The power of being young

Sometimes we should appreciate the fact that we’re still young, so we’re allowed to make mistakes and fall, then we can stand up again, and learn from our mistakes. Also we are allowed to ask questions, and no one is going to think that you are dumb, because you are allowed to be ‘not experienced enough’ when you are still sort of young, therefore, you’ll learn how to be humble, learn that you should ask as many questions as possible (well, of course, meaningful ones) to learn from those who have climbed the ladder, been through the tough journey, gained the wisdom and are experienced and generous to share their knowledge with you.

So, I am thinking of taking my learning project further. Besides continuing on my blog to write about the inspirations I got from the Spikes presentations, I am going to conduct a short interview with the speaker of the presentation because I am sure I’ll have questions along my little writing journey and potentially want someone to see how stupid/how good my thoughts are and it would be best if that ‘someone’ was the speaker himself/herself so I can make the most of it. I believe in generosity – so a 15 minute interview seems rather reasonable, to me, and hopefully, to the speakers too. This would be my little Moonshot Project, inspired by Google.

Why am I taking on this crazy initiative? And who am I that the busy advertising gurus would care enough to talk to me? Well, it’s just because it I am nobody (yet, hopefully), and it just makes complete sense that they’d ignore me anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt asking, I might have some luck.

Thanks to Seth Godin and his genius quote – “How dare you settle for less while the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable.” I am giving this a try.


Secrets of Maintaining Global Brand Consistency

Huge question to ask – why Coke, Nike, McDonald’s, Apple can be consistent in the brand image delivery and campaign quality whilst other brands are seen differently and positioned differently across different markets?

Problem with their marketing talent who work on the brands? Or there isn’t a strong organisational framework or communication control over operations in markets. So is it a better option to be a ‘communist’ (centralising the power and budget so we can force markets to do whatever we day) or a ‘democrat’ (allowing local creativity to shape the brand)? Or a bit of both, if so how do we find the balance, how do we make sure culturally relevant elements would not harm the brand? It’s easier said than done.

Here‘s a good article to read. Hope we all find some inspirations.


Creative Leadership – Client and Agency Relationships

Keith Reinhard, the advertising legend emphasised again at Spikes how agencies not only need to read their client’s mind, but actually read beyond their mind – don’t give them what they ask for, but give them what they need, or probably what they never thought they would need. Also agencies should somehow carry an entrepreneurial spirit to work with clients -give directions when clients are not sure, and bring them onboard, and work together to come up with and ship amazing ideas.

Also, timesheets and head hours are the nightmares for both agencies and clients. They are the two key things that kill initiatives and creativity. Not starting the work until you know client would pay for your time, or not spending extra hours on a project because you know you won’t get paid for it, or clients keep thinking that agencies literally bullshit about their timesheets (whilst sometimes they really do) and become petty about the freedom (including financial freedom) they give to agencies, all these are roadblocks for us (clients and agencies) to build trust, to work together and to bring the best out of the collaboration.

Probably great work can only be produced when agencies humble themselves a little and not care so much about money, and clients bring up their game and play a creative leadership role so agency people won’t look down upon you and think that you are idiots, but rather be inspired by you, led by you and therefore willing to deliver the best they can for your account.


Agency and Client, Strategy and Execution

Back in the agency days, we kept talking about strategies, strategies and strategies. But now on the client side, all of a sudden, we just execute ideas and move really quickly. How to get the balance between strategies and execution? Do we need to have a thorough strategy planned out for every single idea we have? Do we have to have a solid purpose and objective before we execute something? Or we just think of the solutions along the way. Pros and Cons?

Going to explore this further.