Wednesday, September 23

The über chipper scrapbook- chapter I

So, you are interested in planning. How do you get started? How do you start finding insights? How do you start being useful to an agency/client? There´s only that much you can absorb by reading and listening. And there´s only that many planning work placements in town. I´ve decided to borrow the "book crit" system from the creatives... I mean, it may be not be perfect but it´s a start. I´ve started preparing a scrapbook with brand ideas and hopefully with the input of some super inspired people, I will begin to learn the basics and discover my own voice.
* Why chipper? you have to be! if you want to learn, be prepared to have some of your ideas killed (without mercy). But don´t let that hurt your confidence (quite the opposite), it will be worth it at the end.

Anyways, these are the people I saw last week and here´s their advice:

1. Simplicity! try organising your thoughts using these models
Product Truth...(verb) eg KitKat... relax
2. Explain the business purpose, audience profile and possible execution for each idea.

1. Simplicity!! (more models)
Try putting a few circles around a bigger circle. Fill the outer circles with market, audience,competitors... what do they lead to? (bigger circle)
2. Does your idea answer "what" "who" "how" and "why"?

1. Simplicity!!!
Try summarising your core idea into 5 words (or less).
2. When a market is shrinking, do you want to expand it or gain share?

1. Simplicity!!!! (last model)
Business problem...insight...idea...reality
2. Use your instincts! come up with a hypothesis and then look for facts to support/reject it.
3. Immerse yourself into the problem. Look for different angles (who´s buying the product? who´s the expert in the field? etc). The more you know, the more people will come to you for answers.

Here´s a link for Neil Godber´s interview:

Technology- use it or be used by it?

This was the title of a talk hosted by Canvas8.
Speakers: Gerd Leonhard, David Bausola and Ramsey Khoury.

Key points:
1. The most interesting thing about technology advances is not gadgets but how it changes people´s behaviour. Eg how we don´t memorize phone numbers anymore (mobile) or learn how to navagate from A to B (tom tom).
2. How people change from being an observer to a participant. Eg I may start by reading other people reviews (and be quite happy with my passive involvement) until I come across a really bad restaurant (I then feel it´s my duty to my peers to denounce this place).
3. Are we using the new tech to its full potential or are we just moving the same content from one medium to another? Eg An online shop that´s closed on Sundays.

For a more detailed write up, you can go to Canvas8 blog:

I want to be a good presenter!

Nabs organised yet another useful session. The presentation was given by Speakers´Corner.
Although some of the presentation was just common sense, it was nice to be reminded how important they are.
Without further ado...

1. Audience: how much do they already know? what do they still need to know?
2. Message: what´s the single message you want people to take away from this? What´s the point of this presentation?
3. Rehearse! Do you know your stuff well enough to do it without ppt? (They want to hear you talk, not read).

1. Be in the moment! Listen (even more than talk) and pay attention to your audience (if they are not enganged, they ll show it. If you see crossed arms, fiddling or blank expressions, you have to do switch and re-engage them).
2. Engage: eye contact, storytelling, poweful words, vocal variety (ie don´t be a monotone lecturer), pauses (let people think and absorbe the info) and gestures (not too much, remember Diana Vickers?).
3. Message:
Beginning: (possible starters) startling fact, quote, question, anecdote, prop.
Middle: aim for three main points! Build your argument on logical steps (not disassociated facts).
End: recap on core message and end on a high.

Being a good communicator is part talent, part skill. Gather your learnings and keep building. (Maybe watch the recordings/re-visit the notes?)

Hope this helps.
Link to speakers´corner:

Tuesday, September 8

RKCR/Y&R Local

I love this little experiment!
Camden retailers get: free branding/advertising/packaging advice.
RK gets: the satisfaction of giving something back to the community, great PR and a crash course on different retailers + their biz probs.
A win-win situation.

Being as nosey as I am, I had to go and check it out by myself. I went both on Thurs and Friday (exhibition).
Work that I liked:
- Camden Cab Co (pic of the nasty side of Camden (puke, dark alleys, etc) with the copy "need to get out of camden?")
- a soap shop (who makes cake shaped soaps): a picture of a woman with foamed mouth (deadly delicious and a spoon inside the forbidden sign, or something like that).
There were some interesting people in the exhibition (including some tourists). Somehow, I ended up presenting the work to them in Spanish and nobody from RK stopped me (either they didn´t realise or maybe they did and thought i was weird). Anyways, it was fun.

Here´s the link to their blog:

Data Visualization

Made By Many hosted a great talk the other day. TED speaker Manuel Lima gave the audience a great start on the subject he´s clearly passionate about.

I got the impression that althought we were all interested in this new area, many of us were concerned about the functionality of data viz. Although Manuel gave us some great examples (traffic/tourist flux, terrorists email networks), he didn´t seem to be judgemental about what´s useful and what´s not (ie discarding options) but was much more concerned about the techniques that people were coming up with (even if you were only representing your fb network).
Personally, I really liked that attitude of leaving things open.

For a more detailed write up of the talk, try the following link
If you want to find out more: