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Sunday comes of age


18. As Sunday becomes a fully-fledged adult, our founders look back at what they’ve learned, discovered and are most proud of after 936 Sundays of business success, award wins and awful fancy dress.

Toby Smeeton, Managing Director

  1. Learned: I’ve come to terms with the name of the agency. During a session in the pub 18 years ago we scored potential names on the understanding that the name with the most points would be chosen. ‘Sunday’ won, and my heart sank. I’ve embraced it now, although I think ‘Sundae’ would have been better.
  2. Learned: A coach once told me that after the Hoover Dam was built, much to scientists’ amazement, non-local species were found in the water. The coach used the phrase ‘create the environment, and the creature appears’ as a metaphor for company culture. I hope that at Sunday we’ve created an environment that is inclusive and human, supportive rather than top-down, and one where low-ego, creative creatures can appear.
  3. Discovered: Imposter syndrome never goes away (and is at its worst when standing up in front of the agency) so I’ve learned to try and ignore it. I’m still waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, “Oh no, not you, not this, what were you thinking? Bugger off!”
  4. Learned: Curiosity, creativity and oomph (as my mother would say) are critical to a successful agency. Life is short – keep moving, keep learning, stay interested and interesting. Crack on!
  5. Discovered: Playing to people’s strengths rather than forcing them to be people they’re not super-charges teams. I hated being told what I needed to improve when I knew I wasn’t wired that way. Complementary and diversely skilled teams are very powerful.
  6. Proud: I’m so grateful that 18 years ago, we thought that possibly, just possibly, we might be able to create a business that delivered great work, might be solvent, and could be a lot of fun. We do, it is, and it remains so.

Steph Hill, Client Services Director

  1. Discovered: I’ve been working with Toby and Chris for 28 years, which is 16.1 years longer than the average UK marriage.
  2. Proud: The Serco pitch win (the fastest agency appointment in history).
  3. Discovered: Chris once dressed up as a near-naked Jesus for a fancy dress party. 17 years later I still can’t unsee it.
  4. Proud: The Welcome Inclusion Campaign for ICAEW – 6 award wins and countin
  5. Discovered: Despite the posh persona, Toby turns into Jim Davidson when talking to London taxi drivers.
  6. Proud: The fabulous CLV stats on OcadoLife magazine – it’s a joy to be able to track print ROI!

Chris Lee, Finance and HR Director

  1. Proud: Client retention – we are doing good work.
  2. Proud: Staff retention – we have created a good agency environment.
  3. Proud: Successful migration from print to digital, social, video, audio…
  4. Proud: Seamless(ish) migration from 60 people working in the office to 60 people WFH when lockdowns hit.
  5. Proud: That (almost) all our clients are household names.
  6. Discovered: Toby and casual attire are not happy bedfellows.

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