Happy Memories…

James Chantler
James Chantler

Creative Director

Posted on: 30th Aug. 2023

As Happy approaches another birthday on the 1st September, 18 years in, we asked Creative Director James Chantler for some of his ‘Happiest’ memories and stand out moments.

The name 'Happy' came from a simple list of positive words that Karen had put together, but it soon came to sum up our ambition for the company. If our clients are happy then so are we. To make happy clients, we needed to exceed their expectations. This makes them Happy. It's a positive reinforcement loop. And that’s how the Happy brand was born.

In the early days we would meet clients for the first time and pitch new ideas on a regular basis. 

These days we have a well-established client base and the work has built up over a number of years. Our client relationships are based on quality and trust. They know they can rely on us to deliver.

There are still some challenges, however. Photoshoots can be tough. We rely on the relationship with the photographer to capture our vision and meet everyone's expectations. Until you get that approval... you are on edge. One side of the coin is elation and the other can be despair. 

I've worked with some fantastic people over the years and those experiences of working together, discussing ideas, refining creativity and strategy have helped to create my strong working practices. 

I've loved some of the risky ideas we've pitched. One client who makes playground safety services, comes to mind. We re-named his product from a very technical name to one that was we felt more appropriate for their market. A character called Billy Bounce. This wasn't part of the brief but they absolutely loved the idea and were so onboard we rolled with it. It allowed them to relaunch the product and helped to create a real impact with sales. 

Other times we've pitched ideas and never heard back, suddenly for them to be resurrected a period of time later. But that’s how the business works and you’ve just got to accept that.

Other big challenges have come from managing the transition from a predominately print agency to one that encompasses online media. We’ve had to evolve, change what we do and the way we do it, but our core values remain the same as they always were.

The work that we do is often a big personal investment from a client. They need people to share their enthusiasm, their values and when they see their vision realised it makes them, well, happy. This makes the hard work, planning and effort that we have put in so worth it. It's a ‘Del Monte’ moment. They are happy and so are we.

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James Chantler is a Happy Creative Director and uses his 20+ years in branding and design to delight and surprise customers. He’s been Happy since 2005.



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