Paul Lavoie on scam ads and trust: "Brands really want to tell the truth"

People don't like new. In fact, I always wanted to start an agency called HACK. We should do the worst crap, just get the job done, real fast, and just get out of there. New is more challenging to sell.

Right after Paul Lavoie, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of TAXI, was done with his creative solving problem lecture at the Eurobest 2009 in Amsterdam, where he had a pornographer, a knife-thrower and a Dakar Rally driver as guests, we dragged him aside and wanted to talk with him about trust, the must-have building block to create great ads. We ended up talking about the biggest deception of them all in adland, scam ads, and why they are made.

There is this thing called the recession, and clients are a little more chicken these days. I think it's important to take the time, and build a relationship, the great things could happen.

Eurobest 2009 - Paul Lavoie Interview

Regarding scam ads, he offered his observation

People continue cheating... because they're bad? No! Because they're frustrated

His Playground award offers only hope to those who are truly brilliant;

To win the Playground is really hard. because if it looks like anything that has been done before...It never wins. So, not many people win in the Playground.

Paul Lavoie co-founded Taxi in 1992 with partner Jane Hope, successfully combining the disciplines of advertising and design. He's trained as a designer, but clearly has quite the knack for understanding human nature and storytelling, as we learned later that evening when we gossiped over after-dinner coffees. Paul shared observations of how people interact with new gadgets, and how children learn new things that were all hilarious stories - as an example, when he shut off a TV set by the power-button his daughter looked at the remote in her hand, then at Paul and exclaimed "How did you do that?"

He divides his time between the big city, the quaint city of Amsterdam and a proper cabin far away from everything, which keeps him sane in a business that tends to stress people out. TAXI - he explained - wasn't just a random word chosen to represent a new agency but it sums their philosophy up in that word. Each work team should be able to fit in a taxi, four people. We mulled about the mysteries of the future as we walked him to a taxi after the dinner, and I'm still kicking myself for not tweeting a picture of Paul Lavoie stepping into a cab in the rainy Amsterdam night.

* Camera and edit Thomas Romlov

AnonymousCoward's picture
HowieSPM's picture

That was a great interview. You have too much fun in Europe.

Dabitch's picture

Thanks. Not sure about "too much fun" though. ;)

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