Anders Dalenius from Draftfcb Stockholm on breaking the rules to create something new.
Draftfcb are all over the Cannes Lions like gum. Tina Manikas, the Global Retail and Promotions Officer, is the president of the Promo & Activations jury, while Dagan Cohen, CD of Draftfcb Amsterdam, is on the Cyber jury. Direct jurors include Augé Reichenberg (EVP and Group Creative Director, Draftfcb New York) and Kobi Barki (Creative Director at Draftfcb Shimoni Finkelstein in Tel Aviv); and, Chris Schofield, Creative Director at Draftfcb New Zealand, will be a Radio juror. The network also sponsored the Roger Hatchuel Academy, and they hosted the seminar "6.5 Seconds That Matter" at the Debussy theatre this morning which had people raving.
I catch up with Draftfcb Stockholm's creative director Anders Dalenius over lunch and many espressos, chatting about ads being the time-capsule of pop culture, and creatives that stalk creative directors in search for a job.
"So we're a different network. You might think, oh here's yet another network what are DraftFCB doing that's different from all the other networks. What can they teach us? For one thing, we actually do share our resources. Other networks cannibalize on themselves, you have one client and the biggest competition are the other agencies in the network. You need help on something, and the agencies will bill each other, making the client footing it all in the end. Draftfcb doesn't do that, we share our talent and time." he explains.
Dab: "That's right, I had someone from Chicago tell me the numbers for the Hero campaign the other day. I asked, wait, why am I hearing this from you in Chicago and not from someone in Sweden where I actually am? She said: Global economy."
- :"Yes. That sums it up. We're a smaller agency, so we don't have a PR department, that's an example of the network lending each other a hand, Chicago has someone telling you about our work from Stockholm."
Anders is no Cannes newbie, the first time he was was way back in 1995. Much has changed since then, with a lot more resources devoted to young creative talent who work day and night on live briefs and competitions, attending seminars and workshops tackling crazy amounts of work.
- "You have to know the rules before you break them, advertising isn't a fine art, but like Picasso he learned to do still life the "right" way before he could take it to next level and break it all up. He didn't start by painting abstract square ladies, he worked up to that. There is a frame of reference in advertising, that we need to know before we can break out of that box and do something different."
- "People in advertising are a little crazy, in a good way. You need to be obsessed with ads, and all great creatives are."
- Crazy persistant, right?
-: "I hired a guy because he was on the right line of persistent. He called all the time, twice a week for a good six months. It was borderline stalking but his attitude was great, he was always positive. You need to be able to take hard knocks and many "NO's" in advertising and I could see that he had the stamina."
There's a fine line between being a go-getter and being a stalker, though. Don't cross it.
-: "Yes, I've seen someone who probably was crazy, in the bad way. The book was all kinds of wrong, and then they kept sending letters, asking for a job. The envelope didn't have stamps, so they had been in my apartment building dropping this in the mailbox. That's just creepy."
With the advent of the internet the big idea can become a global phenomena, like the Hero campaign.
"It's different now, one can create something global in a way that you couldn't just five years ago. The HERO film has been seen in every country in the world, even North Korea. North Korea! They have internet in North Korea? That's fantastic."
"It used to be that the big brand, the big global client at the big office with the big money would be the most talked about campaign, because they had the resources to spend on their ideas. Now local shops can compete for attention on a whole different level. Everyone is online in their daily life, if you create something interesting enough people will be happy to spend some time on your ad, and pass it on to their friends."
The high speed of the internet is a mixed blessing. "Trying to get anything off the internet is like trying to clean piss from a pool, it's impossible."
Anders notes that a new etiquette is developing as he tweets our lunch-location. "You can't just randomly film and youtube people, do it with class, let people know. You can destroy a reputation so fast over the internet." He brings up last years events where he suddenly went from awarded Creative Director to arrested on suspicion of murder overnight, with the press chasing after the police as they made the arrest.
"The police didn't even tell me why I was in there, but all over the internet people were gossiping, making the wildest stories up, it was insane. It's scary being on the receiving end of that." -"You reported them to JO though." "Yes, I felt that had to do that, you know the trial is over, I'm cleared, the guy who did it is in prison, but it's not like the police go out with a press release saying 'sorry, we made a mistake'."
Much sunnier now is the future, as the HERO campaign which has reached more than 35 million people worldwide, with a whopping 150 million pageviews, is competing in Cannes and shortlisted in the Viral Marketing category.
"I don't know if it will win anything, there's been a lot of great work in viral last year. I'd be happy if it did, but it's already a huge success. I can meet people here and say "we did that", and people know the campaign. That is great, we reached so many people with it. It's been a phenomenal success."
Working all day, as well as last night, Anders deserves to put his feet up and enjoy the view.
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