18th September 2019

Silver Spotlight: Paddy O’Neill

This month we caught up with Silver’s Head of Digital, Paddy O’Neill, to learn more about his daily routine and discover the biggest challenge he faces.

Which three words would you use to describe your role?

Strategy, process and digital.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

Generally I check up on the Digital team, but fortunately they are a very capable bunch who can look after themselves most of the time. This is great because it gives me time to focus on working with clients, making sure they are getting the most out of their digital presence.
Although we follow a tried and tested process, our clients’ needs vary by enough factors to mean our work is bespoke for each of them. It all depends on the type of content and medium the work will be put through, and of course the industry the client operates in.

What’s the best part of the job?

It’s nice to be involved with the dev projects because there’s a real satisfaction in building something tangible. I enjoy the strategy side of my role, but it’s often quite abstract. Building a website is the next best thing to building something physical.
Beyond that, there’s often a great opportunity to show clients digital solutions that they didn’t know existed which is quite fun.

What’s the biggest challenge of your role?

We’re an agency that has traditionally had a brand communications and marketing focus, so when you’re building out a digital function it necessitates a real change in mindset. The fact that content isn’t designed for one medium anymore means aligning all our talented creative teams with a more digital approach, to cover more mediums effectively.

Favourite project you’ve worked on and why?

It’s probably a project we’re working on now. It’s so broad in its scope. There’s an element of brand, web, strategy, CRM, and paid search marketing to a certain extent. So it’s a truly integrated campaign and they’re in the sweet spot for us as a client. They are a size where we can really deliver value for them and it’s been really good fun so far.

What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

My wife and I have a baby on the way in November, so that’s a pretty huge achievement!

What do you do when you’re not producing great digital work?

When people ask me this I still tend to say that I play rugby, but I haven’t played in nearly ten years! I like a lot of hiking and spending time with my dog – she is one of my favourite people in the world.

What piece of technology could you not live without?

I’m really reluctant to say my phone, but I’m going to have to! It’s my interface to everything – it’s even connected to my house now to control heating and lighting!
Beyond that, I’d say my car as it makes my life a lot easier. I love to visit new places.

Who do you look up to the most – real or fictional?

I’m going to go with Dorian Grey. He lived his best life, unashamedly so. Ultimately, he paid for his selfishness and debauchery with his soul, but what’s a little depravity between friends? In moderation, we can learn a lot from Dorian.

What brand do you admire and why?

Oatly. They’ve got a real integrity to their brand and a genuine brand purpose – which is not often found anymore, not a genuine one at least. They believe in promoting an alternative to milk and are edgy enough in their messaging without it being forced. They’re like a young BrewDog of the dairy alternative market.

Who would you choose to play you in a film?

George Clooney. Next question.

Favourite film?

I went round the houses a little bit, but I’ll have to say Pulp Fiction. I think it’s one of the first films I ever saw that broke away from the traditional linear narrative. I thought the story was really clever, the way the plotlines ultimately intertwined. Even when I was far too young to understand some of the stories, I loved how they were written.  Tarantino is one of the greats.

Which cartoon character do you most relate to and why?

One of my favourite characters is Brian from Family Guy, just because he’s this kind of quasi-intellectual who loves to quote books even though he has little grasp of literature. He’s just smart enough to be dangerous, and that’s what I like about him.


Thanks, Paddy! Be sure to keep an eye out for the next Silver Spotlight post next month.