One of the reasons to come to conferences like Digiday Innovation Camp is to be exposed to cool campaigns, and get inspired by some of the brightest in the industry. It’s easy for most of us in the industry to get caught up in the everyday of our jobs, or even the opposite – we get focused on the future and advancing our careers. At Innovation Camp, there was a common thread amongst many of the speakers: work closer together, let go of our attachment to past processes, and have faith in our ideas.
Here are a few of the speakers that inspired me with their advice and campaigns:
First, in a talk titled “Demo or Die,” Christine Outram, VP, Invention Director, Deutsch LA, took us through the process of recently ideating and inventing the Fuelcaster for eSurance. Deutsch was faced with a challenge that a lot of us are faced with today: on a tight budget, create something awesome, with which people will actually engage. What was unique here was from ideation to creation, the process took only seven weeks and Deutsch actually built and tested it out before presenting it to the client. Christine stressed that one of the reasons this program turned out so well was that they had all the right people in the room at the same time working together and collaborating.
Key Takeaway: Take your headphones out, go sit in a room together, and brainstorm the hell out of something with your coworkers.
Second, Max Lenderman, CEO at School, led a discussion called, “How to Find Meaning in Your Work.”Max’s agency strives to make the world a better place through advertising – seemingly lofty, but he gave some great advice if you think about it in the context of your consumers’ end experience. Considering how much “stuff” is out there in the world, he gave this great quote from Design House Stockholm: “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful, but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” He encouraged us to ask ourselves how our ideas are useful, how they help the world, and ultimately how are they are part of the creative solution to our clients’ problems. Case-in-point: the campaigns that won at Cannes in 2013 were both useful and beautiful. For example:
- The Smart TXTBKS campaign won the Mobile Grand Prix, in which Smart, the Philippines’ largest telecom, took SIM cards and turned them into a free school textbook delivery mechanism called Smart TXTBKS.
- The Immortal Fans campaign won the Grand Gold Prix. The soccer club Racife in Brazil encouraged fans to sign up for organ donation (a huge issue in Brazil) so that they could “keep cheering for Sport Club Recife forever.”
Key Takeaway: Constantly ask yourself if the solution you’re proposing is actually useful.
Lastly, in his talk, “Permanent Beta is Beta,” David Slayden, Executive Director, Boulder Digital Works, gave us some advice on the future of media, creative, and employment—but not the typical advice you would expect from a conference. The first part of his talk centered on the theme of “non-attachment”—don’t get too attached to your title, the way you work today, or the latest technology because “new shit is always, always coming to light.” What he means is new information and new technology is constantly being introduced that is changing our jobs and changing the way we work, so we need to be flexible in order to really solve our clients’ problems . The second part of his talk centered around advice on our careers— don’t worry about a career (gasp!), but instead go after things that interest you and get really, really good at what you do.
Key Takeaway: Be authentic, be flexible and have fun.
- Kim Shores, Associate Media Director