversation, but I am aware of it. And I hope to, you know, there’s a lot of I, I do like to try and kind of cover some of that stuff off. But, you know, often I leave that to other people to do it.
I do my best case, of course, I mean, you can’t do everything. And so, you know, so it’s a huge burden you carry anyway, so, exactly that thank you very much. I mean, you know, how much more work do we need from you? But, so, I mean, in terms of I mean, in terms of tick tock, I mean, if they ever given you any kind of stats on how much how much money you’ve generated for them, I mean, you must be worth a few quid now in terms of for Tiktok.
Value celeb? Well, look, it’s, I, it’s been so fantastic, I get to work with so many brands, it’s actually just been such a launch for me. And it’s like a complete shift in what I was doing. I mean, I was just working as I doing stand up comedy around London and things, but this has been kind of raised my profile significantly. So the opportunities are coming in, and I’m sort of looking and getting an agent, you’ll be happy to know Keith. So that’ll be fun. Which means that I won’t be able to close I won’t be able to drop you an email always have my number. So people can still contact me direct of course, but it’s just means that for some of these bigger Sure, commercial things that I can send someone in to kind of negotiate contracts and stuff and actually just to try and I want to do new things as well. I want to like longer form sketches. I want to do just just into into interesting collaborations, and you know, just build out kind of what I’m doing and try different things and it helps if there’s someone like an agent who can who knows how to manage that. You know, I can only take myself so far. I think, Yeah, time to do that, you know, I work four days a week. So,
and I mean, the other thing as well as that, I mean, you, you will, at some point need some kind of strategy to go with, you know, because otherwise you’ll just end up taking everything and working for, you know, all sorts of different doing things like this, you
know, but you You’re absolutely right. And I think now with a family like up time is even more precious. Seriously, there, I’ve started, I mean, to be honest, I’ve kind of had a strategy, which is like, kind of build, maintenance, you know, build an audience of agencies and brands and business and have that kind of world. Because I think that’s valuable brands and things in the b2b market. And then at the same time, just, you know, I don’t want to lose sight of the comedy as well. And like, I want to, I want to open those doors more, cuz that’s what I really enjoy. That’s kind of where all this came from. It’s not all about just me trying to find a second income or what, you know, make money from this. It’s never been about that really, well, that’s helpful. But actually, it’s I want to do great work. And also, I love working with brands, like how can you sell a product on Tik Tok is such a fascinating thing for me. How can I how can I integrate, you know, a product into one of my sketches without feeling like an ad? Not tricking people to watching all the way towards the end, but just making people go? Oh, that’s quite clever. Okay, so I love that challenge.
But I mean, okay, so given that, I mean, not asking you to give away any secret recipes or anything, but I mean, you know, I think it would be quite useful. I mean, if people are going to get anything out of this show, to, to get some words of advice from you. I mean, you know, if companies are looking at Tech, I mean, should they first of all, what types of companies? But I mean, you know, what is what have you found have been the kind of, you know, the, the key boxes you need to take with you if you’re looking excuse the pun, if you’re looking at Yeah,
so if every, I think every brand who wants to reach and be discovered by Gen Z and older, it’s not just it’s not just kids, it’s, it’s like six, I think 67% or over 25? So it’s old, it’s ignorant. It’s not just children downloading. Yeah, yeah, it’s moving up. And but I’d say this to brands is like, it’s a really good, it’s a discovery platform and entertainment platform. So unlike other social media platforms, every time you post a tick tock like if I do, if I post a sketch, it’ll be shared to 100 people that follow me and 100 people that don’t, and they’ll still see people watching it, or they then responding to it. But it’s mostly watch time. And then if they are, then they’ll share it to an extreme, maybe 1000 people. And then if they’re watching it and enjoying it, then it was Showtime. And this is people that they think will like your content as well. So this the same rebrand. So it’s a great way for brands to be discovered by a new audience. And at the same time, you know, Ryanair is a great example on Tik Tok. A lot of people talk about them got millions of followers on Tiktok, because they understand is an entertainment platform in real life, right, Ryan is not a particularly popular brand, or they are now because they appear to be delivering on flights. But But whereas online, you know, on tick tock, they’re the life and soul of the party, because they get it’s an entertainment platform. So there’s a whole generation of people that enjoy Ryanair, and that that isn’t doing them any harm, I think and you know, but at the same time, I think, you know, you can build, you can you can work with creators on Tiktok. So you don’t even have to have your own page. Whereas, so, I think that’s a really good entry way for brands is to kind of find, number one, create your own strategy. Tic tock needs its own strategy, including the creators, you can’t just like, repurpose content, know from another platform. And then like, what’s the messaging you want to get out there? What’s the and then what type of content creators do you enjoy? If you enjoy Tik Tok? What Who do you think would be a good person to kind of create some fun entertaining value around your product and then let them do it, let them go off and you know, come up with some ideas. Like whenever I work with brands, I’ll do three ideas like to kind of say fish, funny ideas, and one that’s maybe a bit Wilder. And then I’ll let them choose and then I’ll go off and film it and they kind of let me go off and do what I need to do. Because you know, you’re buying when you work with a creator you’re, you’re you’re buying that I’ve done like almost 2800 sketches now. So you’ll learn all the learnings I’ve got from that, for me creating those tiktoks Your fast tracking your brand, because you’re buying all of that is that knowledge from me, so I know what works. So if you if you come to me say well, it needs to be this and I’m like, Well, I’m I know what works, because these are my audience. And I notice I’m on Tik Tok a lot more than you are probably I’ve never say this to a client, but this is like because that’s what’s going on in your head. Yeah. But so it’s like, just let them you know, let them do what they want to do. If you select the right people. They should be you know, They should be able to create magic for you, because that’s what they do. They’re the experts of that. So I think you know brands need to. And to be honest, it all conflict tick tock is all about watch times you need to hook people in, which is why I always have like the premise at the top of my sketch. On the Tick Tock like, it kind of explains what you’re about to see. So it might be when you turn up late to a meeting or something. And then you just need to keep, you know, you can go up to three minutes, and mine tend to be over a minute, I tried to keep it under a minute, but never is. But they say that 12 seconds to 17 seconds is the ultimate kind of watch time really for virality morality, but I just don’t focus on that. But it’s probably quite a good thing to be aware of. Because people will watch things twice. If it’s 17 seconds long. They might watch it twice. But yeah, there’s loads of that, you know, it’s any brands out there want to come and speak to me, reach out to me on LinkedIn. And yeah, come and talk to me and I can give you some of my knowledge. I mean, out of out of your your 2800 videos, tic tock videos you’ve done now, I mean, what which ones have been the most popular? Well, like I said before, so it was the if you’re honest, in your weekly stand up, your daily stand up was we’ve got a few million. What are the ones done really well? If you’re what you think and what you think your client thinks when they come to your agency. So when they walk into reception is like, Oh, look at the awards. Oh, right. Things from five years ago, that’s the millions. You can No, you can never really Oh, and the ones that do quite well are like POV ones. So point of view will say like, I’ll do one of like the point of view of a receptionist. So it might be after the work Christmas party are all coming in hungover from different characters. That’s got a few million so.
So they’ve always done really well. But then also, you know, I’ll put them on LinkedIn. And it varies. I mean, you just, they all do well on LinkedIn, to be honest, they all get good couple of hundreds or 1000s of views and or even just as important as that is, when I post on LinkedIn is the comments. Like if you go and look at my posts on LinkedIn, people just really engage with it. And I was really extraordinary. It’s extraordinary. Yeah. That’s something that I’m you know, it’s amazing. I love that as a you engage back. Yeah, I do. I tried to I tried to keep Yeah, I think that’s important to do that. And yeah, it’s, it’s, that’s, I mean, I’d like to say that I plan that, but it’s great. But I guess it’s a conversation, it’s people feel, Oh, this is exactly what it’s like our agency, and they’ll copy and send it to their friends. And, you know, one of the biggest compliments I can get is when someone writes, oh, this is me in the comments, like, Oh, this is exactly what happened to me, you know, a few days ago, or it’s like, you know, what, I think is a personal moment. I’m aware that I think other people will have experienced it. So it was when the minute people go, Oh, this is me and my mates, you know, they’re going to share it with their friends. So that’s where you get that watch time. On tick tock is when people start sharing it with their mates, you know, you’re laughing then.
But I’ve seen and I’ve seen some of your some of your stuff as well. I mean, I think you’re kind of hiding your light under a bushel slightly, because some of the some of the stuff on there is brilliantly acted. I mean, you know, in a very kind of, like we said a Lo Fi way, but some of the acting that you’ve got in there. I mean, if you’ve got any ambitions in that sort of area, you enjoy it.
I’ve always enjoyed improv, I did a bit of improv before, before with comedy, and I think, you know, I do enjoy acting, actually. And I think it’s something that I’ve kind of enjoy, I’ve got better at. And I think you just you just learn to, I think you just done it from learning from making these sketches. You just I think I’ve just got best, just from the sheer volume of done of them. And just the look and the subtleties. And you know, it’s when you write a script as well, when I write a script, I kind of stick to the script. I don’t kind of like, I’m not Mrs. Maisel. I don’t start riffing, right? I kind of stick to the script. So it’s, you kind of have to act a bit. So you’re not just like reading a line. Sometimes you’ll see me just do that. Yeah, I’m pretending I’m looking at some of the clearly um, lines pointing a little. Yeah, you’ll see. You know, but yeah, I think you just naturally do get you pick it up. And I enjoy it. Yeah, it’s never something I ever considered. But I would love to do acting. And just That’s why I want to explore longer form. There’s a great director called Peter Lydon. Right, who is he’s a fantastic kind of commercial director, but he also did a documentary about Peter Sellars has done some TV stuff and I’ve been when he was in Cannes and I have done some sketch with him a long form sketch. It’s written by someone else. That’s coming out soon. And I want to I want to write some stuff with him and film it professionally. and not not that it’ll be that format. And yeah, just see what how that goes. And you know exactly that explore some of that stuff. And I that’s what’s been interesting to me because it’s that the things that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do before joining Tik Tok I can now do I’ve can, I can reach out to someone like Peter Lydon and say, let’s create let’s do a spoof or something. But let’s make it 10 minutes long, you know, let’s do something a bit more meaty, and maybe have other actors in it. Although I think I want to play with the characters. It’s great, isn’t it?
Well, I don’t know. I don’t know. Because I think it’s that’s part of your your delivery is that you do kind of do all the characters and I think it kind of, you know, even male and female, there’s a charm to it. Well, yes, there is a kind of a boho charm to it. So, but, and so of course of you know, having having appeared on this podcast as well, I’m sure the phone won’t stop ringing for for people working in the advertising industry wanting to get it. So that’ll that’ll help as well. And I mean, obviously, one of the other tips as well. I mean, in terms of scheduling or scheduling, I mean, keeping it regular, and, you know, doing keep
posting, like the consistency. Not only will you get better, but like you it’s just it means that you’ll have an audience like people, I think, look, I think they tune in, they tune in for it. Yeah. And, and it just means, you know, if I treat it like a job really, like, even when I’m not in the mood, I’ll try and think of something like, Fridays, I’m like, Do you know what I can’t move on is today, tired and like, go out the house. But then you know, but there is a, I’ve never missed a day of posting. And I’m just like, you know, there’s a, I just feel like, you just need to keep showing up. And I’ve got people’s people drop off and people give up. And I feel like the ones that just stick with it. It’s a good like life lesson. You just stick with it. And eventually you’ll if you’re good, you’ll be seen people will discover you.
Well, I’ve got to ask you this actually seeing as you are a creator. And this is something that we’ve had talked about. I mean, I’ve done several interviews with, you know, sort of top creative people in the world of advertising and stuff. And the questions always come about as that, you know, sort of sometimes when you think too hard about trying to trying to do something that it makes the job more difficult. And sometimes switching off helps. I mean, do you find that?
Yeah, I do, I think, a walk or something. And yeah, absolutely. i Yeah, yeah, exactly that going for a walk and just letting something sort of, I liked. I don’t sort of sit down Friday morning and sort of think right, what am I 10 ideas today? I think the pressure off me. And I just sort of during the week, I’ll just crop in my mind. Oh, that’s a good, quite a nice idea. So I think that taking that pressure off. Just going for a walk, just just not focusing on it, actually is probably the one of the best ideas and just always writing it down. I think the difference between me and anyone else is that I write things down. And so I remember them. Like that’s the key, because otherwise even that might be the funniest idea in the world. But you will forget it. Yeah, 20 minutes. Yeah. Oh, and there’s so many things that I just have forgotten until I like kicking myself that I just haven’t written it down. So that’s really good. That’s why I’ve got my notes, my Google notes, I just literally capture everything, every thought there was not a good one, I put it in there, I think there may be something I can come back to that. And then that means that come Friday, when I’m filming, you’re all set up. If you’re creating content, and if you want to try this, you’re a content creator, just don’t overcomplicate what you want to do. That’s why I use the green screen. So what I mean I can be on a beach or I can be in a meeting room like like you just go on Google find the images, if you start complicating things and say, Alright, I’m gonna go and film in a pub and all that stuff. You just saying barriers, right? So you just remove all barriers to you creating content, which is you and your ideas, and bring like a good ring light. And that’s all you need. You don’t need any production skills. Don’t just don’t overthink it, just start creating, no one’s watching at the start. Unless you’re very lucky, no one’s watching just post don’t have to tell your mates just start creating content. And yeah, just don’t be embarrassed about it don’t think are the first one has to get 20,000 views. Otherwise, what’s the point? Like, right? It’s not about that, and you won’t get I mean, unless you’re lucky, you just need to stick with it and find and don’t feel like you need to come up with exactly what it is you’re going to be doing. Because, you know, even now, I look back at six months ago, some of the sketches I’ve made. And I think I would have done that differently. Because you’re always getting better as well, which is great. I mean, so I can revisit some of those older sketches and do a better version because it doesn’t take me long.
Well, and part of the creative process, I think is that you know, we’ve had this with, you know, people like Graham Fink we’ve we’ve interviewed and you know and Paul Graham was that there is a point at which you just have to let go and say okay, that is drawing a line under it that is a finished piece. You know, you could always keep working on it. And
it’s also like if like when I was posting a today, why it almost all it’s sometimes the ones you don’t think are gonna go well go well just because it’s the time of day you posted it or just, there’s just something that grabs people maybe it’s a movement when they, you know that you’re when you first come onto the shop. And I think that that is the thing by just creating a lot. I mean, there’s two, there’s two schools of thought like now I post less and probably better quality but but other start I think just create loads because it’s like you’ll then you’ll just learn faster. And it’s like the New York stand up comedians who you know, doing five shows a night is like you just get better quicker. Do you tend that was a good call back, wasn’t it? Yes, it
was very good. Nice. Nice reference back to it. Yeah, absolutely. And talking to which as well, the before we move on to sort of other things and towards the end now because I know I’ve kept you kept you very long now. But the sweaters we have to mention those.
So I tell you the truth about the sweaters. Okay, so there’s a brand called rowing blazer. They’re all made by this same brand rowing blazer this actually made by warm and wonderful, but it’s owned by Ryan blazer. And I was obsessed with this brand new york brand. And I bought quite a few sweaters off them. They’re expensive, the sweaters, so don’t hate me. But they were my one expense, I would spend money on with these sweaters. Right? And then I thought, you know, I’m going to wear these sweaters in all my sketches. I’ve got enough for all characters. Because I had like four sweaters. I thought you know, what, if I if I wear these in my sketches start doing well. I wonder if they’ll reach out to me? Because people would like ask me in the comments, or where your sweaters from another waste tank and round lace around blazer going there. Brilliant. Very basic. And then, yeah, it happened probably six months into making content. I wasn’t even like I probably had, like 60,000 followers wasn’t huge, but I was sending a lot enough traffic their way that they reached out. And Jack is the founder. He’s like, just what do you want? I will send him to you. And he’s become a friend. He’s become a really good friend I’ve met met up with him in New York. We met with them in London not long ago. Fantastic. And he’s Yeah, they’re, you know, he’s like, how can we help? Like, what do you want to collaborate with? Like, so we’re going to start working together a bit. I’m not saying there’s going to be a line of sweaters with my name on it. But like, there’s opportunities there. And, yeah, he’s bred they love they, they love him. He loves the car. He loves the sketches, you know, and it’s I think, you know, and they’re really nice sweaters. So I wear them all the time, but I genuinely am a fan fan. That’s what brands need to do is another top tip for you. There is like when you’re looking at tick tock, just search for your brand because people already love, love your brand will be creating, like creating things, let’s say donuts, you know, you just look at your brand of donut. And then you’ll find all these crazy obsessive doughnuts and why are we not working with him? Like try try and find your true fans. Like Rome laser found me because I’m a true fan. And it’s authentic. I love I love the brand. And and of course it’s nice, nice nice that I get sent the latest sweaters but I read this and I wear this in real life as well, which is why I’m wearing it today. Oh, you do? Okay. Yeah. I mean, this is how I dress. People who’ve worked with me over the years will tell you I’ve always dressed like this. It’s not for comedy. It’s just a bit odd.
I can well imagine a line of office sweaters you know, that kind of, you know, suitable for meetings and things like that. There’s some some of your
Bad idea. Bad idea. I’d like one with maybe it says Next slide, please. Or say or don’t talk to me till Wednesday. Yeah, exactly. See my hand over notes. That’d be good. Yeah, but it’s not a fast fashion. That’s another thing as well, like, these are all hand good quality. What I’m giving you a little heads up when you go to the website, and you look at the prices don’t get angry with me. Save up. So what I’m saying and or wait for the sales. But yeah, it’s good quality. It’s good quality. Next, not fast fashion, which we all take for granted. Now that this is all handmade. Well, this is your doing. And they come from what probably happy sheep as well. Very Happy Sheep rowing. blazer.com. Perfect. Excellent. So what about tick tock? I mean, they must have shared with you their kind of strategy. I mean, they got a sort of a long term strategy. I mean, you’re gonna stick with it. Yeah, no, I’m gonna stick with it. I just, it’s still the best place for me to create sketches because it has, I build everything. I film everything with the app. So it’s all native within the app. And that’s why other apps other they didn’t come close to talk. So I think that’s it’s very creative lead. So no, I think they just want to be seen as I think from what I gathered from my time with them and can show they still want to be an entertainment platform. They want to be, they want to be a place of joy. They, they want to get more brands on there. And they want to just give people the tools and the freedom to kind of be able to create fun stuff. But they also they’re very conscious of like making it a nice place to be. And like, I’ve noticed that it’s those very inclusive tic toc is a very inclusive, it’s kind of a, you know, you can, if you look on the internet, you I’m sure you will find stories that are negative in the media, but actually, it’s a very friendly place, it’s a place of joy. They’ve got very good kind of policies in there. So you know, if anyone’s harassing you, or whatever, you can get rid of them, block them and stuff. And, you know, the content that does well is the joyful, fun content. Right. So, yes, so Tiktok in there also, they’re only a couple of years old. Yeah. I think, you know, they, they’re still trying to be taken seriously with the big, big media ad agencies. And, you know, I think slowly the brands will start spending more of their budget on it. And, and they, as they also evolve into be more of an E commerce platform, they haven’t quite cracked the the live shopping element to it yet. Like it’s in Asia, and China is huge, like live shopping. Whereas in Europe and England, it hasn’t quite caught on yet. But it will, and you know, it’s that’s fine. They’re experimenting with stuff. And they’re always launching things all the time, like Spark adds all these different ways for brands to kind of promote themselves. So it’s worth, there’s a easy plug. If you go on to tick tock for business EU go on, like their LinkedIn, they’re always given out tips and web resources and things for agencies and they’ve got a website, where you just connect loads of slides for your own presentations, which is good. So they they’re good, they understand who their audience are when it comes to agencies. But that’s what they like working with me as well case because I’ve got that audience as well as you do. And and I’m sure it won’t be too long before rowing blazer have their their sort of life shopping, things set up as Yeah, we could talk about that they’ve actually taken down their content eliminates a lot it can be it can be a lot for brands, especially a fashion brand to kind of commit to something like tick tock and I get that there was a time when I thought I’d run their page for them. But But instead, I don’t have to do that and I get sent the jumpers anyway, so it’s great we
- Perfect. All right, listen, the final three questions which we have to ask you before you before you depart. Now first thing is the show and tell. Okay, so an item that you would run into a burning building to save and it can’t be a personal pet.
It would be nice. Okay, so luckily, I’ve got that here. So I’ve got like signed. I’ve got loads of signed, like, Oh, David Sedaris, yep, nicely signed, signed up. Lovely. Got like Bill Burr signed posters. I love comedy posters. So I love signed comedy posters. So I’ve got a nice collection of those unframed because I’m lazy, but some of them are framed but yeah, I grabbed them. They don’t hold much value, if you want to come and rob me, so you don’t want them but but they do to me, I love them. I’ve got always had a dream of having like a library. We’ve like with loads of comedy posters over it, like in the room for that nice leather chair. Nice leather chair. Yeah, exactly. That glass of whiskey. Lovely. There we go. Sounds good. All right. And, okay, a book. Yep. Here we go. What do you recommend for everyone? best book I’ve ever read about? Calm. Okay. By cliff, by Cliff nest off. It’s called comedians. And I’ve read it so many times, literally, that it takes you right up to date, but it’s so well written so well researched, right through from like vaudeville through to like the radio boom of the 30s and 40s to TV the advent of stand up and and then kind of like specials and Saturday Night Live. And it’s just brilliant like Charlie Chaplin, like, it’s just and as you were saying that if you like Mrs. Mays, or you’ll love this. It’s like it’s drunks, thieves scoundrels, and the history of American comedy. Just absolutely. Well, it’s like the one book I just read all the time. And it’s quite inspiring as well, just to see like what other comedians went through back in the day and how humans evolved. Yeah, and yeah, it’s my favorite book. So get that one place available. All good book stops, shops.
Okay, good stuff. We’ll have that. And your final thing. I mean, because this will be your walk off music as well. The Did you have a piece of music that you track that you always love? Like a desert island disc type thing, but we can’t call it a desert island. Yeah, so I
would like you to play. This is hardcore by Pope. Oh, I Love Pope. It’s such a theatricals song, like very dramatic. I think it’d be a great way to walk off track as well. Okay, well, we’ll do that. And we will funnily enough, actually, we mentioned I was thinking about Pope the other day, because we have Paul grabon. And he’s from Sheffield as well. And we were talking to a guy I love Jarvis. I love. I just think they’re just amazing. Aren’t they still got it?
He’s, and he still I mean, he’s still elite in terms of he hasn’t changed at all. He hasn’t aged a bit.
You know, he’s got good workout as well. Okay, all right, man. What can I say, Rob, you’ve been at this. I knew this was worth waiting for. Thank you so much, and all your time and everything else. And I just wish you all the very best of luck with with everything that you’re doing. Just keep on, keep on keeping on. Because I assure you, we all absolutely love what you’re doing on on LinkedIn and on tick tock, you’re absolutely nailing it. And I just I just love watching it. And if anybody hasn’t, hasn’t sort of discovered you yet. What’s the quickest way to go to find you?
Go on tick tock, download Tiktok. And look for Mr. Robert Mayhew. I don’t know why I gave my full name for that. But that was you know, that was what I decided I was saying at my page. And Rob Mayhew on LinkedIn. You follow me there? Fine. There’s, there’s an old profile that I can’t delete. I’ve lost the password. So just find the one with the modern older face. That’s me, right. Yeah, but thank you. I’d love to come back on in time. If I ever bring up a jumper collection. Yeah. Well, I’ll have to speak to your agent about that then. Yeah, exactly. We
got my number now. Go through my agent. Exactly. I’ll be that guy. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to say that. Yeah, just contact my agent. That’ll be great. Like, you know what lovely idea. But you have to go through my agent.
So on that note, Rob, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. Best of luck with everything. And we’ll see you again soon. But thank you so much. All the best