What we do

We create high-value brand thinking and execution for challenger brands, everything from a craft brewery to a fintech startup. We work with the businesses who challenge the status quo – those who reject the traditional world in favour of building a new one.

We’re not an advertising agency; we don’t have the endless bureaucracy, unnecessary overhead, layers of foot soldiers and excessive fees it takes to qualify as one. Instead, we’ve stripped all of that away to provide the thing that really adds value: The senior talent. Agile, collaborative, globally experienced, awarded and fully engaged.

We’re a new kind of creative company passionate about building the significant brands of tomorrow. Welcome to The Builders Arms – let’s build something better together.

PensionBee

Emotional Relevance

We love creating great advertising execution no matter what the channel – whether that’s digital, social, TV, radio, outdoor. However, we passionately believe that you can’t create great execution unless you first have a great idea to fuel it.

So we work with one or more of our senior planning partners to create a unique and proprietary strategic thought. Then we prod, poke, push and pull that thought until we’ve shaped it into an idea that’s relevant, resonant and disruptive. We call it the ‘emotionally relevant’ idea. It‘s the idea that’s going to motivate the consumer to engage with your brand.

We see it as a collaborative process. We’re open. That’s why we champion the use of workshops where both agency and client can throw ideas around to test their stretch and elasticity until we feel we’ve found that emotionally relevant idea. Then, and only then, do we execute.

Clients

Work

About us

We’ve got a lot of years in the business behind us at famous agency names like Leo Burnett, Lowe, BBDO, TBWA, the Jupiter Drawing Room and JWT. Awarded and globally experienced we have some of the biggest brand names on our collective resume. Names like Unilever, P&G, Electrolux, SABMiller, Mercedes Benz, Heineken, Coca-Cola, AEG, Saab, Marriott, Ericsson and Philips.

And when we say ‘globally experienced’ we really mean it. Between us we have lived (paid taxes, caught public transport and been required to know the price of a loaf of bread and pint of milk) in London, Hong Kong, New York, Madrid, Chicago, Stockholm, Toronto, Prague and Johannesburg.

Simply Business

The Team

Dominic Slade

Business Partner

“We’ve never had so many ways of getting the message to the consumer. So it’s never been more important to have something compelling to say when it gets there” (click for more about me.)

Dominic Slade

Dominic-SladeKicking off my career in South Africa, I was fortunate to learn my trade across well known local and global brand such as Johnnie Walker, Bells, Bakers Biscuits, Opel, HSBC, Coca-Cola, Dell and Dulux.

After spending time on the client side, I made a move through to Europe to take charge of the Lowe Group in the Czech Republic. I spent nearly 4 years building a strong presence for Lowe in the region winning large global, pan-European and local business including Unilever global margarine brands, AEG, Zanussi, Lukoil and SABMiller incorporating Gambrinus and Frisco.

This success prompted a move to Lowe Worldwide to take up a global Unilever role running oral care (Mentadent, Signal, Pepsodent and Close-up) as well as a Director role across the Central Eastern Europe region.

I am a firm believer that everything we do, no matter how large or small and irrespective of category and channel, has to be built around an idea.

Basil Mina

Creative Partner

“We’re really just talking to people one-on-one, one at a time. Keep it simple.” (click for more about me.)

Basil Mina

Basil-MinaI have spent most of my career living and working globally; Cape Town, Johannesburg, Toronto, Hong Kong, Chicago, Johannesburg again, Prague, Madrid and finally London.

Most of this time was spent with Leo Burnett, with stops at TBWA and Lowe along the way.

I’ve worked on P&G, Electrolux, AEG, Unilever, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Pilsner Urquell, Molson Canadian Lite, Reebok, Fruit of the Loom, McDonalds, Eurotel, SA Brewries, Regent International Hotels, Nashua, Coca-Cola and many, many more.

I sat on the jury at Clio, Eurobest, Hong Kong Kam Fan awards, Addy’s and more. I chaired the Moscow International Awards & the Golden Rose (festival of New Europe).

I was Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett EMEA, and Global Creative Director on Knorr and Unilever Household.

No matter where in the world I’ve been, no matter what city, no matter what continent – I’ve found one thing to be true. You’ll never achieve great advertising unless you first find a great idea to feed it.

If you’d like to see some work from my previous life, view our portfolio page here.

Steven Hanratty

Creative Partner

“I think it’s ironic that in an industry overloaded with needless rocket-science and complexity, the best ideas are always incredibly simple.” (click for more about me.)

Steven Hanratty

Steven-HanrattyI’ve spent much of my career living and working in New York and London, mostly on global brands. I’ve worked significantly in Stockholm and flirted with Chicago, Prague and Madrid working for JWT, Wells Rich Greene New York, Lowe New York, Leo Burnett London, Lowe Stockholm and Lowe London.

I was Global Creative Director on Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care at Leo Burnett and I was Western European Creative Director on Unilever’s biggest global brand, Knorr at Lowe London. Where we implemented a whole new brand positioning that went live in every territory across the globe.

I’ve worked on brands as many and varied as Mercedes Benz, Ericsson, Electrolux, Bailey’s, Saab, KPMG, Heineken, Marriott, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Chase, Channel 4 and many more. And I’ve won awards for many of them.

I’m an advocate of true integration. You don’t have a viable idea unless it embraces all disciplines and platforms. And I believe that whatever we do, it should be strategic, disruptive and if at all possible, beautiful.

And more than anything else – effective.

If you’d like to see some work from my previous life, view our portfolio page here.

There’s no ‘client side.’ And there’s no ‘agency side.’ Because frankly, we’re in this together. We’re open and collaborative because for us, that’s the only way to do business.

Moncada Brewery

Contact

Since Dominic is the ‘suit’ then he’s the man to contact: dominic@buildersarms.com

The Builders Arms Creative Partnership.
32 York Way, London. N1 9AB

Why the Builders Arms?

It struck us, as we sat sipping coffee (and other libations) in the Builders Arms in Kensington that pubs are the original social experience. A communal place where conversations are had and stories are told. It’s there we realised that’s how a creative company should be. Not fixed or rigid but wonderfully fluid. Where people create and contribute and then go on their way, leaving room for others to add their particular flavour and distinctiveness to the work we do.

This seemed a more appropriate reflection of the marketing landscape we find ourselves in with its multitudinous channels and platforms. To drive business and brands forward today’s creative agency must embrace a truer form of openness that only comes with genuine collaboration. Solving business problems in a social context. Harnessing all that diverse, potent creativity for a purpose – to build something better for our clients, and for us. And so that became the name of our company – we are The Builders Arms – let’s build something better together.