Reflecting back on 2011 what sticks out are some of the profoundly smart people in the ad industry I had a chance to connect with last year. Through multiple conversations with each person on the list my thinking shifted and I was inspired. The ad industry is in the midst of profound change. Lot’s of folks have taken the “protect the flanks” approach with looking at the change in the industry as the glass is half empty. This group of leaders and thinkers represents a different, more positive outlook.
The reality is that change always happens. You can choose to look at it as a threat or an opportunity.
Thanks to conversations with this group I’m more stoked than ever.
- Rishad Tobaccowala – Just saying his name makes you smarter. Spending time with Rishad makes you realize that the future will be what it is. That it’s just advertising and nobody's going to die. Rishad’s steady, thoughtful point of view gives you confidence in pusuing your own path.
- Doug Moore – Doug’s willingness to innovate in the way advertising is done is inspiring. His balance to produce great work while looking for ways to change the model is something that more people will do in 2012.
- David Jones – If you want to imagine what the holding company of the future might look like talk to David. His willingness to honestly address the biggest issues in the industry is inspiring. I just finished his new book, Who Cares Wins. It’s an important read for anyone in advertising.
- Mark-Hans Richer - MH's ability to take an iconic brand and challenge the way to interact with customers and fans is an example of where advertising is going.
- John Partilla – Every conversation with John is so full of positivity that you feel stoked. He’s one of the really good guys.
- Alex Bogusky – Although it’s been 2 years since I’ve had the opportunity to work with Alex day to day I admire his fearlessness now more than ever.
- Ty Montague – As a fellow traveller over the horizon of advertising, it’s been a joy to hang with Ty. His upcoming book is a powerhouse and shifts the paradigm of what storytelling can do for brands.
- Bob Lord – A conversation with Bob makes you realize that all of this talk about new digital tools and the combination digital and traditional advertising has been going on for a lot longer than the current crop of gurus might want to admit. That experience brings wisdom. In every conversation a bit of it falls your way.
- Tim Malbon – Hanging out with Tim gets you stoked to roll up your sleeves and start making stuff. The world is wide open for those who want to start making, experimenting and building.
- Alasdair Lloyd-Jones – Alasdair has this wonderful way of poking holes in your argument in such a positive way. When you finish a conversation with him and your ideas have evolved to a much better place it’s hard to realize that he’s had that effect. His a bit of a strategic jui jitsu master.
There were also many other brilliant minds that I had the good fortune of intersecting. Thanks to all for giving so much.
Here’s to creating more momentum in 2012 to the changes that are already underway in the industry.