Category Archives: Creativity

What will it say on your Gravestone?

Have you ever stopped to consider why you’re on the earth?

What your function is? What you’re ‘meant’ to achieve.

What thing inside you, what burning ambition, what gift to the rest of us, what piece of learning, what advancement in a particular field you have to impart?

Whether you destined to be an utter failure (like a moronic Microsoft employee who after 20 years STILL hasn’t mastered any successful form of smell check) or a Zuckerberg, I find it hard to believe that we don’t all, somewhere in us, have an innate sense of what we can achieve.

Now, for sure, it may have been squashed, by parents or teachers or bosses, but if it doesn’t still live in you, at some point in time but most surely did. Whether plausible in conception or not, we humans dream.

And having a dream and being able to keep it alive and making it real, I believe, is the difference between success and failure – and, if you will, between emptiness and fulfilment.

Continue reading What will it say on your Gravestone?

Why failing is good

If you’re not attempting to be extraordinary, you’re an oxygen thief.

If you have the privilege of being paid by a company to create ideas (i.e. sit with your feet up on the desk, staring out the window, musing) then I believe you have an obligation to think big. To dream big.

To “take risks” with your thinking (at least at the early, conceptual stage) and to come up with ideas. Ideas that, maybe, no one has thought of before. Ideas that, again maybe, sound dumb.

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Don’t make excuses. Make great.

My friend Chris Kyme, who runs kymechow.com in Hong Kong, kindly invited me to the New York Festivals, to listen to some of the visiting speakers.

I found myself in one which, within five minutes, was driving me insane.

There were four women on the stage talking about how hard it is for women in advertising. And, why there are “so few women in creative departments.”

I think it may have been the most pointless talk I ever attended. A room full of ladies complaining about why more of them weren’t in creative.

I was aching to ask many questions. But I couldn’t think of polite ways of phrasing them and so – as I was merely a gatecrasher at this event – I quietly left. Then started to fume.

Continue reading Don’t make excuses. Make great.

British Airways

The anthemic television campaign for British Airways which became a touchstone for the brand and its values. Watch here or go to Creative Work & Case Studies for the full story.

Land Rover

The ad that started the resurgence of Land Rover, enforcing it, globally, as “The best 4x4xfar.” See Creative Work & Case Studies for the background to the campaign.

You are not who you think you are

How many times have you heard someone say “I am who I am”? Defiantly.

Well, I don’t buy it. Neither from a person nor a Brand.

Nor indeed are you necessarily “who you want to be”. (You may be kidding yourself.)

You are what you DO. You are what you did today. (I could even suggest “you are who you are” when no one’s watching.)

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Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

This is about 5 years old. But it’s a seriously inspirational TED Talk, given by a teacher, talking about how our education system ‘kills’ creativity. Some of our companies, even some of our marketing departments do it, too.

The Author of Why: Simon Sinek

This Simon Sinek TED Talk is the inspiration for much of my thinking. I think this is a hugely important, pivotal piece of learning. And can be applied to corporations and indeed to people.

‘Why’ someone does something, Why they are (really) in business, what truly drives them.

We often find ourselves more concerned what the ‘What’. What do you do? What do you make? What can you do for me?

But fail to understand someone’s real motivation, and you won’t get them.

Remember when Superbowl ads were expansive, not just expensive?

It’s funny.

After the Superbowl ad extravaganza, you look at the TV the day after and we’re back to the same old crappy, patronizing, dreadful, fast-forward-able, TIVO-able ads that make one want to vomit: the evil pharmaceutical spots that offer relief to back pain, but at the cost of possible suicidal tendencies and loss of vision.

A couple of things occur to me:

Continue reading Remember when Superbowl ads were expansive, not just expensive?