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Interview: Floyd Hayes – NYC based Ideas Crafter

Floyd Hayes
New York based Ideas Crafter



What do you tell your parents you do for a living?


What do you really do for a living?

Devise Marketing ideas and make them happen

Give an Example

FOR EXAMPLE: International hotel group “Yotel” approached me to devise an experience for their guests. The hotel were renovating their public area. A 30ft drywall had been placed between the construction work and the rest of the social area.

The brief was to use the wall to:

  • Create a fun experience for guests
  • Support the brand (playful)
  • Create some PR value (earned media and social content)
  • Be cost effective

My Idea:

  • My idea was to cover the wall with lego.
  • Invite guests to create lego pictures on the wall
  • Take a pic and post to the (then new) Instagram
  • Hashtag the pic and get a free weekend via a social media sweepstakes
  • I devised and brought in the production team.


  • Hundreds of guest entries 
  • Approx 3 million dollars of “earned media” including The TImes and CNN as well as trade coverage

Here’s a picture:

For more see http://www.floydhayes.com/#/yotel-installation/

Miles, this was pretty much my perfect gig – it plays in the space between real life and digital, it also provided utility “useful marketing” as I like to call it.

How has your work changed or not from non digital to digital to both?

I work in real world experiences and use digital to amplify those experiences

Define the perfect client?

A perfect client wants to create genuinely weird and wonderful experiences for the public. They love my thinking and allow me to “be myself”

A perfect client is a human being, someone I can break bread with. 

They are smart and honest

They make me push myself creatively

They are good humored 

They also pay within a reasonable time frame

How do your clients determine your value? Ex media exposure, what else?

Various ways, often:

  • Earned media coverage (which can have a equivalent ad space dollar value attributed)
  • Social media (views, likes, shares)
  • General brand elevation (they know if it is on brand and if it has helped their cause)
  • Positive word of mouth
  • Foot traffic – both at the physical experience and passing traffic “ambient views”
  • Web traffic
  • Last but certainly not least, sales.  

What’s your optimal situation?

I like to dip in and out of creative flow, both on my own and with small brainstorm groups. I also like to move about.  Desk for a bit, walk for a while, change up the environment, keep stimulated.

Freelance or staff?

I want to be on staff now but I love a juicy project too.

Initially, I wanted to prove that I could do what I do via my own tenacity and skill, I’ve now proved I can and would love to work in a full time role again, but for the right people.

This may be related to “perfect client” but…

Only two clients have ever asked me this, and it was a smart question and one I greatly appreciated as it should actual thought and respect re: The Creative Process. Is this how best to manage creativity?

“How do you like to work?”

Simple but important.

I’m talking about the big ad agencies here:

Often an Account person is charged with managing creative people. From an account point of view it makes sense to get all the creative people together in a “war room” and brainstorm all day until the “big idea” arrives.  

It’s a smart use of creative resources, space and time.

Expect it may be the very worst way to get the creative juice flowing.

Don’t get me wrong, when a big Co pays my day rate and insists on an all day brainstorm starting at 8 in the morning… I smile and get on with it. Try my best.

But it’s not how I want to work and it’s not the best method of generating the best thinking….


Reach Floyd Hayes
+1(917) 684 1870
Fun and Effective

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