TeaTalk with: Rich Cross, Copywriter.
We sit down with Rich Cross, Copywriter here at Cogent for a cuppa and a chat. We explore working at Cogent, his career highlight so far and what togetherness means to him.
What inspired you to get involved in copywriting in particular? Was this something you always wanted to do?
If I’m being totally honest, there’s not a lot of things in my life I haven’t stumbled blindly into. But I like to think I stumble with enthusiasm, and I know a good thing when I crash into it. And so far, Copywriting seems to be one of those things.
I can’t say I spent my formative years dreaming of writing adverts, it was more imagining myself destroying planet Earth with my mind. (Sorry Miss Turner, you were right to call my mum in). But the term ‘vivid imagination’ was thrown about quite a bit, and I guess that’s why I got into writing in the first place.
What is it that makes Cogent different to other places you have worked?
My last job was as a butcher, so I’m happy to say there are a few less carcases hanging around here. And I still get to practice the trade on a bit of copy now and then, too.
I like the fluidity between departments – I was an exile in the planning dept for a bit and they got me hooked on behavioural psychology stuff. Which has informed the way I approach copy quite a bit.
What’s your career highlight to date, something you’re proud of?
Probably recording a radio ad in London and then hearing it on Spotify a few days later. That felt like a lightbulb moment.
Do you have a motto or ethos that helps you in your everyday work in the Creative Hive? What keeps you going and ensures the work you do stands out?
In terms of the everyday stuff, aside from subsisting primarily on Alphabetti Spaghetti (gotta get those words from somewhere), I mostly just try and do what’s best by the work. Whether my copy’s all over it or sat in the recycling bin. The most important thing I ever learned about writing is ‘kill your darlings’.
As far as stand out, I think I’m lucky to be approaching the advertising world from a bit of a funny angle. A lot of my inspiration comes from obscure short story writers, poets that live in the wilderness (RIP Jim Harrison), weird arthouse film directors and songwriters.
So it’s sort of a case of plunging into that subconscious slurry and hoping whatever I drag out is appropriate. God forbid I ever get free reign on a TV ad. I mean, I have my advertising heroes too. That Guinness surfers ad is as captivating as any snippet of cinema you’re likely to see.
What does Togetherness mean to you?
Mostly working together for the best of the work. Knowing peoples’ strengths and getting them involved in the right places. Staying late to help the team out. Bringing the good vibes.
Also including but not limited to: Overly competitive office table tennis. Inter-agency boules tournaments. Pizza parties. Mate dates to the Tate. Boxfit. Lunch and learn sessions. Being ignored by Boycie the dog. Vision meetings. Beer fridges. Embarrassing yourself at the staff party. Birthday Samosas. Inappropriate Secret Santa.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most and why?
Working with proper creative people. (As opposed to wannabes like me). There’s a lot of talent here and I feel lucky every day to be a part of the team.
That’s all from Rich. Keep an eye out for next month’s TeaTalk where we’ll be sitting down with another member of the Cogent family.