Saatchi & Saatchi are an ideas company; and the people that work here have a surplus of them. There are dozens and dozens of people in the SaatchiNY network who blog about their passions, pursuits and endeavors outside the office . . . and this is a place for us to share some of that amazing stuff. In today’s post, we’re taking a look at The Book of Revelations, Saatchi & Saatchi London’s planning blog. Enjoy!
BOOK OF REVELATIONS
Revelation is a word at the heart of what strategic planners do. They think, they research, they provide insights. Revelations, if you will. The Saatchi London planning blog plays off that concept, using The Book of Revelations as the title for a blog that’s full of great thinking. If you’re looking for a place to stretch your viewpoint, this is a great place to start.
THE BLOGGER BIO Insight & ideas from the heart of Saatchi & Saatchi
From meatballs and participation movements to cool presentations and candy bars, this is a blog covering almost every facet of pop culture. It also houses a live twitter feed of interesting people in the Saatchi London network.
Rilla Alexander's character creation, Sozi's "Idea"
May Madarang is part of the SaatchiNY Client Accounting team. She recently had the chance to attend the Pictoplasma character design conference at Parsons. Below are some of her thoughts on the event. Photos Taken by True Blue Team Leader Erin Lyons.
Confession: for the majority of my life, I’ve had a serious love for contemporary character designs. They’re a phenomenon that’s HUGE in Asia, but hasn’t taken off quite as much in the US. But, like a lot of people, my fascination started as a child, when I was introduced the likes of Hello Kitty and Sanrio. As I moved into my teens, I grew into Pucca and eventually, Kidrobot. So I’ve basically been following character design my entire life.
I recently got the chance to be re-introduced to this vibrant world thanks to Pictoplasma, an organization that pools major resources and network connections together to showcase an extensive inventory of contemporary character design. Their largest function happens each year in Berlin, but they also offer a yearly outpost event right here in New York. At both events, they’ve done an amazing job of showcasing “the work of a global scene of illustrators, graphic designers, and animation filmmakers.” through a variety of exhibits and platforms.
AT THE CONFERENCE
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the NYC Pictoplasma Festival & Conference at The Parsons New School of Design. The festivities were part of New York Illustration Week 2010, and were curated by Pictoplasma’s Lars Denicke and Peter Thaler. It was an awesome time, with attendees given the chance to attend screenings, artist lectures, panels, and presentations on character design and art.
There were many great events I had the chance to attend, but what stood out for me was an artist lecture with Craig Redman & Rilla Alexander, who are both part of the small Australian art & design collective RINZEN. I was fortunate enough to meet most of the RINZEN group at a private party earlier that week honoring Gary Baseman thanks to Jeremyville and Sucklord. It was one of those great moments of luck that they invited me to attend the talk.
Craig Redman shared his thought process in creating his character Darcel and elaborated on the projects Darcel has been involved with and what he sees as the character’s future direction. It’s a unique character, because Darcel doesn’t speak or have a voice. He engages you through the dialogue in his surroundings and detailed graphic work. I was most fascinated by how such a simple character could have so much life to it. For a little background on what I mean, the Darcel blog is full of entertainingly awkward/funny moments.
Next up was Rilla Axlexander, whose new book, “Her Idea,” revolves around her character Sozi, whose main narrative is having a lot of ideas that she can’t organize because of chronic procrastination. The story is adorably motivating & inspiring, even for adults.
During her lecture, she took the audience through her creation of Sozi by showing us sketches & photos of the development, describing the process as it developed. Each slide highlighted how bits of the artist were entwined into the character, and that the main motivation for Sozi was her own difficulty collecting and developing her ideas. The book took her 8 years to finish, and you could see how happy she was to be showing it off.
I think I enjoyed her presentation most, as it was so insightful when it came to the pieces of building Sozi. The way she thinks about where thoughts and ideas are derived from is especially applicable to the way we do things here at Saatchi & Saatchi. After all, what’s more appropriate for an Ideas Company than a character whose sole preoccupation is thinking about ideas?
Hudson/Houston will be gone for a few days eating too much turkey, yams & pumpkin pie. We’ll be back in action on Monday, November 29th. So from the H/H team & everyone at SaatchiNY, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
A few months ago we were sitting in our planning group when someone said – “Hey, we should have a blog.”
Of course, a blog is a great idea. A place to share . . . a way to give the department a voice . . . etcetera, etcetera. But we wanted to do something different, the last of which was to publish another digital white paper on consumer trends or another study on how the recession has changed spending habits. We do all of that stuff and it is a really important part of our jobs . . . but we wanted a different take for our blog.
Most planners are particularly stricken/blessed by work/life integration. Their tireless curiosity & knack for seeing everything through a certain lens is part of what makes them good at their jobs. Going off that point, we decided that celebrating (and leveraging) the personal passions’ of the SaatchiNY planning team is one-and-the-same with celebrating SaatchiNY planning.
And so today we officially launch the Saatchi Kitchen. A non-blog. A simple aggregator of the personal blogs of some of our planners. There’s six collected there for the time being, but we plan to rotate in new participants as they pop up. We’ll also be using the sharing functionality to spread the word on what we like the best from each others’ passion projects with the rest of our networks.
From design fetishes and sociological theory to a backstage look at fashion week runway shows and musings on music videos, this is what SaatchiNY planners are interested in.
Vanessa Zippo is an Account Supervisor here at SaatchiNY. She worked closely on the Carrie Underwood spot that launched late last week, & we thought it would be great to get a behind-the-scenes perspective on planning out the campaign. Below are some of Vanessa’s thoughts on choosing Carrie Underwood, expanding the brand’s audience & the power of challenging what’s possible.
THE FEARLESS HEROINE Carrie Underwood is the embodiment of the type of woman we wanted as an Olay brand ambassador – a fearless heroine. Carrie is a small town girl who courageously pursued her dream of becoming a professional singer by performing in front of millions of people on American Idol. While Carrie has seen undeniable fame as a result, we were most impressed by the person behind the fame. Carrie graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Mass Communications, and continues to stress the importance of education through various outreach programs. She also formed a foundation to benefit her hometown, demonstrating a sense of genuine compassion and loyalty to her family and her roots. Carrie is a person of real substance who embodies the Saatchi & Saatchi spirit of “Nothing is Impossible,” which is why she is the perfect match for Olay.
CHALLENGE WHAT IS POSSIBLE Olay has been very successful at attracting consumers 35+ with its anti-aging offerings, but as we looked to grow the business, our biggest opportunity was appealing to a younger generation of consumers not yet interested in anti-aging. With that in mind, we developed an improved line of Facial Cleansers with benefits relevant to a younger audience. Along with fresh packaging, a relatable ambassador like Carrie and the Olay Brand Promise to “Challenge What’s Possible,” we felt poised for success. When our spots (the brain child of Chris Chao and CinDee Thompson) launched on the CMA Awards on November 10, it was a real turning point for Olay – the start of not only a lasting relationship with Carrie, but also with a whole new generation of Olay consumers.
Today we introduce another regular feature on Hudson/Houston – 375 Style. As with most creative companies in NYC, we’re not short on employees with an amazing (and sometimes bold) sense of style.
To celebrate our fashion-forward friends, our very own Ashley Johns & Sasithon Pooviriyakul have put together a monthly fashion profile, including photos of each participant in a “style representative” outfit & a questionnaire on their favorite brands, favorite places to shop & their best tips for dressing to the nines.
In their first feature, Ash & Sas talked with Rita Maurer-Hollaender, a SaatchiNY AAE. Photos were taken bySasithon Pooviriyakul, an Account Supervisor at SaatchiNY. You can see more of her work on her website.
What’s the best kept fashion/shopping secret in NYC?
Not telling! . . . OK, Gilt Groupe
Is there anything in your wardrobe you keep trying to wear but haven’t? How long have you had the piece?
I have been trying to wear this beautiful emerald green silk scarf for LONG time, going on 3 years. I’m never happy with the way I fold it and always end up wearing a wool scarf or necklace instead. Besides that, anything I own with pleats always ends up being a problem. While I know nothing is perfect, imperfect pleats make me crazy!
What’s the difference between your “office” and “OOO” style (If you have one)?
Whether I’m in the office or not is not a major factor. It mostly depends on how I’m feeling in the morning, but when I think about getting dressed for the office I go for comfortable and classic with an edge. OOO I’m a more experimental with my style- I love incorporating anything monochromatic and ripped.
How has your interest in fashion/clothes changed over time?
When I was young I was focused on athletics, a “tomboy.” I dreaded the idea of shopping and never thought about fashion. My mother always said I would find the beauty in it and that I would grow to love it. And while I hate to admit it, I find myself saying this more and more… She was right! I have fallen in love with evolving my style.
What would the 9 year old you think about what you’re wearing today?
“What are you doing walking out of the house like that?! You look like a girl!”
What’s your style inspiration?
I have so many! But I have to say my mother and grandmother are my most consistent sources of style inspiration: two ladies who always look effortlessly elegant and beautiful. Both have passed onto me my most valued pieces of fashion advice: style is not complicated. Keep it simple- all you need is one special piece to make any look a great one.
Whose style do you admire? Anyone from the office? Who should be featured next on our Saatchi Style Blog?
Sienna Miller, Leighton Meester, Chloe Sevigny … this list goes on but you get the idea. I’m a celebrity junkie and am a loyal who/what/wear reader. I admire so many people’s style from the office. It’s so easy to find style inspiration around here. Michael Arguello makes it look effortless to look stylish and comfortable everyday. I definitely look to him for style inspiration so my vote goes to Michael.
What are your key pieces for fall?
Camel coat, thin wool scarf, anything with leather or in the color palette of black, white, blush, and caramel.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?
Tough one! Please don’t make me choose one. My top three are: destroyed gray t-shirt, motorcycle chain necklace, and my Wisconsin Badgers sweatshirt. I don’t stray too far without these three pieces in tow.
Where does your signature look come from?
My need to feel comfortable yet beautiful at all times.
Any specific style tips?
Keep it simple. Wear what makes you feel beautiful. Always smile!
Marcia Roosevelt is EVP Group Strategic Planning at SaatchiNY. She’s been with the company for just under 13 years, and has done consistently wonderful work on Olay & other brands. If you’re interested in learning more about Marcia and her work, feel free to visit her LinkedIn Page.
What do you do at Saatchi & Saatchi?
I listen. I do hallway conversations, meetings, conference calls. I type, too. And then, as requested, I do my time sheet.
Your first job?
Child labor as a dish-washer. I was staying overnight with a friend whose parents owned an inn and the dish-washer didn’t show up. We were both drafted into service.
What led you on the path you’re on today?
Up until the day I had an epiphany while balancing a tea cup on my knee in the Rose Parlor of my college, I was ‘supposed’ to go to law school. On this day, the law school dean came to woo us to his ‘considered-quite-prestigious” program.
Lots of talk about responsibility and power, checks and balances, and managing social issues . . . when I realized that this was a career where you could become very powerful by saying ‘no, you can’t do that’.
As if hit by a lightening bolt, I knew that I DID NOT want to be Ms. Nay-Sayer for the rest of my life. Instead, I started searching for a career that would be more of a ‘yes” and ‘why don’t we?’ kind of career.
Favorite YouTube video?
Well, I’m more of a fan of the TED videos, but for YouTube, it’s a tie between Extreme Sheep LED Art:
What’s your favorite creative pursuit?
What do you do for fun?
My husband and I are groupies for a 13 year old travel baseball team.
What blogs/magazines/books/papers/websites can you not live without? Stylus.com. It is a wonderful and inspirational source of creative ideas, from color to art to architecture to trends. We just negotiated worldwide usage for 14 months for everybody in the Saatchi & Saatchi network, so spread the word to the team!
Email Pat Murphy or Patricia Colorio and they will pass your name onto the Stylus folks. Good through January 1, 2012.
Have you ever won a trophy?
Of course. I spent a childhood amassing trophies.
When’s the last time you gave a standing ovation?
Early October of this year, when I heard Nando Parrado (one of the Uraguyan rugby players who were stranded in the Andes) speak at a business conference. There were about 600 people in the audience and you could have heard a pin drop as he recounted his tale.
He really puts in perspective what is important in life…the answer is love, family, connection, generosity, joy…that and having the sense to appreciate it when it comes to you.
If you weren’t at Saatchi & Saatchi, what profession would you most like to try?
Writer for a small town newspaper, covering the local goings-on, e.g. “What’s up at the dump” and “Selectmen debate merits of John Deere mowers”
Artist watch is a new(ish) feature we’ve put together for Hudson/Houston. Much like some of our Sisomo Roundupseach of the artist roundup posts will highlight exciting, engaging artists that are attracting attention from the SaatchiNY team. For our second installment, SaatchiNY Head of Design Camilla Flesche Kristiansen offers her thoughts on Graphic Design Artist James Victore’s book “Victore or, Who Died & Made You Boss?”
THE ARTIST James Victore is an artist and graphic designer whose work is instantly familiar, but completely its own thing. His designs are vivid, memorable and (often) controversial.
His work is often built on found or existing materials, posters, plates, books, etc., but he has an amazing ability to force the viewer to look at that material in a completely new way. His organizing goal in everything he does is to “make it personal.”
One of the most admirable aspects of his work is that he is only interested in “comrades, not clients.” By that, I mean that he’s only interested in working with organizations that will be brave in their approval process, which gives him the ground to push boundaries and incite conversation. He’s worked with Moët & Chandon, Target, Amnesty International, the Shakespeare Project, The New York Times, & MTV, to name a few.
In his first book, Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss, we get the chance to look at the stories behind his inspirations, his process, and the lessons learned from each of his favorite projects. It’s an insightful look at work being done by one of the most exciting graphic designers working today, and it’s well worth checking out.
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Who We Are
Saatchi & Saatchi New York is the largest agency in the 140-office Saatchi & Saatchi global network. We create loyalty beyond reason by transforming brands into Lovemarks—moving your brand from being “known for something” to being “known for things that people care about.”
Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks reach people’s hearts as well as their minds, creating an intimate, emotional connection that they just can’t live without. Ever.