I’m Stu Harkness. AKA Stubacca. Wookie. Bigfoot. And a myriad of other Sasquatch related ridicule. Born with a full beard and size 47 feet.
Way back when I studied film + psychology, plus ran a student rag for a couple of years. But got into writing and photographing stuff, while being in a team of people batting around dumb ideas. That hasn’t changed. I’ve always loved collaborating with like minded folk. And unlike minded ones too. The varied creative work here is testament to that, plus the fact countless other people were involved. Thanks to all.
I grew up playing football. Captained Queens Park Rangers' youth side, before losing 7-0 to Arsenal and the whole squad being swiftly booted out. At that juncture I realised I may be better off writing about sport than actually playing it.
So I fell into advertising and wound up studying at Watford. The course tutor Tony Cullingham is a nutcase. But loves leftfield ideas. Leicester City. And a solid work ethic. All of which he drilled into us kids like a Jamie Vardy volley. And I still try to practice today.
I cut my teeth on PlayStation, Adidas and an array of other stuff in the late 90’s at TBWA. And learnt that being provocative is fun. But even better with a purpose. Awards are overrated. Doing stuff people talk about is a better metric.
Advertising is archaeology. Dig hard enough and you can find the truth. Scratch the surface and you won't unearth much interesting material. There's always a story to be told. And the ways to now share them mind boggling.
I spent a decade at Wieden + Kennedy. 8 in London. 2 in Portlandia. Plus a brief stint as a guest in the Amsterdam office during the 2010 World Cup. Most of that time Creative Directing on Nike. And more recently Powerade and Facebook, which taught me tons of new stuff.
Summer 2015 I moved back to Europe to become an ECD at 72andSunny Amsterdam, helping oversee a veritable feast of amazing accounts and people, including adidas and Samsung globally, while helping grow the office to 200 people.
Growth has been a consistent theme in my career, whether it be for a client’s business, helping develop talent internally or personal growth too. Which is why I recently left 72 to do my own thing; dividing my time between writing long form content for TV and film and doing select projects with people, agencies and brands that prove interesting.
So if you fall into the latter category always happy to chat.