Our Story

Take a seat, relax and gather round the Campfire. This is our journey so far and we think its fair to say its been quite the ride... It all started with two people...
Campfire Values

campfire values

Meet Alex: Campfire’s CCO

Alex Brown (Our now CCO) had always been interested in getting reactions from friends, making videos and creating stories. Developing his own content through his late teens, this interest transformed into fascination when social platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram started to flourish into storytelling mechanisms.

With these platforms booming, Alex started asking ‘What makes good content and stories online? How do you keep people's attention on a news feed when everyone else is scrapping for that same attention?’.

To develop his knowledge and content skills, Alex joined one of the fastest growing social media agencies in the UK after showing incredible potential with content creation and production…

Meet Joe: Campfire’s CEO

Joe Gradwell (Our now CEO) was a maths and finance major at Leeds University, who in his spare time developed a rather atypical fascination with growing social media pages online, using photo editing and design skills to create some of the biggest pages on Twitter and Facebook, accumulating 3 million followers from his dorm room.

With a number of other upcoming content creators on Twitter, Joe created some very prestigious and large online pages and would soon drop out of university to join one of the one of the fastest growing social media agencies in the UK...

Getting

Started:

You guessed it. Alex and Joe met working at the same company, Social Chain in 2018.

Immediately sharing passions, interests, a sense of humour and a healthy rivalry, Joe and Alex started creating and growing some of the biggest pages on social media (Gamebyte, SPORF, Student Problems to name a few).

As time passed and their leadership roles grew, the pair started to envision a new kind of agency, an agency that was cutting-edge and vibrant, innovatively creating ways in which branded content can mould to be much more native to each individual platform, withholding traditionally good values and beliefs.

Integrity. Honesty. And simply... Just be a good person.

And at the end of January 2019, they left their current roles and Campfire was started.

Joe and Alex started by trying to attract clients. After months of emailing, DMing and calling, the pair landed their first opportunity in October 2019…

With none other than the clothing giant Missguided. No pressure.

In their first pitch campaign with the clothing brand, Joe and Alex created a social storm, creating Missguided history as the brand trended #1 on Twitter in the UK and GLOBALLY on Black Friday 2019 - the busiest online shopping day in history to date.

Not bad for two guys working in an office this size.

Lift off! Surely going into the new year of 2020 things would be this great, forever…

Lockdown!

And so, as the team and client list began to grow, with hiring incredibly talented people such as Sophie Angel (Accounts), Liam Davies (Paid) and Chloe Millward (Influencer) the COVID-19 Pandemic hit - sending the advertising industry into uncertain mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing chaos. Hardly ideal for a start-up less than a year old.

Joe and Alex assured all newly onboarded clients that if they required a reduction in spending or needed to cut ties to save costs, then they would fully understand - Campfire would try to rebuild and adapt to the ‘new normal’ in whichever way we could.

Thankfully, understanding was returned by all new clients and, as a result, in 2020 Campfire started to go from strength to strength whilst working from home as a growing team.

We signed a number of amazing clients including The INKEY List, an incredible skincare who saw unbelievable results as part of a groundbreaking TikTok influencer strategy, becoming the most followed skincare brand on TikTok.

This formulated amazing leads for the agency and attracted even more high-level brands who wanted to utilise Campfire's instinctive and scientific knowledge of the platform, despite the continuing uncertainty through two further lockdowns throughout the year.

This obviously meant more hires...

Lots more hires.

At the start of 2021, we were able to move into our brand new office space at Anchorage Quay Media City with a team of 15. We didn’t stop there.

The team and client list continued to grow - including the likes of Tangle Teezer, St. Tropez, Dermalogica and MODA. And soon, with a winter of COVID behind us, we were able to enjoy each other's company again with our first ever team social in July 2021 as a team of 25 and thankfully a Christmas party in early December of 2021 as a team of 30.

The year didn’t stop there however, we were also awarded several awards for our outstanding work in 2021, being nominated for multiple Digiday and Digiday Marketing and Advertising Awards, including Best Use of TikTok, Best New Product/Launch Campaign and Agency of the Year.

Whilst also winning two awards at the Global Content Awards 2020 for Global Influencer/Celebrity Campaign of the Year and Best Global Social Media Content Campaign of the Year

We also managed to achieve Best Beauty Campaign at the Prolific North Awards… Attending our first ever Awards ceremony as an agency.

And that has led us here.

After the hardship of firstly leaving good roles, starting a business, chasing clients and the small matter of a worldwide pandemic, we have learned an awful lot ourselves, our work and our people and as a group, we developed our mission statement going into 2022.

Our mission is to guide brands through new social territories. To take their story, and translate it into the new and different ways their audiences listen now.

And we will always be the best at this, for as long as we strive to understand why people do what they do online.

As a team of 30 now,

our story is just the beginning...