How to become a creative director for a week.

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Studio Something is an agency with a difference.

I’d like to think my own agency, 1576 Advertising Limited, had a similar sure-footedness in its early days but I fear that would be bigging us up too much.  The landscape is different now and their advocacy of pure creativity is a harder course to steer in this rocky world of creative algorithms and Big Data than it was in1994 when tour TV screen still contained delights between programmes.

Creativity lies squarely at Studio Something’s core (square core? – Ed) which, obviously, appeals to me and they’re not afraid to break the rules.

As little babies they surprised the orthodoxy in Scotland by winning the Tennents Lager advertising account and running a multi-execution (online and cinema) animated campaign; a kind of soap opera about the life of Wellpark (site of the Tennents brewery).  Part slice of Scottish Life, part League of Gentlemen with dogs, it was a bold experiment that reaped great rewards.

That was the start.  Since then they’ve continued to surprise with interesting work for See Me and Innes and Gunn, amongst others.

And this post caught my eye on Medium this morning.

It’s essentially a job ad.  An ad for an internship, a creative internship.  But they’ve pulled a great stunt with it.  It’s not unpaid, it’s not minimum wage.  It’s (for one week only) paying the wage of the average Creative Director in the UK –  £45k (or (£865.38) to be precise.

But what makes this unashamed stunt much more interesting is the back story.

I don’t know if it’s written by Ian or Jordan, but it doesn’t matter.  It tells the tale of their damascene moment when Gerry Farrell offered them their own first PAID internship at The Leith Agency (or placement which sounds far more bearable) in the face of their impending personal bankruptcy.

It’s a minor chin wobbler but it also beautifully illustrates their culture.

Indeed (to brutally capitalise on their creativity for, frankly, my own gain) it’s a perfect illustration of EMPLOYER BRANDING, – like we’re doing at Inside Out, but with a boldness and joi de vivre that few could match.

You get a strong sense of values, culture and vision without using any of these words.  And most of all, if I was a 22 year old creative starting out on this rocky journey I’d want to work there.

£865.38 or otherwise.

 

 

 

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CivTech® 2.0 Demo Day.

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Interesting day today as I go to the EICC to see the launch of the second round of Civilian Technologies.

CivTech® 2.0, from the Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate, launched in early May, set a series of open public sector challenges which ranged from remote visitor monitoring at historic sites, and better access to digital public services, through to outpatient re-design and a unique system to combat bird-of-prey persecution.  Today reveals the winners and their innovative solutions.

Here’s how the ‘innovation flow’ works.

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A new venture.

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It’s been a few months in the planning but I can finally reveal that I have set up a venture with John and Nicki Denholm (of Denholm Associates) and Keith Thompson (A highly regarded and thoroughly likeable HR supremo who worked with both RBS and Virgin Money).

It’s an employer brand consultancy and essentially combines all of our skills in a unique package.  I drive the branding part of the equation (both internally and externally to an organisation), Keith leads on the people and HR consultancy and the Denholm team bring not just search and recruitment skills to the table but a database of over 5,000 candidates which gives us what John likes to call ‘a real time, always on 24/7 focus group of real market opinion’.

We’ve had a number of positive pre-emptive meetings and have just secured our first client but we’ve not even scraped the surface yet.

Now, we can’t claim to be spring chickens , as our team line up shot demonstrates (a crateful of zimmer frames are discretely positioned out of shot) but what we lack in youthful zeal we over deliver on sage consideration.  But we couldn’t offer the consultancy we do without a few laps under our belts.

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And anyway, we’re just the core team, we have a bunch of award winning creative people, tech wizards and media planners, both on and offline, waiting in the wings to spring into action as strategy moves into implementation.

You can read a little more about us and make contact if you see the need here.

But in between times I’ll leave you with a salutary reminder of what you might become if you don’t apply the fundamental principles of employer branding.  Or more precisely, apply them too enthusiastically.

 

 

John Lewis Christmas ad 2017

This one is slightly formulaic.

Cute kid?  Check.

Moving song?  Yup, Guy Garvey covering the Beatles.

Ethnic diversity?  Oh yes.

Affordable gifting?  Very.

Online potential?  Yup.  Sally Phillips reading the story.

Merchandisable?  Indeed, money going to Barnardos.

Social Conscience?  See above.

Experiential potential.  Yes.  Farting and snoring Oxford Street window.

Is it any good though?  Of course it is, it was created by Adam and Eve and directed by Michel Goundry no less, it has a nice story and it looks lovely.

Will it make me cry?  I didn’t but you might.  It certainly has the potential.

Job done.  Here it is.

 

 

Touching, beautiful and hilarious. The sign of a great brand hitting the mark full square.

Beginning with the beautiful but subtle soundtrack (1982’s ‘Four Square’) reimagined by Scots director Dougal Wilson (ex Leith Agency) Channel Four have released four new idents that are crushingly brilliant.

I laughed out loud at the football execution and was genuinely moved by the immigrants spot.

Dougal Wilson has turned into a real nations favourite director with a string of great work but this is a tricky one.

The brief was to capture C4’s inclusive and diverse personality without becoming ‘right on’ politically correct or overly serious.  Channel 4 is fun too, and cheeky (naughty they say).

So this is an outstanding achievement of branding. both aural and visual, and completely true to Martin Lambie Nairn’s original creation back in 1982.  Yet almost completely different.

A class act.  Bravo.