When it comes to the workings of a creative agency, there are a few myths and misconceptions about what goes on behind the scenes. So we thought we’d lift the lid on all the mystery to reveal a bit about how things really get done. This month, our own Joint Creative Lead, Tom Vardy, gives us a glimpse of life in the creative department.
If you had to explain your role to a new client, what would the ‘elevator pitch’ be?
My role is about being a partner to our clients, someone who they can trust to come up with the best creative solution for their problems. But a major part of my day-to-day role is working with and guiding a team of designers, artworkers and art directors to produce the best work possible with the budget available. I work on a wide variety of projects, from creative concepts for advertising campaigns to exhibition stands.
What’s the best piece of creative advice you’ve ever had?
A Creative Director I once worked with said to me: “Be yourself, follow your heart and always love what you do”. This was a great piece of advice for the workplace but also for life in general – and is something that has always stuck with me.
What advice do you give creatives in your team?
Work hard and be nice to people. I think that’s all you need to know to get to where you want to in life.
What’s the difference between good creative and outstanding creative?
Good creative can grab peoples attention. Outstanding creative can change peoples perceptions or make them want to buy into your brand or product.
How do you know when you’ve struck upon an infectious idea?
When an idea is in its simplest form and it still works, but you can see how it can expand through to various media. It doesn’t matter what the budget is it will work on all levels.
What’s your ‘I wish I did that’ campaign, and why?
Metro trains, ‘Dumb Ways to Die’. Rather than a usual public service announcement, McCann opted for a humorous online video with animated characters and a catchy tune to get their message across. It achieved 50m views of YouTube, over 3.2m shares on Facebook, has been retweeted over 100,000 times and become the third most viral ad of all time. The creative lends itself to repeat viewing because it seems simple yet there’s some great detail in the illustrations. It’s a great example of a really infectious idea as it has expanded into gifs, a free smartphone game and a children’s book.
Why do infectious ideas matter?
Nothing is more efficient than an infectious idea. Infectious ideas are memorable, longer lasting, can work with less media spend and build a following faster.
“Infectious ideas are memorable, longer lasting, can work with less media spend and build a following faster.”