Ollie Burton's tag line is "Content, Done Differently." A bold statement in the age of content saturation, but this time it rings true. Ollie consistently takes brand collaborations and turns them into something out of this world. Whether it's inspired by his childhood, or by his other career as an actor and model, Ollie has the ability to take a brand brief to the next level for the likes of Disney, Oral B, Oral B and BrewDog. Read on to find out more about him, his career and his striking resemblance to a particular Harry Potter spin off character...
How and why did you get into content creation?
I have been a ‘photographer’ using film and digital cameras since I was 11. It all started as a hobby walking around the Forest of Dean with my good friend (and now very successful photographer) Chris Fairweather, then publishing our work to Flickr. In my later teens I photographed weddings, musicals and landscapes. The camera gathered dust as I went through drama school, and then in the summer of 2016 Instagram gave my interests and passion for photography a new lease of life while on tour with The Commitments - documenting my journey around the UK before returning to London and diving into the Mens Fashion blogging world. From Men’s fashion, I began to incorporate creative elements into my photographs (with some spectacularly awful photoshop editing) but it was the fact it was starting to deviate and try something new that really spurred me on to create more.
We love all the Newt Scamander vibes, what drew you to that character?
I created a Harry Potter Quidditch inspired piece a while back, and Harry Potter fans that picked up on the image from related hashtags, and mentioned there was and Eddie Redmayne resemblance. I thought nothing of it at the time until the Fantastic Beasts premier in London, where the idea was brought up again. So, a few weeks later I pulled together a look-alike costume with the help of Ted Baker, my friend Jamie Cullen (thanks for the jacket pal) and a cheeky purchase from a Wizarding World merchandise website, and we had it! My first take on Newt!
Your style is very recognisable in the world of influencers, where do you find your inspiration?
It is so difficult to establish your own ‘voice & style’ in such a saturated market - there are SO many incredible creators out there that I find new inspiration daily on Instagram and Pinterest. From the magic of Disney to the sleek style of the adverts you see in GQ Magazine, I will always be playing with creativity somewhere in the middle of the two.
What collaborations have excited you in the past and what are you looking forward to?
Firstly, I just want to say thank you to all the brands that have partnered with me from day one of this adventure to today. Every single collaboration has excited me at the time I was creating for it - of course there are some that presented greater challenges, but every collaboration has allowed me to develop my skills and try new things to push the content I create further and further which is what it is all about for me. Two stand-out’s have to be: Partnering with Disney for the launch of Toy Story 4; flying out to Florida to be with the cast of the film, watch the film and experience Toy Story Land after hours (I saved that trip as a story highlight @byollieb). The other was working with W London commercially to produce their new assets for the hotels latest refurbishment.
What do you think are the key ingredients are to a successful collaboration?
- Passion for the brand on a personal and/or business level
- Clear communication between both parties to avoid re-shooting
- A happy deal for both parties, you never want to start a collaboration feeling one side of the deal has it better than the other
- A happy client. Even if that means re-doing everything from scratch, replying to emails when I should be asleep because the client is based overseas or hot-spotting my laptop to my phone to update a dropbox folder when on holiday
- Detailed Reporting: It’s always contracted (and so it should be), but a clear report of screenshots of insights from posts, stories and your account to feedback your works performance is essential - even if the picture is super pretty
- Repeat business
How would you describe your aesthetics?
I’d like to think my images are: Colourful, Bright & Creative.
Who was your biggest influence growing up?
The man that created the most magical place on earth; Walt Disney. I have watched ‘Walt before Mickey’ about 50 times.
Favourite city to work in?
What improvements could be made to influencer marketing?
That more brands & agencies hold creativity/production value in the same esteem they do followers/likes.
What's been your favourite piece of work to date?
Either my entry for Bronte’s #ObjectProject_Book as Newt Scamander - couldn’t believe that I won! Or the recent works for W Hotel (coming soon).
Creators on Instagram that are killing it?
Favourite Five: @cassiesamji, @justauniform, @paperboyo, @Sienna.and.i, @hawkinsandshepherd
How do you switch off?
I can’t - not fully. But being by the sea is when I feel most away from it all.
How do you decide what to share and what to keep private?
Trial and error - I used to overshare, my stories had no narrative or cohesion. So now I have a personal page @0llieBurton and my creative page @ByOllieB that has helped me separate the funny/silly videos from my professional work. It’s also important to respect the privacy of those that I’m close to that don’t want to be featured at all, other than Housemate Tom - he has no say (he does love it really).
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Whatever 'the crowd' are doing, do something different - they might look like they know what they are doing, but they don’t - no one does. That, and trust less.
Something you couldn't live without…
My family - they will always be what matters most.
What words sum up your job title?
If I were to sum up my entire freelance ‘portfolio’ the job title ‘Producer’ would cover most basis. My three streams of income are primarily as a; Content Creator, Model & Actor.
Thanks, Ollie! Be sure to follow him here.