The second day with the Napoleons was just as charming as the first one – with presentations from Neil and Ben, but also with a lot of free talk and interventions from all of them.
Neil’s presentation basically focused on the wonderful principles and life of Wieden&Kennedy (the "we're here to do the best work of our lives" type of principles and life). Since he was kind enough and already posted his presentation, I’m not going to fill in other many pages with my notes. Mostly because he’s right: “they won’t make a great deal of sense if you weren’t there”. However, there’s one quote in particular from Dan Wieden, which I had read on welcome to optimism some time ago and which I was very happy to be reminded of - namely, “chaos does this amazing thing that order doesn’t: it engages you”.
Then, Ben played a sort of a talk-show host part, using his presentation on “The Future of Graphic Design (or advertising or creativity or anything)” as the basis of conversation for all four of them. The main points were:
1. Find inspiration in everything
-It was nice to hear interesting people discussing about interesting people, interesting meaning not necessarily friendly or something, but worth talking to, the kind of people who are so passionate about things, that they simply get you interested in what interests them, even via blogs.
2. Present passion, not Perfection
3. Create and understand content
-It’s so classy when people see an ad once, and then they are the ones who go find it and share it with others.
-Actually managing to get people involved – they develop their own ads, or better said, their own versions of your ads, they don’t just pass them along, but also think about them and play with them.
4. Understand your clients and their clients
5. Understand usability
6. Realise that design is the new management consultancy
-People like stuff, more than they like descriptions of stuff
-Very interesting points about creative research
- this should be something that people can look at and say: “I understand and it gives me ideas that are consistent with this”
- it can even be an object or something of the kind – an abject that makes sense and summarizes the research.
- a way of presenting research in a way that helps people be creative and come up with ideas
-Always try to do something, instead of only doing ads.
7. Remember that ideas will transcend stuff
- But ideas will not transcend, unless you make them into something
- Failure means not risking enough
Another important issue discussed was how important it is for planners to start learning how to edit video. In fact, they said something like anybody who knows to write in PowerPoint today should know how to edit video in 5 years. Which reminded me of a podcast in which Russell was saying something like one of the things that made him so great was that he learnt to put pictures in pp before others did.
Russell also talked a bit about blogs, saying things I was already really familiar with from his blog, such as:
- Not having a blog is like not having a phone
- A blog makes you take the “interesting” test
- Surrender control to win influence
- And, maybe among the most important characteristics, blogs teach you the skills of the future (including video-editing, which is so cool for a planner :D )
Then, further discussions followed, mostly about creative research, negative emotions, and even lifestyle and Eric Cantona. Lots of fun, also.
Another small detail that felt extremely relaxing for me was the very language the four guys used – they don’t use, abuse and overuse words like insights, consumers, brands and so on, concepts which seem to me so excessively used in our country. Well, that’s about it as far as my notes are concerned. As far as the great deal of thoughts that were inspired by these two days are concerned, however, I’ll most probably write yet other posts.
Covers on the matter i've read until now: Neil, Russell, Ben, Bogdana, Costin - also in pictures, Razvan, Claudiu here and here (it was great eventually meeting you in person, btw), Anca, Felipov