Creative marketing agency: Q&A with our CEO

In light of Boss’s Day, we’re celebrating the CEO of our creative marketing agency, Vivid Creative. Gerry Arcari, Founder and CEO, speaks about the time Vivid Creative was formed reminiscing on milestones achieved, client work and wins, and valuable learning points.

Get to know our CEO and learn more about Vivid Creative in the Q&A below.

CEO of creative marketing agency


What is National Boss’s Day? 

National Boss’s Day is recognised globally across many industries to celebrate leaders of the workplace. The day is celebrated every year on the 16th of October. 

History of National Boss’s Day

The national day was started in the US in 1958 by Patricia Bays Haroski. Patricia registered National Boss’s Day as a holiday with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in honour of her father and employer. 

The idea of the holiday was to improve employer and employee relationships and recognise the hard work bosses put into their jobs and businesses. Since then, National Boss’s Day has gained popularity and is celebrated across the world every year.

How is National Boss’s Day celebrated?

This day is seen as a time of appreciation and celebration. Some employees may give their bosses cards or gifts or write appreciation posts. Just like us! 


Q&A with the CEO

To celebrate National Boss’s Day, we sat down with our CEO at our office in central Kelham Island. We wanted to learn how he has risen to success as the leader of one of the leading digital agencies in the UK and how the agency has grown over the years.


As Founder and CEO of Vivid, why did you start a creative marketing agency?

 “I was working client-side for two outdoor brands and was given the freedom and opportunity to develop within those organisations. 

The outcome of my work saw one of those clients, Rab, grow by 65% and it was that success which led me to want to do it for other companies.

“I thought the route to market was through a marketing perspective rather than operationally. It gave me the opportunity to see into the engine rooms of hundreds of companies.”


What were your initial goals when forming a digital agency?

“The Initial goal was to set up a creative marketing agency in Leeds. We wanted to work with outdoor brands, which we did quickly.”


When was Vivid Creative founded? 

“We were founded in 1999 out of a house in Castleton in the Peak District. But we properly found our feet in 2001 with an office in Leeds. To begin with, we had four people:

  • A web developer
  • A designer
  • A creative director

And myself as MD/Commercial Director. We moved our offices to Sheffield around 2004 and we’ve been situated in Kelham Island since then.”


CEO in the office


How has the agency grown since it first started?

 “There was exponential growth from the get-go. We worked with global brands such as Lowe Alpine International in the outdoor industry [read more about our client work here]. It was a big enough client to help forge our growth and we rapidly grew to 20 people. 

“Since then we have made a conscious decision to stay niche and boutique. It has served us well as other agencies have fallen away.”

In 1999, we set our roots as a brand and creative design agency and we still offer those services today. Branding is at the heart of everything we do. It underpins everything we achieve as an agency. Alongside our web and design services, we can visualise how your brand will work in the digital world.

Our digital teams are hugely experienced in designing, developing and curating websites and digital platforms. From e-commerce solutions to social media campaigns, we design to perform.

Since triumphing in the digital world, we decided it was time to expand our range of services. In 2019, we formed our performance marketing team to offer businesses organic search, social media and paid media services.

In the right hands, organic search can build a long-term legacy for your brand and SEO allows us to build authority. Whilst our paid media services (paid search/PPC) enable brands to elevate their position for core search terms in Google. We do this by carefully managing budgets and bidding strategies to optimise Cost per Click (CPC) and Return on Investment (ROI). 

Our social media management services are similar to SEO in that it’s a long-term investment approach. However, through social media, we direct traffic, build engaging campaigns, and manage your social activity. We also offer email marketing services too!


What has been the biggest challenge?

“The biggest challenge is keeping Vivid relevant and on top of trends and technology. But at the same time not lose touch with our core foundations of what a creative marketing agency is about, our brand strategy and business objectives which modern fledgling agencies don’t have.


Jon Dickens, Ben Overton & Gerry Arcari discussing strategy in the Vivid meeting room


What has been the most significant learning point as CEO? 

“As a good CEO, you need to lead from the front and not hide in boardrooms. Surround yourself with the best people who can build client trust.”


What is your favourite client case study?

“The rebranding of Boutinot Wines in Manchester. They were founded by Paul Boutinot in the early 1980s. We worked with them around 2012 to re-position them to be the go-to left-field wine merchant. 

“Following the rebrand, they got the accreditation of Wine Merchant of the Year for five or six years in a row. Their turnover went from £50m to £106m, which led to a management buyout.”


What is your favourite milestone since starting Vivid?

“Being ranked the best B2B Brand Strategy Agency in the UK in 2019. We are now in the top 20 of the same list in 2022.”


Vivid's James Ayliff, Gerry Acari and Jon Dickens as RAR Award winners 2017


What are your hobbies outside of work?

“I have been an avid climber (rock and ice), skier, mountaineer, cyclist and all-round outdoor enthusiast. However, since Covid, I have been taking a break.”


Our CEO climbing


How would you describe Vivid Creative?

“Vivid is the best creative marketing agency in the region. We’re a go-to boutique agency for brands who want results. We have had national recognition and we work globally with clients, we’re a multi-faceted team all with a common goal to light up our client brands.”


What does the future look like for Vivid Creative?

The future is bright. We are ever-changing and agile to meet the demands of our clients now and in the future.”


Work with a creative marketing agency

If you found this Q&A interesting and would like to know us better, get in touch today. We can help you with all things creative and marketing. As an advertising agency, we can help your brand burn brighter. With branding, digital strategy, web design, performance marketing and more. Contact us or call 01142 21 21 21.

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