Yahoo! Big Idea Chair: Introduction

Welcome to this collection of Yahoo! Big Idea Chair interviews, a Campaign supplement based on conversations with creative leaders in advertising and beyond.

The Yahoo! Big Idea Chair is a real, large purple chair with, as you'd expect, its own blog. Individual chairs are given to agencies and teams who have developed outstanding creative. After all that hard work, you'll agree, they deserve a place to relax. Who decides? Judges at key award shows, or delegates at Yahoo! creative conferences.

Now 53 agencies and clients own one of the chairs, and the list includes Sky and Nissan in the UK (see p14). Given the growing fame of the initiative, it was a natural progression to create a special series for Campaign's audience. The ten pieces appeared in Campaign throughout 2006: the first in February, the last to coincide with the Campaign Media Awards, sponsored by Yahoo!, in November. Here, they are collected together for the first time.

To create this series, we worked closely with Teresa Pereira and Yahoo!'s Trade Marketing team. Encouraged by their commitment to developing ever-better online creative, we were asked to cast the net wide. From contemporary advertising and new-media stars that are working at the cutting edge of a vital and fast-moving business, to leading figures in the art and fashion worlds, the response has been equally enthusiastic.

This collection is the product of an unavoidable truth: that today consumers enact a zero-tolerance policy towards unimaginative brands. The challenge is no longer creating awareness; the challenge is engaging fluid and flexible communities whose lives weave around the internet in ways that would have been unimaginable just five years ago.

Without the ten interviews, it is obvious, there would have been no collection. It is no exaggeration to say that I did the interviews, and the interviewees and Yahoo! made the book. Our thanks to them both.

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