Below is an interview with Ed Gould about his life and experiences in marketing communications:
No two days are ever the same at Carswell Gould, which is just the way I like it. The campaigns we create for our clients have had me working with household names, royalty and led to some slightly bizarre situations too!
Like the time I found myself dressed as a pirate sitting in a crow’s nest next to Ben Fogle for the PSP Southampton Boat Show, or the hours I spent sat in a freezing barn with the team from the Nuffield Theatre, taking photos of a hapless actor suspended from a harness, wrestling an imitation crocodile.
Perhaps the most memorable moment came a couple of years ago we ran a campaign to show how Carswell Gould offers real Return on Investment, or ‘ROI’. Playing on the idea of ‘ROI’ being a man’s name, I created the character ‘ROI’ and based our campaign around a ransom note claiming we were holding ‘ROI’ hostage and for marketing managers to call us if they ever wanted to see ROI again.
The campaign was a success and people remembered it because it was funny and relevant. Unfortunately, one person who’d received our direct mail ‘ransom note‘ (complete with a picture of ROI, played by me, tied to an office chair with a bag over my head) didn’t quite get the joke and made a hasty call to the police!
Luckily I was able to explain to the stern PC that it was merely a clever advertising campaign, but I’ll never forget that feeling of my heart jumping into my throat!
The ROI campaign was one close to my heart because it’s a huge part of what we do at Carswell Gould. There isn’t any use coming up with creative ideas or celebrity endorsement if they don’t deliver returns - you may as well throw a suitcase of money off the Itchen Bridge! Being able to show what our marketing delivers for a business is key - particularly when FDs are looking for cuts across the board and the economic climate turns gloomy.
It is amazing to see how Carswell Gould has grown over the years. The whole company was established in 1993 by Gill Gould, who is my mum as well as my business partner. In 1998 I spotted the opportunity to set up a design studio within her company. Our aim was to create a highly creative integrated agency like no other in the region.
I brought in young, creative designers and we were soon winning great clients with our dynamic work.
The best thing about working in an integrated agency is getting to bounce off people with completely different specialisms.
We have a poster up in the office “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world and indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” That mantra rings true and that’s what makes Carswell Gould so unique. We’re a small but perfectly formed team of highly specialised experts in everything from web programming to PR. It means we can plan and carry out a whole integrated marketing programme, rather than leaving our clients to scramble between various agencies to tie up a new website, advertising campaign and PR programme.
We work with all kinds of businesses from worldwide financial service providers to boat shows, theatres to hospitals. They all offer their own challenges and I thrive on that.
I had a call from one of our old clients recently - from his new yacht! We’d helped him catapult his flooring company, Stikatak, into the international market. When we first started working with him he was based out of a single warehouse and by the end he was selling his products in B&Q, Homebase and other major retailers. He attributes much of his growth into market-leader and subsequent multi-million pound buy-out to the status of brand we helped him build. We can’t guarantee all our clients a yacht in the Caribbean - but it shows it can be done with the right strategy and delivery.
Outside of my role at Carswell Gould I’m passionate about business in Hampshire and the Solent. Much of my spare time is spent working with other business leaders, contributing to the growth of the region as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Business Southampton and the South Coast Design Forum. When I’m not working I can be found on the footie pitch twice a week, yoga or travelling which is a big passion of mine. I’ve spent time in all corners of the world, bungee jumping in New Zealand, running parties in Ibiza, swimming in Australia and even working on a conservation reserve in South Africa.
While I try and avoid politicised buzz words such as ‘Big Society’ I think now more than ever, is the time for linked-up thinking. I would love to see a better connected city.
We live in such a beautiful part of the world, with great people and opportunities and there is no reason why we shouldn’t compete with other cities such as London, Brighton and Manchester, on equal footing.
My vision is for Carswell Gould to play a part in making this happen.
Talk to Ed about any and all your communication challenges you have today.