How are you, really? By Cannes Lions

I haven’t been networking for ages. While living in London it was so easy to attend all the courses and events at least once a week. Now that I moved to Essex and after having 2 kids, escaping for 3 hours to London requires a “bit” of planning.

Anyway, I made it last week to How are you, really? an event organized by Cannes Lions See it Be it. Unlike most chats, where the speakers tell us about their jobs, case studies and success (and we end up wanting to be like them), this event was focused on us, the audience. I guess the title can tell you that, so let me tell you the rest.

How are you really

Michelle Morgan started with an honest and touching talk sharing her story about the time when she had a burnout. Yes, it can happen to anyone. She is the co-founder of Livity and despite loving her job and working in the industry for many years, one day it suddenly happened. (FYI a burnout is exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress). The talk opened the topic for mental health and depression, in the Q&A more women shared their stories and also advice on how friends and family can help. I must confess my eyes welled up with all the stories but shhhh don’t tell anyone. If you know someone going through difficult times, just be there for them, to make dinner, to change the topic and most importantly to listen. Michelle was wearing pjs, 6pm is maybe is a bit early for them but she was showing us her new venture called PJoys. Confirming that after every storm the sun always shines, and brave people like her get to move on.

Sukhvinder Pabial followed, sharing great advice on how to deal with this s*** . Pardon me! How to deal with all the stress and concerns. Basically by removing ourselves from that situation and thinking of the positive. We spend too much time worrying and don’t give permission to ask ourselves when we had a moment full of joy. I tried to write down some of the exercises so you can join the club.

1. When was the last time you felt vibrant? ____________. What do we mean by vibrant? What made you the happiest person in the world? Gratitude is a very important thing.

2. Can you think of 3 good things that happened to you today? 

1________2________3________

Is it difficult to come up with some answers? Maybe as adults, we became too complicated. Kids have no concept of holding back, they reply immediately to this. Lastly, there is more to life than being at home or being at work. People tend to have 2 places where they spend most of his time so

3. Where is your third place?________________. Where are you taking care of yourself? What’s that thing that you do and make you feel rejuvenated? I’m not pretending to be a therapist (I’m quite far from it) but in this article maybe. Just ask yourself the simple questions. Sometimes the greatest answers are those that we are not looking for.

Then we left our seats and started dancing and singing. Yes, we are mad! Blame Dr. Amy Rachelle on stage, sharing her 6-step system for a complete mind, body and spirit workout. If you have 6 minutes a day (which I’m sure you do) use them to power yourself.  Amy remarked on the importance of putting yourself first. We seem to be busy taking care of everybody else, thinking that we have super powers with no need for a break. Although, it’s essential to take that little time to pause, clear your head of thoughts and feelings – recovering your healthy self, instead of letting your body deplete.

Just when I was thinking I was in the perfect yoga retreat, the event took us back to the ad world. Jaki Jo Hannan, Senior Art Producer at AMV BBDO gave a fantastic talk about self-care & love in a fast-paced industry. Starting with a pic of herself with braces in her teens, Jaki Jo opened the door for a conversation about confidence and self care. She shared her own experience with honesty and humour all the way; simple statements such as ‘Sleeping the hours you need, not having sugar at night, taking yourself on a date and writing as a therapy’ became relevant when you see her on stage. She is a spontaneous and thriving woman, having worked her way up from intern to integrated creative Senior Art Producer. Recently she launched EqualLens her 50|50 Photography Ambition creating new and equal opportunities for female photographers in advertising.

We are almost there, so time to breath. That was the last piece of advice by Anthony Abbagnano. How such a simple tool as your breath can be used to transform your life.

That’s it. Time to ask yourself How are you?

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Unlimited Day

Last Wednesday I was part of the team representing Ariadna at the Unlimited Day, an annual event held by Creston that aims to gather all the independent agencies within the network: The Unlimited Group, a day to showcase the best work, award innovative ideas and to inspire the group by showing ambitious goals and our journey there.

A hot choc started my day -I needed some calories for an Unlimited Day. The morning flew by with great speakers and case studies, really good work from brands targeting Mums such as Aptawell and Babycare, based on insights that made me feel truly identified with.

The multi-awarded campaign Bad Barista, demonstrated that pharma can be rather creative, disrupting the boring communications doctors receive day after day. It also showed how important is branding in pharmaceuticals.

Bad Barista.jpg

TMW was on stage, showing us how they revamped Lynx on digital, with a more human and real approach by launching the  #MenInProgress series. Short stories that challenge perceptions of the modern man, the ones that cry, laugh, share thoughts, feelings; speaking their mind in a wonderful way and celebrating masculinity regardless of background, race, or sexual orientation.

Men in Progress.jpg

18 Feet & Rising impressed me with the work they did for House of Fraser last Christmas, breaking all the rules for a traditional ad. The 100-second ad is a powerful mix of quirkiness, fashion and music in an stylish and distinctive way. The idea behind ‘your Christmas, your rules’ is to invite people to embrace their own quirks and traditions, that is what makes the holidays special. And watching the video on a big screen is a completely different experience!

Will Hart from Canon shared his views as an Unlimited Client, from a very honest and motivating point of view. Basically, when mobile phones gave the user the option to take pictures, the camera industry collapsed but they remained strong. As partners, client and agency work together to find a solution. Now the business is evolving and finding profitable opportunities in the printing market.

David Davies, Managing Director of Content at Cannes Lions, started the afternoon session, highlighting the importance of Creativity, recalling moments from the festival, keynotes from different speakers, brands charts and even books bringing up the debate between creativity and business results.

The case for creativity.jpg

 

“The most intimidating thing a client can do is trust their agency.” David Droga

After all the inspiration, it was time for the Expo. A slot in the agenda where companies had to introduce themselves to the group (like speed dating without the drawbacks). We met teams from all across the globe, agencies from Germany, US, UK, Japan, everywhere. Ariadna brought the Latam quota to the network, from February 2016 we joined the partnership, so if you didn’t know you could work with a sister agency in Miami, Colombia, Brazil and most countries in South America, now you know!

Time was against us, so we kept getting to know each other during the BBQ, also -chatting flows better with a drink. At the end of the day, I had 3 words in my mind: Diversity, Collaboration and Innovation .

Theoretically, the Unlimited Day finished, but for me it hasn’t. Every day we can be part of a team, give our best, get inspired by others and discover unlimited opportunities.

 

To be continued

Many people have trouble sleeping. In my case… I have a beautiful newborn called Sofia and also keep thinking I need to keep this blog alive. As if life with 2 little girls wasn’t enough, I added another kid to the family: my Blog. Yep, at 2:30am, apart from staring at my baby, catching up on Fb, Instagram and the chats of WhatsApp, all ideas come to mind. Therefore I decided to get rid of these drafts that have been sitting for a while on my WordPress. With few changes and edits, one by one they will overcome their shyness.

TRAVEL WITH STYLE

I worked with Ariadna US on different digital campaigns for the travel industry. I love travelling, so I considered myself the target. As part of the creative process, I started my research looking for brands that were doing an innovative work in this category.

  • JetBlue. It is not just an airline, it also offers flights, hotels, wheels and more via their JetBlue Getaways, but people didn’t know. That’s why they launched Get Away with it , the first-ever live online game show using Skype.  The show aired five times a day daily for five days and attracted a large audience, reaching fans on real time and promoting the airline’s vacation packages.JetBlue - Get away with it
  • Guy Cotten. French nautical outfitters launched a drowning simulator. Sortie en mer is  a realistic experience in which viewers continuously scroll up a page to stay afloat. Encouraging more people to wear life jackets when they go out at sea. Click on the link and try to stay alive, it’s good exercise to your fingers.

Sortie en mer - Guy Cotten

  • J. Crew.  If you watch “Travel with Style” you are going to fall in love with it [unless you are my brother and don’t care about ads at all]. The idea, shots, music, the way they play with the suits, everything. Casey Neistat is great at doing videos! This one is definitely an innovative way to show the product and a faultless job.

And after all the inspiring bits, I must confess is quite difficult to finish an article that started ages ago. I keep thinking the perfect end…writing and crossing lines (deleting in this case) and I’m still deciding the best way to finish it. Probably this post doesn’t need an end, it needs more practice. Writing is a habit and there is only one way to master it.

Shooting at the center

In the creative industry we  look for ideas 24 hours a day, no word of a lie.  Last weekend I was moving house, something to feel very excited about, but every time I was carrying a box, cleaning the place or unpacking, I was thinking of KFC. I had a presentation on Monday, so no time to bake a cake for the neighbours jaja…not that I was intending to. The idea had to be born over the weekend so I kept linking pieces of information in my brain, while assembling a cot. I’m glad I had the help of my UK family. Long story short, the idea came but the house is still a mess.

What’s the trick to getting an idea? When you need some inspiration, you must speak your mind and listen to what’s going on around you. Brainstorming with people from work is always effective. Researching and experiencing as much as you can about the product and the target will lead to discoveries. The classic online inspiration: vimeo, youtube videos, reading blogs, ad awards and case studies are all valid; if others did it you can too! And remember to keep an eye on the news (not really, the news is disappointing).

From all of them, my favourite is to listen to people who don’t work in advertising, they are my innocent source of insights and my real target. They skip ads instead of looking for them, they don’t know about Cannes and the campaigns with the most awards – but they teach you a lot about different topics. They are thinking outside of the box, because they are outside the box.

When I was fine-tuning my idea, my husband was watching a youtube channel called SMARTER EVERY DAY. You should watch it, it’s great! That’s how I discovered Byron Ferguson, an unbelievably good archer. He can shoot an aspirin in mid air. What?? Yes, he can hit an aspirin, with a bow and arrow. Impressive!

When people ask what’s the secret, he replies: “Shoot at the center. The center of the Aspirin is exactly the same as the center of a beach ball – it’s a point”. And that’s how good ideas should be born, by shooting straight to the point.

Classic

“If you love something…”
I’ve heard this sentence since I was about 15. People use it a lot.
We used it when we are dumped, when we are in love with someone and that someone is in love with someone else and the chain continues…and in every cheesy moment that you can think of. That’s how we burnt out a sentence and became it obsolete.
Until someone found a new insight into it. Thanks Miguel & Theo. Beautiful.