Archive for the ‘ogilvy’ Tag

Alchemy by Rory Sutherland – Quote

I went yesterday evening to hear Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman of ad agency Ogilvy in the UK, speak in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square about his new book Alchemy. I have had the good fortune to meet&chat with Rory on a number of occasions and it is never less than fascinating. He kindly contributed to the (finished) chapter on Paul Arden in my (unfinished, as yet) book When Sparks Fly.

Rory sutherland conway hall how to academy 17th April 2019 talk red bull

Rory grabbing the Bull by the horns

In view of the fact I’ve recently started working at Red Bull Media House (as a Commissioning Editor), I loved that he used Red Bull as a striking case study in this talk (as well as in the foreword of his book which I started reading today).

I liked this quotation on the value of Big Data from today’s reading:

It’s important to remember that big data all comes from the same place – the past.

Rory is a big advocate of evolutionary psychology and behavioural science (with all the irrationality those expose) as opposed to economics and other data-driven activities. He’s not against logic and hard facts, just in favour of suspending rationality from time to time in favour of creative magic or alchemy.

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Peak Practice (Day 60)

Ogilvy offices

Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands was the locus of today’s activity. Started with a Channel 4-related meeting with some emerging film talent I met in Leipzig the other week who have a lovely project on the go which deserves some traction and support. Their pitch at Leipzig Dokfest was charmingly English and stood out really favourably in that European context as authentic and bringing beautiful craftsmanship.

Ascended ten floors to interview Rory Sutherland, boss of ad agency Ogilvy, whom I first met earlier on in the process as I got to grips with the Paul Arden/Advertising chapter. We had a thoroughly enjoyable chat at The Ivy, nice and appropriate for the subject-matter, which was a big help as I mapped out the landscape and headed off on the journey. True to form, this time he again not only gave really generously of his time but engaged in an enthusiastic and very well informed manner with illuminating observations from his own industry as well as from his passions beyond.

Spent the rest of the afternoon in Ogilvy’s offices, cracking on with the Tony Wilson stuff.

Ended the day heading due West to BBC in White City for final TX of this launch series of Health Freaks, dropping in the live insert into the pre-recorded show with Dr Pixie on voice-over and the team from Outline Productions.

Parliament Hill london

I’m writing this high above Outline‘s offices (down below in Kentish Town) perched on the top of Parliament Hill. Before me is a beautiful panorama of autumnal trees and Highgate village on the summit opposite, lit in a low yellow sunlight. Behind me is the path my dad took daily in the 50s to his school, William Ellis, as well as the café where he first talked to me about his terminal illness. Beyond the golden trees to my left is the summit where I was born (Whitestone Pond). So I’m feeling right at home. And from up here I can turn round and see Canary Wharf silver-grey on the skyline.

gospel oak mural graffiti

Clothes Make The Man (Day 2)

Writing Suit Adam Gee

The great thing about writing from home is that you can wear anything. Nobody knows. This is my today’s Writing Suit.

It took me all day to go through the rest of my notes – I hadn’t realised how much I’ve pulled together over the last couple of months. Today’s contributions ranged from ideas bouncing with Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy to advice from documentary/international cinema specialist Mark Cousins.

With both of the Enfants Terribles at home still, plus my Mrs hyped up arranging a party this weekend, writing conditions were less than ideal. Some Miles (my trusty Kind of Blue plus Someday My Prince Will Come) helped bring some tranquility to the post-lunch session. Then a blast of the official soundtrack: Hot Rats.

I rounded off the afternoon with a phone chat with Gordon Kennedy of Absolutely Productions (aka Little John) who helped put me on the right track for my Comedy case study with some thoughtful analysis of what makes the performance, writing and production of Comedy generous or otherwise.

I’d meant to have a stab at my structure document as well today but working through the notes proved time-consuming. Oh, and I bought loads of stuff on Amazon. Research material …honest.

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