“It’s going to be a difficult conversation”… it makes you cringe just reading the words.
We all have to have those discussions. You’ve got something to say to someone and it isn’t all positive and glowing.
You know you need to address it but you don’t want things to get ugly.
With a bit of thought, giving feedback doesn’t have to be painful.
Whether you need to offer feedback on someone’s behaviour or you’re offering feedback on creative work, you can do it in a way that is open, inclusive and productive.
Is it Feedback or is it Criticism
Consider the difference between these two words. Continue reading
Brands love to associate themselves with the prowess, discipline and sheer brilliance of Olympic athletes.
Big brands sponsor the games, showing their respect for the best in their field and borrowing a bit of their glory by association.
Other brands try to jump on board using athletic images in their advertising and cheering on their country’s teams.
This year, some brand ads have taken a turn that seems to me to be completely off piste.
The Olympic Games themselves seem to be running unscathed by Russia’s rejection of Gay Rights. However several brands have chosen that particular trail to hurl down in their own brand-defining luge.
Below are two ads that try to use humour to offer support to gay athletes. I don’t see how they help the cause.
Where is the celebration of athletic feats that astonish us? Where is the respect for the years of training, endurance and drive to be the best? Where in these ads do the brands make the point that personal sexual preference is not an issue?
Last year Channel 4 did an outstanding job of raising awareness of Paralympians as Super Humans. If you missed their promotion click here to watch it.
They helped redefine disability and put their athletic achievement first and foremost in our minds. They helped shift our perceptions.
These two ads don’t do anything so noble. They use gay stereo types to get a laugh and do little to help build respect for alternative lifestyles.
Have a look and let me know what you think, does this humour do the job?
I’ve been doing some fun training this month at a UK broadcaster. It involved a campfire, coloured pens and a hard look at managing your own annual appraisal.
Fun? I hear you asking, how can that be fun?
It’s fun to help change people’s perspective.
Moving them from dread to recognising that their appraisal is an opportunity to control their destiny and improve their lot– that’s an interesting proposition.
If you manage your own appraisal well, it will mean more than just a quick review of what your boss thinks you’ve been doing all year.
Then if you put some thought into this coming year, about projects that would motivate you, be interesting and challenging to work on – you’ll be shaping your job in a new way.
This could be the most important thing you write all year. Everything else you write will be about work, this is about you and your future.
So let’s see if I can help you change your perspective, then you can shake up your own annual appraisal.
Don’t just wing it
Great appraisals start with some solid prep work. This isn’t the time to fly by the seat of your pants. Here are a few things to prepare. Continue reading
Out with the old, in with the new, it’s a fresh start.
There’s a short window at the beginning of January where we look at the year in front of us and see all its possibilities.
With the whole year ahead we have everything to play for. We can put last year behind us and look forward to the things we daydream about.
This year, we will chase what we want and grasp it with both hands.
We’ll find new challenges and as the year unfolds we’ll feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
This is the time to start something new. Continue reading
I want to wish you a very happy Christmas break filled with laughter, good food and people you enjoy.
I know this is a crazy time of year, office parties, school plays and stolen moments for some quick online shopping.
Then suddenly it’s here. Christmas sails by and we are celebrating the new year.
In keeping with the season, I want to share an ad I think captured the spirit of Christmas.
I love this because there isn’t any hype and yet Sainsbury’s definitely own it. Continue reading
Being in media, broadcast or advertising is a crazy job. It’s stress filled, panic driven and a wild, exciting ride if you can hang on.
It’s difficult to focus on your own performance or improve your ability because there is never enough time.
That’s where a turbo boost from a coach can help.
The goal of your coach is to help you build on your success, look at ways of maximising your potential and help you stay at the top of your game.
How can you keep the excitement and lower the stress?
A coach will help you eliminate the things that you keep batting away; things that cause you doubts, problems that aren’t creative, issues managing up or managing your team, things that gobble your time. Continue reading
Guest Post By Milly Chu, Account Director
I love a great ad. Its ability to entertain you and impart a persuasive brand message is a unique fusion of business and creativity.
This ad feels too simple to be true; it’s funny and stayed in my head because it’s so brave.
Mercedes ‘Magic Body Control’ has clocked up nearly 4m views online in the last week. It embodies a simple creative thought coupled with an artful execution. It stands out because it’s wholly entertaining. Continue reading
There is a long held agency belief that saving your best work for last makes the strongest creative presentation.
The hope is to build anticipation through the presentation so when you get to the highlight, they’ll buy it.
Then the meeting will finish on a high and your client will skip away feeling like they got their money’s worth.
If that’s your agency’s approach, it might be worth challenging tradition.
Why it doesn’t work
When you’re presenting, if your first piece misses on some element of the message, if they think it isn’t quite on brand or it lacks entertainment value, your client’s internal chatter starts immediately. Continue reading
These two ads take totally different approaches to shout about their technology.
One says trust us because we think creatively, work hard and nothing will get in our way. They use the end line “New Rules.” The other says we’re bringing you something unique because we won’t accept the rules.
They couldn’t be more different.
The first one is for Toyota Auris, The Alternative, who rejects the rules.
It’s a big production, full of pomp and circumstance. Some Big Wig (literally in a wig) is telling the masses that they have no choice. Then the voice over says “In a world where you think you only have one choice, we introducing the alternative.”
The problem is credibility of the build-up.
They compare the choice we have in music, phones, and pets for the family, with the relatively few choices we have had in a car engine.
Even the timing feels off, the Hybrid engine they are flaunting launched years ago, the fact that it is being offered in a new model feels a bit flat. Saatchi and Saatchi in Milan developed this one.
Moving on to Chrysler’s “How to change cars forever” approach. Continue reading
I love it when someone can take a stereo types about their own culture and have the confidence to say the joke is on us.
Every country has idiosyncrasies. Recognizing some home truths with a humorous spin lets us all be included in the joke.
These two ads have done that beautifully.
The first is a web film for Tennents Lager ad, made by Newhaven in Edinburgh.
The animation is simple, the poetry is not sublime, but it sums up Scotland from a point of pride and relates everything back to Tennents.
My favourite part is the midges.
The second is for the Canadian Film Festival made at JWT. They offer us an insular view of the world where Canada is at the big end of the telescope.
It’s a moody film with a twist, where the Canadians are “a bit too Canadian.”
Drop a line in the box below about what you’d say if you were having a laugh at your own culture.
Potential is such a great word. It is full of promise and possibilities. Potential sums up all the success we could have in our career and hints at the amazing things we could do.
The fastest line from potential to success is a coach.
There are all kinds of coaches in life, sports coaches, teachers, great bosses or mentors. They might inspire you, challenge you, support or encourage you. All of them share the same desire to unlock your possibilities and help you jump forward on the game board of life.
If you have the chance to work with a coach, of any kind, take some steps to insure you get the most out of that opportunity.
You can make life changing progress working with a coach.
To do that it takes an open mind and a desire to change. What you gain from that coach is totally up to you. Continue reading
Launching a television channel is no easy feat.
You have a load of programmes your audience won’t recognize. You need to create a personality, explain the type of shows you’ll carry, build name recognition and drag people away from their habitual channels, all in 60 seconds.
To complicate things, if your channel carries a lot of originated programming, or shows in foreign languages, there may not be much material to work with.
It boils down to the essence of what you want people to imagine your shows will be like, and creating a curiosity that will get them to check it out.
This ad for the Comedy Channel Launch in Brazil does the whole package, and has a laugh at its own culture on the way.
This one was created by Wieden and Kennedy in Sao Paulo, what do you think?
I love a brand that is brave enough to have a laugh at its target audience.
This ad for Schneider Beer, is chock full of men behaving badly. Then it rounds up those same men at the end, unashamed and celebrating with a cold one.
There’s a nice bit of product placement throughout and the women’s reactions tell it all. The ad’s from Argentina, so apparently behaving badly is universal.
I didn’t take away this line from the brief: “The taste and quality of a Schneider Beer could be summarized in its big secret: maturation time,” but I don’t think that would make a difference to its sales.
It’s fun, well shot and shows guys being guys.
The second ad is for Sprite Zero, also from Argentina. Continue reading
If humans had a keyboard, I’m sure there would be a Respond button.
Everyone would punch it, our clients, our bosses, our staff, our families – Respond, Deadline’s tomorrow, ASAP, Important…
Most of us feel like the button’s jammed.
We live in constant response mode – time to think? Who has time for that?
The problem with that constant fire fighting is it leaves you dealing with the same kind of things over and over.
Take meetings, for example. People send you invitations, if you’re free, you reply that you’ll attend, then you promptly move on to the next thing.
How many times have you started your day, glanced at the calendar and groaned that you are in meetings for seven hours, leaving very few hours left for the real work.
Look across your week – I bet it doesn’t get any better. It’s a meeting culture these days and a lot of managers are stuck in the web. Continue reading
The Salvation Army isn’t the sexiest of brands, so this Latin Lover execution from McCann Erickson in Sao Paulo really grabbed my attention.
It is set in the bedroom, has charm and sweeps you along without words.
Then the copy comes in and it just slightly misses. Go ahead and watch it so I don’t spoil the surprise.
So where could it have been stronger? The copy seems right to me, the lines “Too bad it’s over. But since it’s over, donate” are a great summation. Continue reading
You are an amazing manager.
You and your team have a reputation for getting things done, you’re experts in your area and people look forward to having meetings with you.
You don’t set out a plan to lead, but people choose to follow you.
Your staff are all loyal, they work hard and they have fun, they laugh a lot and include you without thinking about it.
Is this the boss you already are, or the leader you’d like to be?
If you are getting the best out of your team, skip this post.
If you’re not quite there yet, here are a few things to think about. Continue reading
These two ads do a brilliant job of whipping the tail of technology.
The ad for Le Trefel, from Leo Burnette in France, has grabbed all kinds of attention. Maybe it resonates because we are inundated with ads pushing us into the latest gizmos or because this patronising husband gets his own back.
Either way they’ve done a great job of using technology to sell the most low tech product imaginable.
Sommersby Cider has done the same, they spring board off today’s thirst for technology to sell us something that’s not the least bit technical. Continue reading
You work hard. You come up with ideas, get things moving, check all the details and deliver on time.
You’ve got a lot to do and there’s great job satisfaction in doing.
You accomplish things that have an end, you use everything you’ve learned to make the work better, quicker, more interesting. You like doing… Continue reading