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)
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.