Creative Sparks

Simpsons, Bernie, Ant & Dec And Phoebe Waller: Just Some Of The Greg And Mike's Creative Sparks

The senior creative duo at FCB London answer a 'weirdly difficult question'

By Avnie Bansal

Mike Mackenzie and Greg Harvey are the senior creative duo at FCB London. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Originating from Nottingham and Cambridgeshire respectively, Harvey and Mackenzie are quite happy living life non-london style. Harvey runs a YouTube Scamp School - a place for tips and tricks, information, and inspiration, designed to help you master the art of scamping. Mackenzie is an Autograss Motorsport driver for half of the year and builds his own race cars for the rest of the year.

Back to their agency life, both of them are just shy of ten years in the industry. Starting out at 4Creative, the duo has worked at Havas Cake and BMB, before finally settling at FCB London.

They have recently delivered campaigns for the Premier League, celebrating its 30th anniversary, and Zurich Insurance's 'Sustain Your World' Campaign.

Greg and Mike are living proof that being creative doesn’t need to come with attitude, arrogance, or the need to be a tortured soul. They are one of the hardest-working teams in the department, the happiest people in the agency and the team everyone wants to work with. They have developed a specialism in social media, but there is no brief or media channel they are not comfortable with. Perhaps we should all be a little more Greg and Mike.

Owen Lee, CCO, FCB London

We asked the duo what creative heroes they turn to for inspiration and to keep their creative spark alive.

Greg and Mike: It’s a weirdly difficult question to answer isn’t it?

I’m sure some people have a singular idol, someone who immediately springs to mind when a question like this comes up. But we talked about it for a while, and we realised quite quickly that we couldn’t put a finger on it.

Truth is, we’re inspired by everything we see, do, watch, read and stumble upon. If that weren’t the case, I don’t think we’d be very good at what we do. So, we’re going off piste. You asked for a creative hero. Instead, we’re offering a collection of extremely talented people who all inspire us in their own ways, for their own reasons. Some of them might be obvious, others a bit more obscure, but there’s a reason for every selection and we’ll give them as we go along.

Matt Groening

Short of us just both being Simpsons and Futurama fans, I think it would be difficult for anybody to fault the empire that the Groening-led animated TV series has become. The longevity of concept that The Simpsons has achieved is unbelievable, and the ability to remain original, while remaining true to characters that have become household names all over the world, and all the while predicting the future, is admirable. We know it isn’t a one-man operation, but his name remains at the top of the credits.

Bernie Taupin

One for the unsung heroes. Taupin was and is a true example of genius without a spotlight. And to us, exemplifies the way that we like to work. This job shouldn’t be all about seeking praise and validation from within our own industry, it’s about creating work that resonates with somebody. As a lyricist, Taupin is truly one of the all-time greats, but how many people really knew his name before the “Rocket Man” film landed. We’re with Bernie. Better to be a quiet great, than a loud-shouting average.

Ant & Dec

An odd choice? Maybe. Assuming we can forget Ant’s more recent shortcomings, these two have been the smiling good guys of television for as long as I can remember. They’re living, breathing proof that success doesn’t only come to those who are willing to step on everyone they meet. And proof that it can be good to be the smiling faces. Too often we’ve been told that we have to “be more difficult” or “upset a few people”, but we think it’s ok to be more Ant & Dec about work. Smile, make people smile, and carefully select your battles.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Anyone who requires three job titles to somewhat summarise what they do with their life demands some level of admiration, but in our line of work we can all agree that actor, screenwriter and producer are three extremely demanding jobs in their own right. Add “creator of some of the most successful and award-winning TV series of the last few years” to make yourself feel especially small. Extremely talented and incredibly committed people like Phoebe remind us what creative people can do when they dedicate themselves to a job.

When prepping to write this we decided to ask some colleagues the same question. After answers varying from Shrek to a Soviet art movement, we decided to stick with our own weird ensemble. Seems everyone has their own idea of what an idol looks like.

Greg Harvey is a Senior Art Director and Mike MacKenzie is a Copywriter at FCB London


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