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Phillip Morries

P

Interviewee

204 Creative

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

2, 2

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Tobacco

Location

Moscow

Team Risk Tolerance

High

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_FunandProductive

Company

Phillip Morries


For me? For me, when probably it's an inner feeling. It's like I feel I've done a good job, and it's a job nobody has done before. Well, maybe when I show the work to some people of the same industry, or some people out of the industry, which are just consumers, and they see it and they say, "Yeah, I like it," this is probably the best thing for me to hear. Of course it's not that I'm looking for their praise or something. It's just that when they're sincere and I ask their sincere opinion and they say it's good, then this is probably the evidence for me that the project is done well. [9707]
I worked for Phillip Morris, and we had quite a challenging task to make a sort of activity out of nothing. We had no money, we had no time, we had nothing actually. Me, together with my art director, created a promotion when people had to tell their story, which was limited to 280 signs, if I'm ... I don't remember exactly but approximately this number of signs. They had to tell their story, short and funny story, and the best selected stories were published in the magazine. [9708]
No he is really, because he just came back from shooting and he now has to do the cuts and things like that. The copper lines were actually these fake stories from all over the world. We have them on the outdoor. That really generated a buzz in the city, and we had a very high response rate. I actually quit Leo Burnett by that time, but my art director kept working there, and he told me that the response rate was really a very good one. They received a lot of stories. This is the project which I actually liked, because we had very limited time. We had almost no budget, and we created something out of nothing. The client felt positive about the project, and I felt positive about the project, because nobody has done this before. So, we were sort of pioneers by creating something out of nothing. [9709]
As I said earlier, it's quite important that people have the same understanding of what is good and what is bad, and there is no interior politics interfering with the business process, which actually often happens with big companies like this one, and like Leo Burnett, like [inaudible 00:11:08] where I previously worked. I really hate it, because I think it really stagnates the process, prevents it from moving on, and doing our best. There are too many people, and too many people want to show everyone they're so damn important, and I think it only does harm to the business process, and that's what we quite often face, esp working with a network, there is a lot of misunderstanding. [9710],[9711],[9712]
but it's not a very good thing when a person just relies on his experience in a different country, but he thinks that since he has this great experience, he knows what to do here in this country. Each country is different, and you have to understand how things work here, [9764]
It's not that I don't trust other people's experiences, it's a very good thing when people come and share it, but it's not a very good thing when a person just relies on his experience in a different country, but he thinks that since he has this great experience, he knows what to do here in this country. Each country is different, and you have to understand how things work here, and not to be so stubborn and prove you're the most important person. So, I think it's a really, really great problem of huge companies. It's not only [inaudible 00:12:22], I think it's almost everywhere. [9713]
Yeah, it's all about these ill natured ambitions I think, of some people, which to me, it's just ridiculous. [9714]
Well, if we're talking about this project that I've mentioned before, then there were only two people, me and my art director, who created the idea. But generally, the team was definitely bigger. It was around, let me think, one, two, three, well, let's say about five people in the team, including account people because they were definitely important. [9715]
By that time, I think we really had a great team of supporters, and probably two or three around that. But as I said before, we really had a team of supporters, and we were very much supported. [9717],[9716]
But the good thing about her that she was not afraid to take a risk upon herself. She was not afraid of expressing her own opinion openly and freely. This is something that you really find in marketing people, because generally, people are damn scared to express their opinion, because they're afraid it will not match the opinion of the person at the top. She was not afraid of that. [9718]
She had a very strong, persuasive power I would say. She was able to persuade everyone that she was right, and she was able to take a risk upon herself. Her career's still a good one. She had a very, very, good promotion, first within Phillip Morris, and now she's with a huge Russian mobile operator, and she feels very well. [9765],[9719]
I think it's a very, very rare thing, not only in Russia but everywhere. I tend to work with people from abroad, and my opinion is not that they are more experienced or braver than Russian marketing people. Same thing. [9720]
Yes, if we talk about international companies, then I think business process work much better there than within Russian companies. In Russian companies, I think this ambition problem that I've touched upon before, is actually even higher and bigger than within the international companies. In international companies there is a scheme which they use throughout the world, which in a way refrains people from being ill ambitioned, if you know what I mean. [9722],[9721]
I think within Russian companies, it's very much, it's quite typical I would say, for Russian companies, esp for people who do well, who have good positions, top positions, top management. I actually face it over here, working with a huge Russian client that they only trust their opinion and intuition, which is quite often not based on any professional experience or cases, or whatever. So, it's just like, "Well, I like this, so, we're going to do this, because I like it, and that's it." I think it's not a correct approach. [9723]
I think they did not do any research because of time. They didn't have time. They were not actually very much inclined to do the research. My inner feeling is that, doing these endless focus groups and things like that, does not bring a lot of good, because the situation when you test creative materials, is quite artificial. The psychological pattern to which people stick because of the situation, is completely different from their occasional attention when they see it on TV or as an outdoor. So, the reaction that you receive from people is sometimes just so ... My experience with focus groups, because I really hate focus groups is that, people tend to choose the most neutral and the less inspirational creative work. When it is produced, it is insipid, absolutely insipid. It's about nothing. [9724]
My experience with focus groups, because I really hate focus groups is that, people tend to choose the most neutral and the less inspirational creative work. When it is produced, it is insipid, absolutely insipid. It's about nothing. [9766],[9767]
So to me, it's just the malfunction of the method itself, because the situation is artificial. I have just completed the article about sex and advertising. In this article, I was also talking about my experience when we tested at commercial, which was very, very difficult ones in terms of ... On the one hand, we had this heaven idea, this Adam and Eve and that kind of stuff is the plot of the story. We also had some sex in that. The reaction of people was incredible. Half of the audience really liked the ad. Another half hated it because of this mixture. [9725]
Interesting thing, I asked marketing people, different people from Nestle, from Dannon and other companies, and none of them said it was because of the religious feelings of people who were at the test, but rather, it was because they were quite embarrassed to talk about this in public and to say, "Yes I like it," because the subject was quite a tricky one. So, it was like, "I want to be socially acceptable. I want to be a normal member of the society. I don't want other people to think bad about me. I'd better say it's not a good ad." So, that's just ... I'm sorry I somehow- [9726],[9727]
nteresting thing, I asked marketing people, different people from Nestle, from Dannon and other companies, and none of them said it was because of the religious feelings of people who were at the test, but rather, it was because they were quite embarrassed to talk about this in public and to say, "Yes I like it," because the subject was quite a tricky one. So, it was like, "I want to be socially acceptable. I want to be a normal member of the society. I don't want other people to think bad about me. I'd better say it's not a good ad." So, that's just ... I'm sorry I somehow- [9728]
I actually don't very much believe in the research. I think if a company wants to conduct good research, it should research the material in different ways, not only focus groups, which all companies like. But also, some quantitative research just to have a thorough picture of what's actually happening. [9729]
Absolutely, absolutely. They don't think generally, they think with some exact details they see, and that's the problem that you come upon. Well, there is also such a thing that people, the society is actually structured. It has several layers, social layers. There are some trend spotters, trend followers, and that kind of stuff. So again, advertising and industrial design in particular, I'm not sure that they have to stick solely to the opinion of trend followers, because sometimes it is better to be half a step ahead of these people, to attract them. Trend setters, they will like it, and somehow, the trend followers will follow the opinion of the trend setters. I think research companies, they often miss this. They just don't consider this. [9731],[9730]
Mostly negative I would say. I would say mostly negative. There were some really good projects that were highly estimated, highly liked by the client, but in most projects, we had a very, very difficult time with this client. [9732]
From this project on, I personally felt, I had more credibility from the client, and it's much easier for me to express my opinion and why we do this and not that. [9733]
Yeah, but anyway, it was quite limited both time and budget. [9734],[9735]
Taller deadlines. Deadlines. I remember that we sat together with my art director, and it was midnight, and we sat at the kitchen in the office, and it was like, "I feel so sleepy, I want to sleep so much. The metro will close in an hour, we'll have to take a taxi, oh my God! I don't want to take a taxi. The company will pay for that, but anyway, I don't want to go like this," and that kind of stuff. [9736]
Taller deadlines. Deadlines. I remember that we sat together with my art director, and it was midnight, and we sat at the kitchen in the office, and it was like, "I feel so sleepy, I want to sleep so much. The metro will close in an hour, we'll have to take a taxi, oh my God! I don't want to take a taxi. The company will pay for that, but anyway, I don't want to go like this," and that kind of stuff. Somehow, we were sitting, joking, yawning, and that kind of stuff, and it just struck. I don't remember who was the first, me or him, to say it out loud, but it was just, we were thinking on that, but we were talking about some other things like, which night club are we going to? Is it next Friday? That kind of stuff. [9768]
No, at some point, there was another woman taking the position of the girl that I was talking about earlier, the girl that was group brand manager or something like this. She had a promotion, so, she still controlled the actions of the girl who came instead of her. The girl who came instead of her, she almost, almost every time consulted the senior girl. [9769],[9737]
Somewhere after yeah, but she was the one who accepted the project, and who loved the project. Moreover, I know that headquarters did not like the project. She took the risk upon herself, and she persuaded them that we should have this project. As I said, she was a very, very brave marketing person. [9738]
To be perfectly honest with you, two years ago, maybe one year and a half, I was very much depressed about my work in general, because I saw that most work we do here has nothing to do with creativity actually. It's like selling hamburgers. You understand what I mean. [9739],[9770]
Yeah exactly, exactly, and you go and do that, especially with the companies that we have within our agency portfolio, and I actually work with almost ll companies we have as clients. I felt very much depressed because of that, really. I tried to make some steps to some other industries like PR kind of stuff, then I realized that if I change the industry, that I will lose money because of experience, because, anyway, people who started at PR industry, they have great experience, they have better social connections that I do. So, it means my salary will go down anyway. [9740],[9741],[9771]
Somehow, I thought that's probably not what I want, because I still want to eat where I go eat and drive my car, and that kind of thing. So, I decided to stay within the industry, but still, I started making some steps to decide still being here. I also thought, if I cannot change the situation, then what am I going to do? Change my view upon it. I worked on that, and I'd actually succeeded. [9742],[9743]
So now to me, it's a sort of game. When I go to a client, and I see a completely insane person, who knows absolutely nothing about people who buy the product, about the consumers, but who believes she or he knows absolutely everything about the audience, that she has great professional experience and blah, blah, blah, and actually, she or he does not need creative people because she can write everything on her own, or maybe he, it doesn't matter. [9744]
When I go to a client, and I see a completely insane person, who knows absolutely nothing about people who buy the product, about the consumers, but who believes she or he knows absolutely everything about the audience, that she has great professional experience and blah, blah, blah, and actually, she or he does not need creative people because she can write everything on her own, or maybe he, it doesn't matter. [9772]
So, I started playing the game like I'm a psychiatrist and they're my patients. So, when I come to their offices and I talk to them, I try to be very attentive, I smile, I talk to them, I agree and I say yes, yes, yes. But to me, my inner feeling is like, I'm a psychiatrist and I talk to insane people, and that helps me work here. Otherwise, if I took everything seriously, I would go insane myself. There are so many beautiful things in life that I want to keep sanity, brains. [9745],[9746]
Yeah, yeah. Honestly, it helps me a lot. When I talk to people and I understand, she's nuts, "Okay, let her be nuts, she wants to be like this, okay. I'm a psychiatrist, I have to understand her. You are Napoleon, okay, yeah sure. No problem, no big deal." [9750],[9773],[9749],[9748],[9747]
Well, I was scared of her, I hated her, and I thought she was the hysterical type, and I still think she is. I don't think that a professional person, I believe that a professional person can keep emotions, can manage her or his emotions, and somehow refrain from shouting at people, and things like that. I think it's highly unprofessional to do that. I'm a very emotional person, and I know that sometimes when I'm just fuming, I can start shouting. I hate myself for this. So, I really work hard on eliminating this terrible feature, because that's really terrible. I think for marketing people especially when they are close to the top, it's completely unprofessional. [9755],[9756],[9754],[9774],[9753],[9752],[9751]
There was another thing also, there was another thing also. We didn't have any arguments within the team. [9757]
So, we just came and said, " We love this idea, and we've got to sell it." That's what we did. There were no people interfering with their great experience, their idea of what the clients would like, and what the clients would not like, that kind of stuff. So, nobody interfered into that. That was our personal responsibility, and we had credit for that. That's very important, and that's actually what often hampers us from doing a quality, quality work, too many people interfering, with their great professional expression, their great judgment on how things should be done, and that kind of stuff. [9759],[9758]
I think that there should be only one person, who takes ultimate responsibility upon him or herself, only one on the project. That's it. He is the one who decides whether we go with this or we don't. When there are strategic director, account director, creative director and some other directors, and everybody wants to express his or her valuable opinion, that hampers us from ... That's a barrier. That's an obstacle to do a good job. There should be only one person who has the last word, yes or no. [9760]
As I told you, I can't remember exactly whether we had the creative director by that time with us or not. I remember that we were selling this to the account director. We came and said, "We have a great idea, we love it, we want to present it." She was able to listen to people, which is quite important in our work. [9762],[9761]
I can't remember whether we had a strategic department structured as we have it here. We had a person who was, she was the managing director of the BTL agency of Leo Burnett, called Black Pencil. You might have heard of it. She was Australian, great girl. We talked to her. We presented that idea to her, she liked it as well, and she was more business minded. She said, "The strong points are this, this and that. The weak points are, this, this and that. But overall, I like it, and I think we should sell it." So, she was, I think if we talk about strategy, then the strategic person was probably that managing director of BTL agency of Leo Burnett. So, we didn't have any specific strategic department for Phillip Morris. [9763]
Reference Tags
[9707] Subjective validation,[9708] Ikea effect,[9709] Ikea effect,[9710] Forceful conflict about ideas,[9711] Indecisive leadership,[9712] Lack of organizational encouragement,[9764] Cultural differences,[9713] Lack of organizational encouragement,[9714] Lack of trust,[9715] Organizing effectively,[9717] Organizational encouragement,[9716] Organizing effectively,[9718] Forceful conflict about ideas,[9765] Believes one has high agency,[9719] Forceful conflict about ideas,[9720] Implicit stereotypes,[9722] Lack of trust,[9721] Ultimate attribution error,[9723] Trust,[9724] Confirmation bias,[9766] Reactance,[9767] Reactive devaluation,[9725] Confirmation bias,[9726] Confirmation bias,[9727] False consensus effect,[9728] Implicit stereotypes,[9729] Confirmation bias,[9731] Confirmation bias,[9730] False consensus effect,[9732] Alignment,[9733] Lack of organizational encouragement,[9734] Lack of resources,[9735] Planning fallacy,[9736] Planning fallacy,[9768] Collaborative-Creative Disposition,[9769] Forceful conflict about relationships,[9737] Micromanaging,[9738] Forceful conflict about ideas,[9739] Declinism,[9770] Reactance,[9740] Declinism,[9741] Loss aversion,[9771] Reactance,[9742] Declinism,[9743] Loss aversion,[9744] Illusory superiority,[9772] Anecdotal fallacy,[9745] Belief that good ideas speak for themselves,[9746] Illusory superiority,[9750] Belief that good ideas speak for themselves,[9773] Believes one has a hopeful path,[9749] Illusory superiority,[9748] Listening disposition,[9747] Woman blaming woman,[9755] Belief that good ideas speak for themselves,[9756] Communication issues,[9754] Illusory superiority,[9774] Irreconcilable differences,[9753] Listening disposition,[9752] Unresolved relationship conflict,[9751] Woman blaming woman,[9757] Indecisive leadership,[9759] Lack of organizational encouragement,[9758] Micromanaging,[9760] Decisive leadership,[9762] Listening disposition,[9761] Win-win conflict about ideas,[9763] Organizational encouragement

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