Young Creative Comments
Publicis Kaplan Thaler
Wow. What an incredible and inspiring experience! LIA's ‘Creative Conversations’ got me excited about being a creative again. The combination of some of the industry's smartest leaders and young minds from around the world created an awesome, thought-provoking environment that I had never experienced before. At the end of the week, I felt excited about the future of advertising and my role in it. The knowledge, advice and friendships formed through ‘Creative Conversations’ will never be forgotten.
The Junior ‘Creative Conversations’ was an eye-opening experience. While hearing advertising heavyweights talk about their work in front of a podium is fairly common, what made this opportunity unique was the intimacy of the group discussions — getting the chance to have an extended chat with them at a round table of individuals at similar stages of their careers is rare and exciting. The judges themselves were always approachable and eager to talk about the industry, their craft, our careers and whatever else we brought up. What was most special for me was getting to meet junior creatives from across the globe — since we don't often get to travel to meet one another, like the judges do. Whether they were from Israel, Brazil, United States, Singapore, etc., it was enlightening to chat with all of them and discover that we all share similar obstacles when trying to deliver awesome work — the grass on the other side is just as demanding (and exciting!) to grow. I hope LIA continues this event in the future as there's really nothing else quite like it.
Goodby, Silverstein and Partners
Unlike a typical vacation where you try to escape a job, this was an opportunity to hit “reset” on why you love your job. The LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ was a week of great people, great talks and great fun. We learned from, and networked with experts in our field, and met like-minded peers in agencies across the country, and in many cases, across the world.
It was a bit like going back to college in the best possible way... fast-friends, intellectual conversation, contemplative discussions about our futures and bellies full of booze.
The LIA Juniors event in Las Vegas was one of the most valuable things I have attended. It was exactly, I think, what every junior creative needs in this cynical, redundancy-ridden climate. The speakers were inspirational and encouraging. It was great to be able to take a look back at how advertising was with ex-ad folk, to discuss how it is with existing creatives, and to predict how it will be with the junior creatives from around the world. There is great value in bringing people together to share their opinions, concerns and their dreams for the future of advertising.
It was good to attend some seminars as a large group and to break the other conversations into smaller groups of ten. The most interesting Conversations were when the speaker had something specific they wanted to share with us - Neil French shared his story, Faris Yakob talked of a theory about ideas he had developed. It gave the Conversation some structure, and helped inspire questions at the end.
It was also a great idea to have lunches and dinners mixed with juniors and judges. Connecting with your future bosses is beneficial not only for the juniors who want jobs, but the agencies who are looking for new talent.
Hakuhodo DY media partners
It was great experience for me to join in LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ 2012. The speakers' process of thinking about new communications and strategies was especially interesting to me. I felt that a part of it could apply to my job in the Japanese market. Personally, I was moved by the philosophy of life as a creative person which the speakers had. I felt I received very important insights for a 10-year or 20-year career vision.
Baumann Ber Rivnay Saatchi & Saatchi
"Listen Sharon, we decided to send you to Vegas for the LIA ‘Creative Conversations’, what do you say?" said Yoram Levi, my Chief Creative. That was definitely my winner for the "Best phone call I got this year" category.
What an amazing adventure it was; sitting (or standing) for a beer with Neil French and Bob Garfield, talking about the way advertising changed. Getting inspired, first-hand, by the energies of Faris Yakob and Sonal Dabral. What more could I ask for? Four days packed with the thing you love most: Creative Ideas. And as a bonus, I got to interact with some of the most brilliant young creatives from all over the world.
Thank you, thank you and thank you. And if you need "volunteers" for next year, count me in.
Las Vegas was the last place I expected to go and actually learn something, however after four days of ‘Conversations’ I left with a weath of knowledge. The breadth of talented people associated with Junior ‘Creative Conversations’ was quite frightening. Every day we left a talk with not only pearls of wisdom about the industry, but life in general. I can’t see us ever meeting that many advertising legends in such a short period of time again.
In a funny way, sharing the experience with so many like-minded young creatives became like therapy. We were able to share the same moans for hours and hours, which helped us to realize how lucky we are to work in such an amazing industry.
‘Creative Conversations’ 2012. I would like to express my sincere respect for LIA, which replaced the exaggerated Awards Ceremony and created a place for meeting new people and realising something new for young creatives. It was a great honour for me to be a part of the memorable first session. I look forward to a further evolution of the LIA Junior ‘Creative Conversations’.
Taking part in the first LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ was a great experience, and not just because of the glitzy backdrop of Vegas. Getting out of the day-to-day office bubble and meeting like-minded creatives with similar problems and ideas from around the globe helped me gain a new creative perspective. The good food and free drinks didn't hurt either.
Lots of mirrors.
LIA couldn’t have picked a better place for their ‘Creative Conversations’. The Neil French (Yes, I said ‘The’) told us we have the least important job in the world and no one would miss us if we were gone. Well. I guess no one would really miss Vegas when it was gone. But it’s there and it’s awesome and fun. And so is advertising! So let’s embrace the uselessness! But beware. If you choose to be useless, you‘ll have to be absolutely perfect at it.
For four days we got to talk with great people in advertising. Although, we didn’t actually talk about creative work, but more about how they managed to be ‘perfect’ in what they do. How they sometimes were unbeatable and on top of the world and at other times thought they felt unappreciated and maybe a bit of a loser. That all sounded very familiar. It was totally not what I expected. It was much better. ‘It’ also became a word with a whole different meaning. Scott Elias advised us all to find our ‘It’ and use that to our benefit. Still pondering on that one.
It was also great to have these Conversations with other young creative talents from all over the world. How they deal with clients, accounts, CDs, directors, the crises and just being a young creative. And you know what? We’re all very unique, hard working, crazy, pig-headed, funny, bright kids with potential. So we’re also very much alike. And sharing can be very helpful for our future and the future of advertising.
I guess LIA Conversations let me face more mirrors than just the ridiculous amount in my hotel room. I went to Vegas expecting to get a couple of answers, but came back with lots of questions. Good ones. So I’d like to thank LIA for this unique and once in a lifetime experience, and I hope you’ll continue doing this.
Now back to finding my ‘It’. It has to be here somewhere…
Most people leave Vegas with nothing. I left with the desire to become a better creative. Honestly, I can’t recall having four days fuelled with as much information as these. Spending time with 70 young creatives from around the globe made me realize that the struggles and challenges one faces at the agency are common for everyone, no matter if working in São Paulo, Vancouver, Berlin, Chicago or Manila.
But I must say, attending the talks and seminars was a groundbreaking experience. Just think of it. Where else can you sit shoulder-to-shoulder with people like Neil French, Israel Diaz, Scott Elias, Jeremy Craigen, Susan Credle and chat about advertising? Or in Neil’s case, everything BUT advertising? Being next to them was constant not only during the talks, but also at lunch and dinner (and some other Vegas premises). I guess I was pretty lucky to be part of it all, to have had the chance to learn from great minds in such an intimate and inspiring way.
Who knows, maybe if I put all these teachings to practice one day I’ll be able to come back to Vegas as a juror and say: “Hey boy, I was once a young creative like you. Now buy me a drink.”
LIA Junior ‘Creative Conversations’ 2012 was an immensely rewarding experience on both a personal and professional level. The eclectic and varied group of speakers provided insights into our ever-changing industry from perspectives many of us probably hadn’t considered before.
And we were in Vegas - Sure, I lost money at the tables, but it didn’t matter. I won everything back in knowledge.
Being part of the first LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ was a valuable experience. This initiative is a great idea to give back to the industry by bringing young creatives together with some of the best in the industry.
Probably, the highlight of the week was meeting all the people participating in the Conversations; a group of young and very experienced creatives coming from different corners of the world, with very different backgrounds but all with a strong passion in common “Creativity”.
And of course, what a ride it was to talk for two hours with Neil French - Unforgettable.
The LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ was a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of some of the most recognized professionals in our industry. Even though we talked a lot about communications and advertising, my main take away was more about having the right attitude to find inspiration and that “spark” that lights the beginning of every great idea. And this was possible because of the unique dynamic at LIA. You don’t just sit down and receive a lecture, you can ask, disagree and discuss with a panel of ‘first class’ professionals willing to share their own points of view. In this intimate space, Conversations went from the future of advertising to our personal experiences. What’s more, the closeness and interaction with creatives from all over the globe allows you to see into the reality of different markets and get some perspective about your own local industry. LIA is a space where you can learn - not just from the panel seated in front of you, but from the guy sitting at your right or left.
‘Where do you want to be in five years?’
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked that before finally landing on a distinctive enough answer that didn’t start with “maybe x’’ or “probably y”. I won’t lie and say that since choosing this path I never wondered if it was in fact the right one, but it’s experiences like the one I received taking part in the inaugural LIA Junior ‘Creative Conversations’ that made me both thankful and hopeful for my choice.
I landed in Las Vegas on a Monday night with a stomach too full of butterflies and a mind too full of questions to be distracted by the lights and sights of the City of Sin. I’ve only been in this industry for a couple of years, but it’s nearly impossible to avoid the whispers of its impending doom, something that had become a subject of concern for me.
Thankfully, throughout the week we were exposed to advertising greats who, through sharing their own experiences, helped me realize that this industry is ultimately what each person makes of it. That success isn’t hinged on ‘where the industry is going’ but on where each of us wants to take it.
I was also delighted to meet other young creatives from around the world who, like myself, were eager to absorb as much as possible from our heavily decorated predecessors. We ultimately did so from each other, as well.
Overall, if I had to pick just one thing that I learned that week, it’s that there isn’t a right way to ‘do advertising’. There’s just a lot of good ways.
Oh, and that Neil French learned to fight from his mother just like I did.
It was a great experience in which we all could actually have a Conversation instead of one-way lectures.
Personally, it was a great opportunity to get to know young people from other parts of the world and still be able to talk as if we were colleagues. It was a kind of relief to know that although the differences of our backgrounds, we all shared the same problems of low budgets and lack of time. It wasn't just us!
I truly hope this becomes like a small TED, as Barbara mentioned, giving the youth of this industry the energy and motivation for creativeness!
The thing that I enjoyed the most was the people, the other young creatives and the speakers. I guess that what really made the LIA Conversations unique was that you don’t just go and hear somebody, but you actually are able to exchange ideas with some of the greatest minds of the industry, and learn from their experiences, not only from the professional world, but also about life.
It was a real honour for me to be part of the first LIA ‘Creative Conversations’. It’s great that a festival takes its time to give young creatives the opportunity to have real conversations with great minds. I was really inspired and amazed by the speakers. They all had different backgrounds and each of them made me rethink and grow in their own way. I think these are the kind of ideas that all festivals should promote. It gave me the chance to meet other young creatives that further enriched my experience.
To me, LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ is a great opportunity to meet different people and gain a deeper understanding of this industry. It expanded my mind.... surprised me and refreshed me. For example, the first speech about Radio ads was very inspiring. As a copywriter with eight years experience, this was the first time I realized that radio ads have such a huge potential for creativity. China has done a great job in recent years on Print, DM, TVC etc., but radio is a territory that has been ignored for a long time. It’s a new land, old but new, who will be the Columbus?
There are also lots of other things which impressed me, such as Neil French’s cigarette and his sharp frank advice, not only for our careers but also for life, the tacos on the buffet, and of course, new friends I made from all over the world.
In the end, I really want to say thank you to LIA for giving me such a wonderful time in Las Vegas. Hope this will become annual tradition.
Baumann Ber Rivnay Saatchi & Saatchi
‘Creative Conversations’ was a once in a lifetime experience for me. I never had a chance until now, to meet young colleagues from around the world, to share our experiences and have a conversation at eye-level.
The Wynn/Encore Hotel provided the perfect conditions and atmosphere for these meetings. Luxurious accomodations, delicious food, magnificent conference space and patios for our lectures and Conversations, and of course a break from all of our daily concerns. The speakers were fascinating and the small group conversations encouraged all of us to engage.
Thank you again for an unforgettable experience, and may we meet again in the future.
Saatchi & Saatchi
It's funny how during ‘Creative Conversations’ we were told stories about great ideas... whilst the event itself was a great idea. Maybe “funny” is not the most appropriate word, maybe the word is “inspiring”. Yes, I believe that from a professional point of view, the speeches were very interesting, especially Neil French. I also found it interesting to have the chance to talk and share opinions with other creatives. Like it happens for the jurors, we had the chance to talk about advertising with the jurors and among guys who have the same level of experience as myself. And that was great. I also had the chance to meet talented people from all over the world, including the authors of some of the ads I have most recently admired.
Grazie mille for this opportunity.
Saatchi & Saatchi
The experience in Las Vegas was very exciting and inspiring. We spoke with gurus of our industry and shared opinions with people from Japan, Singapore, the UK, the US, Argentina, etc. What impressed me most was the fact that, after all, problems and opportunities are all the same, wherever you work in the world. And this is important: it's only you that can decide if your work will be great or not. Besides this, I had the opportunity to meet great people and have fun with them. And if you want to have fun, there's no better place than Las Vegas.
‘Creative Conversations’ 2012 was an amazing experience. I met creatives from all over the world and we had inspirational conversations about our experiences in the industry. It was interesting to hear what problems they faced, what solutions they came up with and how often you actually keep managing to succeed in doing something that seems impossible at first. Or fail, and learn from that. Especially in the talks with the more experienced creatives, like Neil French, I realised once more why I love this job and why I also hate it sometimes, but that’s something every creative goes through. And in the end "nobody dies" as Neil put it, which kind of relaxes you when you remember it in a stressful time. I also enjoyed the presentation of actual cases for example by Dörte Spengler-Ahrens of Jung von Matt.
‘Creative Conversations’ was an experience I won't soon forget. Not only were we exposed to some of the most established creative thinkers in a casual and accessible way, we were able to connect with peers from around the world and gain a better perspective of how our own work fits into a global industry. I left Vegas feeling inspired to create great work that connects to people in a meaningful way.
Tribal DDB, NY
I feel like you get to know people the best when you party with them...I think having this event in Vegas was amazing. It's a great place to use as an icebreaker since people usually are so timid. There's something about Vegas that makes people more open and therefore lets people feel more comfortable with being themselves.
I had tons of fun in Vegas, since it was my first time there. It was so much fun, it reminded me what a great business we work in with such fun people. I made some great new friends, which is very important to me in this business.
The one word to sum up the LIA Conversations program is "inspirational." Many of us get caught up with the day-to-day crap in advertising and forget what a great business we work in. The LIA program gave me an awakening that this industry is great and that every ECD and CCO had their hardships and tough starts.
Barbara Levy is an amazing person to do something so nice for all of us. I can guarantee this changed a lot of us for the better and made us more determined to do great things with our careers in advertising.
Thank you again to everyone at LIA who made this experience possible, it was truly unforgettable.
I come from Dubai, in the Middle East and even though it has progressed a lot, the West is on a different planet all together. I didn't get to see a lot of their work, but it was so good to meet all the Creatives, Speakers and the Juries under one roof. Conversing with other young talents from agencies around the globe like DDB, Droga5, AlmapBBDO, Jung von Matt, Y&R Australia, Ogilvy Malaysia, CP+B, BBDO New York, Tribal DDB Germany, Fallon, Arnold, Wired, and Leo Burnett was quite a dream come true.
It was a privilege to be there in one room with all of them. Conversations became a platform where I could share my views with all these talents and vice versa. I have heard of seminars and workshops, but never heard of Speakers sitting and having a conversation with each one of us for hours at length and certainly not for four days in a row. But, it was all different at LIA ‘Creative Conversations’.
It felt like I was talking casually with a friend who understands me well. I got to learn a lot from them, not only for me but to pass it on to my fellow colleagues at DDB Dubai. I would conclude in a way that Conversations was a great gamble in Vegas and it did pay off well. I learned a lot more than I could have imagined. I won big in Vegas, thanks to Conversations. I got to see advertising with a different perspective. I thank DDB and LIA for making this happen for me.
LIA Conversations 2012 in Las Vegas was a great experience. I have never been to such a big event before nor to Las Vegas. It was very interesting to meet all the jurors, junior creatives and other people from all over world. I learned that there are so many different ways to make good advertising and in every country they do it a little bit differently. I enjoyed all the presentations, conversations and discussions. Especially the experienced speakers made a great impact on me. To see Las Vegas, the huge hotels and their casinos was an additional benefit. I had a great week at the LIA Conversations and I want to say thank you to everybody who made it possible.
SHISEIDO Co., Ltd.
The very first opportunity of the comprehensive educational program held by LIA was a truly interesting event, not only in terms of the occasion to meet both experienced and junior creatives, but also in terms of exceptional opportunity to learn from each other. We were there with respect and reverence towards each other.
For me, whose creative base is in a non-advertising agency background, the week long program gave me the opportunity to question the role of communication. Being an Art Director, I was also thinking about “how design and communication can define enrichment of our life?”
I attended this event from Japan, where we faced the tremendous tragedy of The Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. In Japan, I have to say that the nature of the industry itself is changing rapidly. I personally believe that the meaning of design for society has remained essentially the same for some time. On the other hand, we are seeing significant change in the interplay of design and industry. The role of communication has also shifted so dramatically ever since. Having this feeling with me, meeting and sharing the passion toward creation with creators around the globe was a rather special moment.
Big thanks to LIA for giving me this opportunity.
Personally, I enjoyed the talk with Neil French and the intellectual and stimulating lecture of Faris Yakob.
My experience at ‘Creative Conversations’ was a great one. The agenda was filled with a good balance of formal and informal opportunities to chat about things like the future of advertising, struggles we all share as creatives and success we’ve found through what we all love to do. Getting to know some of the most talented and experienced creative minds in our industry was inspiring. But more importantly for me, affirming that success in this industry – perhaps through a long, wretched trail – is tangible. I think what LIA has done with the program in its first year is only the beginning of what will become a valuable destination and tool for young creatives all around the world.
DDB Canada, Vancouver
Advertising is dead. Or is it? It is. Or is it? This was a recurring theme in many of the talks this year. I left with the conclusion that no, it isn't. The program itself was a fresh change from a typical awards show. We got to meet other young creatives from around the world and talk with world class judges and speakers one-on-one.
There were a lot of great points I took away from the experience (too many to list here), but one of my favourites was that our job isn't just to tell stories anymore, it's to solve problems with creativity. Sometimes an advertising solution doesn't have to be an ad.
DDB New York
‘Creative Conversations’ put us in the same room as the likes of Dörte Spengler-Ahrens, Jeremy Craigen and Sonal Dabral. Or in Neil French’s case, out on the patio so he could have a smoke. Thankfully no speaker was as intimidating as his monochrome headshot had led me to believe.
Over two days, we were broken into small groups and introduced to the best of the best. It was like speed dating with chicks that are way out of your league.
Beyond the amazing advice, I learned that those who have spent a lifetime in the industry are as passionate as those who are just getting started. There's nothing more encouraging than that.
Thank you again for what was an absolutely brilliant week.
BBDO New York
Being a newcomer to this industry is a very exciting and scary thing. I think that’s what I loved most about the LIA Junior ‘Creative Conversations’. It was a place to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that fear and excitement are two key drivers of success in advertising.
From both a personal and professional perspective, this experience was invaluable. What a privilege it was to be in the company of industry luminaries, listening to their stories and having their wisdom imparted on us. I left Las Vegas with a group of new friends, a fresh perspective on advertising and a laundry list of book recommendations. Not to mention very little money left to buy them with. But of all the wonderful things I got out of this experience, I think the most valuable thing I walked away with was reassurance. Reassurance that we’re not crazy; that everyone’s been there; that we are this job.
I think that’s the one thing we can all agree on about advertising (other than the fact that it’s NOT a dying industry): everyone who starts out working in it feels like they’re not good enough. But, as Ted Royer shared with us, “if not you, who?” And so here we are. The next generation of advertisers. The next generation of leaders. The next generation of people — should we be so lucky — to be sitting in those same panelist seats of those who came before us. And, of course, it’s always important to be reminded of the oft forgotten fundamentals of advertising: our job is easy (thanks, Neil), have fun (thanks, drive-thru guy at The Little White Wedding Chapel) and do good work.
Thank you, LIA, for making this such an amazing experience. I can only hope all young creatives have the opportunity to participate in something as inspiring as ‘Creative Conversations’.
I don't think it is fair to start this any other way other than by saying thank you. Thank you LIA. It was a time I won't forget and an experience that will shape how I will approach the rest of my career.
I have many highlights from the LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ - Neil French generally, the incredible panel discussion on the last day, face-time with judges and heroes of advertising, but it was something I didn't expect that really got me; us, the young creatives. It really felt like we all united. No egos, no stand off behaviour. It was a gathering of young people who want to do the best work in the world. It actually felt like we were all working together. This coupled with the experience of the seasoned creatives was great.
Thank you very, very much.
What do a matador, a club bouncer and a porn director have in common?
The name Neil French.
After having the opportunity to share a table and countless thoughts with this veteran of advertising, I realized that I'm working in one of the best businesses in the world. He's like a grandfather; full of wisdom and great stories that everyone could interpret in their own way. I left his discussion (one of many I had during the week) thinking of the power we have in our profession and the responsibility we have to do good with this power. Later that day, I found myself sitting in a room full of young creatives. As I sipped some Earl Grey Tea I found myself thinking of the immense power of the ideas that can come from this single room. The power one simple idea can hold combined with another idea can be life altering. An idea like tea and honey. I suppose someone had to think of this genius idea, it definitely altered my life for the better, at least so far. But then I found myself thinking what’s my tea and honey idea? What can I do for the world? Maybe create a new brand of sweetened tea and call it 'Jimmy Jamz Tea Factory'? It's our job as humans to make the world a better place. To some that may be creating a new tasty tea and to others I guess it may mean something else. At LIA ‘Creative Conversations’, I really tried to think what that 'something else' is and while in Jonathan Ker's discussion, I think I found what he referred to as my ‘It’. I thought about what really drove me to pursue my ambitions and where those ambitions actually came from. Being selected for the first ‘Creative Conversations’, adds a motivation on my behalf to help accomplish and reach these goals.
The week of discussions brought a lot of new ideas to the table, ideas that really made me think of something I haven't thought about before and made them so easy to comprehend. I met a lot of fantastic people from all over the globe, other young creatives, veterans, and everyone in between, many of whom I hope to keep in touch with and cross paths with in the near future. I want to really thank everyone involved with making the creative conference possible. I think it was such a brilliant idea! Hopefully one day I can return and give my story, which will most likely pale in comparison to Mr. French's. ‘Creative Conversations’ really gave me that much needed time to reflect on my future, the role of advertising within it and how they both can work together in harmony. It's a great profession - Hey someone has to do it...
George Patterson Y&R
People in our positions aren't often the first on the list to get access to these kinds of events. So it felt as though we were able to get a lot more out of exposure to these industry leaders. The speakers were inspiring, sharing not only their experiences of the industry but thought-provoking ways to approach work.
Equally, I had been inspired by my 70 peers enjoying the same program. They too brought their own unique perspective on advertising at a global scale. I felt that – even though we were all so different – we all shared a common bond and I formed some genuine friendships.
By the end of the week I had a less serious outlook on advertising and I think that's a good thing. I went home inspired, challenged and with enough incriminating photos of judges that will ensure my employment for years to come. Thanks LIA!
George Patterson Y&R
Thank you Mr. French for inspiring me not to do advertising. I have enrolled in bull-fighting classes and the stitches are healing nicely, unfortunately they say hands don't grow back. Also, thanks for inspiring me to do advertising. Yes, it is a pretty good gig.
To Bob Garfield, who said we all wouldn't have jobs in ten years, yeah, fair play, I'm surprised you still have a job. And to the great young creatives I met from all over the world, see you in ten years. Let's start a band.
Finally, a very big thanks to the great people at LIA, for getting us all together to inspire great work and excessive gambling.
Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
My experience in the LIA awards was something completely new. On one side the opportunity to chat “almost Intimate" with industry referents as we were in small groups of no more than 10 people, having the opportunity to talk face to face and also share with colleagues from around the world not only the speaker's vision but also the point of view of each of the participants, it was really rewarding.
Another relevant point where it mixes the personal and professional experience, were each of the dinners where, sharing a table with the jurors, we chat about the festival, which was the criterion that the jury was applying and their views of the material they were judging, while sharing a drink and anecdotes of life too (this is where Neil French "Frenchie" gets all the applause).
After my time in the LIA I take a lot of personal cards from colleagues from around the world and the certainty that selling a good idea to a client is equally difficult everywhere in the world!
One last thought. Las Vegas without going too far, is conceptually perfect "a city designed for bet and nothing else" from the airport with their slot machines until whatever you do outside bet has its price (unless you are in the LIA) wanted to go to the sauna? 20 dollars, wanted to go to the gym? 20 dollars. The message is very clear, "You come here to gamble!" and the claim is brilliant "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas ..." Oh! and don't forget their two great last campaigns to sell Vegas to the world "The Hangover 1" and "The Hangover 2".
Congratulations to the creative minds behind all this.
But this time something escaped from Las Vegas.
Alma DDB, Miami
Monday 9/24. Wheels touch down at McCarran International. Neon lights. Anxiety kicks in. What is LIA’s first ‘Creative Conversations’?
It's the Wynn/Encore. It's room 6023. It's meeting Latin star Ricardo Arjona (Google him, I took a photo for my mother). It's being lucky. Being a witness: London moves to Vegas. It's meeting old dudes. Listening. Learning. Asking. It's more neon lights. Gambling. Being 200 dollars poorer. It's Neil French. It's whisky. Yes, Neil French! More whisky. Being in Sin City. Being 300 dollars richer. Listening to analogic-mode Bob Garfield and his inspiring "Industry is Dead". It's lots of advice. It's more than you can record. It's 15 minute breaks. It's having Sonal Dabral singing as your new alarm clock. It's even more neon lights. Moving. Absorbing. Listening. It's Dörte Spengler-Aherns showing great stuff. It's loving the great stuff. Hating the ones that made it. It's making new friends. It's inspiring. It's exhilarating. It's interesting. It's…It's time to head back.
Thanks LIA. Thanks DDB. Thanks advertising.
Lapiz Leo Burnett
First, I thought Las Vegas was a great opportunity to bet all of my savings and hopefully make enough money to quit working (haha).
I actually ended up spending all of my time with my fellow junior creatives and came back to Chicago more motivated than ever.
I still remember when I was in Peru and used to talk and read about Neil French, Mark Tutssel, Susan Credle, among other esteemed people in the advertising industry, and now, amazingly, I got to spend some time with them.
Thanks to LIA for fuelling my creative motor and thanks to Mark Tutssel for suggesting me as a participant.
During the ‘Creative Conversations’, I could not help but feel small being around these giants, young and old. I learnt a lot from everyone and I can only hope they learnt something from me, too. I felt like I'd grown in that short space of time. A highlight for me was being seated next to Neil French for an hour or two (or three. I can’t remember because time flies when you’re being entertained by his stories).
Y&R, São Paulo
It was a real pleasure to be a part of the ‘Creative Conversations’. Getting to know a bit of how the minds of some absurdly talented people work was quite something. It was an experience that certainly is going to be remembered for the rest of my career.
I think the idea of hosting ‘Creative Conversations’ instead of an award show is ingenious. It's a fantastic example of branded ad content. It was rad to meet ad people from all around the world and to hear what they are doing and thinking. I had a great time connecting with people like myself and learning from the industry greats. I took away some great one-liners to toss around in my brain and even rethink how I approach stuff creatively. The event was so good, in fact, that even without gambling or drinking I had a great time!
What Happens In Vegas
Surreal. That would be the word for it.
You attend all these festivals, conventions and talks, and sure, you’re in the same room as all these industry giants, but you’re usually by the hundreds or so and you hardly get any airtime, or even as much as eye contact with these folks. But LIA Conversations practically felt like a series of dates with these advertising icons. Or a more profound meet and greet of your favourite rock stars after a concert. Or a very bizarre work-related dream come true. And if there’s one thing that stuck with me after Conversations was over, it is that you should not be afraid to be a rebel. Being creative is a twisted, fun privilege – abuse it.
McCann New York
Given the changing landscape between brands and consumers, I applaud LIA’s efforts to deepen the conversation and interaction around this year's awards judging. While there's certainly more that can be done to make the Conversations less one-sided, I think LIA is off to the right start.
Clemenger BBDO , Melbourne
I’m staring at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign perched on my shelf, trying to recall what happened on the trip. I thought it might bring back learnings and witty quotes from the event. Instead it’s making me feel a tad nauseous. I guess that’s why they say, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, because all of your memories are left sunburnt by the Encore pool. Next to your dignity.
Rummaging back through my blog of the trip assures me that I had listened to some incredibly inspiring talks. The morning conversations were a bit of a struggle, but with a $40 room service breakfast lining your stomach, and the comforting knowledge that the speakers had been up shooting dice as late as we had, it made the talks not only bearable, but enjoyable.
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens produced a talk about the power of ideas, and delivered the quote of the day, “Advertising is like sex, only losers will pay for it in the future”. We were able to see things from the other side of the fence when we chatted to Jonathon Ker, discussing the ups and downs of TV Production. And Faris Yakob spoke to us in his eccentric way about ideas, where they come from and how to keep them coming.
The star-studded lineup continued with Phil Growick, Ted Royer, Susan Credle, Jeremy Craigen, Israel Diaz and Tony Calcao. Then we were graced with a Bollywood rendition from Sonal Dabral, and of course the notoriously shady Neil French managed to uphold his legend. It was a real comfort talking to these industry icons. They told us about their stuff-ups, successes, and they assured us that we’re in the jobs we’re in because we deserved to be there.
Through the groggy haze of Vegas, a truly great program was born. To be a part of this has energized me to keep pushing and striving to create brilliant work, and one day hopefully be on the stage passing down my advice to young creatives. A huge thanks to LIA and Clemenger Melbourne for sending me along.
It was a character building journey that I won’t forget...except for the big nights, I’ve already forgotten them.
BBDO Guerrero/Proximity Philippines
A conversation with NEIL FRENCH is quite different from simply reading about him (or even reading his book, which is a conversation in itself). The man who has been elevated to god status in the advertising world is, refreshingly, still just a man who simply has lots and lots of stories to tell and who’s had years and countless reams of paper to say it, while smoking endlessly and downing glass after glass of whatever’s good on hand. And ok to leave the glamorous advertising lifestyle and just raise your child is probably the best way to retire. One thing that I will remember he told me in the midst of all the advice about life, advertising, work and parenting (and which, I would suppose, one should firmly keep in mind to avoid slouching off in any of the above): Corey – shoulders back, sit up straight, always finish your drink.
It's great to see LIA going the extra mile to give back to the creative industry. Flying 70+ young creatives from around the globe is no small feat. The speaker line-up was pretty exciting. There was a perfect mix of interested participants & passionate organizers.
Sonal's song is still as fabulous as ever. Neil's up-close-and-personal session was a surprise. Faris' amazing observations were real wake-up slaps.
Thanks for inviting me. What an honor!
Wire Süden GmbH, Stuttgart
It was such a great experience to participate in the LIA Conversations and I am so glad and grateful to be chosen to take part at this huge event. I liked the combination of the group lectures and the small group conversations, so every speaker gave us time individually.
Personally, I got to know a lot of people from all over the world. It was so fruitful to exchange experiences with people from different agencies and different countries. We had a lot of fun and hopefully I’ll stay in contact with a lot of them. My conclusion for the LIA Conversations: highly recommended!
The LIA conversations conference provided a fun and engaging series of seminars from a diverse group of panelists from different disciplines.
DDB & Co
I had the chance to meet with young creatives, just like me, from all around the world. The interesting part was the fact that most of them didn't work in their own countries. We talked and shared our work experiences face-to-face. These interactions really encouraged me to work abroad. Conversation sessions were also great. Advertising masters who have very long history in advertising spoke about the future of advertising; in other words; our future.
Faris Yakob’s ‘All ideas are remixes’ was really impressive. I think the whole theory sounds good for creatives because sometimes I can be very obsessed with originality and I'm more than sure that I'm not the only one feeling this way.
Publicis Kaplan Thaler, NY
LIA’s Creative conference came to me at a time much needed. As a young creative it’s frustrating seeing 99% of your work die a horrible death. Fighting everyday for your work is definitely tough but LIA reminded me that ideas are worth fighting for. It was refreshing to meet other young creatives dealing with the same struggles as me, and it was inspiring to hear from some of the top Creative Directors speak about their journey. By the end of the week, I was ready to head back to work and fight the good fight for creative thinking.
Thank you so much for a great experience. I truly appreciate it.
Conversations was a bit like an entire college degree condensed into three days: Awe-inspiring lectures that made us re-think everything we thought we ever knew about advertising. Opinionated seminars that tailed off into stories of matadors and porn producers. And drinking sessions that ended in windowless casinos surrounded by Dolly Parton look-alikes.
It was an incredible experience that everyone should harass their ECDs for the chance to do.
VML, Kansas City
The Conversations at LIA ranged from back-to-basics to mind blowing, with practical advice on the process and practice of doing great work, insightful discussions about the evolving relationship between brands and consumers and a wake-up call that put the power to change outdated agency/client models and mindsets in the hands of the creatives. I left feeling inspired, empowered and well-armed.
Publicis & Hal Riney
At some point, everybody is asked the age-old question: “if you could have dinner with anybody, who would it be and where?”
Well, that’s sort of what the LIA ‘Creative Conversations’ is like. But instead of being stuck in the Oval Office with men in periwigs, you’re with a few of the forefathers of advertising in a place where you can drink freely and gamble. To me, that’s as good an answer to that question as any.
If you’re at the junior level, rarely do you get open access to people this high up in advertising. Yes, because they usually sit a few floors above you, but the real challenge is finding the right opportunity to just sit down and talk with them one-on-one. I was surprised by how willing the speakers were to open themselves up to us for three full days.
With that much time to spend around industry veterans the tendency would be to think we’d come away with secrets, or tricks-of-the-trade or the holy grail of advertising. But unlike other industries (I’m pretending I’d know), I don’t think that’s quite how advertising works. There are no secrets; every challenge is different and there are probably multiple ways to solve them. That’s not at all to say that each of the speakers didn’t have an incredible perspective on how to solve advertising problems - they did - it’s just that the biggest things I took away were a little less specific.
As one speaker bluntly put it, “‘advertising isn’t important - stop caring so much.” And it’s great advice really. Advertising isn’t like most professions. Doctors can’t tell patients, “we try to come in stupid every single day,” or “we’ll know exactly how to put your arm back on - just give us two weeks and a hacky sack.” It’s a different kind of job - have fun or you won’t be good at it.
Broader lessons like that are the ones we remember best anyway. The common thread, as I saw it, was ‘get out there, meet new people, have interests outside of advertising and never stop trying new things. You won’t be good at this if you don’t.’ And to have that many interesting people in one place, many of whom were from outside the country, made it a pretty good place to start. I took away a lot of things from my experience, but if I had to choose one, it was that everybody I met there who had been successful seemed to be good at life first and advertising second. I think that’s a good thing to be aware of.
Baumann Ber Rivnay Saatchi & Saatchi
I think this is a little bit crazy, but please don’t tell the guys from LIA. I mean, they took 70 young creatives from around the world and paid to fly them all the way to Las Vegas. They put them in an amazing hotel and they sat them down with the best people advertising has to offer for private intimate conversations.
I don’t know if you have ever been to Las Vegas, but it probably wasn’t a cheap deal. What do they get out of it? I have no idea. But the creatives that attended the LIA Conversations this September, sure got a lot out of this short and sweet trip.
Going to Las Vegas was one of the most inspiring things I have ever experienced. We got to really sit with the most amazing people and talk about the thing we love the most. The experience and the stories we heard every day by people like Neil French, Bob Garfield, Döerte Spengler, Faris Yakob and many more were lessons for life. We talked about where this business is going, and how amazing advertising is or should be. We met creatives from all over the world and discovered that we all share the same problems and passions and we made a lot of new friends.
So, for whatever reason LIA decided to make this fantastic event happen I'm very happy that they did. Thank you.
Leo Burnett Melbourne
It was nothing short of a privilege taking part in the first year of the LIA Creative Conversations program. Of course I'm biased having just spent a week in Vegas with some of the best minds in advertising, but I think holding an educational conference instead of yet another award show is a masterstroke.
I learned so much from so many inspiring people, from what comes next after digital, to the fact that shoes are always optional (thanks Neil French).
But being inspired by highly regarded creative geniuses wasn't the only benefit. Getting to spend quality time with other young creatives from around the world was the highlight of the program for me. After 4 days of chatting, comparing, debating and getting know these amazing folks, I feel hugely inspired, and only a little bit hungover.
First off, I’m so impressed that LIA decided to launch this Conversations initiative. Instead of throwing another fancy bash, LIA is willing to invest that money in educating younger creatives and building the advertising community. This feels very significant to me.
Across many of the Conversations, a common theme seemed to be “where is this industry going” and “are we all screwed?” It was nice to hear from more experienced creatives that the industry has gone through (and survived) these types of shifts before. At the same time, it was nice to be in an environment where these challenges were openly acknowledged. The world is changing. Consumers can’t be forced to hear messages in the way they once were. Too often I worry that industry leaders are ignoring the problem, or refusing to admit we need to rethink the way we do business. “Fake it ‘til you make it” is such an axiom in this business… but it was great for a moment to not fake it. To hear leaders acknowledge the things we haven’t figured out yet, and facilitate dialogue about the new challenges we’re facing. To discuss how this line of work can and will maintain its relevance in society. This, in addition to the fact that shows like LIA see the importance of opening this dialogue, gives me assurance that creative, award-winning advertising will continue to thrive.
One of the most rewarding parts of the experience was the chance to connect with other young creatives from around the globe. It was fascinating to hear how our experiences and rewards/frustrations are the same, and at other times different. We’re all working to accomplish the same thing, making people fall in love with a brand, but our audiences and types of media vary. Hearing about other creatives’ processes has inspired me to think about my own style of work in new ways. Additionally, there were some really great dinners and great late nights at the casino. Even though I lost $80, thank you for that, too.
The one thing I think stuck with me most from the week was Neil French’s admonishment to stop taking things so seriously…to have more fun. We get buried in our laptops and deadlines and we all work so hard, but what’s the point if we’re not enjoying it? And how are we going to create things that an audience falls in love with, if we don’t love creating it as well? So yes, perhaps to my Creative Director’s chagrin – my biggest takeaway from the week was to stop working so hard. Or, perhaps better stated, to stop allowing the work to feel so hard. Be more effortless. Stop stressing.
I mean, according to Mr. Garfield, none of us are going to have a job in three years anyway, right? Haha.
The LIA Creative Conversations was a fantastic experience. It was great to take a step back from the day-to-day routines and really reflect on creativity in Advertising, how it’s changing and what we can do to improve on it. It was a rare and appreciated opportunity to sit down with some respected veterans in the industry and have a candid conversation.
Neil French was the highlight for me, he should come back ever year. As great as the veterans were it was equally as interesting meeting the young creatives from around the world.
My one suggestion would be to possibly have one of the group sessions be about the young creatives and life at their agencies. It’s always interesting to hear how other agency’s operate especially from a global perspective. Also things such as creative process and culture differences are interesting topics to discuss.
Hotel was great. Food was great. People were great. Thanks R
DDB Group New Zealand
Vegas is crazy. The hotel is a city in itself.
In terms of speakers, there’s a prevailing theme amongst a few - things are incredibly transparent these days and no matter what a brand is saying with their communications, if they’re secretly doing something else they’ll get found out and people won’t like them. Apple’s Foxconn suicide city is used as an example. Bob Garfield puts it pretty well when he says his advice to a brand is don’t be a dick. There’s a lot of postulating on the notion that traditional advertising is moving more into the shaping of brands and it stacks up pretty well, maybe that’s where the modern agency is heading. Would make sense if it did.
In the smaller conversations we also get to talk more with the other young creatives from around the world. It seems that no matter whether you’re from New York, Tel Aviv or Peru, the universal truth is that it’s always someone else’s fault. The suits suck, the producers suck, the clients definitely suck. One commentator tells us he hasn’t met a good suit in five years and that the peak of advertising was the late 80s – 90s.
I respectfully disagree.
It’s been a hell of a trip and we’ve heard from some awesome people. Cheers, London International.
Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi
I was invited as part of the "Creative Conversations" program for the London International Awards representing Argentina, and the experience was fantastic.
We were a group of 70 creatives from all over the world who had the chance to talk to people like Ted Royer and Neil French. The proposal was very good. We were groups of ten people at a table talking about how the world of advertising is changing, with different views and interactions of really talented people.
My contribution to improve next years program would be that the participants can observe the judging of the different categories of the festival. It would be an even richer experience.
Thank you very much for the invitation. I had a great time!