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LIA Creative Conversations 2013: Final Day


Amir Kassaei, Ralph van Dijk, Rosie Siman & Katrina Swett round up week

LIA Creative Conversations 2013: Final Day

London International Awards 2013 Creative Conversations were concluded on Thursday before one final day of statue discussion observation.


DDB Worldwide CCO, Amir Kassaei, took to the stage first with one promise: to be brutally honest. "We are not in the ad business. We never have been. We are in the business of making things relevant," he told the 65 attending young creatives. He laid out his advice without beating around the bush. “Don't treat people as customers or market groups", "enjoy the pain", "don't ask for permission; if you believe in it, fight for it", and "winning awards only proves one thing: that you are good at winning awards".


Katrina Lantos Swett, who is President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, pushed the Creative Conversations crowd to not always follow the rules and think outside the box. Admitting that speaking to a room of creatives wasn't really her forte, she used the story of Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish man responsible for saving around 100,000 Jews from Nazi captivity, to, in some ways, mirror what Kassaei had said previously. Wallenberg was famed for knowing no boundaries, always being one step ahead of the Nazi party, and fought for a cause he believed in.


Eardrum founder, Ralph van Dijk, pushed his listeners to get more radical with radio. Among many creatives, radio can be that dreaded brief - no visuals to hide behind and no room for creativity. However van Dijk soon had the room re-thinking any preconceptions they had. He called for an end to the traditional 'voiceover' ad, in which everything is always ‘perfect’. If a listener is going to engage with radio, we need to be using real people that sound like us. "Actors bring words to life. A voiceover just makes it audible," he noted.


Creative Conversations were rounded off with a myth-busting hour from Genius Steals Co-Founder, Rosie Siman. She pushed the room to "call bullshit" when they think someone has given them bad advice. While experiencing her "dream job", working for the agency Translation and supping champers on a roof terrace with Jay Z, a boss of hers tried claiming that "social media was just a fad". Rather than sitting back and allowing it to go unnoticed, she resigned to fight for what she believed in and work with people that shared her passion.


The opportunity to listen, learn and meet the industry’s best on such an intimate level has gone down extremely well with the attending creatives.


Judging will be completed on Saturday and results are set to be released on Monday 4 November.  

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London International Awards - LIA, Sat, 12 Oct 2013 00:35:55 GMT