Monday, August 25, 2008

The start of Think Fresh

Over the last few months we as a team invested hundreds of hours to create Think Fresh in Sydney and Melbourne. Our efforts involved organising 10 speakers across 4 industry events in 2 cities, running 4 internal events, 2 workshops and creating the gallery of freshness and bravery in our Sydney and Melbourne offices.

The blog already contains a review of our launch event where we heard from Kate Gunby, Mark Coad, Steve Sinha, Trudi Sampola, Amantha Imber and myself.

The second major event happened on Weds 13th in Melbourne and Thursday 14th in Sydney. OMD Managing partner Leigh Terry spoke gave an array of inspiring examples of digital campaigns. Hugh Evans, Young Australian of the Year 2004, gave a great talk on the path he has taken through life which exhibited masses of bravery and not a little creativity on the way. He has really made some amazing things happen, especially Make Poverty History and the Oaktree Foundation.

In Sydney we had Kate Bezar, editor and founder of Dumbo Feather magazine who spoke about how she overturned all the conventions of magazine publishing and created a successful magazine.

In Melbourne, the creative duo behind the Cannes award winning Schweppes Burst campaign, Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens (no not the drug addled fallen footy star) came and won the crowd over with a couple of great tales of bravery. In particular their salute of bravery went out to the Schweppes client who supported their creative idea against all the research testing results and pushed on through to launch this campaign. A great lesson about going with your gut, putting your balls on the line and the knowing when to look beyond the numbers.

Finally we ended the event with Powerpoint Karaoke where we had OMD'ers and celebrities battling it out to be the best at improvising to weird, wonderful and wacky powerpoint charts.

Three things we learnt from Think Fresh 08

1. The importance of having a vision and fighting for it.

2. The launch of OMD's Innovation Bank - the importance of putting some science (measurement) behind a good idea.

3. Ideas are empowering, and we should create a sense of urgency and importance around them

We would be interested in what everyone else took away from it so add your comments to this blog entry!

We've decided as a group to keep Think Fresh as an ongoing banner for pushing creativity and bravery within OMD, so watch out for upcoming workshops, client panel, a revised version of Checkmate. All part of our plan for follow up to turn words into actions.

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