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Smirnoff

S

Interviewee

3 Creative

Team Advantages

Team Disadvantages

0, 2

Project Outcome

Control

Industry

Alcohol

Location

London

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Indecisive

Company

Smirnoff


But generally speaking, the first [inaudible 01:07:03] stuff has died. There has been a rewrite of the brief, and we're gonna be given that probably next year and then we're gonna continue working. Lots of writing, difficult client, constantly shifting the goal posts, should be risk averse, talks a good game, but actually is quite conservative, [DIGO 01:07:29]. A lot of politics between London and New York, if that could be confidential. [393]
Okay, two. Very quickly. One is ongoing work for Smirnoff. Main brand, new campaign, 2008 and onwards, to basically generate stuff for TV, press, and ambient media that will run here and abroad, that will talk about red label, black label, all their stuff. Under one umbrella thought, and there has been lots of work done on that recently from several teams all over the world, where one of them, we're the sole team in the UK except for a little tiny bit of work that was done by another team. But generally speaking, the first [inaudible 01:07:03] stuff has died. There has been a rewrite of the brief, and we're gonna be given that probably next year and then we're gonna continue working. Lots of writing, difficult client, constantly shifting the goal posts, should be risk averse, talks a good game, but actually is quite conservative, [DIGO 01:07:29]. A lot of politics between London and New York, if that could be confidential. [392],[394]
And the general outcome is that a lot of work is squandered. There's a couple of creative directors on it who often disagree and we get caught in the middle. [428],[395],[429]
Correct. Which is not ideal. It creates problems for everybody. [396]
No. One is considered more in charge of it than the other. [397]
The reason for this is that there is simply, when you have a prize like Smirnoff, which generates a lot of supposedly shop window work and it's one of the more creative "briefs" in the agency, then obviously you're gonna have lots of people from lots of countries wanting a piece of it, New York being our main branch and the flagship wants to control it. [398],[400],[399]
UK throwing in the odd script, South America throwing in the odd script, but at the moment, it's kind of like, it's kind of kids having fights on the playground and it's really boring. [401]
But in the middle of all that is some work, which is quite nice, some of it, and it's not very, to be honest with you, very, very, very open and not very good. [402],[403]
And the drama in all the scripts is the bit with the impurities, not the flawless. Flawlessness is boring. Purity is dull. And impurity is where the drama comes from. That's exactly where the client goes wrong. They think that impurity is bad. They don't even want to dramatize it. They don't want to play that game. [431],[430]
The brief was flawlessness. Flawless. Which ended up going in one direction only creatively, and that often happens in the writing is that you actually see a creative brief and think "Well, that should be quite open ended. I can do lots of different avenues to that." And when you start writing it, you realize that actually, it only funnels down to one thing and the proposition in this case, flawlessness, the only conclusion it leads you to is that Smirnoff is flawless because they keep out impurities. And the drama in all the scripts is the bit with the impurities, not the flawless. Flawlessness is boring. Purity is dull. And impurity is where the drama comes from. That's exactly where the client goes wrong. They think that impurity is bad. They don't even want to dramatize it. They don't want to play that game. [404]
But creatively, that's the fun bit. You have a contradiction. You have a lot of unhappy creatives and you have some boring ass work that will go through, because you just know they're gonna go for something that's kind of, funny enough, quite ... Well, if they're not careful, it'll be very rational. [434],[405],[407],[406],[433],[432]
Huge client size. Very hierarchical. Relationships, I know that some of the people on the board, some of them are ... No, I'd say for the most part, it's a very master servant relationship. [408]
Very hierarchical. Relationships, I know that some of the people on the board, some of them are ... No, I'd say for the most part, it's a very master servant relationship. [435]
They do, but they have no risk tolerance until they've researched. They are research mad. They have a real obsession with that. They have no gut instinct. None. [409]
I wouldn't be able to comment on that, to be honest with you. I think most of our clients, and this is a factor in the industry, which has happened really in the last, probably the last 20 years is that research has become a much more dominating factor in clients' decision making. [411],[410]
Global. It used to be "You're the experts. Give us some work." And now it's "Our media department's bigger than your creative department. We can tell you what to do." There's a lot more fights across the table than there used to be. And research decides it and even creative directors are, to some degree, emasculated by the guy in the street. In the old days it was what the creative director said, it's great, therefore it's probably great. Do a little bit of fishbowl research on it and get it out the door. Now you gotta have numbers. You must quantify that. They don't take ... That's a really important development. The growth of research. WPP owned quite a lot of those research companies, like Miller Brown [413]
Global. It used to be "You're the experts. Give us some work." And now it's "Our media department's bigger than your creative department. We can tell you what to do." There's a lot more fights across the table than there used to be. And research decides it and even creative directors are, to some degree, emasculated by the guy in the street. In the old days it was what the creative director said, it's great, therefore it's probably great. Do a little bit of fishbowl research on it and get it out the door. Now you gotta have numbers. You must quantify that. They don't take ... That's a really important development. The growth of research. WPP owned quite a lot of those research companies, like Miller Brown. [412]
Yeah, JWT's output, just like [OVV 01:13:26] and [YNR 01:13:27], owned by WPP, are all research. All the work, mostly, is put through the ringer. [414]
No time constraints, really. Budget, no. Not a factor. Pretty open ended. Actually, they've got too much time. They can faff around. That's, again, a problem. Clients with less time make decisions. [415],[417],[416]
Communication constraints are bad, yes. That's a factor. [crosstalk 01:14:20] [418]
Definitely. WE don't have a one on one dialogue with the client. We don't have ... [419]
Well, the New York office is better at it at the moment than we are and we can't have ... We're not having enough direct, a direct conversation. [420]
o the drama should be in him fighting or you embodying the spirit of Vladimir fighting impurities. That's kind of where we're trying to take it. New York wanted to keep it more open than that. For me, then, there's no ad because there's no promise and there's no differentiation. There's no ... Yeah, there's no ads on TV. There's nothing. [436]
Actually, no, we did a lot of our thinking at our house for that, because we wanted to really, really change the setting. We did that in my house in the country. [421]
I think it's very master and servant. [422]
Account team, can't really discuss that because the main conversation and communication goes on in New York. So we are always slightly one beat behind. So I think whatever I tell you about that, it will be contaminated by the fact we're in London and they're in New York. [438],[437],[424],[423]
Yeah, you are. You are one removed. [426],[425]
It is important. It's 100% important. [427]
Reference Tags
[393] Scope creep,[392] Indecisive leadership,[394] Risk compensation,[428] Alignment,[395] Indecisive leadership,[429] Internal changes/challenges,[396] Indecisive leadership,[397] Indecisive leadership,[398] Indecisive leadership,[400] Lack of organizational encouragement,[399] Micromanaging,[401] Unresolved relationship conflict,[402] Lack of challenging work,[403] Reactive devaluation,[431] Anecdotal fallacy,[430] Overconfidence bias,[404] Reactive devaluation,[434] Anecdotal fallacy,[405] Humor effect,[407] Lack of challenging work,[406] Lack of organizational encouragement,[433] Pessimism bias,[432] Reactance,[408] Dismissive,[435] Authority bias,[409] Law of the instrument,[411] Great example - JWT Methods,[410] Law of the instrument,[413] Law of the instrument,[412] Great example - JWT Methods,[414] Law of the instrument,[415] Appropriate resources,[417] Balanced workload pressure,[416] Planning fallacy,[418] Communication issues,[419] Communication issues,[420] Communication issues,[436] Alignment,[421] Communicating ideas across domains,[422] Dismissive,[438] Alignment,[437] Communication issues,[424] Communication issues,[423] Indecisive leadership,[426] Communication issues,[425] Indecisive leadership,[427] Communication issues

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