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What, Pat….Warsaw?

What I Warsaw indeed.

It was a real honour to be invited over to speak at the 9th annual Imagination Day, in association with the Cannes Lions Festival, over in Warsaw this December.

I received the invitation earlier in the year. Firstly, I was intrigued.

What is it?

Why Boys + Girls?

What should I talk about?

And lastly and most importantly – hat or no hat?

What it was – an absolutely top class international event bringing together a really brilliant range of speakers including the global head of innovation at Zenith, Head of Design at Droga 5, CEO of the brilliant Lola, part of Mullen Lowe in Madrid, Head of Esports Sponsorships with Riot Games etc.

Uniquely in my experience, the speakers managed to cover a range of complementary topics without ever repeating each other – and there wasn’t one dud presentation all day. 

Unless I was the dud and they were just being polite…

The one theme that seemed to ring through all the talks was that creative work works best when it’s charged with appealing to our less rational, human side – the right side of the brain. Remembering that emotionally-based, empathetic work based around clear strategy is the path to commercial success no matter what the market, that our work can have either a positive or negative effect on the world and that we should take all personal responsibility for that.

The venue was both brilliant and daunting; a 1,200-seater theatre replete with the biggest screen I had ever seen. Kudos to the small but brilliantly professional team who put the whole thing together.

So, that’s what it was.

Why Boys + Girls? Turns out we created a couple of fans at our talk with Three + YouTube at Cannes Lions in June. They liked our collaborative, honest and open approach to creativity and the work and results that it produced.

What should I talk about? I decided early that I wanted to continue the onwards march of Megacrab. I hoped that Megacrab’s message of Branded Entertainment as the best vehicle for commercial success for ambitious brands—albeit with an entirely new presentation deck and examples—would land with the audience. And I’m delighted and relieved to say it did, with Three’s work with Arranmore as the real hit.

And the hat? I had every intention of wearing the hat….but I must confess when I saw the size of the theatre I wimped out. Looking at the pictures of the venue you can decide if that was a good idea or not.

Finally, I’d like to thank Kornelia and all the Imagination Day team over in Poland for their gracious hosting and for running such a professionally excellent and interesting event.

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