Archive for May, 2008
Soooooo, the Live Honda TV Ad aired last night. Yes, it really was different, engaging and created loads of buzz. It a perfect fit with what Honda stands for as a brand.
The only tiny, tiny thing is, twenty seconds in, all I could think was ‘isn’t that a 5 series BMW?’. I know its probably some high-end Honda, but that’s what popped into my head!
My Dad has always claimed that the older and more experienced you get, the less truly original and creative ideas you are likely to come up with.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. As you enter “we tried that in 1994 and it didn’t work” and “well, it went perfectly well last time round” territory, truly green light type thinking starts to fade away…
I think I’m developing a case of Carrieitis (an allergic reaction to all things Carrie Bradshaw).
Such has been the depth and length of the build up to the new Sex And The City movie that its put me off going to watch it entirely.
When Cynthia Nixon was on Graham Norton’s show the other week he enquired why the premiere was being held in London over two weeks before the film was actually being released. To her credit, she said that she’d asked the same question and that apparently they were “building momentum”.
Then there’s the TV spot conveying the important news that the film is ‘in association with Galaxy’, the advertorials and pages of red carpet premiere fashion reviews in every magazine and even the new Indiana Jones (worth renting but not schlepping out to the cinema for, by the way) was preceded by a trailer for the film.
It seems that the Topshop & co buyers certainly saw this coming as virtually the only things for sale are Carrie-inspired dresses. Which aren’t terribly practical for work…
Prolific marketing blogger and author Seth Godin writes: [if you employ knowledge workers] it’s hard for me to see why you’d bother having someone come all the way to an office just to sit in a cube and type.
He also comments don’t bother showing up if you’re just going to sit quietly. He’s right – space is expensive. Home working is cheaper.
So if you are a knowledge worker like us Planners and are planning on showing up to work at the actual office when most of the point of being there is to be doing lots of collaborative, creative stuff with your colleagues – why do most agency offices mainly consist of a sea of desks?
I don’t think that introducing hotdesking to make room for more sofas and beanbags is the answer. On friend who has tried it describes it as ‘lukewarm desking’ when everyone ended up sitting at the same place day after day and latecomers got the dodgy desk near the photocopier.
My place are quite good about encouraging us to work from home if we need some peace and quiet (we’re so rammed in here that the latest space saving idea is – smaller desks) but we haven’t quite cracked the space-to-work-together challenge yet.
It comes back to Creative Spaces – the function of an office should be about engendering co-operation and creative thinking. Not the soundtrack of laptops being attacked in a two finger gallop.
Photo (apparently of Yahoo’s London office) by cackhanded on flickr
The latest issue of The Future Laboratory’s fab quarterly magazine ‘the’ features the Slash/Slash Generation – that ‘create empires founded on the cult of their personality’. You know, the DJ-slash-club promoter-slash-tshirt designer late teens and early twenties types.
But reading the article, it reminded me that while the coolerati kids might be combining several so-hip-it-hurts roles into one portfolio lifestyle, the majority of the twenty and thirty somethings I know actually are rocking it their own way.
Take my sister. She’s a product manager for a greetings card company – and a professional bellydance teacher and performer. Or the guy I met at a party the other week who combines a desk job with stints as a photographer’s assistant.
One of the researchers who has just joined my team is also a freelance club dancer, an account handlers runs her own jewellery business and I manage to squeeze in a spot of writing in and amongst everything else.
As one guy put it to me, “its about doing something creative in your spare time you enjoy and actually getting paid for it”.
image from gapingvoid.com
Amelia’s question is: are women just less good at managing and promoting their own “brand” so to speak so that they are less high profile and known generally than their male counterparts? Is it that men are better at public speaking stuff like this? Do people just get onto the circuit and then stay on it and these are more likely to be men?
I guess that since there seem to be less women generally in the creative/digital industries, less will end up with the kind of high profile roles that lead to speaking and judging opportunities (and vice versa). And we women do have this habit of having babies which tends to put at least a temporary damper on any ladder climbing/profile building ambitions. Priorities change.
Since I don’t have any kids and am footloose and fancy free, I’ve got the luxury of time to blog. Neil at Only Dead Fish posted recently that he found time to blog because he believed it was important to do so. I think blogging (among other things) makes me a better Planner. Lets be honest, blogging and public speaking and stuff makes me more employable too. So (at least for now) I blog.
So I’ll be doing a (very short) speech at Interesting 2008 called ‘Lions, Tigers and Bears – why horses are scared of crisp packets’.
I will be trying very hard not to have any Crisp Packet Monster related falling off incidents before then which might prevent my attendance…
I sometimes feel like a kind of Flying Doctor type Planner. In an agency with lots of medium and smaller sized accounts and only a couple of Planners, I often end up flying in to address an issue, fix a problem or support a pitch – and then flying off to answer the next emergency call…
Its nice to feel needed – but it would be nice to be able to hang around for a while more often too.
This is Chris, Cornish horseman extraordinaire and thoroughly decent chap.
Thanks to his gentle encouragement and laid backness, I ended up doing all kinds of things last week (like riding a dressage test on a stallion) that I’d never have dared to on my own, while feeling safe, confident and secure.
So I’m thinking that we need more people like him (account directors?) agency side to encourage (NOT bully) clients big and small to be that little bit braver when approving strategy and creative and to feel that they are doing so in as risk-free a way as possible.
I guess even more so in these wobbly times, in the end its all about people.