Weeknotes 2

Posted Week #3, 2015

It has been a big week. I feel like the momentum this year picked up pretty quickly and we’re running at full pelt already. Nice to round it off with a cake for Karl. I have absolutely tons I could write about, but I will keep it to a couple of things.

The beginning of the week was spent really getting my head into this new project, and the evenings were spent planning my teaching over at LCC, trying to introduce the new D&AD New Blood briefs to the MA Advertising students.

It has been enlightening getting into some basic data analysis around this new project. Looking at where traffic is being driven from, looking at how people are using social media, what drives engagement and shares, what is effective. Lots of clear actions for improvement are becoming apparent. The power of data for this kind of thing cannot be overlooked. In fact, it is damn inspiring being able to see correlations in the data. You could easily disappear down a rabbit hole with this stuff (as Aldo pointed out) but for now I will revel in it. I only wish I could write a bit more about it, but the project hasn’t been announced yet. Maybe next week.

The teaching appeared to go really well. Going through the D&AD briefs I was struck at how they seem to occupy the extremes of our industry. Some of the briefs are very realistic, or at least reflect the kind of work that I’m being asked to do daily. They’re very broad, could use a variety of different platforms in their outcome, and require the students to really grapple with complex information, but within clearly defined parameters. The others are super-vague, really self-indulgent, and geared toward speculative or exploratory work. These appear to be slightly less useful to the MA students, but they’re free to pick whatever they want to work on. I don’t know why I got mega-frustrated and annoyed with the vague ones. I feel like I should be equally annoyed with the realistic ones—I’ve always thought university should be about exploration, rather than simulating the commercial world. Anyway. It was great to be teaching again, and I appreciated being forced to think hard about my own process, formalising it a bit so I could talk about it. That was a useful exercise. We should all be forced to do that every now-and-again.

I met a couple of chaps from the Pop Up Agency too. What super-smart, friendly and driven people. I’ll write a bit more about that in my Top Picks email. They really inspired me, and made me think about how complicated we make things—they made me feel so flabby, with their good looks and athletic minds. Awesome.