Long Live Our Weird Ideas

Long Live Our Weird Ideas

In this guest post, MediaCom Beyond Advertising’s Alastair Anisimoff (pictured below), shares his perspective on all things ideas, and argues why creative and social should no longer be seen as separate entities.

Alastair Anisimoff

My first mentor once asked me what I want to do with my career. Volvo’s (Van Damme) splits just came out. The moment of genius as Jean-Claude Van Damme extorted his body high above the pavement in between two moving trucks blew my head up. The simplicity of the idea, the beauty of the execution and a wild human moment that lead to a product benefit. To me, this is the benchmark.

From this point on, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team who came up with awe-inspiring ideas in an agency that also ensures those great ideas are seen by the right people. And so, my journey started. From my social media perch, I dove into creative, putting myself through AWARD school, expanding my mentors and working with leaders in MediaCom Beyond Advertising (MBA) to become a creative. Persistence is king.

The best advice I ever got was to step back from your idea and look at it with fresh eyes. A new perspective is powerful. Creative is looking at the world in a way that has never been seen before, and for Pete’s sake understand the difference between an idea, the central thought, an execution, and how that idea comes to life. I think we sometimes forget.

Ideas have power. It matters not where the idea sits but the idea that comes first, the platform second. There is a big difference between an execution and an idea, on social the two get muddled all too easily. My first introduction to this was in the beauty of pen and paper at AWARD School. It was here I learnt that it’s the beauty of a simplistic central idea, not the platform, that matters.

As someone who started life in social media and jumped ship to creative, I’m disappointed by some who still see creative and social as separate entities. Social is just the platform – the same as print, radio or TV. These ‘old school’ formats have never been separate from creative. It’s time to meld the two together.

Starting on the media side of the fence gave me a better appreciation for creating an idea with a platform in mind, but that idea must always be your core; it must always be able to live solo. Think less is more. Social can be beautiful. Find your insight, create an idea and do a print style social series. I have the joy of working with Princess Cruises on such a campaign. It’s uncomplicated with beautiful moments and has direct links to quantifiable sales – a rare thing in the ad game.

Princess Cruises social campaign [1]

Princess Cruises social campaign [2]

Social is no longer how many assets can we build a month. It matters not if it’s on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Snapchat. It’s carefully crafted creative with a robust and sometimes weird idea at heart. Every post has a purpose; every idea is tailored to the platform it lives on. ‘Less is more’ is our mantra and MBA is seeing success with our ideas-first, platform-second theories on social.

Here are some lines I like to live by:

  • Creative is as much a grind as it is coming up with brilliant one-liners. Stick with it.
  • Be curious, observe, and ask questions. A know-it-all has no place here.
  • It’s okay to be a little weird.


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