We're on a mission. An open-ended culture driven mission focusing on nurturing creative confidence in ourselves, our clients and our community. It's called Creative Advantage and under this CA umbrella, we launched a monthly talk series where we invite creative professionals from a range of backgrounds to give us a glimpse of what gets them up in the morning. We've dubbed it PassTheSalt.
The goal is to get innovative, off the wall and differently-focussed people into the office to chat with us. Whether its through their success stories or failures, their experiences or attitudes, the aim is to inspire and enthuse. Ultimately, it gives us a new lens through which to approach our own internal projects.
First to grace the studio was Dan Munslow, a producer at Inition at the time (now at UNIT9), who talked to us about his 15 years specialising in experiential, interactive installations across a variety of industries – architecture, museums, retail and product launches. From Emirates Globe, Nokia, Top Shop to the V&A, Dan showed how he can build technology that does just about anything. Gesture, audio, weather, web data and touch reactive, he's produced some rather sophisticated brand experiences. He treated us to some VR experience too which, at the very least, got our digital department excited.
Then came Mr. Andy Russell who, as well as looking great in the shower, led Lush's recent shift in brand perception. Russell explored how to use digital and experiential design strategies to drive forward an established global business with over 900 stores and adapt it for the web. The real challenge, however, was about encouraging this trajectory without damaging the ‘hippy, anti-establishment’ label at the heart of Lush’s brand image. Needless to say, he did it.
A force to be reckoned with in the creative and business world, our following speaker was Daniele Fiandaca - a t-shaped entrepreneur who enjoys building creative teams and businesses. When he is not giving talks (yes, you might have heard him at Cannes Lions), he runs his own consultancy called Mutant and is one of the two brains behind Creative Social. His talk was all about the concepts in Creative Social's latest book, 'Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief’ which vividly brought to life how the next generation of advertising agencies need to adapt and evolve to stay relevant and create impact. We realised at the end of his talk that most of us in the room had a bit of 'Thief' in us. Not to worry though, Daniele says this is a good thing. In such a saturated market, where churning out genuinely original and effective material is often a struggle, the answer sometimes lies in not being afraid to take inspiration from other ideas that have worked. Want to know whether you're a hacker, maker, teacher or thief? The video below will help you find out.
Our latest speaker was the wonderful graphic designer and art director, Tom Muller of HelloMuller Ltd. From comics to corporate, Tom’s work has extended across a real spectrum of projects and sectors. Above all this, his true aim is to continue creating work that is relevant, that resonates and that inspires. He shared how, even in the modern, digital world, sometimes a craft-like simplicity is key. If that involves using moulding food waste on a page to get just the right effect, then so be it.
And where does the name PassTheSalt come from, you might be wondering. It was inspired by the great ideas that are born around the dinner table when food and drinks are shared with friends, family or colleagues. There's something about this casual, organic setting that ignites creativity, albeit sometimes interrupted by passing the salt to the mate sitting next to you.