Ed Chilcott’s experience in the creative industry has seen him work in a range of roles with stints at top agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leagas Delaney and Malcolm Moore Deakin Blayze, where he led a team to the high profile European MTV account win.

His love of all things sport saw him team up with global football legends Beckham and Zinedine Zidane in 1999 for adidas and in 2003 he decided to set up creative agency The Minimart with fellow creative Tim Clyde.

Below he tells us about what inspires him today, including planetary playlists, seven-week old smiles and how managing his own business gives him a deeper understanding of his clients.

What’s the best ad campaign you’ve seen recently?

Freeview Left Behinds. Not sure the brand message is particularly clear, but with an idea this good you’re going to get a positive response. It makes me want to dig out my old action man and give him a hug.

What website(s) do you use most regularly and why?

Design Taxi, BBC news for the real world and various iPlayers to then escape from it all.

What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?

A Nest Thermostat. I love the idea of taking the mundane and turning it into something beautiful. It’s amazingly tactile and reminds me of the first time I got my hands on an iPod. Treating something so every day to this sort of design flair sets a new creative baseline for all design.

Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. I rediscovered it after a five year absence to stay in touch with cycling friends (Fireflies) and now my missus says I’m like a teenager again…

What’s your favourite app on your phone?

I’m a cyclist so Strava lets me plot my rides. On my iPad it’s Planetary by Bloom Studios, which turns your iTunes into a universe of stars, planets and moons representing bands, albums and tracks. It’s visually stunning.

What’s your favourite TV show and why?

Ray Donovan. Liev Schrieber is one of my favourite actors and the show oozes cool.

What film do you think everyone should have seen and why?

Sunshine by Danny Boyle. Sci-fi with an Underworld soundtrack. Brilliant.

Where were you when inspiration last struck?

Waking up this morning to my seven-week old daughter smiling at me.

What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it?

Digitisation has revolutionised everything we do and how we do it. While it makes our lives easier and more ‘efficient’, I do feel it has come at the cost of some of the craft.

It’s too easy to hit backspace at any time and tweak until it’s deemed ‘right’. While safer, it does take some of the risk out of advertising. Before digitisation, you had to make a call and stand by it. This was accepted by clients who were likewise braver. It made for some of the most startling and genius advertising of our time.

If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

Restore the agency/client balance to where it was 15 years ago when clients respected agencies strategically and creatively and rewarded them accordingly. That respect has eroded over the last decade. Advertising has become too much of a service industry at the expense of the creativity we should be bringing to a brand. It’s too much about who will do it cheapest. While that may make the FD happy, the only thing that will ultimately suffer is the brand, and, importantly our industry and its ability to attract talent.

What or who has most influenced your career and why?

Setting up The Minimart 11 years ago has been the single most influential thing. It reframes your view of client business and the pressures they face when you have the pressures of running your own.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know…

I nearly quit advertising to retrain as a doctor.

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