The Ri5 Profile: Ryan Garratt, AIA Worldwide

The Ri5 Profile: Ryan Garratt, AIA Worldwide


How did you first get into the industry?

It came from a referral. Matters of the heart and meeting an American girl (now my wife) threw a spanner into my plans post-graduation, so I actually spent this time doing not a lot in the Mid-West.

Eventually, reality (and having no money!) hit and I came home, spending the first couple of months with an e-commerce start-up.

A conversation over a beer or two led to news of a potential opportunity with AIA. So that’s how I ended up where I am today, albeit via a number of interviews, each accompanied by a carry-on-esque charade to pass off why I needed to wear a suit. Lot of dry cleaning trips at that time.

Would you do the same again?

Definitely, although with hindsight I’d have found a better way to go about things.

What would you do if you didn’t do this?

I actually have no idea; I’m sure marketing would be in the mix somewhere along the way. Genetics doomed me to be a substandard athlete, so the dream of doing sport for a living died by the age of about six. Maybe five.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?

Proofread everything as many times as you can before you go to print. And once it's gone, spare yourself the torture of looking for mistakes. It's too late.

And what piece of advice would you give somebody starting out in the sector?

Trying to recall an email doesn't work. As much as they say it does.

On a serious note, if you have an idea, put yourself out there and share it. The beauty of advertising is that there is no wrong answer. (I mean I know there is, but it's less poetic.) So find the right people to share it with, tell your story and then watch them take the credit. Therein lies your real lesson.

What’s your favourite recruitment ad?

I wonder how many other people have answered with the famous Shackleton, Endurance expedition advert?

The copywriting owns the bleak reality of the opportunity, and is a great example of how simple words alone can help select the right people. More recently, I've seen first-hand the great work produced through some of the campaigns we’ve done with Thales. These remain amongst the best I've seen. But I might have a slight bias on that front.

And what’s your favourite non-recruitment ad?

There are a number of great ads that stick in my head from when I was younger. Budweiser did a brilliant job of getting the attention of an audience, who were way too young to be drinking, with the “Wasssup” campaign.

Sure, it’s annoying now, but you know you did it. They also had the croaking frogs. And is there anyone out there who doesn't eat a Jaffa Cake to the tune of, “Full moon, half moon, total eclipse”? I doubt that very much.

You’re entertaining industry contacts. Where do you take them, and why?

Off piste, but an evening at The Oval for a T20 game on a Friday evening in the sunshine has a lot of the right ingredients for great entertaining. The game is there as and when people are interested, but it's the crowd that make it on the right night. Plus, it's all wrapped up in three hours so plenty of time for more conventional wining and dining.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m halfway through Talk Like TED, a guide to public speaking derived from analysing the most successful TED talks of all time. There are a number of really useful pieces of advice, and it’s a lot more interesting than I’ve just sold it as. Thinking about it, that’s probably why they didn’t ask me for a quote to put on the cover.

And what are you listening to?

Aside from very much enjoying the return of the man, Craig David, I’m a big fan of Jack Garratt. Started out listening to him because we share the same surname, but actually he’s producing some great tracks and his album, ‘Phase’, has been getting a lot of Spotify love when in the office.

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party?

If Peter Kay could tolerate a near word for word recital of his stand ups, then he’s very much welcome, as is David Brent - fictional people count right? Then I’d go big: Jesus, Jennifer Aniston and probably Howard from the Halifax adverts.

What are your top three films?

I've never been a huge film fan; I'm that guy that still hasn't seen some of the all-time classics and has a blank look in my face during the movie round in a quiz. (Outstanding otherwise, mind). But I have succumbed to the box set lifestyle, and am a big fan of House of Cards and The Wire. If only I could watch those afresh. Not forgetting Game of Thrones, but after Monday’s episode, it's a little too soon. Hold the door.

Something or someone for Room 101?

The self-appointed guardians of the train doors need to go. Summer is just about to arrive, which means the joys of commuting are soon to be blessed with heaters that have not yet been turned off and the very real threat of 20 minutes caught in the under arm of someone holding on. With that prospect to look forward to, the last thing you need as the train arrives is to face an obstacle course of morons who are seemingly rooted to the doors and unwilling to move.

What items do you never leave home without?

Just some money or a credit card, everything else can fall into line after that.

Who’s your biggest hero, and why?

Enrique Iglesias. He offered to do the role in a song once, so thought I shouldn't be ungrateful and took him up on the offer.

What is your ideal holiday?

I would love to get to the stage where I could travel with the England cricket supporters for all of the away tours. Australia, the Caribbean, South Africa to name but three on rotation? Sunshine and cricket during the day, city exploring at night. Yeah, I'll take that one please.

Three words to describe yourself?

Rouge Brad Pitt.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Musically speaking, there are some admitted question marks in my collection. I think I’m still stuck in the 90s/early 2000s.

Thanks, Ryan.  Comments below as usual (though anything libellous will be disallowed, of course).  We’re always pleased to receive nominations for future profiles – contact

Thursday, 2 June 2016

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Paul Roper Date: Jun 6, 2016

Top bloke and a great asset to AIA.