Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coffee with BBDO strategist, Tanya Marar



D: Ok, so Tanya I have had first time experience working with you, and you are without a doubt one of the most original thinkers I have met…In this industry we expose ourselves to sh#t loads of advertising (competitive reviews, ads of the day, forwards etc), would you agree with the theory that this primes us into subconscious uniformity and makes the fight against convention that much tougher?


TANYA: You’re way too generous with the compliment…

the way I see it is the ‘fight against convention’ especially in this part of the world isn’t going to be easy any time soon, some people find comfort in the conventional.. As for theory, I would actually argue the opposite. imo, being exposed to communications – especially the good stuff, should be a source of inspiration, specifically seeing the good work that’s been emerging from regional agencies (case in point Melody Tunes, or the snickers spot). It’s like being a musician. Musicians will almost always refer to the kind of music they were exposed to growing up, and having that inspiration doesn’t mean they have a hard time creating music that’s unique to them (plus I’ve never actually met a musician who only listens to their own stuff). Also seeing crappy work in theory should make us consciously reject it. As local agencies go, there are always people trying to be ‘unconventional’, but we still have a lot to learn, and being exposed to things going on around the world, is what’s going to give us ammunition to stand out.

D: You have an entire artillery of interesting blogs or sites you frequent…you could recommend a couple to people interested in planning that do not start with a ‘Rus’ and end with a ‘vies’?


TANYA: Lol. Almost too many to list… and not all are planners... Most of them also have links to hundreds of other cools ones as well. A few of my favourites at the moment: (also a lot of the interesting discussions comes in the comments sections of these blogs)

http://almostalwaysthinking.wordpress.com/
http://scampblog.blogspot.com/
http://www.adliterate.com/
http://robcampbell.wordpress.com/
http://charlesfrith.blogspot.com/
http://wannabeadman.blogspot.com/


D: Well its good to know Diablog is on there :). A little bout the region, your home away from home is London, a city considered referential in our industry, if we are running a 1KM race against them and they have reached the 500meter point, where do you think dubai is in relation?


TANYA: Shit! Of course it is… I thought you wanted international blogs

I might as well add Incognito’s blog to that list as well!!

The Dubai dude is still tying his shoelace
I don’t meant to be harsh, sometimes I meet people from all kinds of agencies here and think that there is so much talent. Still, I’m yet to see (with exception of the handful - and I say that generously - of good stuff) things that can compare on an international level – and I’m not talking about the “I won a lynx award last year” ad, I still can’t put my finger on the problem. Is it clients, agency management, the culture? I don’t know but what I do know is that we have so much at our disposal from cash to talent and not a lot of excuses


D: Lol, ok so last question, you’ve got loads of account people who would love to shift to planning, some because they see it as the fun side of advertising minus the garbage, others because they have a genuine interest in it as a discipline…Any advice you would give that could help em out?




TANYA: It is [the fun side of advertising] but it’s only fun because the work you’re doing doesn’t feel like work – provided you’re passionate about it, and if you’re not, then moving to planning isn’t going to solve much. I made the move (just as you did once upon a time) and I couldn’t be happier. I’m still pretty new at this and got loads to learn, but with account handling you can do your work for the day go home and not give a crap should you chose. With planning – at least for me – you’re mind is constantly thinking about things you’re seeing, hearing, buying, people you’re talking to… if you’re genuinely interested in it then I suggest you start getting involved with the planning department in your agency, learn about the kind of things they do, read up on what’s going on. If you’re not able to change departments within the agency, at least you’ll be ready for when an opportunity comes. If you’re anything like me, you won’t regret it ;)

D: Tanya, already missing you, thanks loads.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! Finally someone who admits you're shit!

7:01 PM  
Anonymous T said...

Love you T!

Nic, I don't like you so much :p

11:43 PM  
Blogger Moey said...

nice interview, thanks for the share nic.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Nic said...

Anton that you?

9:41 AM  
Blogger Nic said...

T i love u like my own retarded child...

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks guys, next stop Larry King...

Moey i should add you to my list of blogs as of yesterday :)

tanya

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Fre said...

We should be careful, with too much exposure to adverts we see everyday we do begin to see them as a source of inspiration. We should constantly recognize that they should not be, and look for other fountains of inspiration like galleries, architecure, television programs, documentarys and the list can go on.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nope not me, I'm here

Anton

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a comparison between dubai and london is simply wrong...British advertising speaks to arguably the most educated people on the planet, without a doubt some of the stuff will be highbrow to earn their way into peoples living rooms...

The UAE is a completely different story, anyone who has ever seen a UAE generic cluster segment knows that you are not talking to Londoners...
You throw some British advertising here and itlly fly right over peoples heads...

No one is trying shoe lace, its simply a different.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

race.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous -

It's saying things like "it will fly over people's heads" that gets clients and brand managers so scared to do anything different.

Have you ever tried showing 'british' gold award winners to people here or in Saudi arabia for that matter?
You'd be surprised at the responses we get, and not just from young teens, but 30 and 40 something mothers. Sure some of the ads are different culturally but in terms of the creativity (or smartness) they get it and enjoy it.

We should stop underestimating people's intelligence or grasp in this region...a good idea or good advertising is appreciated whether you're british or not. T

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thought that British styled advertising will go over those in the UAE is totally ridiculous. The finest strategies are those which are the most simple. Are you trying to tell me that Sony Balls, Cadbury Gorilla or Honda Cog would leave those in UAE dribbling in confusion?

However, you have a more serious problem in the UAE which is an advertising workforce that are unable to develop British styled advertising due to limited training, limited cultural references, lack of strategic heritage and therefore training (one of the youngest ad industries) and a significant proportion of staff who haven't 'suffered' for their art.

Doing lunch is still mandatory though so you could argue glass half full.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um yes, i think cadburry gorilla would leave people here completely dazzled...

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Incognito said...

I completely agree with anonymous. Advertising that works in london - as they are the world's most intelligent people - would go completely over the heads of saudis and people here in Dubai.

Do any of you naive advertising people really believe that 'Coke Happiness Factory', Dove Evolution, Coke 'Grand Theft Auto' or even any of Nike or Axe Effect camapigns could ever possibly mean anything to stupid Arabs like myself?

Anonymous - i think you need to get in touch with reality. Comments like yours are exactly why clients and advertisers here alike are afraid to come up with relevant and creative advertising. i pity your agency - whichever side of the fence you work on. Consumers are a lot more saavy here than you think.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sigh, the point of Cadbury Gorilla is to enjoy it as a piece of film...which the people in UEA would...therefore it would work....jeez....beg for a stint in London...QUICK

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and besides, there's quite a few Brits in Dubai so they'd get it

1:35 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Reniers I swear that wasn't me! hahahahaha

Sorry took a while to publish everyones comments...The agency locked me up in a hotel for 2 nights and deprived me of any sleep in between the beta-beaming sessions...

In their defense, was a pretty good session...will be sharing some thoughts on it some time monday...

Oh and an opinion, one thing to add, most businesses in the UAE have nowhere to go right now but up, a real estate company could release an ad that said ' 90 storeys high, but foundation sucks' and they would still sell out....
Anton mentioned a while back, probably longer than he might remember, that great advertising tends to be positivly correlated with risk...I would agree though could think of some exceptions...

In the end, marketers say 'take risk if you're hitting ur quotas 3 times over'...

Problem comes when marketers believe it was the end result of their print ad...

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who I agree with anaymore...other than with myself.

Creative campaigns could work just as easily in the UAE as they could in the UK. The person who differs needs to stop using this as an excuse for shoddy work.

The UAE however can easily get on par with London despite stricter regulations. There's the budgets to do amazing work but the history, training and education in Dubai adland is still yound so this is quite alot to ask...right now.

With any creative venture risk is a cloud that will always be there. Cadbury Gorilla is a pure manifestation of risk that had the fingers stuck to it and Cadbury won. There are exceptions yes and they are usually safe clients who only require safe work, the irony being that when their sector shows innovation from competition then they're iced.

And there is a view in London that Dubai with all this potential wont raise the creative bar due to having not suffered for its advertising, it was handed to Dubai, whether that means rich creatives who haven't struggled the rat race to survive in London or that clients have so much budget there's a 'what's the point' attitude I don't know and wouldn't like to comment, but if a creative team are good there they should be good here, that would be my way of measurment, maybe more creative team exchanges between Dubai and London could kick start this.

Out

Anton xx

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im so confused, which anonymous is which?

Fre

1:06 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

Seriouly guys, if you want to remain anonymous, i couldn't give a shit, but at least have some form of an alias on there...

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nic...when are you ever serious

4:01 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

bout 25 minutes ago...

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anton you're a god

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most sensible thing anyone has ever written on this blog. Thank you

Anton

1:59 PM  

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