Posted by Tom O'Keefe, Executive Creative Director, Draftfcb North America
On Wednesday night I presented Draftfcb’s creative philosophy of Simple Enough to its toughest audience to date – college students. Thankfully, they seemed to really embrace the principles behind great work that is Simple Enough and the filters that define it. More importantly, they understood that Simple Enough is actually hard as hell, especially at a young age where they’re just trying to find their voices as artists and creative thinkers. And if asking a lot of questions is any indication of an engaged audience, then this group was engaged, because they asked a lot of smart questions. “How do we know Simple Enough’s a timeless concept and not just a trend?” “Are ideas born as Simple Enough, or does Simple Enough have to be reduced from more complex thoughts?” But the question that struck me the most had little to do with Simple Enough – it was about the heavy issue of moral dilemma. A young student wanted to know what to do if he was ever asked to work on tobacco products, and if I myself would work on a tobacco product today. I sensed that this question was something he had thought a lot about, that the issue was truly conflicting him, and that my answer was going to help him decide whether or not advertising was the right career for him. Both the naivety and purity of his question impressed me immensely.
Which brings me to this point.
There’s something about speaking to students that’s unlike clients or peers – and we really must make sure we do everything we can to say the right thing. Unlike us jaded “professionals”, their creative souls are worth protecting and I, for one, don't want to be responsible for having a student’s beliefs in this business going off track or being disenfranchised by some insipid comment or demotivating presentation. I find the pressure even greater speaking to a group of students than it is talking to a boardroom full of our most esteemed clients.
On a lighter note.
Thursday, I joined our own super-recruiter Tammy Skuraton on a tour of the ever-growing SCAD campus. There many buildings frame the city and each is unique with its own sense of history and architectural power. One’s ideas would seem to automatically elevate an entire grade just because of the inspiring environment that gave birth to them. The highlight was the new SCAD Museum Art, which stands as a monument to Savannah heritage and breathtaking modern ambition.
Tonight: SCADDY Awards and our presentation of the first ever Draftfcb Best of Show Award. Stay tuned.