Anna Paine (above left), art director at DDB Sydney represented Australia at the 2019 LIA Creative LIAisons program in Las Vegas, featuring some of the world’s most respected creative directors as speakers. Here Paine wraps up her experience at LIA exclusively for CB.
And that’s a wrap.
2019 Creative LIAisons. What a week.
Apparently, the ideal amount of time to spend in Vegas is around 2-3 days… so, after 5 days, please forgive me for having a bit of ‘Vegas Brain’. But anyway, here are a few highlights and things I’ve learnt over the last week.
Let’s start at the beginning. After a very long flight, getting lost at LAX, and finally arriving in Vegas; I managed to find my way past the Pokies in the airport and to the taxi rank. My taxi driver was amazed that he had, and I quote, “a full-blown kiwi in the car”. He gave me the full tour of the strip and told me a couple of things I should know for my first trip to Vegas:
1. Wear good walking shoes. Everything may look close, but it’s not.
2. The casinos are like mazes. They are designed for you to get lost, and hopefully spend some money while you’re lost.
3. The Bellagio Fountain goes off every half hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight.
4. Drink lots of water.
Thank you, Taxi Man. That was some sound advice.
On to day one.
There were two main topics of the day – The power of sound, and collaboration.
Ralph Van Dijk & Diederik Van Middelkoop took us on a deep dive into sound and the importance of sonic branding. This is something I’ve heard a lot about over the last couple of weeks – tone of voice and music is just as important as font and colour when it comes to branding.
Next we sat down with Diane Jackson & Oliver Fuselier talking about the importance of collaboration in the pursuit of magic. Basically, if we want our ideas to grow and get bigger & better, we need to let go of our ‘babies’ and let other people hold them too.
Finally, we put our collaboration to the test with 8 other strangers to create 6 second videos. Apparently, 6 seconds is the amount of time it takes for a consumer to figure out they’re watching an ad, this task was to teach us how to draw them in and get their attention, so they keep watching. (Not so humble brag, my team came joint 1st)
Day Two kicked off with Design Army’s Pum Lefebure on creating images that can’t be ignored. Her work was amazing, and she was truly inspiring. She talked about how as creatives we need to be “visually fluent”, to not underestimate the power of colour and to do more with type. “Type gives a voice to your photographs” – I love that.
Another highlight from day two – Matt Macdonald Group ECD of BBDO. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about him already. He’s been a key speaker at Creative LIAisons for the last couple of years, and for good reason. His talk on how presentation matters is something that every person in advertising should see.
I’m going to skip the controversial part of day three, because it was not a highlight and I didn’t learn anything, and head right to the Rare Masterclass. What an amazing afternoon with some very inspiriting people. The highlight for me was Blair Imani teaching us all about wild things and racism in the workplace. Her energy was insane. She was super cool. I want to be her friend.
Day four was the day we had all been waiting for. Judgment day. I sat in the Non-Traditional jury, here are my 3 key takeouts:
– Categories matter. If the judges feel it doesn’t fit in that category, it’s out.
– Déjà vu is a big decider. If someone thinks they have seen it before, it’s out.
– If you’re going to do something for good, make sure it ties into your brand. Lots of judges liked ideas but questioned if the brand had permission to play in that space.
After judging we had a quick Q&A with Mark Tutssel, 2019 Jury President of Non-Traditional. Here’s some of his wise words on non-traditional: “lots has changed in terms of advertising; nothing has changed in terms of ideas. Ideas are at the heart of what we do.”
The start to day five was a bit blurry, but well worth it. We kicked things off with the InnerVation Lab workshop. Then the Wymm hotel buffet. Then a ‘Fireside chat’ with Daymond John from Shark Tank. But I’d have to say that it ended on a real high, Malcolm Poynton Global CCO, Cheil worldwide. His talk titled “why you’re more powerful than a politician” was all about how brands now have more power than governments to make change. Sounded ambitious at the start, I believed it at the end.
I think that about sums it up. Well the work stuff anyway. If you want the full low down, come chat to me later.
Thank you LIA, Campaign Brief and DDB for the most insane week I have ever had in my career. Thank you to the amazing, inspirational speakers I had the pleasure of listening to. And thank you to the rad group of friends I made for making this experience one that I’ll never forget.