Oliver Rees, ex-JWT employee, on how our Inspirational Foundations course instilled a sense of excitement about the future of advertising.
As soon as Lean Mean Fighting Machine’s Tom Bazeley took us through the two-day programme for the IPA’s ‘Inspirational Foundations, The Next Golden Age of Advertising’ course, any initial doubts I had about signing up disappeared.
Eminent speaker after eminent speaker came to talk to us about everything: from how we should treat clients, to what ‘trans-media’ really is. It was incredibly humbling.
What right did we, a group of young, naïve, kids have to hear some incredible people tell us their deepest secrets and lessons from an industry in flux?
And when we weren’t listening to brilliant talks, we were working with each other in groups, using what we’d learnt. One of my favorite practical tips from a speaker was to ‘snort as much creativity’ as we possible could, to give us inspiration for the task.
I was expecting speakers to recount the generic advice that you could read in any industry textbook – that, as an account person, you need to be a politician and a plate spinner – or, wait, was it a juggler and a football manager?
Regardless, the overwhelming message of the two days was completely unexpected: that anything is possible. From Google Glasses to new agency models, the course instilled a sense of passion and excitement in us, centered on the idea that the future of advertising is going to reward new and different thinking.
The days of irrelevant, loud and lazy ads are over. Tomorrow is about disruptive content, collaborative partnerships and relevant communication. And with barriers to entry being demolished by cheaper and cheaper technology, it is the idea that is king.
Dan Germain from innocent drinks talked about how he shot their first ad on a sunny afternoon in Gunnersbury Park, after a super expensive ad shoot had gone wrong. And it looked great because the idea was simple, true, and perfect for the brand. It didn’t matter that some of the stop motion was a little clunky.
When we split up into groups, our task was to conceive of how we would run an agency in 2014. Although it is unlikely that any of us will be in that position in two years, the idea that it might be possible made for an exciting couple of days of discussion and debate.
The two days were unforgettable, and, though I hate to say it, completely inspirational too!
This year’s ‘Creative Darwinism: be more creative or fail’ course will be held on 20th–21st November 2014. Book your place now!
Last updated 22/09/2014