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Ian Johnson

Our Big Chief, or “Managing Director & Founder” if we’re being all fancy about it…

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Ian Johnson

Our Founder – 20 years’ experience agency and client-side (ask him for his skincare routine). Does a load of managing and quite a bit of directing. Has WAY too many monitors. Loves a Maccies. Also loves driving. Not a great combo. We’ve told him.

Ian directs all non-photography and videography projects. Aside from being devilishly handsome (he has a Nerf gun to my head), he’s actually a fairly decent marketer as well. Ian’s worked with the likes of Vodafone, Honda Powerboats and Silverstone to make them look and sound much better than they actually are.


How did you end up working in marketing?

As a kid, I was always fascinated with advertising and how it worked. So when a good friend set up a web design business in the early 2000s, I started helping him out with copywriting. This was all pre-social media and we were just about using Windows XP. Yes, I’m that old.

After a stint working at a local agency, I decided I needed to up my game and began a Marketing Masters. It was useful but equally frustrating as it was very heavy on theory rather than practical application.

Shortly after, I landed an exec role at a firm called Fingal in London, working on the Silverstone account for the British Grand Prix. I went on to have some stints working for Honda F1 and Honda Powerboats before moving onto a massive firm, The Marketing Store, working on the Vodafone account. I worked client side for years before taking the leap with Kootoo in 2018.

Favourite project or client you've worked on at Kootoo?

As a project, it has to be the site we did for Adept – a lifestyle agent for professional athletes. As a website, it’s one of the smallest we’ve produced and far from the most expensive. And yet, despite that, I absolutely love it.

When it comes to our favourite client, that has to be SEP Rail Services. We’ve supported them since the day they opened, and they’re an absolute joy to work with. They listen to us, truly valuing what we say and do, and it’s been a joy to watch their meteoric rise. We love it when clients treat us like part of the team, rather than subcontractors.

Tell us something we wouldn't know about you?

Where to start? First off… Lionel Blair once pinched my bum, true fact. I also absolutely detest heights – even looking off a bridge/building on TV can knock me sick. That’s why I leave the photography to Matt!

Who would be your dream client to work with?

It’d have to be a car manufacturer – Aston Martin or Lotus would be an absolute dream.

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