A view from the top
By Greg Delaney, campaignlive.co.uk, Thursday, 21 February 2013 08:00AM
In a week that saw the largest meteor strike for more than 100 years, the shock retirement of an 85-year-old religious leader and the revelation that many of us have been eating the wrong kind of four-legged beast, I am reminded that the world is seldom predictable - something I've always believed is true of advertising.
Whether your view is "from the top" or "from the bottom", if you’re involved in creative work, your life is always going to be difficult to predict. Isn’t that why we do it?
Take this typically untypical week. It starts with a review of some new global work, overseen by one of our creative directors, Tony Hardcastle. He has worked over the weekend and he has some good stuff to show for it. Phew!
On to a meeting with Jeremy Hine, our man in Bangkok, who tells me about his challenges. (There are no problems any more, only challenges.) The new executive creative director is getting stuck in, the work is better and the Thai economy is growing. If I were Sir Martin Sorrell, I might now pronounce myself bullish on Thailand.
From Bangkok, I travel (electronically) to Singapore, where the team are sharing some work on the "dirt is good" campaign for Omo/Persil from around the world. Plenty to surprise me here – in a good way.
Into a telecon on Tuesday with our Lowe Turkey chief executive, who is hiring a new creative director to work on Unilever and wants my approval. Not for the first time, I reflect on the "challenges" of long-distance management. How to predict the chances of success in Istanbul from London?
Out to Hertfordshire to watch an old friend, who works in the auto industry, performing in a solo gig. Late in life, he has decided that he wants to be a musician. I order a "homemade" lasagne at the venue with the uneasy feeling that I could be eating anything from a Newmarket thoroughbred to a Romanian carthorse.
Into a conference call on Wednesday with our Rexona client in Uruguay and the account director in Madrid. We are discussing film content ideas. Lovely project, hugely supportive client, no research required. It doesn’t get better than this.
From one of our biggest clients to one of our smallest: Marie Curie. I am shown a rough edit of a new film that almost manages to squeeze a tear from these "seen it all" eyes. It shows the power of a big thought: that your last moments in this world should be just as important as your first.
I’m in Milan on Thursday talking toothpaste. As well as showing lots of advertising, we also share a bunch of proactive ideas including a product design, which, in our humble view, could be massive. Did we manage to exceed expectations? I hope so.
Just make it back in time to get to the home of quality football (White Hart Lane) with my son. After 91 minutes, with the score at 1-1, Gareth Bale scores with an outrageous free-kick.
On Friday, I catch up with Richard Denney and Dave Henderson – the executive creative directors in London – to discuss some really interesting ideas they’ve had for TRESemmé, as well as a pitch idea that could be a winner. The week done, I belt down to the beach at St Ives.
"To see the world in a grain of sand," William Blake said. This week, I’ve seen the creative world in telecons, team meetings, Skypes, WeTransfers and a trip to Italy. Predictable it wasn’t.
Greg Delaney is the chairman at DLKW Lowe
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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