A year of Jake Baines

A year of Jake Baines

To think this time last year, I was a naive university graduate who thought my dream job would soon come running along but in reality, I moved back home, was working in a job which I hated all whilst trying to keep my creativity ticking over in the background. 

Enter David, the newly appointed silver fox at Drunk Animal who stuck his neck on the line and gave me a step in the door. I can distinctly remember scrambling together every piece of design, photography and video work I’d worked on over the last couple of years, the night before sitting down with David, Calvin and Jess. This was my chance to finally get my shit together, I wasn’t going to mess this up.   

There was a real creative buzz around the main studio. People were huddled around computers pitching ideas, doodling on the walls, house music playing in the background. It was like The Wolf of Wall Street minus the midgets, hookers and drugs. 

When it came to an induction, much like Drunk Animal’s approach to work, it wasn’t strictly orthodox. I was shown to my desk, signed a contract and I was straight on with designing social media content for clients, whilst taking a look at their platforms with a fresh set of eyes. For some this may seem like a daunting way to start a new role, but for me it was the best way to get adjusted to the fast-paced environment I was being welcomed into. 

Now that I had my feet firmly under the table, it was time to start pushing the level of digital content up a notch and introduce clients to new ways of presenting their products/services. My first client to take up this new approach was Ward Homes Yorkshire, stripping back static CGIs to make way for lifestyle cinemagraphs, sleek photography and promotional videos to use across social media. This approach not only helped lift the company’s online presence but eventually led to my first big win for a client, selling all twenty brand new homes at The Pastures development. 

Just as things were going well, COVID well and truly came and pissed on my content creation bonfire. Overnight the business lost close to £500k worth of scheduled events work for the upcoming year. Naturally, the whole team was concerned for their jobs’ future. 

It was well and truly squeaky bum time… But as a team we pulled together and shifted the business’ focus onto PR, content and media. We soon realised that like us, so many other businesses were going to take stock, regroup and develop a plan of attack. Rather than seeing this as a setback, we cooled our jets and strategically developed a new business plan, all over google meets. I soon realised that, although my fellow team members were highly skilled in their departments, getting to grips with the concept of a mute button was somewhat of a struggle. 🥴

Despite these setbacks, in true Drunk Animal style we still managed to successfully launch Peter Ward Homes’ new development Deira Park, Beverley back in May; selling fourteen homes in the space of one weekend. Off the back of the launch, opened the door to more dynamic digital content, taking their marketing into new territories of 360 degree video walkthroughs and promotional videos.  

Since then, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in one way or another on successful PPC campaigns and product launches, whether it be pushing HULL KR’s merchandise in the run-up to Christmas which generated 2.47million impressions and pushed 12,000 additional visits to the website over a two-week period, compared to the previous year. Or having my lifestyle photography feature across over 1,000 pieces of coverage, with a global audience of 1.4 billion and counting as part of the global launch of the Frugal Bottle in partnership with Cantina Goccia. 

In the last few months, I’ve been able to expand my role and dabble into brand development. What started off as a little in-house competition to rebrand a National League football team between the creative team, turned into one of my proudest pieces of brand development to date. I took on Wales’ oldest football team, Wrexham AFC. Perfect timing for a rebrand don’t you think Ryan Reynolds? 

Although the year has been mentally straining on everyone, I’m glad to say that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been through a lot together and I truly believe it has made us stronger as we move into a new way of life. 

This year we’ll be reaching new heights with our creative output and delivering some badass campaigns – I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings. 

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