Pandemic and Brexit aside, 2021 is the year of what? Why?

Travel! And it still can be! It remains to be one of the most hardly hit industries from the past year with colossal demand which will be met if all borders were open tomorrow. 

What are the 3 most exciting things on your to do list for today?

My restaurant kit from Bleecker Burger arrived, that’s the most exciting thing on the agenda today, I’ve been craving that for months

Who inspires you in adland? Why?

James Watt of Brewdog! I don’t need to say more!

What was the last ad your saw that made you buy something?

The most recent ad that made me buy was one of the multitude of restaurant kits that I get targeted on IG. I’m a sucker for food that I haven’t had in a while with our favourite restaurants remaining closed.

What’s your all-time favourite ad campaign and why?

Barnard Castle Eye Test small batch brew. The speed at which it was released to market was astonishing. 

What’s your single biggest learning of 2020?

That adaptability at speed and relevancy becomes even more important in the present and near future.

How do you plan to take your business forward in 2021?

We will be ramping up our digital developments even more as we improve our customer experience across all our touch points and products.

What keeps you awake at night?

Our favourite destinations’ borders remaining closed for the rest of 2021.

What’s the biggest opportunity in marketing and advertising right now?

Cross-industry partnerships. I’ve seen a number of organisations that have accomplished this to great effect over the past year and used the challenge to widen their reach in ways that wouldn’t have been immediately apparent in previous years.

What kind of innovation excites you the most?

Product diversification to continue reaching your existing customers and new ones. Multiple airlines (ours included) have quickly moved to diversify their offerings to their customers to continue consumption and engagement while also building loyalty. This is even more vital when your organisation is restricted from selling the main product you have to offer. 

Lockdown is over. The office is open. Describe your perfect working day...

The UK travel industry is all about relationships and partnerships. A perfect working day would be seeing the travel industry in one of the many travel or award events and celebrating being able to meet face to face instead of across a screen.

What would you most like to change about the ad industry?

Any changes that are necessary for the industry - from non-relevant ads to unnecessary social media practices. As an industry, we are already moving to address these issues. The past year has been a focal point where ad practices and technology has needed to shift to address key issues that would have taken more than a year or two to solve.    

What are you speaking about at MAD//Anywhere?

I’ll be talking about bouncing back and having travel resume in the near future. I’ll be featuring some successful developments on our customer engagement and experience that were implemented throughout the past few months and how these have helped establish a solid framework for when demand slowly returns. 

Richard is speaking at MAD//Anywhere on 11 March at 955am. Get your ticket here.