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It’s time to start breaking things

Creative Director Laurence O’Byrne shares his thoughts on judging at the Kinsale Sharks and the overarching theme of Bravery

Brave. A small word to takeaway from a 4 day festival but it’s one I want tattoo on my arm.

To remind me every day the type of work I want to aspire to do. Break the rules, challenge the norms and stop putting logos down the bottom right of ads. To me it’s what the ad industry in Dublin is missing.

Bravery was the main theme of talks at Kinsale. Bravery from Creative directors, Clients and CEO’s. Here’s a quick question. Have you done anything brave in work in the last 6 months? Try and answer that 100% honestly. Robert Senior one of the founding members of Fallon who brought us ads like Cadbury’s Gorilla and Sony balls posed the question “If it goes wrong what’s at stake? Your job, your reputation the account? It’s only brave if there is a risk it won’t work, won’t sell or see light of day. But what’s the other option? The road to blandness, mediocrity? Surely that isn’t an option.

Guillaume Rebbot from BETC in Paris spoke about a chain of bravery. When we go to make work everybody has to be on board with the same goal. Every partner or person we work with needs to know at the start of a job that the aim to is to push the idea to the max. That means work will take longer. There will probably be more arguments. More changes. More crafting. But it also means work will be better.

We can be Brave in lots of different ways. Hiring people who have little experience but want a shot in our industry. How about we find someone who never had the opportunity to go to college? What if different experiences in life would lead to a richer tapestry of work. Let’s cast people who break the stereotypical norms of advertising in Ireland. And I’m talking about real people ads, I’m talking about finding the unexpected, forgotten or ignored.

We can also be brave in how we challenge the advertising clichés of our industry. What if we ban emails after 6? Literally ban them. Tell all our clients after 6 is down time. You’ll find us in the forty foot, at a play or bringing our dog for a walk while grabbing an ice cream at Teddy’s. What if we gave a random 2 days off to everybody to go out and bring something new back to the agency that they learned in that time? Timesheet code 102112112 under generally inexpensive way to get fresh ideas.

Finally as an industry let’s try to find one brave thing to do every week. Brave doesn’t have to be big. It can be challenging the conventional ideas on the table at a meeting. It can be saying no to a client request.  It can be small like David but knock down the things that can get in our way to becoming a better, braver industry.