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27th June 2023

Spotlight on Aaron Garside…

“Embracing change is the biggest challenge for clients.”

Hunterlodge’s new Head of Content Aaron Garside talks career highlights, plans to take the content department forward and the secret to advertising success in a world deluged by digital media.

I was impressed by the quality and values that Hunterlodge is built upon and the ambitious nature of where the agency is going. It doesn’t stand still and rest on its past achievements. We have a great foundation to build on and a real depth of talent and experience with a hunger for continuous learning. I very much felt aligned to the agency from my very first meeting with the board.

Over the (many) years working within the industry I have worn many hats. From account management to strategy to creative, content and production, there are too many to mention. Over the course of my career the world of digital, especially social media, exploded so you had to be fast on your feet. My core skill set is crafting a great story delivered in the right medium across the right platforms. I believe video is the gatekeeper to all of this, considering how precious time is now in an ocean of daily digital information.

I’ve had a few career highlights but ‘Bad Gnashers’ holds a special place in my heart. Facebook (and social in general) was in its infancy. The NHS asked the agency I was working with for a campaign targeted at encouraging students to sign up to dental practices. I developed, wrote, produced, directed this music video, which ended up going viral for the NHS. Sounds crazy, was crazy, but it cut through and the client loved it. 

Another big moment was partnering with BAFTA. The brief? Working with young offenders, while in prison, to develop core skills in digital film making. The project skyrocketed when we approached BAFTA to help us make a short film written by the young people themselves. We shot over a weekend in August and took the rushes back into the prison as we mentored the young offenders in editing, sound and grade mixing. They also wrote and produced original music to score the short film.  

The great thing about working in content is that sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to work with big names. In 2022, I had the pleasure of working with Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli and, the legend that is, Bryan Adams! We were working on the Pirelli 2022 calendar. Shot in LA with an abundance of music royalty, including Cher, Iggy Pop, St. Vincent (I fell in love…she did not reciprocate) and Jennifer Hudson. I produced the content strategy and all social and digital content which told the story of ‘Life on the Road’ across a 9-month period in the lead up to the calendars release. 

I’m a great believer in the power of video and social media, and it’s how I’ll move the content department forward. We must be producing content across platforms which is embedded in culture otherwise our clients will be left behind. I want to build a department of fast-thinking, fast-acting, agile social and digital content creatives, writers and producers. 

Embracing change is the biggest challenge for clients. It’s all about being bold, taking risks and not being frightened to leverage platforms because they are unfamiliar to you—because they aren’t to your audiences! Digital and social never stands still, and it seems to move faster and faster as each year passes. Always making sure you’re on top of the latest developments is the only way to stand out today.  

Very excited about where we can take the department and the agency over the next few years. And I hope for a pleasant journey! The world revolves around content, tacos and tennis…well mine does anyway. It’s probably why I feel so at home.  

If you’re want to join one of Campaign’s Best Places to Work, then please get in touch with nick.friend@hunterlodge.co.uk

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