Fishtank turns 15!

Posted: 02/12/2022

Author: Fishtank

Remember what the world felt like when you were 15? 

Sure, it was tricky. Teenage years can be a nightmare for some. 

But the air felt electric and every day tasted like a new opportunity.

As we’re turning 15 in the next few weeks – you may have seen the social posts – as a creative exercise, we all started reflecting on our careers, the paths we’ve chosen, the business we genuinely love to work within and the challenges we are excited to welcome. (You can find these personal glimpses of reflection on our Linkedin profiles, which we strongly encourage you to do, they will not disappoint). But the story wouldn’t be complete without a little trip down memory lane, looking back at how it all started 15 years ago.

It was 15 years ago that Damien gave up his dream of being the sixth member of Take That and took a huge leap of faith, setting up his own creative agency armed with a thin laptop and big dreams. He loves to tell us about his unpaid internship at the renowned Attik Agency and his years at Uni spent in Yorkshire Sculpture Park (it’s alright for some!) – and we’re sure he undoubtedly developed his great design skills there – but it was the years just after setting up his business that shaped his career and his direction for Fishtank more than anything else.

If you know our team, you know he wasn’t alone for long – once Joe joined him 12 years ago, they started building up the company portfolio and the team. After two developers, Chris and Barry joined in the consecutive years, Fishtank added web development to its growing list of services and started working with more clients across the globe. With our clients at the time consisting of expanding brands like Extract Technology, Chicopee, Berry Global, MESH, Wigan Warriors, Bierkeller and Hull KR, the demands for marketing support soon started growing and Damien quickly realised the team needed to grow too. Setting up a department dedicated to account management and adding a digital marketing skill set to the business was the natural progression for the agency. 

This natural, organic growth of Fishtank, with more creative challenges, more satisfying projects, more pitches won and clients made happy, has led to multiple award nominations, a couple of cheeky wins and, even more satisfyingly, countless referrals – the best compliment an agency can receive from a client. 

But life happens – and usually chaotically, everywhere and all at once – and in the summer of 2017 the Fishtank team had a big changeover. 3 team members left, 4 new joined and suddenly the cool office space on the bottom floor of Damien’s house started feeling too small for all that new, fresh creativity. He waved a magic wand and found the most perfect, magical place in a historical mill, in the middle of Wheatley Park in Mirfield. With a strong team of Joe, Paul, Claire, Ola, Gemma, Mike and Craig and an inspiring creative space to invite clients to, we felt we could do anything. We rebranded as an integrated agency and started pitching for bigger and better projects… And the rest is history.

Growing from a one-man band into a boundary-pushing team made up of designers, developers, digital marketers, and account managers… It has for sure been one crazy journey for both Damien and the team. And we can promise it’s not stopping anytime soon.

It only feels like yesterday we celebrated our 10th birthday with Tank Talks, filling guests up with Fish and Chips and craft beer and now here it is – our fifteenth year. Our quinceañera. It’s got to be more special – it’s a big one world, so we’re going all out. 

As we don’t like to do things by halves, we are celebrating from November through to January, so keep your eyes peeled for all the activities, collaborations and competitions we have planned. The ‘15’ anniversary logo and the accompanying identity, developed by our Head of Design, Joe and his team, will be a visual signature for the 15th-anniversary events and celebrations, featuring in all relevant communications.

And since we’re big believers in living while you’re young (remember how it felt to be 15?…), we made ourselves a ‘15 before 15’ bucket list, It might not be all sex, drugs and rock’n’roll – but it’s definitely bringing us all together, whether for a good cause or just to have some fun.

We’ve already ticked off one of our 15 by watching the first England World Cup match together in the office, and have plans in the works to complete another item by learning how to make pizza together, taking lessons from our new client Proove Pizza! While the rest of our bucket list is still a secret, we will be sharing the challenges and indulgences with you as they happen, through our social media and our blogs.

As we’re not the type to shy away from shouting about the wonderful organisations we work with, we’re incredibly proud to have Sheffield Hospitals Charity as our charity of choice for some of the fundraising we’re going to be doing as part of our bucket list! Watch this space for more information on our ‘15 before 15’ and follow us on social media to join in our celebratory bucket list adventure. 

Well done, Damien! Here’s to many more years 🥂

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