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Defining Award-Worthy: Q&A with ECD Reuben Turner

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Founder and ECD at The Good Agency, Reuben Turner discusses creativity with purpose designed for humanity’s rather than client’s needs

Defining Award-Worthy: Q&A with ECD Reuben Turner

After quitting his job in the early 2000s to discover what applying creativity to solving humanity’s greatest problems might look like, Reuben Turner set up The Good Agency, the UK’s largest and longest-running creative agency dedicated to positive social change. He has led award-winning campaigns for many of the UK’s most well-known non-profits as well as helped brands and businesses embrace purpose-driven strategies and ideas.

Speaking with LBB, Reuben talks using deep human insight to solve real problems and what winning at The Caples early on in his career meant for him.

Q> What does creativity mean to you in just three words?

Reuben Turner> Changing what is.


Q> What is your advice for those wanting to break the mould, think differently, and create work that stands out? 

Reuben> Find a new brief and a new measure of success. When you think about what humans and humanity need rather than clients, you’ll do better work for clients.

Q> What makes a piece of work worthy of a Caples award? What will you be looking for when judging?

Reuben> Creativity applied to solve real problems. I’m less interested in beautiful or flawless execution and more interested in the deeper potential of creativity to change what is or can be done.

 Q> How have awards that you have won in the past influenced or changed your career?

Reuben> Early on in my career, myself and my partner Sarah Morris won an award at Caples. We travelled to New York for the ceremony and felt part of a wider, transatlantic creative community for the first time – and truly valued in the business too.

Q> The Caples provide feedback on every entry. As a creative, do you find this helpful when creating future work? And would you wish there were more opportunities to hear from your peers as a younger creative?

Reuben> There’s too much feedback now. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. Everyone has an opinion about everything. But they haven’t seen the brief, the strategy or the results. And they’re usually not qualified. But Caples judges are. Who doesn’t want a team like this reviewing their work?

Q> What kind of work are you bored of and what are you hoping to see more of this year?

Reuben> I’m more than a little bored of superficial, entertainment-as-advertising work (usually done by men in shorts). There’s a lot that aims to distract rather than engage. I want to see more work that’s based on deep human insight, that solves real problems, that changes what’s possible.  

Q> What was your favourite piece of work (not your own) in 2019?

Reuben> Oh, this is a hard one. But I’m going to go for Gillette, controversially. ‘Is this the best a man can get?’ became, within days, both the most disliked and most liked film ever on YouTube. And as a platform (and a question) it feels like one that could propel the brand forward into brave new work, new activations, new products, new initiatives. Is it brave? Yes. Will it sell more razors? Also yes.

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The Caples Awards , Tue, 07 Apr 2020 10:24:26 GMT