Digital Agency Showcase looks at exciting projects being
produced by some of the North West's brightest talents. We
regularly interview the creative heads of various digital agencies,
to bring you examples of their finest work and champion why our
region is such a great place for creative types to live and
This week we take a look at the innovative digital work being
produced by Creative
Spark - a highly creative agency based in Manchester's trendy
Creative Spark would give any London agency a run for its money
- set up in 2003 by Founder and Creative Director, Neil Marra, the
agency is young, innovative and highly creative.
With a head office in Manchester and studios in London and
Leeds, the team of 20 creative sparks produce cutting edge digital
projects across branding, design and motion. They have helped their
clients all over the world to create eye-catching and head-turning
creative solutions and their impressive client list includes; Peter
Kay, Manchester United, Nike and Universal Music.
Founder and Creative
Neil oversees the creative output from Creative Spark and the
strategic direction of the agency, he says "I founded Creative
Spark in 2003 as a creative agency in Manchester, but with the
skill set of a London agency. Ten years on and we have grown to a
team of 20 and moved into our studio - Spark Towers. Our size has
meant we have adopted digital projects and talent seamlessly into
our creative team."
and thank you for letting us interview you for our digital agency
showcase. What is your main job role and responsibility within
I founded Creative Spark in 2003 and I am also Creative
Director, so I oversee all of the creative output from the agency,
along with the strategic direction we take as a business.
could you pick a case study and explain why you have chosen it to
represent Creative Spark's work?
In June 2013 Creative Spark won a competitive pitch to design
and build a new HTML website for one of the leading talent booking
agents - International Talent Booking
(ITB). Their main objectives were; to have an easy to navigate
talent calendar and seamless booking system.
The new website we designed and built now offers; full screen
images of the talent represented by ITB - such as huge
international stars Adele, Laura Marling, Kasabian and Bob Dylan,
and promoters, festival and event organisers plus corporate and
private clients can now enjoy a slick online experience when
choosing and booking their artists.
I chose this project to represent our work because it is a
typical project for the Creative Spark digital team to undertake
and it represents our client base.
3. How did
you implement the campaign strategy from the brief you were
The brief was quite simple - to make the ITB website easy to
navigate, make the presentation of the talent central to the
website design and ensure the online booking system was
Here at Creative Spark we have a unique way of working - we work
closely with our clients via our client relations' team so that the
team can really get to know their clients' brands inside and out,
meaning that all the brand attributes are represented when creative
digital campaigns are designed for our clients.
The research into the ITB website campaign revealed the
following objectives needed to be met;
- The smart new interface would set ITB apart from its
competition by the design of a new easy navigation
- The new design allows immediate access to the agency's
extensive artist roster, and
- The booking system would be straightforward.
4. Could you tell us what results were
derived from the campaign strategy, and any positive feedback that
Creative Spark received from the campaign?
Following this strategy, Creative Spark successfully built a
fresh website for ITB that ticked all of their boxes.
The ITB website was launched in June 2013 with slick new
navigation, talent presented at the centre of the website and an
efficient new booking system.
Our client is delighted with the results and we continue to work
with them on their digital marketing.
We have a strong background with the music industry, working
with both Universal Music and SJM Concerts, so we were thrilled to
work with ITB. This website reflects the amazing talent ITB
represent and ultimately brings live acts to the people - we were
very pleased with the new look ITB website.
ITB Media & Communications Manager Jill Pearson
said: "This site is the first step towards revamping ITB's
online offering; digital is playing an increasingly important role
in the music industry and ITB will be adding new features to our
website and social channels over the next few months. It's a really
exciting development, and we're really happy with the website
Creative Spark has built to bring our vision to life."
5. Could you give a top tip to any
perspective digital marketing candidates who would like to work in
an agency like Creative Spark?
To work at an agency like ours, I would say first and foremost,
it is imperative to gain as much experience as you can within the
industry. Get in touch with agencies and see if you can shadow a
member of staff or provide some work experience to get your foot in
A varied skills set is also vital, particularly if you wish to
work in an agency for creative reasons e.g. if you're an
illustrator or designer, ensure that you set up a meeting with the
creative director to present a portfolio of your best work. It is
also important that you make sure your work is varied - at Creative
Spark our designers are skilled in web design, offline design,
branding and motion design. So, with this in mind, choose your
showcase pieces wisely.
Confidence and the right attitude is key, it may seem obvious,
but being friendly and approachable can go a long way. Creative
Agencies are usually social, so having an individual personality
will stand you in good stead. In addition, agency life is fast
paced and energetic so we are always looking for people who are
willing to face anything with a smile and a 'can-do' attitude. Be
willing to learn new things and be eager to grow
The Candidate's comment:
Creative Spark is a great example of a forward thinking,
creative agency offering a range of skills from a highly talented
team. We love their work and look forward to seeing more of their
slick, well-crafted digital genius from this friendly bunch of
creatives. Good luck for the rest of 2013 from the team at The