Head of Client Services Dani Bassin talks missing out on interviewing David Beckham, why she thrives on drama and her secret life as a tube geek.
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you?
Not really – every day is different. It’s a constant delicate juggling act between managing client activity – anything from activating campaigns, creating content, pitching ideas, switching between UK and global campaigns – and managing my team.
I always plan for the week but I have to be pragmatic because things drop in really quickly and we have to react and that’s one of our strengths.
What do you like most about your role?
I love the variety and the energetic pace of the agency – some might say I thrive on drama. I’m a very positive person and I love it when we have a big challenge and we come together to figure it out.
One minute I’m advising on corporate comms plans and the next minute helping the team put the finishing touches to a YouTube video – there are so many hats and that’s what I love about my job. It seems like drama but it’s really all just theatre.
You’re celebrating 10 years at TVC – looking back what are some of the highlights over the last decade?
I feel really lucky to have worked with some of the biggest and most well-known brands over a long period of time, the likes of Bacardi, Red Bull and Virgin to name a few. If I had to choose some stand out moments, a couple spring to mind.
One of my first ever campaigns at TVC was working on a high profile initiative in Malawi which saw Ariel, P&G and PSI partner for a Children’s Safe Drinking Water program, with British actress Joely Richardson as the campaign spokesperson. It was the first time I had worked on a campaign where it wasn’t just about beautiful shots, it was about the narrative and weaving in the brand messaging. I learnt a lot about juggling many different stakeholders and third parties. It was my chance to show TVC what I could do.
In 2012, I worked on a campaign around the opening of the Louis Vuitton flagship Maison in Rome. Not only was I working with an amazing luxury brand, we were creating high end filmed content for PR and social purposes. The Maison was built on an historic cinema – a landmark for film lovers in the Eternal City – and we really pushed the boundaries of what we could do, from capturing gorgeous drone shots of the ancient façade to late night filming of the local neighbourhood. We still talk about that campaign…
Working on Red Bull Stratos for three years was the biggie for me – a man jumping from the edge of space and I was there in Roswell to witness it first hand. As part of the production crew, we helped produce and distribute the live stream (it was the most watched live stream of all time) to news rooms all over the world. It was such live drama – it’s probably why I loved it so much.
What has kept you at the agency so long and do you have any regrets?
My role has changed so much as the agency has evolved. Being part of such an entrepreneurial business that is willing to grow and change has been so exciting, and it is constantly energising to be at the forefront of delivering for our clients – from livestreaming from space, to getting BBC Breakfast coverage, to learning how to get the best out of paid social. I’ve loved building relationships with our clients and helping them achieve their comms goals – their success is ours.
My one big regret is missing out on interviewing David Beckham a few years ago. We had an early morning shoot for a children’s food brand and there was a very slim chance David was going to be there. I had an all-night shoot the night before and when my boss said I probably didn’t need to be there I opted to get some extra sleep. And of course David turned up…
What does the next 10 years hold in store?
I never expected to be here for so long – nobody is more surprised than me. Professionally these have been the best years of my life and personally there have been some big milestones too – I got married and had two beautiful children.
I’m just hoping that what’s around the corner is even more exciting and lives up to my dramatic expectations. Maybe I need to pace myself a bit more…
And finally, what are people always surprised to learn about you?
I’m a massive Tube geek! I love the London Underground and am obsessed about Googling pictures of disused stations – I’ve even visited one or two.