Act Now!

My partner and I were asked to help out on some global work for Colgate with an emphasis on ambient work. Here is a rough comp of an idea we came up with Monday night…

And here is something I found in our agency newsletter Tuesday morning, highlighting an idea from our Singapore office…

This is not the first time this has happened to me. And I’m sure it won’t be the last.
If you’re a student or a junior, here are two take-aways:
1. Ideas really are everywhere.
2. When you have one, act quickly to make sure you’re the first one to own it.

Career Warehouse

Your career is a warehouse. It’s got an inventory. And you decide what comes in, and what you keep in storage. Unless, of course, you stop paying attention.
That’s when crates of 20-second legal copy start to show up in the shipping office. That’s when the forklifts bring in palates of “ACT NOW!” starbursts. You sign for these deliveries because the client or your creative director promises “just this once.” Or maybe you let them pile up because you’re “just paying your dues.”
But then the shipment for the One Show has to go out. And you look around your warehouse and realize you’re out of creative stock. There’s nothing good on the shelf. All you have are some moldy cardboard boxes marked “CONCEPT STILL IN TESTING” and “POLISHED TURDS.”
The easiest way to keep your warehouse from being cluttered is to keep an inventory. I recommend monthly. Quarterly at the very least. Figure out what you need more of and find a way to go get it. It’s the end of the month. Why not take inventory right now? It sounds like a Stephen Covey aphorism, but a little self-evaluation is better than hoping you catch a break on the next assignment.
Going a whole year without getting into the One Show isn’t so bad. Going a whole year without having anything to enter into the One Show is.

Being vs Saying You Be

Anyone who has ever taken a fiction writing class has heard “Don’t say it. Show it.” You can tell me that Mr. Perkins is a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch, or you can tell me that he kicks a stray cat in the ribs and spits his wad of tobacco into the cup of the blind panhandler.

The same is true of brands. Brand building is character development.

Or another analogy I like is the comedian who gets on stage and talks about how funny he is versus the comedian who tells funny jokes.

In short: don’t say, do.

Here’s a slide show from Zeus Jones. I couldn’t agree more with their philosophy.

And here’s something that my agency did which I think is pretty cool (I had nothing do do with it).