Tastees.nl

Cous Cous t-shirt

I spotted a fellow from WeTransfer wearing a rather snazzy ‘Cous Cous’ tshirt last night. I liked it. He told me it was from Tastees (tastees.nl I’ve removed the link because their site appears to have been hacked and is redirecting people to odd websites on a mobile browser).

They’re cool. They make typographic tees with dishes on them. If you buy one, they donate a dish to someone who needs it. Which is nice. Check them out (again link to tastees.nl removed to avoid dodgy redirects).

I don’t remember saying this

Thank you to someone at the Webbys for paying attention!

I might be wrong, but I have a real belief you can feel when things have been made by people who are passionate / having fun / on a mission. Things that have been made by people who are just logging the hours feel bland and crappy in comparison.

Couldn't have said it better ourselves. True words from Webby judge, @iaintait! ????????

A photo posted by The Webby Awards (@thewebbyawards) on

Slides Q&A from Ravensbourne

Last night Tony and I did a talk for a bunch of wonderful students at Ravensbourne. In order to get the damn thing prepared in time, in a collaborative fashion, we used Google Slides.

Whilst nerding around trying to get the thing sorted I noticed a feature I hadn’t noticed before. “Audience Tools”. Being a fiddler I turned it on.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 6.05.40 AM

Turns out it adds a handy promo bar to the top of your slides giving people a URL where they can ask questions.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 6.02.01 AM

The questions can then be voted on so that the hottest topics end up at the top.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 6.02.10 AM

It’s bloody ace. Especially for less cocky audiences that might be less confident about asking big questions in front of their peers (like students).

Some of my favourite questions from last night (along with edited versions of the answers):

For all those studying Digital Advertising here at Ravenbourne – are we doomed? We hope not :)

Depends what you’re studying on the course. Hopefully you’re learning how to acquire new skills and adapt as the digital landscape changes. And you’re learning to have fun with the unique bits of digital culture that make it a special place to do advertising-like things. If you’re learning that, you’re not doomed. I hope.

I saw just one black person in that office photo… That a thing?

Unfortunately yes. Not just for us, as an industry we’re too monocultural. Along with many other good people we’re working hard to address the issue. And we welcome any thoughts on how we can be better and do more to attract a more diverse pool of talent.

Would you rather be ignorant or know it all?

Our whole ‘Walk in Stupid’ thing probably answers this. It’s always safest to assume that you’re entirely ignorant. But I’m not sure I want to be regarded by others as totally ignorant.

What value do you place on a degree in a creative subject at Wieden and Kennedy? I.e. Is it a requirement for all of the employees?

It’s not a requirement. If you’re lucky enough to be on a creative degree course don’t squander the opportunity, milk it for all it’s worth. You’ll never have that much time and space to experiment again (said like a proper bitter old dude).

What types of activities do you do to feed the unconscious creative process?

Blah blah time off, etc.

Should young people be depressed because of Global Warming?

No, you should be angry, figure out the bit of the issue you’re passionate about and try and do something.

How have product designer contributed to the company & it’s advertising projects?

We love product designers, and anyone else who’s excited to solve problems in interesting ways. We’ve had a few great ones, and they’ve always broght fresh thinking.

Who would win in a fight Mike Tyson or Bruce lee?

Bruce Lee.

Thanks to Ravensbourne for having us. To Google for the Q&A functionality. And to the students of Ravensbourne for the attention and questions.

F&@K! I’m emotionally middle-aged

The yoot have tagged up North Dulwich station. And for the first time I heard my inner-fogey loud and clear. An unmistakable “Tut!” uttered silently, but forcefully, to no-one in particular.

My appreciation of youthful self-expression, mischief and spraycan handling completely vanished. Probably hanging out somewhere shabby (but wildly exciting) with my long-lost ability to stay up all night being an idiot.

Obviously I’m not condoning vandalising property in any form, merely self-reflecting on the nature of attitudes and ageing.

Slack: Work This Way

Great piece in The Guardian this morning by @jemimakiss. It’s all about Slack and the culture behind the company.

Reading through the piece it struck me how similar the cultures of Advertising Agencies and Tech Start-Ups are. And how similar bits need to change – namely the dudely hierarchical nonsense driven by outdated motives.

And it’s reassuring to see lots of the things that they’ve done and are doing at Slack are similar to things we’ve got going on at Wieden+Kennedy in London.

The piece is really worth a read, there’s tons of great stuff on diversity, openness, collaboration and culture. But I’ve pulled out a few quotes that relate to the work-life drum I’m lightly beating at the moment:

Those ideals inform how management makes decisions every day, from prioritizing broken code (craftsmanship) to making sure everyone leaves work on time (thriving).

So the important hard work bit – making the product – is still a priority. But I’m guessing they feel, like we do, that people who’ve left on time (and have a life) are better at doing the work thing.

“Just because your ass is on a seat doesn’t mean you’re working. If you’re brain dead after 6pm, go home. You can work like that for only so long.”

Couldn’t agree more.

Slack’s director of customer experience, points out that Slack’s “work hard and go home” culture is also better for women. “It allows them to say, ‘I can do this job. I can emulate the founders in the way I work and not get punished for it. And I can take care of my family.’ When people come here, we expect them to have a life.”

In other words: Work hard. Go Home.

But the most important thing the article does is make me like the people behind Slack. The fact that they work this way, makes me want to get behind their platform even more. They’re designing organisation-shaping software from the point of view of an organisation I’d like business to be shaped-by.

Sneak into The Kennedys (a home for random creative folk)

Are you, or do you know, someone ‘creative’? Someone who’d like to come and work with us for 7-ish months? (Please forward this on to people you think might be interested).

You’ll get thrown-in at the deep end of advertising — with support from some great mentors. And you’ll be encouraged to develop your own creative practice as part of a wider team.

We’re taking 6 people in London (and 6 in Amsterdam) — giving them a place to live, a space to work, a workable wage, and a bunch of creative opportunities to work on together. They’ll also have support and guidance from a bunch of good nice people.

The Kennedys has been running in Amsterdam for a few years. It’s been a roaring success. Great work has been made. Individuals have blossomed. And much fun has been had. A big percentage of the office’s creative department is now made up of people who’ve been through the Kennedys program. Which is great, and something we hope to replicate.

This is as much about us learning from them as it is them learning from us. We do not have all the answers. Actually we’re rather proud to have none of the answers at the start of a project. (That’s part of the whole “Walk In Stupid” thing this agency likes).

Tony Davidson (the other Exec Creative Director), is overseeing the admissions. He’s rather fond of randomness and is prone to saying things like “Dial up the crazy”, “let’s f**k things up”, etc. So I won’t be entirely surprised if The Kennedys is made up of: a Polish Food YouTuber, a viola player from Hull, a poet who no-one is quite sure where they come from but writes in Klingon, a performance coder from Spain, a furniture designer from the Outer Hebrides, and an amateur baker from Belgium who happens to have a really good Instagram feed.

And that would be really good. Provided they’re up for collaborating to make interesting and culturally relevant work. (The only restriction is that we need people who are legally able to work in the EU).

This is not an internship program. This is not an extra door into the agency for people who have been to advertising school and have a portfolio. This is a program for people who may never have thought about advertising as a career — or have thought about it and assumed they don’t have the right experience or skills.

Unfortunately the official closing date for applications has passed.

 ACORN

BUT…

I sit on a desk next to Tony and I can see the pile of applications, I’m certain I can sneak some extras in at the bottom (metaphorically speaking). But you’ll need to get them in quick…

The questions we’ve asked people to answer are below. Make of them what you will. Choose to answer some or all of them in a way that you think demonstrates something about you. Feel free to include anything else you think might be interesting, amusing, or inspiring.

For details of where to send your stuff see the very bottom of the page.

kennedys_list

I’ve set up a Dropbox folder where you can upload your applications — don’t worry no-one can see them but me — the uploads will close at 23:00GMT on Sunday 20th March. No extensions. No nonsense.

Here’s the official site for The Kennedys if you want more proper details.