The origins of Guerilla

2000 was a landmark year for many reasons, there was a lot of hubbub when the Y2K bug threatened (and then failed) to shut down everyone’s systems… The Tate Modern opened its doors in the former Bankside power station… Big Brother hit our screens for the very first time… “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire” became the fastest selling book ever… Tiger Woods broke the record for the lowest score under par at the Scottish Open at St Andrews and the first inhabitants arrived at the International Space Station (the crew comprised of one American and two Russian Astronauts)….My point is that you can already see that 2000 was shaping up to be a bumper year…Then something extraordinary happened…two men decided to change their fates forever when they waved “cheery-bye” to their Mad Men city lives and decided to set up on their own. Yes folks, this month we celebrate 13 staggering, emotional and exciting years in the life of an awesome marketing company we like to call ‘Guerilla’.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I dragged Gus and Ian away from their private jets and sat them down with a cup of coffee (or in Gus’ case a “double bagger cup of tea”) and quizzed them…here is what they had to say:

Quizmaster Kyle: How did you two meet?

Ian: Uniform dating dot com – sheer chance that we also worked together at an Agency. Did I tell you that Gus worked for me back then? (I mentally start to speculate as to what his job was) then Gus chips in;  Gus: I spotted him playing the piano in a strip club and liked the look of his cap sleeved T shirt. There is no arguing with the logic in that.

Quizmaster Kyle: When did you launch Guerilla?

Gus: When we were younger. Ian: April 2000.

Quizmaster Kyle: What made you decide to set up your own company?

Gus: The desire to create a community, commune if you will, of like-minded professional creative people with integrity, enthusiasm and ability. Ian just wanted a bigger car. Ian: Frustration working at snail’s pace in a west end agency when it was obvious the 21st century demanded fresh ideas with speed of thought and action to go with it. The days of pushing a brief under the creative directors door and waiting two weeks for a scribble back are long gone for us.

Quizmaster Kyle: Did you get into a fight over what to call your agency?

Gus: Only when I refused to let Ian register “Humphreys Funky Creative Bitches” as the name…  Ian: Naked in front of an open fire – I won. This is startling information – we would have put money on a Gus victory in these circumstances.

Quizmaster Kyle: Describe Guerilla in 5 words

Ian: Creative ideas generate impactful advertising Gus: Passionate, inventive, honest, intelligent and fun.

Quizmaster Kyle: What can Guerilla offer that other agencies can’t?

Ian: Nothing – but we do it all better. Why because we love and care about what we do. Gus: Total commitment to providing the best creative solution whilst having fun getting there.

Quizmaster Kyle: How do you settle “creative differences”

Ian: See question 4. (Ian is referring to the naked fireplace fight) Gus: Arm wrestling, table football and giving each other wedgies until one of us cries or splits their pants.

Quizmaster Kyle: What have been the highlights of Guerilla so far?

Gus: Ian’s pants splitting. Ian: The PC answer -Meeting and working with interesting and cool creative people both colleagues and clients. The real answer – Making enough money to build a swimming pool in my garden. (He sensibly omits to mention that he also has “room for a pony”)

Quizmaster Kyle: If you could go back to the start, what would you do differently or what advice would you give yourselves?

Ian: Honestly not a lot, probably to spend less on staff jollies. (That’s true, the annual Guerilla jaunt for cocktails does go to our heads. Magic Steve went AWOL for a whole morning after our most recent night out, he was last spotted weaving his way down Marlow high street and didn’t turn up until lunch time the next day) Gus: Don’t be in a hurry, enjoy the journey

Quizmaster Kyle: What will you be doing to celebrate this momentous birthday?

Ian: See answer 9. Ian reiterates that he won’t be spending anything on staff jollies to celebrate – I make a note to bring in my own party poppers. Gus: Cheese and onion crisps. Gus misunderstands the question and becomes distracted with the lure of beige food.

Quizmaster Kyle: What’s next for Guerilla?

Ian: Pitching for my dream account – Pole Position the international lap dancing agency. Gus: Form a political party, challenge the accepted norm, grow beards and fight crime.

So there you have it, the masterminds behind Guerilla allow me to unravel the mystery of our beginnings. Here’s to another 13 years. It’s been emotional!

Feel free to get in touch with the Guerilla’s to see what unique twist we can put on your brand communications. We’d always love to hear from you, no naked wrestling required!

Ian & Gus - The masterminds behind Guerilla.

Gus & Ian – The masterminds behind Guerilla.