Advertising Week with United: DAY 2


 Creative Leadership

John Norman CCO/ TBWA\Chiat\Day LA | John Patroulis CCO / BBH New York | Mark Fitzloff Global Executive Creative Director / Wieden + Kennedy | Paul Venables Founder & Executive Creative Director / Venables Bell + Partners | Rei Inamoto CCO / AKQA | Ted Royer CCO / Droga 5

You can’t have the best restaurant in the world without a great chef. The same principle applies to agencies and their creative teams. In today’s world, coupling the power of creativity is more important than ever. For that matter, top creative executives met for a deep discussion on how best to develop creative leaders in the current realm of advertising.

When it comes to being a leader, harnessing human values is of utmost importance.  Soft skills are hard to develop. Sincerity, respect, sympathy, empathy and honesty are just few of the characteristics make a good trailblazer, and simply put, some people have them and some people don’t.

Exceptional creative leaders all share similar traits that set them apart from everyone else:

  • They provide inspiration to their team.
  • They get out of their chair and talk to people
  • They are as excited with their work as his/her team
  • They feel ownership of the brand
  • They build a one-on-one relationship with their clients
  • They understand the needs and problems of their team and client better than anyone else
  • They adapt and evolve 

In the end, being a good leader boils down to this epic phrase:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou


The brand as an experience

Dan Hirsch Founder & CEO / On Board Experiential Marketing | Ed Cotton Dir. Of Strategy & Innovation / Butler, Shines, Stern & Partners | Hosi Simon Global General Manager / VICE | James L. McDowell VP / MINI

What good is your brand if it doesn’t evoke an experience? Executives from the world’s most creative brands – MINI, Intel and Nike – came together for a panel on how to engage with clients in new and creative ways.

Campaigns may come and go, but in today’s world, brands should strive to focus on creating movements and memories. Emotions and experience are part of the things people carry for the rest of their lives. Brands such as Nike, for instance, base their vision on elevating the experience of the athlete. Authenticity is a key aspect when it comes to creating a brand experience. Ask yourself,  “Is there a real reason why the client is using the product at that particular moment?” Brands that will succeed in the future will harness this power and add the extra value to people’s life.

Digital platforms such as social media are excellent opportunities to ignite conversations revolving a product that often lead to one of the most powerful assets a brand could have: a community. Creating an environment suitable for user-generated content is the ideal scenario that not only provides a snapshot, but an ongoing story with people.



Alexi Glick CEO / GENYouth Foundation | Elizabeth Harz VP, Business Development / Chegg | Jennifer Enderlin Sr. Project Mgr. Philanthropy / AT&T Foundation

Marketing for millennials - also known as ‘Generation Y’ - sounds a lot easier that it actually is.  Today’s “made-to-order generation” has become a influential target studied by marketers, one that posses a very specific set of characteristics:

  • They are architects their own education
  • They custom craft their media consumption (they decide which emails to open, which apps to download, which brands to follow and even which ads to watch / search for on Youtube.)
  • They build brand relationships in whichever way they want
  • They spend 47 media hours a week on mobile phones
  • They do things on their own terms, whenever they want
  • 84% have smartphones
  • 34% have tablets
  • 61% follow a brand on social media

When it comes to students, brands need to earn their business and trust. It’s not just about the product; it’s what the organization does behind the scenes.  But most of all, 80% of the people under this target remembers the ads that made them laugh – ads that were authentic, entertaining, unexpected and inspiring.

Engagement that works is based on:

  • Product sampling
  • Special discounts
  • Personalized messaging
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Insider apps
  • Real time consumer care


Award winning creativity

Matthew Quint Director, Center on Global Brand Leadership / Columbia Business School

When it comes to creativity, the advertising industry has basically established that thinking outside the box is the best way to boost good ideas. In this seminar, Matthew Quint challenges us to see how thinking ‘inside the box’ can actually inspire innovation and creativity.

Betty Crocker’s cake mix and the Walkman – products that were both created by thinking inside the box – came to life by modifying or adapting existing qualities or ideas for new opportunities.

So how can constraint inspire creativity?  Research shows that award-winning creativity can be crafted from well-defined frameworks.

These “design structures” can be divided into:


  • Unification- when the medium mixes with the message
  • Activation- doing something that unites with the medium and the audience
  • Metaphor- using the brand to deliver the message in a sarcastic way
  • Subtraction – removing the product from the medium


  • Extreme consequences: using the product to illustrate something drastic that’s happening
  • Absurd alternative: illustrating something ridiculous in an ad
  • Inversion: illustrating the problems of not using the product
  • Extreme effort: illustrating some extreme deed in the ad in order to be funny. 


 The new creative director

Diane Jackson EVP, Dir. of Integrated Production / DDB Chicago | Helayne Spivak Director/ VCU Brandcenter | Joe Alexander CCO / The Martin Agency | Paul Lavoie Chairman & Cofounder / Taxi | Susan Credle CCO / Leo Burnett |Ty Montague Co-CEO / Co Collective

What does the new Creative Director look like?

Over the last few years, with the transition of communication towards multiple platforms, creative directors now look at ideas in a completely different way. Their focus on execution has been transformed into strategy, as mediums have become holistic communication platforms. The world of advertising spots has evolved into conversations.

In light of that, directors are now acquiring a broader spectrum of skill sets as they learn to work with bigger teams and adapt to building brands based on big data and analytics. Technology, consumer intelligence and collaboration are more important than ever.

Thinking about why you are creating something and why would anyone want to see it and use it, is vital.  Strategy is the first part of good creative work. Getting the right people around the table is essential in order to execute that strategy. In businesses, we’ve gone from a 'baton-pass' in terms of work, to teamwork. Everything is collaboration.


 Big ideas

Amy Hodgings – Carvajal SVP, Creative Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler | Conor Brady Chief Creative Office / HUGE |  Gary Koepke Chief Creative Officer, North America / SapientNitro | Reid Miller ECD / Taxi New York | Sam Cannon Executive Creative Director / Razorfish | Teressa Iezzi Editor / Fast Company Co. Create

How do top creatives come up with great ideas and find inspiration? This panel of creative directors discussed the different techniques that have produced successful advertising for brands.

When it comes to new ideas, there’s a secret: we recycle ideas all the time. Good ones always come back as boomerangs. It all comes down to putting together a lot of old ideas in new ways and delivering them in a fresh new format.

In today’s world, brands should stop trying to push the product to clients, and instead focus on the emotional relevance they can build with them.

Top creators don’t focus on winning or losing, but rather on an attitude that can create the ideal scenario for the creation of better ideas.



Anna Christine Diaz Editor / Creativity | Ben Jones Creative Director / Google | Elyssa Gray Head of Creative & Media, Citi North America Marketing / Citi | Freya Williams SVP, Strategy Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler | Jim Kotulka EVP, Executive Creative Director / Publicis Kaplan Thaler

With the intention of helping residents and visitors “unlock” New York City, the Citi brand aligned itself with a beneficial project – the NYC Bike Share. This act of giving back to consumers in a meaningful way has now translated to stronger brand engagement.

What started out as a project between the city of New York and the brand, it has now become a program that has grown and transformed into an action that provides value. In just 76 days, 3,000,000 rides have been taken on 6,000 bikes all over 330 stations in the city. Not only has it helped people lead a healthier life, it has also reduced 3,600 tons of emissions of carbon dioxide

What has the NYC Bike Share done for the Citi brand? It has completely altered people’s perception of the brand and has allowed for an excellent use of media in a city that has a high degree of competition when it comes to OOH advertising.

Citi Bike is a great marriage between advertising and something valuable for the city.

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