A coffee with Zachary Tranter

Welcome to our new agency profile series. Over a fresh coffee, we’re sitting down with our best and brightest to understand more about what drives the creativity in our teams, and what their daily grind looks like.

This week, we spoke to our US-based Project Director Zachary Tranter from his New York balcony.

Tell us about your perfect morning brew.
My perfect coffee is cold brew with a hint of vanilla to sweeten it and a (heavy) splash of milk.

Can you talk to us about your role at Cheerful Twentyfirst?
As a Project Director, I oversee the many exciting live (and now virtual) events that Cheerful Twentyfirst produces for our clients. I pull in the correct departments for the projects, direct the project teams, liaise with the clients, and ensure that everything is running on time to deliver outstanding experiences. I see myself as the architect of an event, making sure that the structure is sound to design and deliver the most pleasing content possible.

What is your most memorable brand experience?
To me, the most memorable brand experiences are those that create a physical embodiment of a brand. For example, the work that we did for Cannes Lions for BBC Studios and Wall Street Journal really embodied the ethos of those respective brands and created award-winning activations that swept consumers into a bespoke place. Personally, the most memorable brand experience I attended was a secret bodega (that’s the New York equivalent to a convenience store) party for a beverage brand. In the middle of Brooklyn, the brand transformed a warehouse into a bodega with a secret back room. After checking in on an ATM, you’d enter the bodega, which featured fake products to reflect the brand’s identity. If you found the secret back door, you walked into a paradise with upbeat dance music, samples of the brand’s products, and several Instagrammable moments–including a mule-riding GIF booth.

What are you currently working on?
Our longer campaign work has really ramped up. For one project we are producing 34 workshops that will be shown all around the globe over the course of two months. We are also exploring a new format, the ‘unconference’: 24-hours of live virtual content with topics determined by guests as the event starts. My personal favourite though, has been planning a live-stream cooking demonstration from a celebrity chef to our client’s guests, followed by an intimate, on-camera Q&A. 

Who would be your ideal mentor & why?
My ideal mentor would be singer-songwriter, Sara Bareilles. In the past five years, she has shown great decorum and flexibility in her field, writing a Broadway musical alongside creating a television series, recording an album, and, subsequently, making her Broadway debut in the musical she wrote. She knows how to convey emotion in her songs and create music that forces emotions onto the listener; something I aim to emulate with every experiential event. 

Do you have a mantra you live and work by?
My mantra comes from Chef Ferran Adrià, who said, “I want to discover things I don’t know how to do.” Not only does this ignite my curious nature it also reminds me that it’s okay to fail, as long as you move forward to try again, discovering something new along the way.

Look out for the next Cheerful Twentyfirst coffee date soon.

We’ve recently opened a New York office. Read our press release here.