Monthly Archives: October 2012

High Performance Content From ‘Working for the Idea’

‘Working for the idea’ is my mantra. This is my core driving force in everything I do. I’m obsessed with getting the best possible value on the screen and for all wastage for all parties to be removed or put where it is best serving the idea. From my experience I can say categorically that there is an element of ‘magic’ that comes from a good process in a production that directly converts onto the screen in some tangible way.

Does A Director Really Contribute To Your Ad?

There are a few different types of director, and they all are valid. There is one that simply unfolds your idea, one that adds to the process and demands to be at the core of the idea, and those that are mistakenly given the full reign including concept development. 

How You Are Getting Your TV Budgets Wrong

There’s a myth that if you disclose a budget range to a supplier that you will be losing the competitiveness in the bid or you will be ripped off by a supplier. What is really happening is that you are choosing the winning supplier based on them landing on an imaginary figure you have in your mind and not because there is real value in the bid. 

Decoding Creatives and Clients

If you’re in an agency, highly creative, an innovative thinker and love change then you’re likely to have no idea how to understand your client. If you’re a client that loves a process, charts, facts and figures and love to know the exact results of your campaign ahead of time then you’re likely to have no idea how to understand your agency. Of course I’m generalising here, but the principle stands. 

Keeping Cool In A Down Turn

This is one of the most challenging times for businesses owners and my experience is that it is often much worse for creative business owners because they’re often skilled artists or operators who have moved up the ranks, but don’t always have the business thinking behind them. So, here are my top strategies for remaining cool, calm and collected during uncertain times: 

Find Your Groove

I was inspired today watching a video of the founder and former CEO of, Jeff Hoffman. He talks about the depressing day a mentor he looked up to and respected told him he’d never make it out in business on his own, and listed three key faults that would cause him to fail. Luckily Jeff went home and watched sport on TV (as you do)…

Handling Overwhelm: Shuffle The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

Overwhelm is one of the most compromising states for many of us and affects our productivity, our communication, inter-office and client relationships as well as our creativity. Some of us recognise it when it appears, and some of us don’t. The idea is to be self aware and remember some simple strategies that work for you to overcome it.

Weather Working For The Client

Call me fastidious, but I do think many producers get stuck in one path of thinking when it comes to shoot weather day problems when there are actually many, with a bit of lateral thinking. It seems there are those that feel they cannot discuss weather issues with their client and keep their head in the sand. 

Creatives Happy At Work

The interesting fact is that a lot of us think that moving jobs will make us happier but that’s not generally true. What we really need to be happy in our jobs is:

Is Your Client Tuned Out In Your Pitch

Did you know that the part of your brain that watches TV is a different part of your brain that speaks out and communicates?

If your client is facing your pitch situation as if they are in a TV watching mode then they’re going to stare blankly at you. How many times have you heard industry people say that their clients just stare at them and don’t say anything in presentations?! I’ve heard it a thousand times I’m sure. 

10 Things Clients Want From You When Pitching

If you’re a smooth-talking salesman that runs a script that you have tailored up thinking that it ‘works’ the clients every time, then this isn’t likely for you. There’s no place for that kind of thinking on this site at all and has been no part in my own success in sales. 

Proposal Checklist

I’ve just done a late night review of a client’s proposal and came up with this quick checklist to help them out. So I thought others might benefit from this too. 17 quick strategies to check to make your proposals get over the line.

These are not the only factors to consider when preparing a proposal but some major points to consider:

How Personality Type Affects Approval Processes

There are nuances to the approval process that really are all about the process but there are factors affecting approval that are personality driven. The key is in knowing the difference, knowing how to anticipate them and manage the process so as not to affect the creative output. 

Procrastination Strategies

OK, tell me that you don’t procrastinate even just some of the time… I don’t know anyone that doesn’t fall victim of this nasty problem – even the most senior CEO. So, given it is so rife across our businesses I thought I would offer some thoughts on how to manage procrastination in order to assist you in getting the results you are aiming for.
Firstly, how do we know when procrastination is in the way?

Does Your Team Have A Bottleneck?

Does your team have a bottleneck? Is there somewhere in the organisation that the work just doesn’t pass through quickly enough? Do team members hesitate to make decisions with speaking to this one person (insert name, department here)? Are you a bottleneck yourself?

Pitch the budget to win the job

It occurred to me today just how many creative businesses work on the same pattern of pitching a budget to a client and how this same pattern has a real hit and miss approach to winning the client over. Funny thing is I tend to work slightly differently and over the years I have had an incredibly high win rate.

Conscious Creative Leadership

Conscious business practices can be described as the focus on the well being of the people, the well being of the system, the well being of the partners (clients and suppliers), the quality of the products and services, the well being of the greater community and the well being of the bottom line all at once. So, it IS possible to work this way, and to get sound bottom line results. 

Creatives: Too big for their boots or ready for growth?

Being successful creatively is more than just about relying on your trained skills, software knowledge, or what you do in your blogs/vlogs, experimental work, film festivals, and self generated projects. 

Post Industry Needs To Re-Invent

Many in the advertising industry have been under some pressure for some time and my heart is with everyone as they are feeling the pinch. The industry is filled with many talented and creative people who do great work but are being overlooked or struggling to keep consistent work in the door. It is no question that times are changing and that has caused a challenge for many. 

Creativity’s Worst Enemy: Saying Nothing

It occurred to me today that one of the worst enemies of good creative and good creative process is… saying nothing. It is easy sometimes to be thinking and feeling that something isn’t right or needs to be a different way, but unless we actually state the concern it can flag to others that you condone the request or the situation. 

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