THE BLOG

30
May

Meet Carlos Penny, Our New Head of Business Development!

Carlos PennyWe’re excited to welcome Carlos Penny as our new Head of Business Development. He comes to Oishii with more than a decade of business development experience, including positions at TV production company SD MEDIA and digital content agency FILTER.

Bringing Carlos on board is part of our continued evolution by embracing strategic partnerships with a focus on multidisciplinary talent and investing in proprietary technology, mobile video and multi-channel networks.

What makes him right at home at Oishii? He’s passionate about emerging industries and technologies, he’s in tune with the future of our company and our industry, and he brings the same energy and ethos we do when working with clients. So everyone wins.

When he’s not surfing or cooking sliders on his rooftop deck in Venice Beach, you can find him supporting the local community, which he’s proud to call home (Oishii’s a close second, of course). Carlos also volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation and is working towards launching his own non-profit, Surfunite.

27
May

Think Like A Freaky Tourist

Think Like A FreakA few nights ago, we enjoyed taking in the new Freakonomics book with authors Steven Levit and Stephen Dubner.  The latest incarnation of their Freaky franchise, Think Like a Freak debuts this week at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. For us in the creative industries, the popularity of thinking differently is a welcome addition to our thinking toolkit.

With their usual witticism and insight, Levit and Dubner offer more observations into the ways we rely on habits and unconscious incentives when making decisions and solving problems. Often we don’t critically think through our own thinking process, say Levit and Dubner. We don’t recognize our selfish motives when thinking and taking action; we shy away from asking for help and we stand on the shoulders of conventional wisdom to solve problems.

As we continue our Think Like A Tourist series, I want to bring an older voice into our ongoing conversation about creativity, Mr. George Orwell.

Orwell was a writer obsessed with clear thinking and writing. In his famous essay Politics and the English Language, Orwell took issue with jargon and complex writing styles. He disliked glossy or shimmery writing, because as he saw it, such writing lacked lucid thinking. In Politics and the English Language, he pressed writers to write less and think more. He wanted writers as artists to take a step outside their craft and evaluate how they make art. In this way, Orwell wasn’t necessarily interested in helping writers become great writers so much as he wanted writers and artists to be rigorous thinkers. As he rightly saw it, writers and artists have responsibilities to their craft and audiences. Readers need to read something that challenges their habits and stretches their ways of looking at the world. He wanted audiences and writers to use their minds and exceed each other’s expectations.

Orwell’s aspirations are applicable for us in the creative industries. Our work lives are framed by trends, reports, data, thought leadership, research findings, insights and even the five-paragraph executive summary. These pieces of conventional wisdom are the beacons of our craft, giving direction to our solutions and shaping the direction for our clients’ next launch.

More than thinking like a freak, Orwell reminds us to always take a few steps back before we write, draw and do. Pay attention to the words we use, the phrases we toss about in meetings, and the goals we give our teams.

Who feeds you the language, phrases, terms and conventional wisdom everyday?

 

16
May

Why Ad Agency-Created Products Fail

Why Agencies Fail_Mona Lisa

We read a recent Fast Co.Create piece by Leif Abraham, partner at Prehype, a New York-based venture development firm creating new digital products and companies together with startups and bigger corporations. In “Spike and Die: Why Products Created By Ad Agencies Fail,” he argues that the current culture and agency business models just aren’t conducive to real product innovation. Namely, that agencies trying to do product work typically treat the production of an app or product in the same way they treat the production of a TV spot.

Abraham says this has two effects:

1. It’s a torch relay

Just like in a TV production, each person finishes his or her work first, before the next one starts. That means the designer completely designs the app before the developer even starts to code anything. Though this can sometimes work, it also bears some risks, such as the developer finding mistakes in the design at a very late phase in the process.

2. An ad agency is not set up to maintain

In a campaign process, people are used to making some thing, put it out there and then never touch it again. This does not work with products, because they need on-going maintenance and a dedicated team to further develop it and deliver support.

As a result, product-like launches coming out of agencies don’t have long-term plans — or budgets — in place to maintain and sustain them.

Abraham further offers a few suggestions for how an agency could become a real player in the world of product innovation. Agencies should treat product development more like the founding of a new company — acting like a startup — versus treating it like another project. This inevitably marries the creation process with the business side of things. And both agency and client are equally invested in the long-term success of the product. To quote Abraham, “…if, as an agency, you believe in and enforce the rule of ‘my success is your success,’ you will have an interest in things running efficiently as possible.”

His other point is something that we at Oishii Creative are very passionate about, and have written on extensively, which is building company culture. Some of our best ideas come from fostering an open and collaborative environment; what we like to call “generative workspaces.” When your team feels excited about building a company — and not just a product — then ultimately, they’ll also feel incentivized and committed to the other aspects of the business.

As our VP Kate Canada Obregon recently wrote on The Agency Post, people like to work in open office spaces, or ones that promote a collaborative spirit, because they feel connected to the company’s organizational mission and to their fellow office mates. It’s about creating community within the office, and ultimately, the effects of this virtuous cycle translate into your output as a company, whether that’s launching a new product or a new TV campaign.

A vibrant and generative company culture takes the long-view for clients and projects. This isn’t always easy because it’s not a matter of providing short-term fixes or campaigns to fill holes. It’s about coming up with innovations that work seamlessly and consistently across platforms. This kind of generative culture asks more of staff and creative resources than replicating the status quo. It means working harder and longer on projects that hopefully, many are willing to do. Because what it really comes down to is thinking and creating with the future in mind, and always finding ways to partner and deliver for clients.

12
May

Think Like A Tourist Series: Think Like A Situationist

Situationist

Creation is a radical act. Whether you create ideas, services or products, all of us who lead and guide creators are obliged to see the world differently every day.

And we generate ideas through a combination of processes and our neuro-circuitry; our mind’s abilities and internal ways of thinking. Think of it as the merging of our work environment, culture and peers with our brain’s capabilities. Whether we are charged with realizing the strategic brand direction or an app or product launch, we must create and realize something new. We’d like to think the entire process is within our control, but it isn’t. Creativity is not an amorphous activity out of our reach, either.

Philosopher and avant-garde cultural critic Raoul Vaneigem observed that creativity is often the obedient offspring to business, productivity and typical measurements of success. Vaneigem was one of the founders of the Situationist movement, a French group of artists, poets and philosophers who looked to art and specifically, the avant-garde movements to instigate societal change. Vaneigem and his fellow artists believed art and art techniques could make people see the world in new ways, just as they learned to represent reality with point on the brush, a dabble of paint or unfamiliar lines. For our purposes, Vaneigem‘s observations are useful because he calls out the reviving power of creative thinking. He believed that art could not be contained or utilized in commercial activities because artists’ contributions outweighed measurement. As he saw it, “you can’t limit the power of bedlam in the logical ‘spin cycle’ of work-a-day world.”  And while we know business and art are mutually dependent upon each other — deeply intertwined even — it’s worth bearing in mind his elegiac defense of creative minds as the driver of success, growth and innovation.

Vaneigem wanted us to always be vigilant to the ways we leaders either judge quickly or dismiss the radical new idea, its creator and his/her new way of looking at things. Following his way of thinking like a Situationist can awaken a feeling of liberation and adventure, which is crucial to the work that we do within the creative industries.

 

Image courtesy of Brictz.com

02
May

#WTFuture Looks Bright: Branding PromaxBDA: The Conference 2014

We’re still in the thick of it, but we’re having a blast working with PromaxBDA on branding  The Conference 2014, which takes place June 10-12 in New York City. This year’s theme is #WTFuture.

image

Out of chaos comes beauty, out of disruption comes opportunity. Building on this idea and “embracing the mayhem,” we played on the cheekiness of the #WTF hashtag in order to promote the event and encourage engagement across social platforms, as well as tie in social medias’s relevance to discussions at the conference.

The campaign starts with website takeovers, digital banners and email newsletters – all of which were designed behind the concept of a “window” into the future. From here, the design will be rolled out over the entire collateral for the conference, from room signage and banners to The Conference program. In an attempt to unify the ancillary events that happen in conjunction with The Conference, the flexible design has provided the perfect template to make the Promo Boot Camp and the Elite Member Events feel like they are an integral part of The Conference.

Images are central to the way we communicate in today’s media landscape, and that’s why our branding package for the conference depends so heavily on symbolism. So, rather than provide a single piece of hero key art or simply variations of it, we conceived a graphic framework which opened our design to various interconnecting images within the #WTFuture theme in inspiring and unusual ways. Creating a visual nomenclature was also key to getting our intended audience to participate in the construction of the meaning of the campaign itself, to encourage them to help construct what the future may be.

With changes in our industry, such as more ad dollars going to digital than broadcast, it’s an exciting time to see what emerges. Our view of the future is not dystopian, but rather that it holds many exciting possibilities, and we encourage everyone to optimistically embrace it. Aesthetically, our designs suggest as much with bright colors, while digital noise in the overall graphic overlay reminds us that the future is ever coming into focus.

The design package ultimately served up a dose of inspiration for the intro video that we’re also producing for The Conference. We can’t wait for you see it, so stay tuned!

Never ones to turn down an opportunity to soak in as much creative inspiration as possible, we’ll be at the conference to cheer on our colleagues and clients as well as learn from them, including keynote speakers Tom Freston of Firefly3, Shane Smith of VICE, and Robert Rodriguez of El Rey Network.

 


Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /nfs/c05/h05/mnt/16967/domains/oishiicreative.com/html/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/libs/controllers/sfsi_frontpopUp.php on line 63