It was neither Einstein nor metaphysics that greeted the crowds at LBi on Brick Lane last night, but four great advertising minds ready to give us their thoughts on past and present and how it all fits together. What matters and what doesn’t. How to go about tackling the unfathomable future. Because yes, even advertising can get that deep.
First up was Simon Attwater, Group CD of LBi on home turf. He pointed out that we don’t even have to look very far ahead for some life-altering change… In only 9 days, on 21.12.12, apocalypse will strike. As predicted by the Mayans (and they were pretty smart fellas). Provided we survive (and I mean… I’ve got some pretty sturdy Tupperware), how do we live in a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape? How do we adapt?
There may not be news reporting anymore, but there’s always FB timelines. From your receding number of friends, over the growing number of Spotify listens to “The End” by The Doors, to checking in at local shelters. Facebook will be more important than ever to stay on top of top local news. Even your sparse meals of leftovers and bin scavenges can look beautiful on Instagrim, and you can acclimatise your kids to the new world with the Windows classic Cut the Hope. It’s undeniable that technologies like these will be life-saving. But how do we power them – with all sources of energy destroyed? Zombie treadmill power plants. Simples.
Next to grace the stage was Dave Bedwood of Lean Mean Fighting Machine fame. “You need to write less to mean more” he says and gives all those buzzword-lovers a slap on the wrist. If you can’t articulate an idea in 8 words or less, and encapsulate it in a simple poster, then chuck it.
In today’s world with all its technology and social media and blogs for bloody everything, it’s far too easy to create the illusion of creativity. A pigeon with a camera on its head – really?!
There’s no fast-tracking being a great creative. There’s no magic pill or tool that will enable you to cut corners. It’s like golf: the occasional players and self-proclaimed enthusiasts have all sorts of gear and add-ons and THINGS. But the pros… they just practice their stance, their grip etc. over and over and over and over again. And then again. Until it sticks.
Our next speaker Mark Cridge has had TONS of practice. Founding kick-ass agency Glue over 12 years ago, he recently decided to take a step back and hide away from the industry for 6 months – Stefan Saagmeister style. After every 7 years of working, genius designer Saagmeister takes a year out to focus on something completely different. Other projects, other interests. Not a bad shout… ‘Cause you know when you’re too close to something to make any sense of it anymore? (Not seeing the wood for the trees, that kinda thing.) Instead you can fill your head with something else for a year, then return with a fresh mind and revamped set of eyes. So that’s what Mark did. He helped run the Green Party. Yep. The hippie one that cares about trees and stuff.
What he learnt was that people are a less likely to support the same policy if it’s coming from the Green Party. And that done sometimes IS better than perfect. Because you just don’t always have the luxury of time and stroking your perfectionist ego. You’ve just gotta get stuff out there.
So now his brain is all rebooted he’s taking the next step… applying this in a new job. Namely at Berg, a hands-on design consultancy and the wizards behind Little Printer.
Last, but by no means least, Andy Sandoz, Creative Partner at Work Club, lands in our midsts with a blast from the past. “2012 is the year the future got old.” So old in fact, that we’re remaking things. Total Recall, now starring Colin Farrell. Really?! He’s not even Austrian. And did you know that Dave Peacock, of Chas & Dave fame, provided the drum track to Slim Shady’s My Name Is? Rad.
And hair styles: Jake Bugg (now) looks like Ian Brown (60s) looks like Keith Richards (80s). We think we’re being cool and original, but we’re not. Tupac just doesn’t fucking die, and Home Alone was recently digitally reinvented through a Twitter feed. Ideas aren’t new and there’s no denying it.
But hey, who cares? Every time we remake something, it becomes something else. It’s not just copy and paste… it’s copy and morph. Things return and things change. What’s so bad about that hey?
So. If you want to know the future, look at the past.
(Because even an Apocalypse has been done before)
For some visual stimulus, take a sneaky peek at our presenters’ slides:
Big thanks to our partner Source, top notch recruiters we might add, for helping to make this happen!
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