Paul Keen

Job role
Managing Director

How long have you been with 438?
14 years

Where were you before 438?

Which clients do you work on?

Being outside as much as possible

What’s the favourite piece of work you’ve done at 438 and why?
My favourite piece of work is the TV campaign we created and produced for the Japanese owned Uni-ball brand, advertising their new pen that writes and erases. The TV commercial based is on an old Japanese proverb ‘Saru mo ki kara ochiru’ which literally means “even monkeys fall from trees” – after all, we all make mistakes. The campaign introduced a charming 2d cartoon monkey who became a brand property, featuring on future packaging print runs.

The Uni-ball brand had never appeared on TV before and the success saw it run again for two further back to school campaigns. Its reach was further extended when we translated the commercial for Uni-ball’s colleagues in France…proving that our work really does work in any language.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Who has inspired you most in your career?
A client called Steve Collins. A brilliant man who taught me the most important management skills and the importance of being a Client’s partner and not a supplier.

What’s on your desk at work?
Two dog chews (for my son’s huskies, not me). A bottle of Limoncello from a recent trip to Italy, a Sellotape dispenser, other bits of stationery, a cup of tea (always) and my PC.

What was the last book you read?
Behind closed doors, a psychological thriller and first book written by the author B.A.Paris. I couldn’t put it down.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
Croatia has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
La Vina, Deansgate, Manchester. Tapas has to be one of my favourite meals, I love the variety of flavours and the sharing aspect of the meal. I’ve also never tasted a bad Rioja.

If you could meet one famous person – past or present – who would it be?
I’d love to meet Steve Coogan, with his amazing impressions, a fantastic career on TV, the big screen and stage and finding out about all his life lessons would make for a brilliant meeting. Plus, who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon with Alan Partridge?!

How do you relax?
Meet with friends and family at weekends at our local pub. The friendliest, most welcoming place in the North West.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Setting up a new business fourteen years ago, meant putting life on hold for several years. By growing and developing the team, installing good working practices and processes, means that my life can now be lived to the fullest. I also avoid checking emails a couple of hours before bed.

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one else knows.
At 21 years old, I was the youngest leader of a team of volunteers who took 20-30 underprivileged children from Manchester away for a one-week holiday in Wales. The kids had never been away, been on a beach, or ridden a rollercoaster at a theme park. It is one of the most rewarding experiences.