CELEBRATING AND INVESTING IN CREATIVITY
 

2014 'Creative Conversations'

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Jared Alan Osmond

Creative Group Head
TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris
Johannesburg
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If you want a good idea that makes perfect sense, look no further than a mint-flavoured toothpick. That’s just genius.

However, if you’re more in favour of something that makes absolutely no sense, but is still simply brilliant, why not try a London Awards show that’s hosted - naturally - in Las Vegas Nevada.

First off, I like some other Creatives, work for an agency owned by a group that doesn’t recognise the LIAs in creative points tallies. So although I have won one of those androgynous birdmen statues before, I hadn’t given the LIAs much thought recently.

Until someone told me that, because I was under 30, I could enter my book and stand a chance to win a trip to Vegas. At that point, I naturally stopped trying to work out why the LONDONs were in VEGAS and signed on all dotted lines required.

And I wasn’t the only one, which is probably why the other 59 ‘Creative Conversations’ delegates also arrived having very little idea what, other than paying too much money for too little beer, we were actually doing there.

But as our host, Barbara Levy, opened the event I think it’s safe to say we all realised we were in for something incredibly special. I’ll admit, I went to bed that first night wondering what the hell I’d signed up for.

Which is why I should probably explain that the ‘Creative Conversations’ is an initiative masterminded by Barbara Levy. It gives her the chance to use the CCOs, ECDs, CDs and other Creatives who’ve got business cards containing complicated acronyms to sharpen young industry talent. Having hoodwinked them into coming to ‘sleep in plush hotel suites and judge a prestigious awards show’ she proceeds to offer them up to a mob of young Creatives who shamelessly hawk themselves to the likes of Mark Tutssel, Jason Bagley or Rob Reilly (who have nowhere to run).

During the day we watch them dissect, as a judging panel, the best work from around the world. We sit in as they debate each entry, exposing what it is they’re actually looking for in a piece of communication.

The ‘Creative Conversations’ organisers also secured guest speakers from outside ad agencies to further blow out often ridiculously hung-over minds. Daymond John, Kelle Jacobs and Ralph van Dijk all weighed in on what creativity is (should be) and how they believe Advertising needs to change.

But to be honest, after experiencing this unbelievable week of insight and opinion; of hearing from those currently steering the world’s best agencies towards Advertising’s New World, I still hadn’t been able to answer one question, so with yet another whisky in hand (which I must point out are ‘free-poured’ in Vegas) I stumbled up to Mark Tutssel and blurted out “Why the hell is this thing in Vegas?” Having decoded my slur, he attempted the following justification: ‘One morning, some guy woke up and said “You know that desert out there? I’m going to build the gambling mecca of the world right there.” That’s creativity - Having a great idea and, despite how ridiculous it might seem, making it happen. So where better to celebrate ideas?’

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