2022 LIAisons Comments

Ahmed Abd El-Moneim

Ahmed Abd El-Moneim

Marketing Manager
COW
Cairo
, Egypt


Joining Creative LIAisons was a fruitful experience where I got to be mentored by the finest creatives in the industry and that enlightened my creative thinking in presenting myself as a creative and my ideas, and how to stand out my profile in a very competitive industry locally and globally as well.

Their passion and excitement for the sessions were amazing, which made me more motivated to express how great it was, and they asked me to keep in touch and reach out whenever it takes, for any questions or feedback.

Thanks to

- Istvan Bracsok - Chief Creative Officer and Founding Partner at White Rabbit Budapest.

- Sebastien Boutebel - Regional Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi ME, Dubai

Tamás Ádám

Tamás Ádám

Copywriter
White Rabbit Budapest
Budapest
, Hungary


Coaches: Simina Zidaru, Managing Director, Tribal DDB, Bucharest; Nkanyezi Masango, Group Executive Creative Director, King James (Part of Accenture Interactive), Johannesburg  and John Mescall, Global Executive Creative Director, President Global Creative Council, McCann Worldgroup.
 
A Letter To Myself 4 Years Ago.
Hi Tomi,
 
The big day is here. After the university years and small advertising projects, your first day at your first real job has finally arrived.
 
I won't lie, it will be hard. You'll find yourself in deep water. It will make you realize how much you don't know yet, and how much you still have to learn and how much you still have to experience in the advertising industry. You'll feel clumsy and like a beginner, and that feeling will stay with you for years to come.
 
But don't worry. In four years, you’ll have an honest conversation with Simina Zidaru, who was a copywriter just like you. She is from the same region as you. And she did it. And like her, you can do it too. Hard work, a sense of purpose, and the determination that even though everyone's mouth is closed when they see your age, don't let it affect you: just go and go until you reach your goal. Because she achieved it. And this can be a great example for you.
 
I won't lie, it will be hard. It will keep you busy working on and brainstorming campaigns that deliver great numbers. High volume sales, lots of clicks.
 
But don't worry. Four years later, you’ll have an inspiring conversation with Nkanyezi Masango, who was a copywriter just like you. And it shows you the powers that be in the advertising business. What they can be used for, what impact they can have, and how important it is to learn about all different points of view, social strata, and cultures—because you can only address everyone if you speak their language and understand their insights.
 
I won't lie, it will be hard. You’ll be busy working on local and national campaigns. To localize campaign materials coming from abroad and to deal with the communication of global companies in Hungary. To get to know at least some of the more famous and well-known names in the Hungarian advertising industry and to learn how the "big guys" do it.
 
But don't worry. In four years, you’ll have a relaxed, funny, yet incredibly educational conversation with John Mescall, who was a copywriter just like you. And you can learn from him how to make even the most boring tasks interesting. It opens the doors of the advertising industry for you; the world opens up before you, and you realize that it is much bigger, much more creative, much more focused, yet much more modest than you think. You’ll be richer with new perspectives. You can examine the world from a new point of view.
 
I won't lie, it'll be hard. It'll help you learn to interpret advertising within the framework and limitations of your current knowledge.
 
But don't worry. In four years, during observing LIA statue discussions, you’ll learn to really interpret advertising. The right system of criteria, the importance of insight, the importance of craft, the importance of novelty, and the importance of a unique point of view.
 
I won't lie, it’ll be hard. Everyday work will keep you busy.
 
But don’t worry. In four years, an incredible opportunity will appear in your life: Creative LIAisons. And you’ll be a Mentee. You’ll be there among the nearly 150 lucky people who will be chosen in 2022. You’ll be one of the two Hungarians there. In four years, you'll be a little proud of yourself.
 
So, keep up the hard work, bro.
 
Cheers,
Tamas Adam
Copywriter, White Rabbit Budapest

 
Anne Akongo

Anne Akongo

Marketing Intern
AAR Healthcare
Nairobi
, Kenya


Story one: Virtual Speaker Sessions
 
When coaches and mentees are on call, one forgets for a minute that the LIA coaching  sessions are virtual. Every last one of them is absolutely engaging, and the free flow of insights is timely and inspiring. LIA pools the world's greatest creatives, with amazing track records. A glance at their profiles would have you thinking they are everything, but human. Except, they are and it is from this humanness that they have naturally shared their stories with us. Making all they had to say credible, and giving me every reason to delight in being a creative ready to embrace the journey of becoming great too.

Six months in, five coaches later through the Creative LIAisons Virtual Speaker Sessions, my expectations have been met and exceeded. Omid Farhang made us picture ourselves as Creative Directors, and talked about how to get there. In his words; You are here because you have gifts, be the first ever you! Marty Martinez taught us to use our creativity to create social shifts, making us appreciate the power of our art. Pum Lefebure poured into us the sum of all the effort that changed the face of Hong Kong Ballet- reminding us the importance of being visually fluent. Bianca Guimaraes guided us through creating 'disruptive' content. All the while emphasizing the prominence of time and a reframed mindset in obtaining great results. Janina Lundy was quite generous with her insights on how to build and maintain networks. Her final remarks, the best way to grow, is to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

Story two: Coaches
Coaches: Sebastien Boutebel, Regional Executive Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi ME, Dubai; Suhayl Limbada, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC Thailand, Bangkok and Tim Hawkey, Chief Creative Officer, Area 23, New York.
 
The creative journey can be attributed as interesting, fun and even fulfilling. It can equally be complex, often overwhelming and unclear. Starting out, the latter description fits more. LIA could not have come at a better time, to help me appreciate this starting stage of my career as a creative. Through interactions with my coaches, I have been able to envision my journey and had enough reason to believe the end will definitely justify the challenging start. 
 
In your youth, there is room for you to take risks, diving headfirst into mucky waters. Giving life a shot, and when you fail, another. It is with this boldness that my coach Sebastien Boutebel transitioned from being a young creative in Montreal, to a CCO in Saatchi Dubai. 15 years later, having worked in different parts of the world, he said simply, “creative work transcends culture, because the right idea with the right insights resonates anywhere. It helps to have a solid creative process to enrich your creativity.”
 
Against the beautiful backdrop of the Dubai skyline, Sebastian ended the call by reminding me to pursue my dreams with passion. 
 
‘Just how long has your journey been?’
‘16 years’
 
In this period, Suhayl Limbada had to pursue a Masters degree to add to his knowledge, and afterwards do a job that had absolutely nothing to do with his profession, but that taught him a lesson he carries on to date. Now, serving as KFC’s CMO in Thailand and having to compete with the much appreciated local cuisine, Suhayl shared tips on selling in such tough competition. His philosophy? Anything, absolutely anything, is possible. 
 
Suhayl’s grit and positivity are quite inspiring. He urged me to make the most of everyday, and in everything, be excellent!
 
Then I spent an hour with Tim Hawkey- one thing about him, he is funny! Through his comical humor, Tim shared insights on how he has implemented incredible organizational effectiveness at Area 23 and grown the team and its profits to an all-time high. Tim’s way of succeeding is failing. In his career, he has failed so many times, it’s helped him know what to do. 
 
Tim’s discipline has sustained the consistency in good results for himself and his team. He strongly believes in setting very specific long-term goals and is unafraid of seeking accountability for their realization. 
 
Thank you so much LIA, this experience has been amazing to say the least. I would also love to thank my mentor- a strong woman, who inspired me to be a creative, Waithera Kabiru. Thank you for daring to break the conventional stereotype towards Marketing in Kenya, and for your effort in building a solid structure for mentorship through the Marketing Society of Kenya. Thank you for nominating me as a LIA mentee, I owe this transformative experience to your generosity. You saw me, and I will always be grateful. 
 
Maian Alken

Maian Alken

Associate Creative Director
TBWA/RAAD Dubai
Dubai
, United Arab Emirates


I've completed coaching sessions with Simon Bagnasco and Borja Borrero. Both have been incredibly eye-opening, insightful and helpful. And both have generously offered to even get on a second call to continue our conversations.
 
Ayane Arita

Ayane Arita

Copywriter
Fromer ADK Creative One
Tokyo
, Japan


I received some one-to-one coaching sessions with Pete Case, Chief Executive Officer & Creative Chairman, Ogilvy South Africa Group, and Natalie Lam, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA Publicis Groupe. Every session was eye-opening and fantastic.
 
I learned how different the Japanese advertising market and other countries’ advertising markets are, and what skills I need to refine to work overseas too, since I would like to work overseas in the future. Besides this being the best thing that I learned throughout the sessions, I learned how to realize great ideas. It is often harder to get ideas approved and realized than just thinking out great ideas.
 
My coaches gave me surprising tips on how to get “the true orientation” for great ideas. By “the true orientation,” I mean the challenge that the clients really have. After the second session, I was challenged to use what I learned with the real client that I’m working with and I developed a proposal. And my coaches gave me fantastic feedback for the idea on the third session. Now I’m working on refining the idea to propose to the client. I’m sure that I could draw out “the real orientation,” and the great idea will be realized. What I learned throughout the sessions were life-changing treasures.
 
 
 
Brittany Benitez

Brittany Benitez

Creative Designer
Saatchi & Saatchi
Sydney
, Australia


Coaches: 
Barbara Humphries - ECD at The Monkeys
Joe Sciarrotta  - Deputy Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy Worldwide 
Adam Ferrier - Founder / Chief Thinker at Thinkerbell
 
LIA offers a rare opportunity to be connected with and mentored by the best minds of the creative industry. Not many people can say they’ve met with the CEO and Founder of Thinkerbell, or the ECD at The Monkeys, which I will be forever grateful to be a part of this program.
 
Below are a few of the takeaways from each session:
 
Barbara Humphries - ECD at The Monkeys
A powerhouse leader with a heart of gold. 

 
Award-winning work aside, Barbara is a genuine person that cares and nurtures the next generation of creative thinkers. During our session we discussed how to navigate the world of advertising as a female, staying true to yourself while climbing the ranks, and the future of the industry.
 
A few nuggets of gold we discussed were:
•    Finding an advocate within your department can open the door to future opportunities. 
•    Youngbloods, Young lions, D&AD - are fantastic for creatives starting out, they are a great tool to grow and get your name out there.
•    Be yourself - no one can think like you, which is the best skill you have.
•    The nature of jobs will change, so always evolve.
•    Consultancies and tech companies will be great places to work.
 
Joe Sciarrotta - Deputy Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy worldwide
Problem solver, with a playful mindset.

 
With a very successful career and a title to reflect this, Joe is a world of wisdom and a humble leader. We chatted about ways to look at problem solving, keeping a childlike mindset and showcasing his new pizza oven.
 
•    Look for a problem a brand can solve, not a problem a brand has.
•    The older child can lack a playful mindset, so be young and have fun.
•    Work hard, but have fun.

Adam Ferrier - Founder and Chief Thinker at Thinkerbell
A forward thinker and an approachable person.

 
A name many know from Gruen or a prominent industry figure, Adam is a very knowledgeable person and such a character. Our session consisted of many laughs, how to deal with an ever-evolving industry and a common love for creating our podcasts.
 
•    Treat yourself as a brand. Work out what your assets are. Keep the same look, down to what you wear - this puts yourself in a position of power.
•    Find interesting and charming ways to express your personality. An example, create a yearlong campaign of why you’re the best fit.
•    Acknowledge no one knows your brand and the only way is consistent reminders of your existence. If you second guess that you’re bugging them, remember you don’t mean that much.
•    Titles are a thing of the past. That’s why his company uses titles such as Head of Craft, Creative Thinker, Lead Thinker etc.
 
Our podcasts can be found here:
Black T-shirts: https://www.blacktshirts.io
Beyond the Title: https://linktr.ee/beyondthetitlepodcast or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beyondthetitlepodcast/
 
Overall, this experience is like no other. It provides connections that you can’t get anywhere else in the world, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone to be a part of.
 
Samantha Brotman

Samantha Brotman

Strategy and Partnerships Associate
VMLY&R Commerce
New York
, United States of America


Having the privilege to observe the Statue Discussions in which jurors deliberated on work, and ultimately decided which medal, if any, should be awarded gave me an unparalleled advantage. I now better understand exactly what jurors look for in award-winning work from case study execution to craft, concept, and even category fit. 
 
One of my biggest takeaways from the program is to not mistake emotional content with rudimentary craft or concept for an award-worthy campaign. I first saw this caution at play as the jury deliberated on a piece of work, ultimately deciding to short-list it rather than giving it a medal. They felt they were initially drawn in by the campaign’s heavy and historically important topic rather than its originality or execution. As a result, I’m striving to be cognizant of such biases when creating and critiquing work. 
Katie Burleson

Katie Burleson

Art Director
Camp + King
San Francisco
, United States of America


Coaches: Monse Valera, Group Creative Director, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank; Roxana Nita, Creative Director, DDB Romania, Bucharest and Cinthia Wen, Head of Creative, Turner Duckworth, San Francisco

Over the course of my LIA mentorship sessions, I chose to ask all three mentors about essentially the same two topics. I was curious to learn what these women (who are currently doing what I hope to do) wish they had known in my shoes and what in their present roles was the most useful skill or lesson they've learned. I’m grateful for this experience because I came away with invaluable advice for both right now and down the road. I’ve blended moments from all of the sessions as my main takeaways:

1.) Build stronger relationships with clients to break down that “creative vs client” dynamic, because simply having that bond can lead to creative and fulfilling work outside of the typical briefs. 

2.) Pick out people whose work, presenting skills, etc., I admire and question, why, so that I can go do that—not just chalking it up to experience and hoping I get there one day.

3.) Ask myself if the work I’m doing is interesting, not if it can be a passion project, or something cool, but something that is an interesting problem to solve.

4.) Doing, not overthinking, which seems like the most challenging of all of this. As we talked about the skills required in leadership roles we discussed how to give feedback and how much interpersonal relationships become a main part of the job. It often means quite a bit of listening, that maybe turns into a therapy session for your creatives, but in that listening learning what inspires them and what will help them make their best work. 

Some don’ts: ambiguous and/or piecemeal feedback, google slides, trying to reinvent the wheel for every brief, not following up for metrics after work is live, and caring too much what other people think. Some do’s: become a partner not a vendor, sell work with strategy or a sprinkle of data, leave room for creatives to play with feedback, ask why, and bring compassion and empathy. Thank you to Monse, Roxana, and Cinthia for the great conversation and pearls of wisdom, and to LIA for this opportunity.

Seungyun Cha

Seungyun Cha

Copywriter
Innocean Worldwide
Seoul
, Korea


Coaches: Kent Boswell, National Director of Interactive, Traffik Group, Sydney; Natasha Romariz Maasri, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett MEA , Duabi and Brett O’Connor, Founder / Executive Creative Director, VCCP Health, London

It was an absolute pleasure to be a 2022 Creative LIAisons Alumni.
 
I had sessions and seminars with many experts and got a lot of inspiration and motivation.
 
My first mentor Kent Boswell, National Director of Interactive at TRAFFIK, was full of new ideas. He had a lot of knowledge in new media and knew how to use them to get close with our target. He taught me how to build long-term relationships and strong bonds with consumers.
 
Natasha Romariz Maasri, Executive Creative Director of Leo Burnett MEA, was my second mentor. Since she has been making campaigns to increase women’s rights in the Middle East, I wanted to learn from her passion and challenge spirit. She encouraged me to do my own project with my own belief and idea, and she lavished me with advice.
 
Last but not least, Brett O’connor, ECD of VCCP Health, also was a big help. He wanted to make the world better with his work and shared his faith about advertising. He believes that while other ads excite vanity, healthcare ads are made to practically help people.
 
The whole course was really eye-opening and I realized that there are many paths ahead for me. Thank you for all your help and lessons.
Eduardo Chiriboga

Eduardo Chiriboga

Creative Director / Gaming Consultant
MullenLowe Group
Ecuador
, Ecuador


Coaches: Merlee Jayme, Chairmom / Former CCO Dentsu International, Igal Ezra, Creative VP / CCO BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Israel, Julian Guarín Barkach, Creative Director, MullenLowe SSP3, Bogota
 
Reflections From Coaching:
Knowledge will always be the most valuable resource to overcome any barrier and learning from the most experienced creatives resulted in a wonderful and unique challenge. 
 
Sharing thoughts, ideas and having a good time the last few months with thinkers from all over the world reminds me that we are all always connected working for a better industry. 
 
Each session resulted in a new experience and also anecdotes that, from now on, will enhance my creative process.
 
I want to thank Merlee, Igal and Julián for their teachings and, of course, the festival for creating this program that promotes fraternity, empathy and closeness with all of us.
 
See you next time. 
 
Nicholas Duron

Nicholas Duron

Senior Creative
Digitas
Sydney
, Australia


Coaches: Amy Carvajal, Chief Creative Officer at Code and Theory, Malcolm Poynton, Global Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide and Adrian Mills, Partner, Creative Brand Advertising at Deloitte Digital
 
Just wanted to say thanks again for putting on this year’s program. It has been an integral part of my growth and has really benefited the work we’re doing at Digitas as a result. Most importantly, it was a lot of fun!
 
After spending my teenage years working in a video store, I’m no stranger to on-screen mentorship. But beyond the movies that made me, I’m forever grateful for the coaches that made time for me during this year’s virtual Creative LIAisons program.
 
So, in the spirit of LIA and their mission to unify the best thinkers with the world, here’s a highlight reel from my experience.
 
Advice from a local legend
 
When I first saw Adrian Mills’ name on the mentor list, I was stoked. I thought: this guy has led some of Australia’s biggest ad agencies and now one of its biggest consultancies, I can’t wait to hear all about it. But, after what felt like a long chat with an old friend, I realised we didn’t speak about much of either of those things. Instead, we spoke about people. And how good people make all the difference. Find them, support them, be one yourself. That’s how you become a leader.  
 
Bring back the fun
 
Next up, I was lucky enough to meet with Malcolm Poynton, a global CCO with a grassroots attitude to team culture. When I say team culture, I don’t mean ping pong tables and beer fridges. I mean creative culture – film, art and innovations that people can (and should) experience together.
 
His biggest piece of advice? “Grab your team and go.”
 
Look beyond award shows and ad press for inspiration and find fun in the work we all want to do more of. Invite the whole agency. Only a few might show up, but those friendships and connections will be invaluable when the next brief rolls in. 
 
Make feedback your friend
 
Up until my session with Amy Carvajal, I thought I was pretty good at giving feedback. But, pretty good isn’t great. And Amy is great. Great at giving feedback, but also great at teaching others how to do the same. She went beyond the creative department, replaying real situations, where seemingly simple questions seemed to solve really complex problems. It was a crash course in creative direction and client collaboration that I couldn’t possibly fit into a page. 
 
But, if I had to sum it up in one word, it’d be empathy. A little goes a long way and makes a big difference – not only to the work, but to the people who make it all possible. 
 
And one word for Creative LIAisons? Fun. 
 
It’s a fun program with fun people and I look forward to entering all the fun stuff Digitas is making into the show next year. 
 
RJ Espartinez

RJ Espartinez

Senior Copywriter
DDB MNL
Makati City
, Philippines


The Creative LIAisons program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity, because I was able to meet my new industry idols. All the learnings and discoveries were truly amazing. It inspired me to be better.
 
I know that I have more to learn, and I’m so lucky that these creative geniuses from all over the world fueled my burning passion.
 
Here are some of the things I learned from my talented coaches:
 
Natasha Maasri, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett MEA
 
• Winning starts within yourself. Always believe in your idea first, before others will.
• If your friends or family saw your campaign, experienced it, and felt it, then it was a good idea already.
• Crafting never stops - which is already my motto even before LIA. I’m glad that another creative mind shared the same discipline.
• Research is an essential stage in creative development. Do mood boards.
• Enjoy the process, don’t rush. Make advertising life fun.
 
Simon Bagnasco, Executive Director, Saatchi & Saatchi Melbourne
 
• Treat all work, your day-to-day, as award-winning work
• Educate yourself on the latest category in award shows. Then watch case videos and start thinking of ideas.
• Clients are really challenging. As a creative, you must find new ways to present to clients until you find the joy of presenting.
• Always see and try things differently.
• When writing case boards: 3 lines for idea and insight. That’s it.
• Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us get to work – Chuck Close
  
Adam Hessel, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy Health New York
 
• Health is not as fun as the other brands, but it’s worth it.
• You need to work on various elements for health: apps, how to cure cancer, etc.
• Health category is quite difficult, because you must encourage doctors to advocate their own brand
• Some things can start as non-health related. But when you dig deeper, that’s when you see the relevance.
 
My LIA journey has been magical, and I would really love to meet all of my coaches someday in person.
 
Patrick Gaviola

Patrick Gaviola

Senior Art Director
DDB Philippines
Makati City
, Philippines


My Creative LIAisons Experience
 
Being selected as one of the 2022 Creative LIAisons mentees is an honor and a privilege. I knew I had to make the most of it and to do that, I made it my goal to learn as much as I could and prepare myself for the future of advertising as new technologies emerge around us.
 
I was beyond fortunate to speak to and learn from a diverse set of mentors from the advertising industry, particularly in the fields of technology, e-commerce, and creatives. 
 
With that, here are my top learnings from our conversations over the past five months.
 
Laurent Thevenet
Head of Creative Tech of Publicis Groupe APACMEA

-    Do not fear the integration of artificial intelligence, instead embrace it as another tool to further develop our creative capabilities. 
-    There’s no need to lose your job over to AI. Because if you can hone and master it first, it’s an asset. At the end of the day, it’s all about adapting to change.
-    AI can help you visualize ideas and create stories more than ever with the help of Dall-E2, Midjourney, and Bust Write.
-    There’s still so much to learn about AI in terms of its ownership and copyright. It’s a brand-new category on its own.
-    Metaverse, Web 3.0, blockchain, and gaming will be part of our daily lives once the 5G technology is fully integrated globally.
-    The future is now and it’s exciting.
 
Gosia Rzymska-Rakowska
Head of eCommerce of Publicis Groupe SEA

-    To maximize eComm platforms, brands should start having eCommerce-focused marketing campaigns instead of treating it as part of a digital campaign or a by-the-way.
-    There’s an opportunity in the Philippine market to veer away from jingle-driven campaigns and reach out to eComm platform users in a more human way, just like how Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand do. 
-    There’s an opportunity for eComm platforms to focus more on becoming sustainable companies by reusing their packaging trash.
-    The SEA region is the most diverse market in the world.
-    Always keep in touch with your colleagues and mentors even after they have left. They might surprise you with an opportunity in the future.
 
John Mescall
Global Executive Creative Director of McCann Worldgroup

-    When thinking of an idea, it’s important to have a fixed vision of what it will do to society. Think of the preferred impact that you want to happen, and it will lead the way you think.
-    Bringing impact through our ideas starts by finding the right people to work with. The same can be said in bringing our ideas to life.
-    To be a better creative in the future, start learning and searching for award-winning work in new categories such as engagement, experience, entertainment, good, and strategy as clients are more data-driven than ever.
-    Aside from an acknowledgment of great work, winning an award also brings opportunities that could elevate your earnings and standard of living. It also shows that you take your job seriously.
-    Make it a goal to bring change in the advertising industry and influence others to veer away from the brand category cliches and do more impactful, creative work that would put the Philippines on the map and change the lives of people.
 
Even though our sessions have ended, my mentors are still open to more one-on-one sessions in the future, something I appreciate and am grateful for. I hope to meet them all in person soon.
 
My LIAisons experience is an insightful journey about our industry and its future. Thank you, LIA.
João Gouveia

João Gouveia

Art Director
Leo Burnett
Lisbon
, Portugal


Coaches: Alasdair Lennox, Group Executive Creative Director of Experience, Americas at Landor & Fitch, Natalie Lam, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Groupe APAC & MEA at Publicis Groupe Hong Kong and Bruno Bertelli, Global CCO di Publicis WW / CCO Publicis Groupe Italia /  CEO Le Pub Nederlands / Creative Chairman Le Pub 

After a solid couple of years in the creative industry, one starts to acquire a really good sense of what goes on in the business, but there is always a lingering sense of the unknown. That's when we look for the guidance and experience of the figures that put out the work that we (admire) wanted to be ours, the top tier creatives; our most senior colleagues and creative directors are our go to people on these matters.

And that’s where Creative LIAsions comes in with the opportunity to receive guidance and mentorship from some of those people that are not quite within our reach.
 
I was privileged enough to get to talk with three great names of our industry. Most of the conversations I had with my mentors revolved around the current role of creativity and advertising’s impact on brands and social responsibility, and whether or not we are more inclined towards one or the other when judging such work for awards sake and if we are tuning down creative criteria in light of socially responsible work. But besides this specific issue, the conversation also revolved around the personal career path of each mentor and how some choices or decisions have led them to where they are now. 
 
My first mentorship session with Alasdair Lennox from Landor & Fitch was a real eye opener. We talked about the contrast between being a designer and an art director and how having a design background can be a great advantage in art direction and advertisement. One of the key things we discussed was the ability to use brand visuals and shapes in favour of effectively communicating a campaign centered around the brand itself. But the thing that stuck with me the most was that there is a big difference between making a memory and making an impression and if you can make both then your work is truly remarkable.
 
In my second mentorship session I was able to discuss with Natalie Lam, from Publicis Groupe, how she catapulted her career in her early days, and the process of managing different teams and agencies in the Asian and Pacific markets. The biggest conversation topic though was on her experience of judging big international awards; the difference between a bronze and a silver in the judging stages, what makes a gold and a grand prix, and how advertising is balancing itself between brand centered campaigns and social responsibility work. The whole judging topic was the most interesting bit, because you never know what others might think of your work, and having first hand insight on how the judges approach the process makes a big difference in evaluating the work you try to put out.
 
The last mentorship session was with Bruno Bertelli, also from Publicis Groupe, which was a very awaited session, because of the great work Publicis Italy puts out every single year. Our talk went around the difficulties of judging and how to recognise good ideas, how to establish criteria and build our creative process on that. A very useful exercise Bruno gave me was to choose 3 different campaigns that I really like, watch the cases once and then try to rewrite the case and check what were the essentials I picked up from the idea from only watching it once.
 
Overall, the creative LIAisons experience was very eye opening, and helped debunk some of the notions one may have on a daily basis constructed about the advertising world, professions and methods. Besides all of this, the lingering sense of the unknown didn’t go away. You would think it got smaller, but in reality it got bigger. Being in contact with the mentors brought me exactly what I expected. New horizons and new “unknowns” to explore.
Junior Hernández Villalobos

Junior Hernández Villalobos

Junior Copywriter
Edelman
Mexico City
, Mexico


Coaches: Pedro Americo, Creative Director, R/GA Berlin, Zofia Bugajna-Kasdepke, Founding Partner, VP, SEC Newgate CEE, Warsaw and Felix del Valle, Chief Creative Officer, MRM Worldwide Spain, Madrid
 
The experience was a lot of fun: Learning, reaffirming some of my beliefs, and replanting some others. My first call was with Pedro Americo, where the principal reaffirmation was one that I was hoping to hear from someone with a vast career: “Playing all those videogames is finally paying off.” We also talked about how to prepare the terrain with clients when pitching ideas.
 
In the second session, I had the honor to talk to Zofia Bugajna-Kasdepke, an incredible and touching chat. She directed me to the appreciation of arts to influence my daily work. We also talked about the differences between talent vs. discipline and when I asked her “how do I know if I am talented” she told me that I already am, because I am where I am. It sounded more epic when she said it, but it was pretty epic, I swear.
 
The last session was a little complicated to program, because of both of our schedules. But it was a real eye-opening experience. Felix del Valle is very passionate about creativity, and it’s easy to let your own passion out when talking to him. Or maybe it was that finally, I was having a session in Spanish, my native language. However, it was nice and full of learning.
 
All of them let me know that I can reach them anytime I want to have another talk. And of course, I will reach out to them again sooner or later.
 
Thanks, LIA for the chance to meet with such incredible personalities!
 
 
Erika Iffiana

Erika Iffiana

Junior Copywriter
IPG Mediabrands
Petaling Jaya
, Malaysia


Coaches: Ben Tarr, President – Canada, Leo Burnett, Toronto; Roxana Nita, Creative Director, DDB Romania, Bucharest and Andrea Stillacci, CEO / Founder, HEREZIE, Paris

Title: My Travelling Experience to Three Big Cities 
Author: Erika Iffiana
Author’s Note: 10/10 Recommended

 
Prologue

Lumos. The title that you just read is the words that I have always wished I can say to myself or anyone. And now I can. Though it is technically virtual, a travel is a travel. Before anyone disagrees, let’s take a moment to sit on it. Because if you think about it, I was there in the cities, virtually, but still there. Trust me, I know at least one person who can vouch for my visit in each city (hint: an amazing creative). Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get into it!
 
Part 1: Toronto, Canada

It was fortunate that my tentative starts with Ben Tarr. Based on his experience being in both the creative and the business side of the industry, Ben helps me to understand the industry better, especially on what should be prioritized, being in the industry. And that was what I needed. Understand the people, understand the brand, and observe the competition. Take every opportunity to learn and be curious. These are words that I understood and agreed with the moment Ben said them. But what I appreciate the most from my session with Ben is that he helped me understand that a creative is in the right place when creative works are fun and exciting for them.
 
Part 2: Bucharest, Romania

From the broad scope of the industry, I had a little more personal sessions with Roxana Nita as I discussed my interests and concerns as a creative. As Roxana is actively involved in projects related to women’s right, and I am deeply interested in initiatives on this matter, I knew I had to talk to her about it. Roxana was very generous with the information on handling the projects, what had to be done throughout the process, and the obstacles that her team had faced. I was also reminded by Roxana that it’s normal to struggle while handling creative works, and it is best to not be so hard on myself. But it is important to be resilient, have passion and have fun.
 
Part 3: Paris, France

My travel was coming to an end, but my tentative was set on a perfect ending. After discovering more about the industry and myself, I had the opportunity to learn to develop myself as a creative from Andrea Stillacci. I had multiple sessions with Andrea where we discussed my previous work, works that intrigued me, as well as developing potential works. Clearly, it is wonderful to have such discussions with a remarkable creative. But more than that, it was a privilege to receive Andrea’s feedback and advice on my works as I try to develop myself. 
 
Epilogue

Special thanks to LIA for this amazing opportunity as well as the knowledge and genuine connections that I have made along the way! Nox

 
Isabella Iliovski

Isabella Iliovski

Junior Art Director
Freelance Creative
Melbourne
, Australia


I have had such an unreal experience and I was able to learn heaps as a young creative! The 2 mentors I had have given me a lifetime of wisdom and advice! Thank you again for everything!
 
My meeting with Nickie Scriven was most insightful. I really wanted to get a female's perspective on the industry and it was interesting to learn just how she ended up in the position she's in. Her advice put my biggest concerns at rest. I have heard from others that work takes over most aspects of their lives and I feared I would eventually become one of these people. Family is the most important thing in my life and it was comforting to know Nickie has a family of her own and successfully balances her priorities. She also gave me advice on how to enter the industry and suggested an agency that she can put me into contact with. I'll definitely be reaching out to her soon to potentially seek out this opportunity. She couldn't have been more open, supportive and REAL. 

My meeting with Diego Wortmann was equally as valuable. We spent some time getting to know each other and there was no pressure to jam in as many questions as possible. He had said from the beginning that we can have as many meetings as I like, which was extremely comforting to know. Career wise, Diego is exactly where I aspire to be in 10 or so years, so any advice was more than useful. Much like my meeting with Nickie, it was great to learn Diego similarly values family and balances all aspects of his life. I'm looking forward to learning more about how he started his career fresh out of his Advertising degree, as that is exactly where I am at in life. Our next meeting will be sometime next week, and I have no doubt I will continue to learn the ins and outs of life in the industry and how exactly to enter it. 
Ronela Lopez

Ronela Lopez

Art Director
Publicis Groupe Philippines (Digitas)
Makati City
, Philippines


Coaches: Pete Case, Chief Executive Officer & Creative Chairman, Ogilvy South Africa Group, Cape Town; Jin Yang, Creative Partner, Leo Burnett Taiwan, Taipei and Sebastien Boutebel, Regional Executive Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi ME, Dubai

Thank you very much London International Awards for setting up the Liaison Creative Coaching program. I'm so grateful to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; being able to meet and be taught by people with great names in the industry is an honor for me.
 
I want to personally thank my mentors this year, Pete Case, Jin Yang and Sebastien Boutebel— they fed my hunger to do great work by helping me recognize and overcome what was blocking me from experiencing confidence and joy in my creative practice.
 
"Never get attached to an idea nor get married to it, because the best idea is yet to come."
 
"It's always nice to have the consumer's perspective when thinking of an idea so you won't be distant and you will be able to understand their lifestyle."
 
"Storytelling comes from the human insights and good copy is not about the beauty of words, but the beauty of an idea."
 
One of many words I've learned that I will carry and pass on to the juniors of the next generation.
 
What a wonderful creative journey. I'm hoping to meet all of my coaches in person someday.

 
Caleb McMullen

Caleb McMullen

Senior Copywriter
FCB Toronto
Toronto
, Canada


The LIAisons program, from the lectures to the opportunity to listen in on judging to the networking events – every part of it was filled with inspiration. Coming back to Toronto, I feel fired up to innovate, create and strive to do something entirely new.
 
 
Ynna Milambiling

Ynna Milambiling

Senior Art Director
GIGIL
Makati City
, Philippines


Letter to coach: 
 
Hi Hira. Thanks for making time and for sharing invaluable tips with me! Thank you for being so gracious and open to all of my questions. I hope to be as fierce and as kind as you are someday. See you soon (hopefully)! 
 
Laurissa, thank you so much for connecting us and thanks to LIA for making this happen.
 
 
 
Simba Mwamuka

Simba Mwamuka

Creative Lead
Bergast House
Harare
, Zimbabwe


Coaches: Waithera Kabiru, Head of Media Futures at Diageo/EABL Plc, Nairobi; Taras Wayner, Global President, Creative Platforms & Solutions at GroupM, New York and Gavin Simpson, Independent Creative, Kuala Lumpur
 
As a firm believer in the power of design and innovation as tools for change, I was blessed with the rare opportunity of being mentored by 3 phenomenal creative leaders with a wide range of influence, from different spectrums of the world and with a combined experience of over 60 years in marketing, advertising and communications. 
 
Having built my career predominantly working within the Southern African context it was a great experience to learn and get more insights from Waithera, Taras, and Gavin. Each session was loaded with content, meaning, insights, challenges, and most importantly, growth.
 
Fast-forward to today,

I’ve gained invaluable advice and resources that have impacted and helped improve the way I see and understand the marketing and communications landscape. Countless debates, discussions, and assignments later, my key takeaways from the program are: 

·      Belief comes first, winning starts within. If you believe in your idea first, it’s easier for others to do so as well.
·      Always be willing to challenge your already existing beliefs in order to grow.
·      Relationships are key. Always strive to build stronger relationships with your clients, it helps foster a better understanding of the solutions we create and breaks the “creative vs client” barriers.
·      Every solution we create, needs to always be data-driven in order to guarantee ROI (return on investment) for clients.
·       We need to fully embrace and harness the power of AI in order to work smart, not hard.
 
It’s safe to say that being a part of the 2022 Creative LIAisons was nothing short of a blessing. I’ve managed to foster personal relationships with each one of my mentors and was fortunate enough to have met Waithera in person at the Loeries in Cape Town. I would really love to meet Taras and Gavin someday in person.
Thomas Nitti

Thomas Nitti

Copywriter
DAVID
Miami
, United States of America


The Creative LIAisons program was a wake-up call from what we’ve been taught. In schools and study, we always look back at famous work in an attempt to re-capture what made it so great in the first place. The incredible speakers and attendees at LIAisons served as a reminder that our job is not to reinvent the good ol’ days of advertising, but to shape its future with new perspectives, techniques, and ideas that break the mold. It’s that ambition that made the work we envy so great, and it’s that ambition which we should truly be trying to channel, instead of the work itself.
Panos Pagonis

Panos Pagonis

Senior Art Director
Ogilvy
Athens
, Greece


Coaches: Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Global President, MullenLowe Group Creative Council, MullenLowe Group, London and Dave Bowman, APAC Head of Creative, Google, Sydney 
 
I consider myself a lucky guy to have been chosen for this incredible program. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, that allowed me to virtually meet and be coached by some of the industry’s greatest minds.
 
It seems like yesterday that as a 23-year-old Junior Art Director, I came across Jose Miguel Sokoloff’s Campaigns about the Guerillas and my mind was blown away. Back then, I thought that even if I get the chance to be involved in a campaign half as impactful as this one, I will have made all my professional dreams come true. And through this program, I got to actually meet Jose Miguel Sokoloff and discuss this as well as other campaigns and he shared his guidance and knowledge.
 
After that I had the chance to meet Google’s APAC Head of Creative, Dave Bowman. Dave was Droga5’s 12th recruitment and this foreshadowing the conversation, was extremely interesting. And it was with Dave that we discussed what it’s like working for David Droga to how to build your own company. Also, as a leader in one of the most innovative companies worldwide he gave me tips and guidance on how to think and produce innovative ideas.
 
But the most beautiful experience was that I had the opportunity to virtually be in LIA’s jury room to watch the jurors’ creative process and the discussions behind every award as they happened live.
 
Jae Woo Park

Jae Woo Park

Creative
Digitas ANZ
Auckland
, New Zealand


Coaches: Dan Lucey, Chief Creative Officer, Havas NY, Rupen Desai, Global CMO, Dole International, Vishnu Srivatsav, Regional Creative Director – Advertising & Digital, DDB Mudra, Bengaluru
 
I take pride in having spent time with my mentors, Dan Lucey – Havas NY, Rupen Desai – Dole International, Vishnu Srivatsav – DDB Mudra. It’s been an honour to have picked their brains, have a few laughs and gain a perspective that would have been difficult without LIA. Here are a few key takeaways in no particular order: 
 
There aren’t many clients out there that don’t want to be successful or brave. So before attempting to solve whatever you’re trying to solve, find a way, at all costs, to understand their needs.
 
Pursue great people who do great work and have fun; not deceptive rewards or titles. The results show down the line.
 
Anxiety is a real thing even after success. Our work needs constant attention and love. Then all we can do is focus on making it great. 
 
We are asked to do more with less and perhaps in some cases less with more. Times have changed (if you get it you get it).
 
Great work is done in a team that shares the same level of drive and ambition - this includes clients, internal teams and bosses. 
 
I’m more excited about the future of this industry as a result of good dialogue with these absolute guns. Good times.
Aisling Penco

Aisling Penco

Copywriter
Leo Burnett
Toronto
, Canada


My favourite part about LIAisons was the opportunity to meet all those amazing creatives, those whose names I’ve seen in award books and whose work I’ve been jealous of. It was a truly unique opportunity to get to sit in on the statue discussions, to discover why judges pick the work they pick, not just because it’s a great idea, but it’s craft, it’s impact in society, it’s sense of humour and it’s statement about the world we live in.
Lucas Pimenta

Lucas Pimenta

Regional Motion & Content Designer
VMLY&R COMMERCE
New York
, United States of America


Las Vegas has always been mainstreamed portraited as a wild do-whatever-you-want party destination. As a Brazilian, 6,213 miles kept us apart for 30 years. But last week, the London International Awards festival gave me the chance to check it out for myself as a LIAisons Mentee. 
 
It was when I finished packing for my 5-day trip to the LIAisons program that I set back in my sofa and between my bulldog’s snoring I decided to watch the Disney’s 1940 classic Pinnocchio, recently relaunched as a live action starring Tom Hanks as Gepetto. 
 
It goes without saying how cathartic it is to watch the wooden boy face life’s disappointments, fight temptations and overcome challenges to get the recognition that he seeks: to be real.  
 
Well, if you know the story, you should be aware of Pleasure Island, the amusement park that kids are dragged into so they can satisfy their most impulsive desires. So, when I first checked in at the hotel in Vegas, I had a feeling that took me back to the Disney classic. Vegas’s cassino scene has indeed this vibe of a playground area. But not only that. If the casino in the lobby was Pleasure Island, the LIAisons program could easily resemble Jiminy the cricket. 
 
During the talks and creative sessions, we were reminded of trusting our gut when driving along our career path, to learn the importance of develop sidequests, gathering valuable information and skills outside our main fields of interest, besides of course seeing outstanding work and meeting extraordinary talents from across the world. But if I could pick one out of all memorable experiences we had, to be able to observe statue discussions with the jury would be definitely be the most distinguished one.  
 
In a great effort to summarize and simplify this moment, I would say we were having the chance to see closely the cautious analysis of what is right or wrong. And what could be more ‘Jiminy the cricket’ than that? 
 
In a nutshell, we learned there is nothing more relevant than truth. To respect the confrontation of ideas and the importance of listening. How incredible strength can come up when a human need is well tied to a brand purpose. And ultimately, that not everything that happens in Vegas, should stay there. 
 
Liam Ratliff

Liam Ratliff

Copywriter
Ogilvy
Melbourne
, Australia


Coaches: Paul Shearer, Chief Creative Officer Global Clients, Wunderman Thompson, Bianca Guimaraes, Partner/Executive Creative Director, Mischief @ No Fixed Address, Brooklyn, Jeff Cruz, Chief Creative Officer at MRM, Detroit.
 
Putting work to the pub test 
 
From working with Hegarty at BBH, to being on set with Hollywood directors and sporting royalty like Kobe Bryant, my first mentor, Paul Shearer, has done it all. 
 
Paul provided me with plenty of insight into working in New York and London, and gave me some sound advice on how to get there and thrive. For Paul, working in different markets across the globe has really helped shape his career, and it’s something he would recommend to any young creative looking to develop themselves. But amongst all his wisdom, there was one story that really stuck with me…
 
 “I’d be at the pub enjoying a Friday knock off when Nike’s Secret Tournament would come on TV, and everyone would stop what they were doing to watch it.”
 
I remember thinking f*ck that’s cool. I want to make work like that. 
 
Creating a safe space for dangerous ideas
 

Next up was I was lucky enough to be paired with my first mentor preference - Ad Age’s Creative Director of the year, Bianca Guimaraes. 
 
Whether it’s addressing America’s gun violence with Back to School Essentials or getting people to Send Noods to their loved ones for Kraft, I’ve always marvelled at Bianca’s breadth of ideas. Sometimes they’re heartbreaking and sometimes they’re hilarious, the only constant seems to be pushing the envelope, or as she might now call it, makin’ mischief. 
 
Aside from her obvious talent, I soon discovered Bianca was also really down-to-earth. She was generous with her time and taught me so much about finding your way as a young creative in the industry. Her advice to those looking to share similar success?
 
“Ask the CD’s for more briefs, do proactives, enter comps, be resilient and don’t come from a place of fear.”
 
Cruzing around in Motor City 
 
Last but certainly not least I caught up with Jeff Cruz, Chief Creative Officer of MRM, Detroit.
 
Jeff has taught me about so many facets of the industry – presenting, pitching, progressing to creative director roles, the list goes on. He’s even got me thinking about the habits I can start developing now that will be beneficial down the road. Jeff’s advice to young copywriters finding their style?
 
“Instead of just being the funny guy or earnest manifesto guy, develop a range of
copywriting – that will make you invaluable to any team.”
 
I can’t thank Jeff enough for the energy that he’s brought to each catch up, as well as his
interest in getting to know me and guide my development.
 
 
 
 
Angelo Roldan

Angelo Roldan

Art Director
Leo Burnett
Toronto
, Canada


It was wonderful to meet and be surrounded by such talented and passionate creatives from all over the world. Especially given the pandemic and the change in the way we work, the energy of being with all these people was truly intoxicating and inspiring. My favourite part about being in Creative LIAisons was getting to witness the statue discussions. It was truly eye opening and insightful, giving me a better understanding of the type of craft and attention to detail that is needed to get from good work to great work.
 
Trinity Ross

Trinity Ross

Founder
Superthink
Melbourne
, Australia


Coaches: Rodrigo Moran, Global Head of Creative WhatsApp at Meta, Menlo Park; Tom Beckman, Global Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick, New York and John Mescall, Global Executive Creative Director, President Global Creative Council at McCann Worldgroup 
 
I’m so incredibly grateful for the Creative LIAisons mentorship program, and the opportunity to connect with world-class creatives on a deeply human level.  
 
I went into the meetings a bit nervous expecting the coaches to be very business-like and serious, because of their high-calibre senior leadership positions. But I was relieved and surprised to have unfiltered, honest and fun conversations with my fantastic mentors, Rodrigo Moran, Tom Beckman and John Mescall.
 
It’s clear that they care about young creatives and helping their teams to be the best they can be, which I experienced in our coaching sessions. This idea of leading teams from a place of emotional intelligence is something that will stay with me as I move forward in my career.
 
All three coaches have been incredibly supportive with their feedback and encouragement, especially when I pitched them my ambitious campaign ideas for positive impact, and my aspirations to start my own agency, Superthink and work internationally.
 
Because I enjoyed the program so much, I reached out to other LIA mentees and organised after-work drinks so we could share our experiences. Both Isabel Evans and Bella Illiovski sung of their mentor’s praises and how surreal it was to be able to connect with global creative experts.
 
I’m beyond thankful for Rodrigo, Tom, and John’s time and expertise. It’s leaders like this who inspire me to be a better leader and dream big. I hope that after many years of learning and working in this industry I can give back to help future mentees just like how my mentors helped me. 

 
Alex Sinmaleza

Alex Sinmaleza

Senior Creative
the community
Miami
, United States of America


It has been an amazing opportunity participating in Creative LIAisons. It's not easy to reach and get to know these global leaders, who more than mentors, have been like longtime friends. The kind of friend who gives you tips with complete sincerity and wishes you the best.
 
Aman Soin

Aman Soin

Copywriter
Rethink
Toronto
, Canada


Creative LIAisons is kind of like going back to school. You walk into a room with a backpack on, notebook out, excited for the learning to come. Major difference being none of the speakers made me share my candy with the class. I mean, I did share, but when you're forced to do it it's just awkward and I don't appreciate being put on the spot like that just because I had low blood sugar for that one month, Ms. Tam.
 
Sorry. Anyways.  
 
It's amazing what happens when you put a group of people with similar goals into a room together. They talk. They talk about themselves, and others, work they've seen, and work they've done, and the small details of big ideas. And all those words water our creativity, and the creatives grow. I walked away from every session at Creative LIAisons feeling like I had just finished working a campaign and learning from a creative leader. But more than that, I was able to meet and learn from some of the most talented, driven, and fun young creatives from North America. I'm a better creative for it, a more energized creative.
 
 So it was pretty cool.
 
Isabela Sperka

Isabela Sperka

Junior Copywriter
Mirum Brasil
Curitiba
, Brazil


I have already completed 2 of my 3 individual LIA sessions.
 
In the last 3 weeks I talked with Cristino Battista, from Tik Tok Italy, and Pedro Américo, from R/GA Berlin. Two amazing professionals, who took a lot of time to answer my questions, tell me about their stories and gave me unique advice for my future in advertising.
 
It was the best experience of my career so far. And I feel immensely grateful for the opportunity.
 
Can't wait to complete another session!
Xi Lynn Tan

Xi Lynn Tan

Senior Copywriter
Leo Burnett
Kuala Lumpur
, Malaysia


Coaches: Pancho Gonzalez, Chief Creative Officer, Inbrax, Santiago and Godwin D’mello, Executive Creative Director, DDB Mudra West Mumbai?Comment: 
 
Currently, I’m at a point in my career where I’m trying to push beyond my limits. When I found out that my coaches were from different countries, I was extremely excited! I really wanted to know what it felt like to speak to them.
 
I had my first session with Pancho Gonzalez, CCO of Inbrax from Chile. From the very beginning, he asked me what I really wanted to achieve in my career. Without any hesitation, I replied, "To win more awards". How did you do it? He replied, "Treat your daily work as something you would want to submit for an award. If you strongly believe in your work, keep fighting for it!”
 
After a 2-week gap from my first session with Pancho Gonzalez, I had my second session with Godwin D’Mello, Executive Creative Director of DDB Mumbai. It was a Friday night, and I remembered I was at home and it was raining heavily. It was definitely a conversation, not just him sharing his experiences, but wanting me to share mine as well. Godwin D’Mello really taught me to never be demotivated whenever clients want something big (award-winning work) with a small budget. Because the simpler, the better. Furthermore, to come up with amazing ideas, it’s never a one-man show. Coming up with good work consists of a team that works together to push one another and never stops at "it’s good." It has to be WOW. There’s no other way we can do this.
 
Thank you LIA, for this once-in-a-lifetime and unforgettable opportunity!
 
Yaraman Thorne

Yaraman Thorne

Copywriter
Brand Studio
Sydney
, Australia


Thanks for having me as part of the LIA Creative LIAisons mentorship program. I have had two sessions with Dissara Udomdej and Oliver Fuselier, and being able to speak to them one on one has been kind of surreal. These are insights I will take with me for the rest of my career, and hopefully I am able to pay that forward in the future.
 
 
Guy Trengrove

Guy Trengrove

Intermediate Copywriter
DDB Group Aotearoa
Auckland
, New Zealand


Coaches: Rachel Denti, Graphic Designer, Nike Portland; Ted Lim, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, DIFF CREATIVE CONSULTANTS, Kuala Lumpur and Joel Simon, CEO / Chief Creative Officer, JSM Music, New York
 
I’m gonna be real for a sec. In the last couple years, I’ve noticed something about the ad industry. We always seem to be on the offensive; judging, rewriting and critiquing others’ stuff. Yes, it’s crucial to what we do, but it also really hampers our ability to just watch shit and laugh. Or feel anything. We kinda suck…and as an intermediate, the industry’s silhouette just seems to grow more ruthless every year.
Well, my sessions with Ted, Rachel and Joel were amazing, because they brought a world of hope to the fold. We chatted life, passions, and reality. These chats were just what I needed. And many of their points are still doing the rounds in my pistachio-sized brain. Here are the Cliff Notes:
 
Ted: Reality ft. Cynicism

OK I lied; the chat was pretty cynical, but the other two were wholesome. Essentially, Ted laid out the master plan for creating an agency, then selling at about 40, so I can retire on an island, to a harem of video game consoles. I quite like my job though, so will probably veto this for now (99% vetoed, if my bosses are reading this). Ted did make a nice point though, around always considering your worth. Always. Cheers Ted, for keeping it real.
 
Rachel: Where did that come from?

Rachel made me want to do work. On a Saturday. Wtf. She had such a beautifully grounded way of chatting creativity. Here are some examples:

-    We’re never creating anything new. We’re just connecting things; which is why you should bring as many references as you can to the table.
-    99% of what we make won’t get seen by the world. But it is work, and you are getting shit done. You should never feel like you’re wasting away; you’re honing skills.
-    Passion projects are an x-ray of a person, that let you see how far they’ll go, when there are no constraints. In a sense, these will get you further in life, because they’re what you are. 

We also talked on life balance, promotions, art, and always experimenting with new media. Oh, and the best starter Pokémon (obviously Cyndaquil). Much love Rachel, your chat was like Samsung Super-Fast Charging™ for my soul xx
 
Joel: Humble & Pragmatic

Joel has done more projects than Bruce Willis has done terrible films. So, at least 5,000, if not more. Yet, Joel was so chill to chat to. And grounded. He admitted that it still hurts every time, when a project dies. But that’s life. There’ll always be another gig. I love this mentality. We chatted on a lot of ethos-grade stuff; respecting the gig, being fluent in different styles, and always trying to make clients look like heroes. He topped it off, with a classic; believe in things. And always stand by what you believe in. Wicked to chat Joel, I’ll be sure to come at you again for some more life coaching.
 
These chats each had their own bit of magic. Thank you, LIA, for bringing us together, and letting me babble on about meeting these awesome people. Chur!

LIA Scholarship Winner: LIA did a drawing from the 2022 and 2021 Creative LIAisons mentees to award a scholarship to John Hegarty’s ‘The Business of Creativity’ course. Guy Trengrove, Intermediate Copywriter at DDB Group Aotearoa, Auckland is one of the winners of this prize, a placement in the course, sponsored by LIA! 
Guy comments, “Thank you so much for selecting me, even if it was names/ bingo balls in a hat!
 
I can’t wait for this to begin now, as the 2 Creative LIAisons chats I’ve already had with my coaches have been crazy rewarding. I literally have 3 pages of notes, proverbs, and random stories from them. I can’t wait to soak in some more learning, especially from Sir John Hegarty! Wow wow wow.
 
Even though I’m only 4 years into the ad game, John already has this mythical rep of being the boogieman of better creativity; so many of my mentors quote him when explaining ideas and making amazing work. I never thought I’d get the chance to chat to him, let along learn under him.
 
I’m super stoked for this, and can’t thank you enough for sending this opportunity my way. It means the world, and I’ll be taking full advantage of it.
 
Please let me know the registration steps when they’re ready, my whole agency is going to be painfully jealous (soz fam!).
 
Thanks again, you’ve made my day week month year!”
 
Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo

Senior Copywriter
Leo Burnett
Ho Chi Minh
, Vietnam


Coaches: Kent Boswell, National Director of Interactive, Traffik Group, Sydney; Cinthia Wen, Head of Creative, Turner Duckworth, San Francisco and Davor Bruketa, Creative Director, Bruketa&Zinic&Grey, Zagreb

Leo Burnett has given me a great opportunity to join the Creative LIAisons program, where I got to meet talented creative leaders from around the world. I got to learn how advertising is done on a bigger scale, how creative ideas could go beyond a culture and relate to a bigger group of people. The training has fueled my creative thinking and let me see advertising through the other end of a telescope, an unexpected and exciting perspective that’s going to help me unlock category-changing ideas for both Leo Burnett and its clients.
Seiji Wakabayashi

Seiji Wakabayashi

Art Director
DAVID
Miami
, United States of America


Thanks again for organizing such an incredible and informative experience. A non-stop bender of creativity and inspiration in the heart of Vegas…and a friendly reminder to never stop having fun.
Moira Ward

Moira Ward

Junior Art Director
BCW Global
New York
, United States of America


I can't begin to explain the invaluable lessons and inspiration I was able to extract out of the 2022 LIAisons Mentee Program. I attended the LIAisons program as a very fresh junior creative; I was only a month in to be exact, so I'm incredibly grateful to have had an opportunity this valuable so early in my career. It was surreal to hear and get access to some of the greatest creatives in the world. I encourage everyone who can get their hands on this opportunity to take advantage of every second!
Adriana Weinberg

Adriana Weinberg

Regional Director of Creative Effectiveness
Ogilvy
Mexico City
, Mexico


Let’s talk about Bruno.

I might not be the greatest advertiser, or copywriter, or art director, but I am an adnerd. My favorite book in the whole world is Hey Whipple squeeze this by Luke Sullivan. My hobby is watching award-winning ideas and video cases with a glass of wine almost every Wednesday night. I’m obsessed with LinkedIn as I’m obsessed with Instagram. I try to know the names and top ideas of every creative that crosses my path.

As Pum said, sometimes creatives get lucky. Having Bruno Bertelli as a coach is not something you can say every day. The idea of the coaching was supposed to be virtual, but we were at the same event at the same time, so I figured I should just ask Bruno if he had the time to be bothered for 5 minutes. I bothered him for an hour during his lunch time. Patiently, he answered all my questions, even when I couldn’t formulate some. For me, Bruno is the genius that Dan Wieden was to Nike, but Bruno is to Heineken and Bruno is to Diesel. I was way too excited to meet a legend.

We talked about his personal favorite ideas and mine. As advocates of change, we discussed how to make visible cultural tensions and how to smell the bullshit out of ideas. Then he said, “If your idea says it’s changing the world, it's bullshit. If it changes the world, there’s no need to say it.”

Apart from Bruno, gen-zers are the best bullshit smellers. The target audience we are all so obsessed about, will know if your idea is bullshit. Nowadays, awareness is not enough and just a CTA is not enough either. How are we supposed to ask people to make a change when the million dollar monster of the company who advertises it is not going to do anything about it? The brand Patagonia was a special part of the conversation, Patagonia never asks their clients and/or target audience to do anything. The brand is the game changer, and making real change is a domino effect. If you honestly do it, they’ll follow.

The significant part was that when I showed my adnerdiness, he was telling me about one of the projects he enjoyed working on the most. He started describing the film about the transition of a trans woman who turns into a nun. I shouted from the top of my lungs, as if I was in jeopardy trying to win a brand new car, “Francesca”.

Knowing he liked a project I was involved in, “Morning After Island,” was definitely a Grand Prix. Finally, I told him I’m not looking for mentors, I’m looking for friends who are mentors. We shook hands on the agreement, and now I have a new friend.
 
 
Rocio Zabaleta Perez

Rocio Zabaleta Perez

Junior Consultant in Financial Communications
LLYC
Mexico City
, Mexico


If you dream it make it happen

I just came back to Mexico from the Creative LIAsons 2022 in Vegas. What an amazing experience with people from the creative industry worldwide.

As a Public Relations Consultant, it was a lot of learning and thoughts. We started with a series of talks about creativity in different industries. They talked about how to translate emotions into your idea to contact your target and how the brands have the power to open new conversations and themes. “No one will remember your words, but they will remember how you make them feel.”

For me, the Design Army presentation was very inspirational. Pum Lefebure, showed us how they built a campaign with the Hong Kong Ballet to attract more of the public and a different target audience. The idea that they built was amazing with very beautiful photography and colors. Pum told us where they got the inspiration and how they carried it out, showing us the result.  Something that was very conservative and classic, they transformed into something for all ages and made it modern. 

What I´m taking home is that we must create campaigns that will have an impact on the culture of the country and that cannot be ignored. Resilience is important and it is not impossible to make an idea that looks difficult. 

It was incredible to meet young professionals in this experience with me, get to know them and share different ideas and thoughts. 

On the last day, when we were present in the jury sessions to observe how they select what gets awarded Statues, it was very interesting to see how they judge and to see their different points of views shared. Also, their different cultures and experiences made their decisions the fairest of all. 

For me, it was a memorable experience that I´ll always remember. Thanks LIA.