Alan Cooper

Co-Founder and New Business Director of Freestyle.

Freestyle is a digital product studio. Creating clarity from complexity we deliver products, apps, tools, platforms and services to create memorable brand experiences focused on outcomes not outputs.

And the version without marketing speak; we’re a bunch of passionate, close knit creative technologists who love nothing more than getting under the skin of a really tough client problem, and create brilliant digital products to solve it. All done in the best agency culture I’ve ever seen.

Can you tell us about your career background and how you got to the position you are in today?
Started in Advertising from Uni as a trainee account planner. Moved to run their inhouse video studio, then left to start my own video production company. Ran that for 6 years then split from my partners and started Freestyle with a focus on new tech in video.
25 years ago!

What or who inspired you to achieve the success you have had?
A totally unsung hero in the accounts department at the ad agency taught me about how to manage money, VAT, budgeting, profit. She had no idea how valuable her knowledge was. That gave me a commercial understanding from day 1 and helped me avoid so many early disasters.
Everything else just sort of happened.

What’s the best part of your job?
Learning about a new prospect client – and of course seeing the freestyle team reaction when they announce the win (it’s always the team who pitched who announce it, never me).

What types of projects are you working on right now?
Digital products and apps. A lot of it still founded in websites but the product side is more interesting in terms of the client outcomes we are working towards

Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
Everywhere. Without exception.

What are your interests outside of work?
At the moment managing three grown adults in my house who should have left long since but have been flung back by Covid.
And competitive swimming, my passion since childhood I still love to compete and with the right team alongside me, even break a few records.

How do you celebrate success?                         
Not very well. Something I’ve been very poor at – I have a deferred gratification block, maybe when I finally sell up one day I’ll let myself congratulate me.

What career advice would you give your younger self
Learn about what networks are and how powerful they can be. Be curious, don’t worry about making mistakes or taking risks. Follow your dream, not just what’s expected of you. Be happy and don’t take yourself – or life – too seriously.

Are you a hunter or a gatherer?
Absolutely a hunter. I love the process of growing and nurturing a relationship but always with a view to how to convert it to a sale.

What are you watching on TV?
Queens Gambit. And Masterchef – but I don’t know why.

What two items would you have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
My wife (we are an item, right?)
An extremely powerful laser powered flare.

Want to attend the next event?

We’re always open to meeting new connections, so if you are an agency owner or senior leader within an agency please do get in touch.