Behind the Headlines with 3 Monkeys Zeno’s Tristan Pineiro

Tristan Pineiro, co-head of 3 Monkeys Zeno’s consumer practice, reveals how he got a starter lesson in the importance of branding, recalls his first, unintentional, pitch to a journalist and wonders why “street food” is a thing.

Tristan Pineiro

Tristan Pineiro

Before I reach the office in the morning, I’ve already…
Walked Tuppence, my Jack Russell, spent an hour in the gym, watched the news, checked Twitter and Facebook, had my first breakfast and scanned my e-mails.  I’m definitely a morning person, much to the other half’s dismay.

You’ll mostly find emails about…in my inbox.
All sorts – that’s the beauty of working in an agency, one minute you might be reading about intimate health issues, the next telecoms regulation, followed by trends in fish. It means you always have ‘something’ to add to conversations at dinner parties.

I know I’ve had a good day if…
I have forgotten to have my lunch, and not noticed.

My first job was…
My first unofficial job was doing the washing up in my dad’s restaurant, stood on an upturned Coca-Cola crate so I could reach the sink. Might sound like child labour, but I seem to remember feeling quite important doing it.

My first actual job was as a Saturday sales assistant in a men’s fashion store called Concept Man, in Cheltenham, which was the male version of Chelsea Girl. Everyone turned their nose up at it a bit, because it was seen as very 80s, and this was 1990! I remember one weekend, before a refurbishment, we packed all the clothes up and sent them away. The shop was then transformed and re-branded to a spanking new and as yet unknown River Island. Exactly the same clothes came back, only with different labels in them, and everyone went mad for them – stuff was flying out the door. That was my first lesson in the importance of branding.

I can tell a campaign is succeeding when…
People who aren’t involved in the industry tell me about this thing that they’ve seen, heard or read about, and repeat key messages back to me, unprompted and without knowing I was in any way involved.  That makes me happy.

I eat…when nobody is watching.
A large plateful of my ‘microwave cheat nachos’. An even layer of tortilla chips on a plate, covered in salsa and grated cheese – popped in the microwave for one minute, and Bob’s your uncle. When people are looking, however, it is all about lightly seasoned steamed fish and vegetables, obviously.

The first time I pitched to a journalist…
I didn’t realise what I was doing. I was working on the door of a club night, talking to one of our VIP guests about the great nights we had coming up. Next thing I knew there was a lovely feature published about it. I liked it.

The worst thing anyone has said to me is…
I honestly can’t remember – I have a very selective memory, and can easily forget the bad bits – no point in lingering and festering.

The last book I read was…
Tell All, by Chuck Palahniuk.  Love everything he’s done, want more.

I’ve never really understood why…
Street food is a thing. Particularly when it’s labeled as being from countries that don’t actually do street food. And it’s indoors, with tables and chairs. It’s just daft, and it must end.

If I could go back and talk to my 10-year-old self, I’d say…
Stop wishing your life away – hoping things will hurry up and be done so you can move on to the next one.  Slow down and take it all in, it isn’t a race.  Enjoy the washing up you are doing.

This time next year, I’ll be…
Following the sun around the world in my massive yacht, hosting parties in every port and spending the days eating, visiting new places and generally mucking around in the sea.  I’ll probably see you in Cannes. Honestly, I will.

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