Fortnotes 3 – early January

The first fortnight back at work after Christmas. The snow has given way to rain and drizzle, so London is dark and wet and I feel marginally less energetic than I did in December. Working longer hours and trying to avoid getting home after 8pm too frequently.

Finally got properly involved in some Honda work, so I’m working on two different Honda projects – plus THO, CTC and a little bit of help on two or three other campaigns too. Busy busy. Trying to spend 80% of my time on 20% of the work, but I’m not very good at saying no to things at the moment and struggling slightly to manage my calendar. Will need to learning to say ‘no’ to more things, and hopefully the right things. Generally happy to get involved in everything I physically can at the moment, because they’re usually fun and interesting.

I can now reveal that THO is actually ‘The Hungry One’ for Lurpak. It involves a gorgeous 60 second cinema + TV ad, plus print, foil lids, and some really fun, funny, entertaining online stuff too. By the time I joined, work on it was already well underway but I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the past couple of weeks helping deliver it and the things it needs to make it happen. It’s really nice being able to work closely with the creative directors and there’s a great little team all pulling together behind it. Before Christmas, we bought in Anna Pickard to join that team, specifically to run the Twitter + Facebook presences and she’s doing an amazing job of it and already (despite very small numbers of followers) lots of lovely interactions.

Every time a microwave bell chimes to signal a ready meal’s readiness, an angel loses its wings, and The Hungry One cries hot gravy tears.

The fridge light is not on all the time. No, when the fridge light comes on, it is your stomach having an idea.

Spot on for this campaign. Challenging poor food choices, encouraging the cooking and enjoying of delicious food and all without being too much about the brand. Everyone expects slow growth for the first few weeks and hopefully it’ll gather followers faster once the ad airs on TV. Already, the YouTube release got lots of positive word of mouth (not to mention a quite respectable 40k views within a week).

The Twitter dashboard I’ve been building with Dan (in order to make The Hungry One omniscient) is also going to be useful for CTC and probably lots of other projects too. Side effect: did you know that UK tweeters talk most about ‘bacon’ at 8:00am, with a big spike at 11:00am on Saturdays? I’m playing with it and improving it almost daily, often in response to an idea or suggestion from Anna who is actually using it to find tweets to which she might want to respond.

Other work…

A solid few hours with the CTC team helping them on their approach for a new campaign I’m really looking forward to.
Immersing myself in Honda history and culture, and joining the (lovely) creative team for a big project. Borrowed some really lovely books about the life of S. Honda, Thinking differently about cars. Asking questions of everyone I realistically can.

My attendance at the regular agency management meeting keeps getting postponed. Secretly relieved, as being awake and in London at 8:30 is much harder than my usual 9:30. Close to having our first full-time in-house creative community manager to work on social media projects. Actually expecting we might need more than one quite soon; there’s lots more work than we can handle at the moment, and I’m certain it’ll grow further this year.

People are still asking me how I’m finding it, and whether I’m having fun. I’m having a huge amount of fun. When trying to describe W+K London, ‘friendly’ and ‘chaos’ are always the two words that come to mind first. It seems to thrive on creative chaos actually. It’s also very flat, organisationally, and of the places I’ve worked it’s the least obsessed with process. Not that it’s easy or relaxed; just that the buzz of creative energy isn’t hampered by unnecessary paperwork. Things happen. Sometimes confusingly or overwhelmingly, sometimes after a lot of hard work and deliberation and dead ends, but things can sometimes happen quite fast and the end result is always something excellent. I’m already genuinely proud to be part of W+K.

Currently working on and thinking about: recruitment, Honda, butter and delicious cooking, word-of-mouth, conversations.
Currently trying not to think about: Dan H moving to Portland. Is that gas I can smell on the Waterloo & City line?
New terminology: LPL (large project leader, Honda terminology). CD (creative director), 60, 30, 10 (seconds of TV ad).

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