How Roy Keane and BDH/TBWA made me want to be a creative

I was 15 when I first saw a piece of advertising that made me think, ‘wow, I wish I’d done that’. It was a 6-sheet for Diadora that featured one of my football idols: Roy Keane.

I remember vividly when I first saw the poster. I was walking through the Trafford Centre with my mates, out to play video games in the arcade and see if I could catch the eye of some pretty girl (which I didn’t, of course). However, it wasn’t a girl or the latest edition of Time Crisis that caught my attention that day, it was an image of a Roy Keane Subbuteo figure leaving a trail of other broken Subbuteo figures behind him.

The ad was brilliantly simple, relying on the art direction to make it all work. And it did, because I was immediately transfixed by the image. The ad summed up one of my favourite players beautifully with just one cool shot and a logo.

I remember thinking how smart the people who created that poster were and how I wished I could create something equally as clever. Funnily enough, I found out years later who made that ad, it was a creative team from BDH/TBWA who my Creative Director at the time had once worked alongside.

However, it wasn’t in that moment in the Trafford Centre when I decided to be a copywriter. I still had a lot of awkward adolescent moments to endure first that would keep me occupied up until the start of my twenties. But I think on some level that ad made me appreciate what good advertising should always do: spark a response.

Of course, I’m now educated enough in the world of advertising to know there are ¬†better pieces of work than the Roy Keane Diadora ad. But that’s the one I always remember most, because it’s the first time I got that little flutter in my stomach when seeing a piece of creative work. And, just like Keane loved winning football matches, it’s that feeling I now love coming into work every day to experience again.