Creative Director Paul Whitcroft is a Fantastic Media stalwart. Here since the beginning he’s been a driving force in every area of the company. When he’s not watching his beloved Huddersfield Town he’s spending time with the family, playing football, running marathons and all while sipping a nice G&T…
What was your start date and position at fantastic?
I started at Fantastic Media in 2006 when it first opened its doors. I started as a Senior Designer and am now the Creative Director. I look the same now as I did back then. I’m the Peter Pan of Fantastic!
What has been your favourite Fantastic project?
The Terrier we delivered for Huddersfield Town is no doubt the project that fills me with the most pride. It was a project very close to my heart. We heard about the project literally when we were on the coach travelling back from Wembley where Huddersfield Town had just gained promotion to the premier league. We wanted an icon that reflected the season that had just past and the ethos David Wagner had instilled into the side but also symbolised the future. We felt Fantastic Media did this and some. The Terrier is now regularly used in all sorts of graphic executions, and is seen by a global audience. The club has embraced it and more importantly so have the fans, it just shows how powerful an impact something can have when people work together.
Who has influenced your career the most and how?
I have to say the MD Andy Hobson. He has taught me a great deal over the 10 years I have been at Fantastic and I think we work well together. I was all about how things looked visually when I first joined and didn’t think about real marketing, how my graphics communicated with the audience. Proper grown up marketing as Andy would call it. I must also say working with a young team is a big influence, in this industry trends change from day to day and younger people, although they sometimes might not know it, have their finger on the pulse more than most and I get great pleasure in making them realise how talented they actually are and feeding from the ideas they create.
Greatest personal achievements?
Apart from the obvious, meeting my wife and fathering two children I think there are two things that stick out for me, making the decision to play rugby when I was 18 was a big thing for me. I wasn’t a good player by any means and warmed the bench most weeks, however there is something about playing team sports that brings out the best in people. For anyone who has played rugby league, they will know that it’s a tough sport and you have to put your trust and rely on the people around you when things get tasty. Exactly the same in work life, when things go wrong, you know you can look at the people in the room to lean on and get out of a sticky situation. Another big achievement for me was running the London Marathon in 2015. Again, I didn’t break any records, but the sense of achievement that I didn’t walk any of the way is a goal that I set my self and something I achieved.
Best thing about your job?
The best thing about working in a marketing agency has to be the variety. One week working a strategy for an industrial boiler company, the next Premier football league clubs to launching a new drink and even launching a brand new range of bikes. The collaboration with both client and colleague is energising and the amount we learn about different industries is both satisfying and rewarding.
Three things people would be surprised to know about you?
My Dad was a Vicar. I like a nice G&T. I’ve never had a day off work sick while at FM.
How do you unwind?
Family time is important to me, when possible, we like to get out on a walk or on our bikes. My daughter has just learned to ride a bike so once she gets more confident, we plan to go for some longer bike rides with the whole family. I also like to go and watch Huddersfield Town football club with my son. Socially, its more eating out now than going out out, but my wife and I love a meal out when we get a chance. Five a side on Thursday’s with the guys at Fantastic and park runs.
Personal philosophy or mantra?
Try to be as nice, polite and interesting as possible to everyone that you meet, treat them how you would like to be treated but treat them the same. Whether you’re talking to a waiter in a restaurant or the MD of a multimillion pound company try and be genuine. The clever ones will see a fake a mile off. Don’t judge people too quickly. People have strengths and weaknesses, find out what they are and help them use them to the best of their ability.