The client was cool. The brand was amazing.
We saw an opportunity and got excited.
We cracked the idea and felt good about it.
We presented the full plan with enthusiasm.
We sold it really well.
Client liked it. It was a good route.
We killed it the next morning.
What happened overnight?
It just happened that the client liked it. It was a good route.
He didn’t question or challenge anything.
He smiled, satisfied, as if we read his mind.
He was too comfortable.
He could easily link the idea to what his product stands for.
He could surely see the sales potential.
Was this what we were really looking for? A happy & comfortable client?
Was this the ultimate idea that would connect with people.
Was this the next big one that would blow your mind away.
Our idea was good and the client liked it.
With a tiny ‘i’, a lower case ‘g’ and a boring little ‘l’.
There are 3 types of Great Ideas:
- The ‘how come we didn’t think about it’ ones.
- The ‘I wish we thought about it first’ ones.
- The ‘fuck! These guys must be on something’ ones.
Being in the presence of greatness leaves you unsettled, a tad uncomfortable, speechless for a few seconds,
sometimes for minutes….
It leaves you with a bit of discomfort, like when you are face to face with an unexpectedly gorgeous woman.
A great idea happens when your instinct tells you yes, but you’re not too sure…it takes a bit of time, then it overwhelms you.
The more open-minded, risk taker, experienced you are, the quicker the gap between discomfort & excitement narrows.
Good ideas sink immediately into your mind
Great ideas play with it at first. Then they blow it away.
It is simple. A great idea is one that goes beyond your comfort zone.
It takes you places you’ve never been. It defies the usual, the norm, the mundane.
It defies the brief. And takes it to a better place.
The reason we killed our first idea, was because it was approved on the spot.
It didn’t leave our client with a bit of discomfort. It was too safe and good.
We usually don’t settle for that, especially when we see the opportunity and when the client is up for it.
So next time your client smiles but tells you he needs some time to absorb & assimilate the work he just saw,
rest assured that you did a great job.
Last week we had some fun.
We gave each and everyone in Livingroom a line, a belief, a promise from our agency Manifesto and a week to come up with an idea around it.
It would have been one of those tasks that get lost in inboxes,
thrown on the back burner while day to day work takes priority,
or even ignored and forgotten till its dead and meaningless.
Luckily, we don’t abide by the ‘Normally’.
Instead, things happened.
We heard finance pitching their ideas to designers over a cigarette break,
We saw Brand Navigation experimenting with Photoshop,
Journey planning playing around with fonts,
Mission Control scratching their brains,
Connection having fun,
After hours brainstorming sessions,
Proud & glowing faces with ‘I found my idea’ written all over them.
And the result was mind blowing, nothing less than ‘Goose bumpy’,
Livingroom transformed into an art exhibition where everyone displayed their ‘own-created-developed’ idea.
It was heartwarming.
A reinforcement to our belief that great ideas come from anywhere and that we were indeed surrounded by Talent.
Definitely a big SMOOCH!
Check for yourselves:
ITS WHEN YOU’D TOUCH EACH OTHER WITHOUT A GUILT
ITS THAT TIGHTEST HUG YOU’D GIVE YOUR PARTNER
ITS WHEN YOU’D STAY LATE COZ YOUR PARTNER HAS A DATE
WE BELIEVE EVERY PIECE OF WORK WE DO IS LOVED TO BITS
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY PIECE OF ART WE CREATE…WE CUM OVER IT
WE BELIEVE TALENTS ARE IRREPLACEABLE
WE BELIEVE OUR FLABBY TUMMY WILL NOT SLOW US DOWN
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE OF US IS A PAGE IN THE BOOK CALLED ‘THEY DID IT’
WE BELIEVE IN INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENCE & COLLECTIVE VICTORIES THAT TURN INTO BEST SELLERS
ITS A BELIEF THAT MAKES OUR HEARTS BEAT LOUDER THAN THUNDER
IT’S THAT CUP OF TEA YOU’S PREPARE FOR A VISITOR, A COLLEAGUE OR A CLIENT
WE ARE BELIEVERS
EINSTEIN ONCE SAID ‘FUCK YOU’. WE SAY, ‘FUCK YOU EINSTEIN’
WE BELIEVE THERE IS NO NIGHT…JUST THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT
WHEN THE SUN SLEEPS, WE TURN ON THE STARS
IT’S THE HONEST LAUGHTER THE SECURITY ON THE GROUND FLOOR WILL HEAR
BECAUSE WE’RE LIVING
Following from the previous post (“Everyone is replaceable”, you said) – see what happens when you inspire your biggest asset. Here are powerful statements that people @Livingroom have made about what it’s like to work here. It’s proof that magic happens when you ignite peoples spirit, and show your Talent you CARE.
And when your people are onside, there is no stopping you!
I’ve always been the rebel at the forefront of employee causes, raises, corporate freedom.
I fought wars.
I challenged CEOs.
I initiated petitions and brought back ‘fired’ Talents against management’s will.
I was hated and respected by people, depending which side they were on.
Then one day, I became ‘Management’,
and I was given the answer to all issues,
…the magic formula management lives by,
…The ‘secret’ transmitted by one management generation to the other,
…the ultimate advice:
‘now that you are taking a new role, always keep in mind that everyone is replaceable’
I was shocked.
How could anyone praise their ‘assets’ at every public occasion and live by that formula behind closed doors.
I was never convinced and never learned that.
I couldn’t make the leap.
I was considered the black sheep of ‘management’.
Whilst management always praised that ‘people were their biggest assets’, they were still convinced that clients were the source of revenue, which put Talent as a major source of ‘expense’.
My constant debate was that our Talents were in fact our main source of revenue and that they deserved much more in return.
I was treated as an idealistic, a dreamer, a naïve people’s person… an obstacle.
Talents don’t join companies for money, name, location, medical insurance or even client lists. Employees do.
Talents are on the constant look out for a company with an amazing Spirit and true genuine Beliefs.
A place that offers endless possibilities to actually achieve what they have in mind.
An honest place where the formula applied behind closed doors is actually the same one shouted out loud in company gatherings.
The moment the Spirit & Belief appear fake…
The moment they realize they are as valuable as a replaceable spare part…
Their strong feeling of belonging fades away.
The more time I spend doing what I do, the more my beliefs in Talents are reinforced.
The more hours I spend talking to Talents, the more I know I am not a dreamer or an ‘obstacle’.
The more job interviews I make, the more I realize that Talents are rare.
Talents are irreplaceable.
Everything else is.
I always said it. I keep saying it. And I will always live by it.
There’s hardly a time when you see something pleasing to the eyes in the newspaper when it comes to advertising in the region. But the idea, colors and overall art direction of the second anniversary campaign for Bloomingdales is a definitely a “Smooch”.
Not just the fact that it talks about Bloomingdale’s second anniversary (being the 2 year old brand in Dubai) but it also sends a relevant message to the lovers out there for Valentines. Very well done!
However, if the campaign had more executions/stories it would have been even better. Let’s see what they have to say on being 3 years old :-)
As an ambitious young student searching for a career to pursue, it seemed a paradigm shift was happening away from manual / technical labor, production, agriculture. The future belonged to those with a profession, the service industry, those who had ‘intellectual property’.
But this bit of forward planning didn’t predict the Internet & digital boom, the population explosion, the effects of the environmental meltdown, endemic global economic woes, global inequality or various political rumblings.
We are living in recession weary yet technologically driven days. Data and knowledge is easily accessible and what we do with this is what sets us apart. Publishing and communication has never been easier. Any industry which is opportunistic and relies on the success or failure of others will remain stagnant. Anthropologist David Graeber calls these the ‘Bullshit Jobs’ which tend to be concentrated in “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers”. And any industry that fails to acknowledge and adapt to the rapidly changing political, economic or environmental changes will suffer.
Over the last 15 years and specifically the last 8 years, (since the launch of Facebook) the world has changed faster than the previous half century. We are now in what many call a ‘state of flux’. A constant state of rapid development.
In this state of flux, technical skills are increasingly in demand. People who do and make stuff, who have a unique flair for creating something new or improve on an existing design. The ‘new world’ is like an island inhabited for the first time, a chaotic frontier, it needs designers, builders, plumbers, carpenters, bakers, chefs, farmers, app developers, software & hardware designers and developers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians. People who do, who create, who help solve old world problems in new world ways.
Leading this transition is Generation Flux, a new breed of entrepreneur who is quick and nimble at making something new or improving on previous ideas.
We can no longer afford the luxury of old world silos and job descriptions; we must create new ones, based on symbiosis and flexibility. Jobs are not guaranteed, especially lifelong jobs – in the new world once a project is over you move onto the next project. When your contract is over there is help needed elsewhere. We need an army of doers. A constant state of symbiosis with our fellow inhabitants and the land.
The world is changing at a rapid rate, much faster than you can say MBA. Are you ready for it?
I believe that every aspect of a brand’s appearance to its audience is an opportunity for it to display its products, its beliefs, its contribution to the world. None more so than its office space and its HQ.
So consider this ‘mural’ on the side of the HQ of G.E in Dubai.
I believe it’s a waste of space. Here’s why:
The creative itself is…well…un-Creative! What exactly does ‘the new face of the region mean’? And what an over used line. And, Just because the word ‘face’ appears in the headline doesn’t mean you need to put some random faces up there.
How many thousands of cars drive past that site each day, how many stand at the traffic lights waiting for the signal to turn, wanting something (anything) to read to make the minutes pass quickly? (As a side note, did you know people read their cereal box back-to-front, on average about 12 times before it’s thrown away!). Surely it could have been put to better use.
Here are some suggestions:
Tell me what G.E is actually doing in various parts of the world.
Tell me what new products you’ve launched.
Wind power, desalination, better health care are all great stories to tell – but what is it about them people want to hear? Make it interesting.
Tell me how you improve lives.
So, if you’d like to see how we could make your communication with the world more mesmerizing, tweet, message, email or call us.
Have a good day.
Brands live in an era where the conversation is constantly evolving.
And the consumer is controlling the megaphone.
Consider this carefully then.
Should your brand still be speaking in cavemanic?
Or pursuing a near extinction thought process?
We don’t think so.
That’s why we believe in not being another dinosaur.
We are led by talent.
Motivated by honesty.
Fascinated by new technology.
Obsessed with the conversation.
And don’t believe in waiting for the future but rather in creating it.
We live so that brands can.
Must read this article.
It is an example of the seismic shift we will continue to see across all industries and retail is no exception (see also Walmart and Apple retail).
Welcome to the new way of working. Transparancy and efficiency.
I love his customer understanding and respect “The customer knows the right price,” Mr. Johnson said. “We can raise the price all we want. She’s only going to pay the right price. She’s an expert.”
Change is a-coming. Oh yeah!