February 14, 2023

Hawk Meet & Greet: Meet Neil Johnson, Head of Creative, UK

Written by Lucie Marand

Each month, meet a new member of our team – this month we speak with Neil Johnson, Head of our UK Creative Studio!


Can you quickly introduce yourself?

My name is Neil Johnson, I have worked for Hawk for almost seven years. Previously, I worked for Creative Agencies in London and Melbourne. I have worked in Creative roles and as a Creative Producer / Project Manager.


What exactly is your position and role at Hawk?

As well as making lots of ad creatives for the campaigns that we run, I also have oversight on all of the materials and output from the UK Creative team. Additionally, I schedule all the work for the Creative team, help our clients with their creative questions and needs and do my best to advance the overall Creative offering for the UK office.


What did you appreciate the most when you joined the adventure?

When I joined the company, I was the first person in the newly-formed Creative team. It wasn’t a team at all then – it was just me! So it was a great opportunity to ‘forge a new path’ and help the company by making lots of cool and exciting ad creatives, as well as helping determine the visual appearance and presence of the Hawk brand.


What do your days consist of and what are your daily challenges?

Most days include production work on media campaigns for a huge variety of clients. One day I may be working on a dynamic HTML campaign for a big automotive client, the next day I could be designing a sales presentation for an alcohol brand. Everyday is a mix of graphic design work, digital animation work and a little bit of simple coding. As well as this, it is my responsibility to ensure the entire UK creative team is busy working on projects, that they are working to a timely schedule and to ensure that everything we make is to a high standard.

The most challenging part of this role is ‘keeping up’ with requests. We’re a successful office and therefore we create a lot of work! There is a constant stream of new projects, work that needs to be reviewed or amended and projects that need to be completed, tied up and delivered.


In your opinion, what is your greatest success at Hawk?

When I joined Hawk in 2016, it was a successful business in France but it just launched in the UK into a cluttered market, so few people knew our name, or what the company could offer. Today, we’re a super productive enterprise that is ever-growing. There are currently four members of the UK Creative team and this will increase in 2023. We work with some massive brands and in 2022, we worked on over 300 projects and campaigns. So, for me, my greatest success at HAWK has been the growth of my department, our office and the company as a whole.


What three adjectives would your team use to describe you?

Organised (hopefully!)

Productive (ideally!)

Picky (probably!)


Finally, what message would you give to future employees?

When working for an ad tech company, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in the interesting and complex abilities that our technology and service can offer and super easy to forget about the humans who will be looking at / using / absorbing the things we are making.

Ultimately, the human who comes into contact with our creatives (adverts) is the person who might spend money on the product or service that we are helping to publicise and therefore make our work worthwhile. So, my message to all possible future employees to the Creative team would be this: it’s very worthwhile to dedicate your time to making things and do your best to ensure that those things are worthwhile to humans.

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