By Mary Kerr
The Importance of Communication
I remember the first few days at SCA, I felt like I had been plugged back into life after years of feeling creatively directionless. It’s full on hard work, non stop but I don’t think anyone who does it would ever regret it. It’s like plugging back in and switching on to a new rewired brain – a new way of thinking that can never be turned off.
To suddenly understand that the strange photos you’ve taken over the years as you walked around different cities or the songs that you become obsessed with, are all dots waiting to be connected. That’s amazing. To learn how people tick and do what they do. That’s amazing. It’s all amazing until you’re in the half way stage and you step back into the real world and have to communicate with people outside of the ad school bubble. That is where the biggest challenge begins.
I’d love to see a montage of all the different situations I’ve tried to wangle an insight out of someone over the past year. At weddings talking to the mother of the bride about fairy liquid. At funerals talking about the stigma around female mensuration. At a gynaecological appointment talking about freederm spot cream.
So I felt a shift this weekend when I was at a wedding and really switch off. I don’t know if it was by choice, if my brain just shut down or that I just have slid into a new groove. I just liked hearing the chattering of village gossip and who it turns out is who’s father. It was when I told my husbands half sister’s other half brother – so my half-half brother in law by marriage (big family) – who used to be a creative director at Mother what I was doing he said – why are you doing that? Weren’t you making films? It got me thinking again about creativity and communication.
Most people, like him, move into films and music videos after being a creative. They want to move people in a different way on a bigger scale. I’m going in the other direction – as usual! But I think in truth both industries are as samey and as tough as each other. I thought I’d want to ask him 101 questions but we just smiled and wished each other luck on our journeys and for one night I forgot. I wasn’t up fighting with Photoshop or researching dishwashers, I realised that whatever creativity you are consumed by, putting your brain on sleep mode is just as important as the intense creating.
It’s been an intense few weeks with Karolina who I do enjoy working with, but partnering up later than other teams can feel like playing huge catch up, and there’s so much to do it can be hard to know where to focus to progress in the best way. I think our ideas are getting stronger it’s just about nailing the communication side now. Not just in the campaigns themselves but how we communicate the campaign in our portfolio.
I laugh sometimes when I remember I’m at the School of COMMUNICATION Arts as I am not known for my articulation most of the time. A girl I met in Leon the other day asked me about a petition I’d started to get Amazon Alexa learn about periods. She loved the idea and asked what platforms I was using to “roll it out.” Again it was the one thing I had forgotten to strategise. I have the message – now I have to reach people. Like the time I sent out invitations to my 30th birthday party a month in advance and then never followed it up. Of course no one showed. Well, actually 3 people did, embarrassingly one on the strike of each hour from 7-10pm, each strangely leaving about five minutes before the next one came so it felt like I was the Queen having these strange attendances in this huge caravan in the middle of a bar I’d rented out and had to sit through the whole thing with different waiters constantly coming up to tell me the the section was actually reserved for a party. I would then have to explain that it was, in fact, MY party and this is how I liked to socialise. I can’t use this excuse in advertising. I have to be in charge of getting my message to the right people in the right way. That is what I hope to focus on this week in developing the layout of our new portfolio.