I'm Dave Montrose, a Creative Director and designer, previously Creative Director and senior management at Octopus Group (Publicis Groupe UK), an 80-person London-based integrated B2B marketing agency, and Marketing Agency of The Year 2022, the UK Agency Awards; member of Publicis Groupe UK’s Creative Collective with ECDs and CCOs from each of the Groupe’s agencies, including MSL, Saatchi & Saatchi, Digitas, Publicis Poke, Langland, Taylor Herring, Leo Burnett. Judge for The Drum B2B Awards.
My 20+ year career began copywriting and designing for consumer music magazines, directing photo shoots with high-profile musicians from bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Green Day. As a creative leader, I’ve sat on senior leadership teams for around 7 years.
At Octopus I was responsible for defining and evolving the ideas and craft of all creative output for the agency, from social and display advertising, film and motion (2D & 3D), through to editorial, branding, and digital experiences. As much commercially minded as creative, wherever I’ve worked, I’ve looked for ways to improve processes and approaches to our work through collaboration and software, and by introducing new skills into teams through up-skilling and hires. In my time at Octopus, I re-established approaches to all creative work to allow for improved stages of development and collaboration between copy and design, working with and managing the studio manager to readdress all timelines and associated costs; introduced new tools and software; and hired new skills into the agency including 3D/film/motion, and UX.
As a creative leader I focus on two things… ideas: how it relates to strategy - the audience's Job To Be Done, proposition, messaging - using differentiation, shifting the lens, execution, budget; and craft: creative copywriting, design, etc. Beautiful things without a central and deliberate idea will fail to resonate; ideas without craft, equally. Great work is about making space, balancing, and elevating both.
As a member of adplist.org and previously Creative Mentor Network, I’m passionate about mentorship as a means to help creatives find their way into the industry, empower them to create their best work, and encourage their progression both professionally and personally. You can read some nice things people have said about me at adplist.com (and/or book a chat there), LinkedIn, and dotted around in the footer of this site.
Outside of work I'm real believer in staying creatively curious, and in constant learning. In 2021, I went on Mark Ritson's Marketing Week Mini MBA course (thoroughly recommend); I'm a multi-instrumental musician and music production nerd, starting on keys at a young age, and onto guitar, drums, and bass in my teens (I eventually realised like a lot of 90s kids, that I wasn't going to be the next Kurt Cobain). I taught myself HTML5, CSS3, jQuery and PHP while freelance. And the 3+ hours of daily commute time I got back in the first lockdown of 2020 was used to learn Blender 3D, and create more music. You can check out some of my 3D exploration and illustration on my Instagram.