LEFT BRAIN PUTS LOGIC FIRST
I used to joke that my father had two left brains – but now I see more and more of what I do on a day-to-day basis requires heaps of rational thinking and, for better or worse, everything we do boils down to numbers.
The one thing I’ve noticed about numbers is that everything good happens in threes. There’s even a very special word for it: Threesome. Great, now you’re smiling. Please hold onto that grin while I bore you with my love of all things right-brained.
For some reason advertising campaigns usually produce no more than three fine examples at the finish line. The fourth is usually meh. Picture an Olympic podium where three of the very best are showcased for all to cheer.
So my promise to you is that, as you diligently read through my portfolio, I will offer up no more than three examples at a time. Trust me, it's for the best and the left side of your brain will appreciate the efficiency of it all. However, this all changes the moment the International Olympic Committee approves my idea for a fourth pewter medal.
BY THE NUMB3RS
Of course you might be after other numbers. A little hit of data to quantify all that you see before you. Truthfully, creative case studies almost always overlook the efforts of entire marketing and sales departments. What's more, most methods of quantifying success are so flawed that it’s little wonder why consultants are digging our graves all the way from Madison Avenue to Main Street. Our logic is against us. That’s because Advertising is about impact and communication, not our own PR. When done right, advertising works like no other. Like apple. When done poorly, no amount of logic will save you. But if you need a number, let's go with eleven.
Lastly, 1+1 really does equal 3. Everything you see here has a great deal of teamwork involved. It even includes ideas initiated by clients, lines written by art directors and, believe it or not, one or two rather logical approaches to brand building. Plus all the account people, artists, directors, composers, producers and musicians who all made it sing. A beautiful mess of people who jointly bring ideas to life. Or, at the very least, have the presence of mind to steer it away from the middle of the road.
About 111% of my time is devoted to launching new products for the USA’s leading vapor. In the UK, the surgeon general and doctors are highly vocal in advocating that smokers switch to vaping. However, in the US of A that responsibility falls solely on our communication efforts. We’re at 6% now and accelerating fast. There’s nothing like reading the reviews of someone who has had their life transformed by switching to vapor.
The other 1% of the time I help out on smaller jobs like Bloom (Sleep Country’s mattress-in-a-box). But why stop there? We added more to the mix by inventing our very own Ploom (Pillow-in-a-box) to help more people Wake Refreshed™.
What sold me on Cundari was their work on Sick Kids and teaming up with some rather remarkable people. Tick and double tick. However, shortly after CCO Andrew Simon headhunted me to work at Cundari, he decided to leave. Not just Cundari, but the entire advertising profession. This impetus would later give me courage to boldly explore brave new worlds of communication.
Y&R + Blue Hive
I realize now that this may have been one of the more chaotic times of my career. It signaled the birth of the new single-client agencies for WPP, but also the end of one of the oldest agencies in Canada.
Fast Fact: At Blue Hive it only took me until July to reach a full year of timesheets. That's roughly 1750 hours for those who are counting. However, all the time was spent working for some of the most amazing clients I have ever encountered. Against all odds, we won awards, broke sales records and F-150 went from the best-selling truck to the best-selling vehicle in Canada.
Sid Lee Montreal
Sid Lee is brazen. There is simply no mountain high or challenge great enough. I was lucky to be invited to join the adidas pitch team and continued from there. In 2011 the international launch would see Adidas combine all of its brands under the banner of all in.
When I returned to Canada, we decided on Halifax. It was a great town for my family to learn the nuances of Canadian culture and make indelible friends. That said, I may not have realized just how far it was from advertising’s coalface.
Network BBDO + Metropolitan Republic
At Network I worked with some talented people who I had worked with at TBWA and my old client Nedbank. Then onto Metro to work with even more people I'd worked with at TBWA and even older clients. Plus a whole new crew who were just like the ones you’d expect to find at TBWA.
TBWA Hunt Lascaris
TBWA is where I learned to turn it up to eleven. Everyone in Canada politely asks me to shut up about advertising in South Africa. The people I worked with at TBWA are the reason why I still sometimes go on. And on. Good is, and always will be, the enemy of great for me.
Red Nail Leo Burnett + Ogilvy + Lintas: Namibia
I started my career at Lintas Namibia. Believe me, nothing could be further from advertising than Namibia. So the distance from there to Ogilvy was a little further than the 1388kms suggests. As Ogilvy's book says, there is nothing better than learning to sell and to write direct copy. So, by the time I made it to Red Nail Leo Burnett I was at least a thousand miles from that very first step.