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Technology (huge company)

T

Interviewee

115 Creative

Team Disadvantages

0, 4

Project Outcome

Successful

Industry

Mobile/internet/Communication

Location

Singapore

Team Risk Tolerance

Low

Team Dynamics

TeamDynamics_Turnaround

Company

Technology (huge company)


Yeah, I'm just thinking back to January when I was doing this massive pitch. And it was everyone in the agency was involved, in the sense of all the big poobahs, from the head of the Asia-Pacific office down to my own creative director and all the suits. It was like a [inaudible 00:21:04] of some 15 people, which was both very good and very, very bad because everyone had inputs and when the senior guys have inputs right or wrong, you have to listen to them. And often, because of the sheer number of senior people involved, there was a lot of, well, intellectual masturbation and a lot of egos at stake also. [5626],[5625]
But again, there were that many perspectives and I think that sort of, we had days with great highs and great lows because we could come up with an entirely new direction every day. And it was frustrating because, as creators, you're going down one road in terms of one direction. You flesh out the direction for four days and then you find that, come day five, that has been canned because something, there's a new angle, there's a new direction. [5627]
So, what happened this particular campaign, I'm not getting into the agency or the names, obviously. But, I think we were able to discuss the issues really threadbare. We were able to look at all the possible angles. And it was a do-or-die situation with the agency because they had messed up a couple of important projects for the same client before, so the client had made it very clear that this is your make-or-break effort. If you do not pull through on this one, the whole business goes. Not in so many words, but it was kind of implied. [5629],[5628]
We sat with the whole team, creative team sat together and fleshed out all the different ideas from above the line, print, to below the line, brochures, banners, hoardings, billboards, what have you, and through the line, online, from websites to microsites to banners and viral videos and everything else. [5634]
So, we had to go through the cycle of changes, of direction every two days. Finally, then things came to a head. The creative director sort of cut out everything else and said, 'Okay, this is the direction we're going.' And I think everything fell into place after that once all the other stuff had been eliminated, in terms of the wrong directions. And he goes, 'I've been [inaudible 00:23:00],' and we had settled on one direction which made the most sense. Then it was a matter of fleshing out that direction. We sat with the whole team, creative team sat together and fleshed out all the different ideas from above the line, print, to below the line, brochures, banners, hoardings, billboards, what have you, and through the line, online, from websites to microsites to banners and viral videos and everything else. [5631],[5633],[5630],[5632]
What you could see was A, the quality of the thinking, it was a very sound, very strategic, very solid, and it was equally well-expressed in terms of creativity, in terms of the idea being fleshed out, because there's one idea expressed in seven different ways to give it dimensions. So, everything led to the same thing, but it was completely there, the plan was completely bulldozed. We had done some 70-odd boards, on which we had shown everything. The whole conference room was completely covered by those boards and it was an awesome presentation. And the client applauded at the end of it. Needless to say, the agency not only won that piece of business, but suddenly it's getting a whole lot of business. It was a great team effort and it was both frustrating as well as stimulating. [5635],[5636]
Well, in this case, since it was a make-or-break effort for the agency, they were willing to try whatever it took, as long as it met the client's needs. [5638],[5637]
The agency from what I can see is not terribly out there. It would like to be, but it doesn't exactly have a reputation for strong creativity and all that. And to be fair, this particular client, it's not exactly known for their own creativity. They are very conservative, very- [5639]
Yes. They researched ... Excuse me, I can't because it's still, that particular campaign is still being developed so obviously I cannot say more about it. They like the core direction, but they are concerned about one element of it, in terms of how ... Again it sounds very, horribly vague but without getting into confidential stuff, I won't be able to expound on that. [5640]
Well, the brief was not much to begin with. It kind of evolved, and ... lots of holes were picked in it and rightly so, and then it evolved and it became tighter and tighter, much more solid. It was nothing to begin with, really. It was only when it survived countless rounds of intervention by senior creators and planners and agency devs that something began to come out of it. Because otherwise it was a pretty wishy-washy brief. [5641]
Time, well to begin with, there was, I guess, three weeks which is a lifetime in advertising. We usually get two to four days, sometimes a day. But because of all the intellectual masturbation that came around, it took about two weeks for that to come to a close, and finally we got about five days to turn it around in terms of actual creativity and fleshing out the campaign and all that. [5642]
I think, settling on one strong direction rather than different people coming in on different days and throwing out different ideas or throwing indifferent ideas. Because it was all over the place for the first two weeks. It was only the third and last week that everything fell together because people realized that we did not have enough time to dick around anymore. We needed to settle on a direction and go forward with that. I think, once that direction was agreed upon and there were going to be no changes to that direction, then I think the ideas flowed. Because otherwise we struggled with some stuff which looked interesting but didn't go anywhere or got changed midstream. That can be, obviously, very frustrating. [5643]
Well at that point, it was all on a very good plain because the client was pretty unhappy and was on the verge of giving away a chunk of the business to some other agency. I think it was civil but cold. And I don't blame the client because obviously, the messes that happened were the agency's fault. It was not surprising that the client had lost faith in the agency. [5644]
Pretty good. Except for, again, some egos and some feathers being ruffled initially. But I think because everyone's jobs on the line on that particular project, everyone sort of fell into line. All the [inaudible 00:31:57] differences were finally ironed out. Because some of those [inaudible 00:32:03] differences did create headaches for us as a creative team because, like I said, we were going down one direction, then four days later find that it changed completely. But I think overall, it was one of the best campaigns that I have done. [5645],[5646]
Those were good also. It was just that a lot of the key people were not seeing eye to eye sometimes. And what is really frustrating is when people who attended one meeting, the previous meeting, do not attend the following meeting and people who've not attended, say, meeting number three then come into, oh, people who attended meeting three don't come into meeting four and five and six. And people who've not attended meeting four, five and six happen coming back in the seventh meeting and then they have their own inputs, you know? It was so ... everyone and all the decision-makers need to be in all the meetings all the time. Otherwise, if you've missed out on something that happened two meetings ago, or even one meeting ago, you can't come back and say, 'Hang on, but what about this direction?' [5648],[5647]
Reference Tags
[5626] Indecisive leadership,[5625] Micromanaging,[5627] Indecisive leadership,[5629] Believes one has a hopeful path,[5628] Win-win conflict about ideas,[5634] Communicating ideas across domains,[5631] Believes one has a hopeful path,[5633] Decisive leadership,[5630] Unbalanced workload pressure,[5632] Win-win conflict about ideas,[5635] Great example - Individual & Team outcomes for future efforts,[5636] Resilience,[5638] Believes one has a hopeful path,[5637] Win-win conflict about ideas,[5639] Risk compensation,[5640] Anchoring,[5641] Vague goals,[5642] Organizing effectively,[5643] Decisive leadership,[5644] Empathetic disposition,[5645] Empathetic disposition,[5646] Micromanaging,[5648] Indecisive leadership,[5647] Lack of trust

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MADISON BARNETT
I get my inspiration from the fictional world. I’m a social geek. Completely exploit 24/365 catalysts for change whereas high standards in action items. Conveniently whiteboard multifunctional benefits without enabled leadership.
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