Sasan Saeidi is the newly appointed Regional CEO of J. Walter Thompson for the Middle East - Gulf Region. Middle East is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in the communication and advertising industry today. He has worked in advertising for the past 18 years across many brands and regions of the world. Starting and building his credentials and career in North America, between Toronto and New York with Saatchi & Saatchi & FCB, across Strategic Planning, Account Management, and New Business Development functions; he led a multitude of Global assignments for brands across industries, and made his reputation as a strategic planning lead for key transformational businesses.
Creativity is discovery, invention and creation. It is knowledge, curiosity, imagination and evaluation combined. Creating new things requires a great knowledge base and a high level of curiosity in order to obtain valuable ideas and patterns. It is said that creativity is the price of admittance and innovation is the process that pays the bills.
For Bogdan Jianu, Brand Manager at Ursus Breweries, creativity at work implies challenging the status quo, embracing new and fresh perspectives and looking for simple solutions to complicated problems.
Sasan will join IAA Global Conference, on October 24-25, but prior to his official speech, Bogdan talked to him about creativity, tight deadlines and memorable campaigns.
What does creativity mean for you?
Creativity means something different for everyone. And that alone is creative. But my interpretation of creativity is the act of ideation and thinking that brings new perspectives that have not been seen before. Creativity is bringing to life an idea that was not there before. It’s about new perspectives and new expressions. Ultimately creativity in our business is about creating solutions.
If creativity is an unlimited resource, how do you harvest your team's creativity?
By helping, they stay true to the environment they are in; by being clear with what I am asking them to do; by creating the right environment and culture for them to feel relaxed and truly comfortable to create ideas.
Could you share a life story (personal or professional life) on how creativity improved the world? It could very well be a story of how an unconventional, "crazy idea" saved the day, a story on how lateral thinking helped you come up with a better solution.
I think anything that today is helping us live; whether technology; basic human needs; utilities and so on were developed because someone got creative. One of the best examples of creativity is when someone uses plastic bottles; fills them up with a solution of bleached water and uses them as light bulbs in impoverished houses that don’t have electricity to light their house at night. That’s thinking that changes the world.
What would your all-time favourite advertising campaign be and why?
I have so many; it’s a very tough question. But one of my favorites is Dove real beauty; which was a magnificent human truth that was uncovered and brought to life about women and their own perception of their beauty in comparison to the perceptions of others. It was so genuine, so true and the story could have not been brought to life better. Campaigns like this impact people in a positive manner so they can live better lives. This is why I love our industry.
How do you reconcile creativity & tight deadlines?
Tight deadlines are unfortunately part of our industry and as time goes by things will not get any easier. We are all under pressure to deliver solutions for our clients and their business challenges. And we don’t have years and months to solve issues; we have hours, days and weeks. Good ideas do take time to flourish and come to life; but there is no set formula. And that’s the beauty of ideas and creativity. It just happens.
What do you think is more memorable: an ad that makes you laugh or one that makes you cry?
I do believe that it depends on the objective that you want to address. For example, if it’s about gun control; then a hard hitting story that is emotional, real and touches the heart to prove that gun violence needs to stop and gun sales should be banned makes sense. I guess a comedic spin is not fitting.
Imagine telling people that we don’t want another Las Vegas tragedy which was created by a crazy person that had bought guns to inflict harm to hundreds of innocent people. It’s not funny and no laughing matter. So I guess an ad should serve a purpose and be fitting to the subject matter. There is no one Versus the other.
Is creativity a muscle you can train or a given talent you can enhance?
I believe it’s definitely a talent……no doubt; but I think you must learn that creative people are by nature curious individuals, they read a lot, they are open to experiences in life; they ask a lot of questions; and so perhaps adopting some of these characteristic traits; will help you become more creatively oriented.
Ursus - A teaser on Creativity series is part of IAA Global Conference – Creativity Can Change the World, the event will take place on October 24-25, at The National Opera House in Bucharest. For more information please visit www.creativity4better.com.