I’ve known Simon for 10 years as a client and an agency competitor. You won’t find someone who is more creatively driven, intellectually agile and honestly passionate about what he does. Not to mention funny as hell. The difference between good and great in today’s world of art and communication is courage. Simon is one of the brave ones.
Rob DeFlorio, (former) Director of U.S. Marketing, Nike Inc.
I could summarize what Simon is all about with a line: don’t work with Simon if you want to stick to your comfort zone. Enough said really, but for those who love to be challenged, here’s the man: visionary, radical, untamed. A strategic thinker who’s able to look beyond the traditional communication territories, who is on a groundbreaking mission to transform corporate communication into rich experiences. And, hard to believe, all this comes packaged in a positive, problem solving and collaborative attitude. An inspiring partner for those who want to shake things.
Elena Panizza, (former) Worldwide Creative Director, Motorola Inc., Chicago
It’s not easy to get people to care about a disease that most people think isn’t nearly as serious as cancer, heart disease or AIDs. And, it’s even harder to get them to care enough to take action. Simon was successful in both. We were really impressed with what a quick study Simon was. He showed a deep understanding of the problem and an ability to overcome the apathy that surrounds this disease. We were incredibly impressed by the scope and creativity of his work. His approaches were powerful, moving and very insightful. Above all, he was tireless in his efforts and a true pleasure to work with. He’s an asset to any project.
Larry Deed, President Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association, New York
Working with Simon Mainwaring over the last few years has been a constant source of inspiration. His fresh ideas about social change, combined with his deep understanding of the social media world, enable him to provide unparalleled insight and wisdom.
Jesse Dylan, Feature director, Creative Director of ONE.org & RED, Emmy-Award winning director of “Yes We Can”, Freeform Founder, Los Angeles
In a world where we’re nickel and dimed to death on resources, Simon is a talent worth every cent. I’ve put Mr. Mainwaring in the most inhospitable of situations and under the stupidest of deadlines and he’s always come back with great stuff. I’ve put him with selfish prima donna bullying creatives and he somehow manages to find the right chemistry. I’ve watched him shake good work out of briefs that were barely comprehensible and connect with humorless marketing directors. Creatives like that are hard to come by. Sure he’s opinionated and sometimes stubborn, but I’ve never regretted our debates and the payoff of his thinking. I like having that guy on my team and he’ll always be welcome.
Harvey Marco, Chief Creative Officer, JWT, New York
It has been said that we are the creators and sellers of the American dream. If this is so, then there is no greater salesman than Simon Mainwaring. His ability to see clearly a client’s potential, to tear through and see beyond the thickest of clutter, is a wonder to watch. It has been my pleasure to see this first-hand. As I think about what Simon contributes to any project, I must admit that his creativity, while important – to be sure, must be viewed as simply a point of entry. Of course, in this regard he is absolutely at the top of his game and I hate him for it; the speed with which he can get to a brilliant creative solution, is quite remarkable. But again I say this is simply a starting point for Simon. It is his strategic mind, his ability to affect culture through his clients’ products and his approach to selling in these ideas, that is most impressive. Beyond that, his ability to make people feel completely at ease with the enormous change that is about to happen is also impressive. At TBWA\Chiat\Day we practice ‘disruption’, this is simply a method in which we look at every problem and evaluate every solution: is it disrupting the category and making a profound difference? Simon lives this philosophy and puts it into action every time he approaches a project. Simon, disruption is ours – hands off.
Joe Shands, former Creative Director Wieden & Kennedy (Portland), Goodby Silverstein (San Francisco), TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles
It’s pretty rare to find someone who’s able to deliver at every stage of the development of an idea. Simon’s unique background has given him an ideal set of tools for doing just that. He starts with a strong strategic understanding of the business problem at hand. He then attacks the problem with great energy and discipline. He also knows the importance of generating lots of ideas in order to create one great one. He’s also a tremendous presenter with an ability to sell his ideas through to even the most cautious clients. And finally, he has the vision and experience to execute and finish his ideas through the final stages of production. In the end we get consistently great results, and my job suddenly becomes a lot easier.
Chris Graves, Chief Creative Officer, Team One, Los Angeles
Simon has been an integral resource for many of our projects. His wit, ease with language, and deep experience enable him to quickly delve deep into a project to create successful, cutting edge work. Over the last two years we’ve consistently tapped him for new business projects and he’s consistently delivered.
Ken Erke, Chief Creative Officer, Young & Rubicam, Chicago
Simon came very highly recommended to me and even then he exceeded my unreasonable expectations. We had a particularly hard nut to crack and Simon not only delivered the big idea, he charmed and sold it to the client.
Guy Seese, Executive Creative Director, Grey, San Francisco
In my experience, over the course of several projects, I can say one thing with certainty: Simon always delivers! He is a formidable writer whose command of the English language is second only to his considerable talents as an “ideas guy.” His work is thoughtful and high concept yet invariably grounded in simple human truths so it’s easily accessible to large audiences. Somehow, he makes even the most challenging assignments look easy.
Alan Blum, Chairman, Re:vision, New York
Simon has always been out in front with his thinking. Not only is he able to get to great ideas quickly, he is able to assess them from many perspectives at once – client, new media, digital, global. Simon truly gets what it takes to create a breakthrough in the new digital marketplace. He is a rare gem that makes brands shine.
Luke Bailey-Wong, Executive Digital Creative Director, Draftfcb, New York
Simon is proof that unexpected ideas spring from unexpected perspectives. He demonstrated to me time and again that what occurs outside advertising is what’s needed to change advertising – the mission we in planning and strategy are constantly challenged to do. He led with ideas that made us feel we were all embarking on a journey into new territory where the risks were high, but hugely rewarding. He’s always left me feeling surprised, inspired and a little intimidated.
Filippo Dell’Osso, European Planning Director, TBWA, Paris
If you would like to put your head down and rest, work with Simon because he does not. He is relentless and passionate in his pursuit of that elusive needle in that all too familiar haystack of ideas. As someone who personally and professionally works the same way, it is such a pleasure to find a kindred spirit that loves rising to the occasion time after time and approaches each opportunity as an opportunity. Simon has worked on, and moved forward so many respectable brands, that you might say, “He did write the book”.
Joseph Uliano, Executive Producer, Crossroads Films and Brand CEO, Gorgeously Green Inc., Hollywood
Simon Mainwaring is more than a freelance creative with a superior reputation, he is also a strong strategic mind. I have worked with Simon on a few occasions, most recently on a successful new business pitch for a blue-chip hotel brand, and every time he has created a true brand idea first and then creative strategy and execution. His approach inspires great work and reduces the wastage in working with freelance talent. From my point of view, a senior planner, he is the best freelance creative I have ever worked with.
Craig Kleber, Director Integrated Insights, Young & Rubicam Brands, Los Angeles
Simon gets it. Even when it’s in Spanish. We have worked with Simon on multiple occasions targeting the fast growing U.S. Hispanic population and he has been spot on. Fast approaching deadline? No problem. He does not flinch under pressure. Need a breadth of creative approaches? He’s there. Need non-traditional media solutions? All over it. Above all, Simon easily steps into a leadership role and inspires the team. He is truly a motivating figure, which comes in handy when under pressure.
Roberto Orci, President, Acento Advertising, Los Angeles
Simon isn’t precious about ideas. That’s not to say he doesn’t have great ones: he does, with uncommon regularity. But Simon’s an idea generator, and this gives him a confidence and healthy belief that there are many ways to solve every problem. He’s a creative thinker who is always looking way beyond the 30 second commercial, and his ability to think about a problem from so many different directions is how he manages to hunt down the most brilliant solutions. Simon has also experienced a plethora of different creative cultures, so has a unique perspective on the processes that energize and distract from greatness. And despite his considerable success, Simon retains his hunger.
Ned McNeilage, Creative Director, Los Angeles
Do you remember, ‘Have Gun – Will Travel’, with Richard Boone as Palladin? He was sort of a gun for hire, but the best. That’s what Simon is. In the world of branding, he’s the best gun for hire.
Jonathan Miller, Director of Client Services, Global Production Network (GPN), & veteran Executive Producer, Los Angeles
Despite his consistent success at many of the world’s top agencies, Simon is down-to-earth, collaborative and solution oriented. He is an impeccable writer with a brilliant creative mind and by far one of the best thinkers I have ever worked with.
Conan Wang, Wieden + Kennedy, Shanghai, China
Simon’s exceptional creativity is apparent in his work. He is exactly who we call when we needed a killer energy and grand vision. We highly appreciate his contribution to our experiential and entertainment campaigns and look forward to working with him on future projects. In a time when we are all polluted with messaging its fantastic to have Simon on your side to bring it back to the basics. Inspiring and never dull to work with.
Moj Mahdara, MMA, Los Angeles
Simon has a unique blend of creative sensibilities mixed with real world business knowledge. His vast experience across different industries and from law to creative director allows him to start his ideation process at a brand’s weakest point and deliver fresh innovative thinking rooted in rock solid strategy.
Michael Sharp, President, Standard Time, Los Angeles