9 Tips to Overcome Challenges in Advertising, From an Architect


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(This is Part 3, of what is a 4-part series.)
Note: I'm not an Architect.

Content within this deck was discovered on a trip to Athens, Greece where I stayed at the home of an architect. Amongst the hundreds of books he had, I chanced upon this gem - "Letter to a Young Architect" - which I've collated and will share with you here.

Contained within that book was the author's life learnings, to be handed down to future architects. But what surprised me was that, on every page, each of those learnings could be directly applied to advertising as well. And such good lessons they were that I felt compelled to keep a record of those lessons, for my own learning and to share with others.

Hope it's as eye-opening for you as it was for me. Enjoy!

Part 1 (On Advertising 101): http://slidesha.re/1g0ao0c
Part 2 (On finding inspiration): http://slidesha.re/OqHGxV

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9 Tips to Overcome Challenges in Advertising, From an Architect

  1. 1. Part 3 of 4 By Alex Goh, Associate Strategic Planning Director, M&C Saatchi, Kuala Lumpur. 9 Tips to Overcome Challenges From An Architect Image credit: Getty Images In Advertising
  2. 2. All image contents is credited to Alexandros N. Tombazis, a Greek architect, from his book “Letter to a Young Architect.”
  3. 3. A quick guide to this deck 1. (Almost) All instances of the word “Architecture” has been deleted (leaving only the “A”). What is most striking is that by merely replacing all mentions of “Architecture” with “Advertising”, the advice given is still relevant in its entirety. Try it yourself and see. 2. I have also included personal notes/tips to make the advice applicable to the practice of advertising. This will be denoted by ✪ . This deck features a compilation of advice to young architects that came about as a result of a series of lectures given mostly to students of Architecture in Greece and abroad.
  4. 4. ONINVESTINGINTIME ✪ Anything worth getting is going to be worth the time. Outward progress may seem slow but like Architecture, once your “foundations” are set, you will push for new heights very quickly. #1
  5. 5. ONPERFECTLYIMPERFECT ✪ Embrace your missteps and weaknesses as much as your success or strengths. Your “imperfections” are what will come to define your personal story – it’s what you choose to do with it, rather than what you are now, that will come to define you. #2
  6. 6. ONFINDINGJOYWITHWORK ✪ That sense of “variety” is what got many of us into Advertising, and to stay in it. Always remember the joys of variety, even as it comes with the pains of unpredictability. #3
  7. 7. ONTHEBEAUTYOFTEAMS ✪ A band consists of musicians who each play different instruments and music but blend so well together that it sounds like a single instrument. Each part is equally important to the quality of the sound (fast-forward video on next slide to 17:20 for a great teamwork tip). #4
  8. 8. ONLISTENINGVSSPEAKING ✪ Worth repeating here: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” You don’t owe it to people to listen. You owe it to yourself. Try this exercise: Challenge yourself to build on the ideas of others (think: Improv) #5
  9. 9. ONMULTIPLESOLUTIONS ✪ To do this, focus on REALLY crafting the communications challenge, and thus its objective. This is your anchor (don’t hinge your evaluation of ideas on the moving goalpost of novelty or beauty). Your carefully crafted campaign objectives will help towards freeing you up to see the merit of other solutions. #6
  10. 10. ONTURNINGWALLSTODOORS ✪ Turn weaknesses into strengths; threats into opportunities. And while doing that, think about this: The consumer doesn’t care about your product. They care about their problem. #7
  11. 11. ONTHEVALUEOFLIMITS #8 ✪ Countless significant innovations and creative solutions came out of the need to overcome some sort of limitation, rather than the need to expend the use of a generous/unlimited resource (e.g. money). Limitations offers you unlimited potential.
  12. 12. ONLESS/MOREVSUSEFUL ✪ Focus on delivering to the necessary customer/user experience. Anything more or less is vanity. Always ask yourself “Is this truly useful to the overall experience?" #9
  13. 13. Now, go be the best version of you. By Alex Goh, Associate Strategic Planning Director, M&C Saatchi, Kuala Lumpur. alex.goh@mcsaatchi.com.my 9 Tips to Overcome Challenges From An Architect In Advertising Part 3 of 4