Tim Pashen's Creative LIAisons Diary: Day 3 - 4

CreativeLiaisons_1.jpgTim Pashen, senior copywriter, The Monkeys, Sydney is representing Australia at the 5th annual Creative LIAisons at LIA in Las Vegas. Here Tim (pictured on far left) reports on day three and day four of the program.

'Turd down for Watt'. If that doesn't immediately sound like a ground-breaking innovative business idea, it's because you weren't part of the Creative LIAisons 'Innervation Lab'.

After 2 days of passive listening, and aggressive note-taking, Day 3 was all about getting our hands dirty with a crash-course in creating entrepreneurial ideas. After being armed with the tools to think like an entrepreneur by Saras Sarsvathy, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia, we had to put this into practice and pitch a business idea to Daymond John (Founder & CEO of FUBU), and star of the US Reality TV Show 'Shark Tank'.
Splitting into teams of 5, we had one hour to crack an idea, which we then had to present live on stage to the Shark himself. Given we were using principles we'd barely learned 5 minutes ago and had never worked with each other before, the ideas generated were pretty damn good.

CreativeLiaisons_2.jpgCreativeLiaisons_3.jpgThe ones I can still remember are a public toilet system that converts poo into power with the puntastic but incredibly hard to forget slogan 'Turd down for Watt' (thanks Lil' John), plus the added kicker of reciting their pitch from a roll of toilet paper, a mobile phone case for music festivals that charges your phone using sound-waves, and a business that allows you to return clothes bought online to charities using the free returns policy of most major online retailers. Clever buggers.

Unfortunately, our team's idea 'Likeminded', a platform that allowed people with new business ideas to raise capital through people donating their minds (advice, skills etc.) instead of money, didn't get off the ground. However, given this was an entrepreneurial work-shop and not a creative department, rather than sobbing in the corner, we were allowed to (metaphorically) buy into a new business. No points for guessing who I went with.

And now to Day 4 and the pointy end of the week. It was on this day that I had to pinch myself (multiple times). I got to sit in on the final award discussions of the LIA Non-Traditional jury, declared by jury chair Mark Tutssel as the standout category of the show. Although this was purely by luck, as I arrived late after getting lost in the labyrinth of pokie machines and bad carpet, and it just so happened to be the last jury of the day to kick off.

CreativeLiaisons_5.jpgThe jury included Josh Moore from Y&R NZ, Dimitri Guerrassimov from Marcel Paris, and Josefine Richards from INGO Stockholm. For those who don't know, these are some of the people responsible for campaigns like McWhopper, The Swedish Number, and the fantastic Intermache supermarket campaigns.

With a diverse set of accents and opinions from around the world, it made for an entertaining and enlightening day of fly-on-the-walling. After a solid 6 hours of whittling down to the work that represented the way forward for the industry, the jury re-convened in the afternoon to finalise their decisions. This was a chance for passionate pleas to vote work up or down, "so that it didn't haunt their collective consciences forever".

The work that did the best not only used technology brilliantly but also expressed a brand's true purpose. Whenever this was flakey, it immediately dropped out of contention. Ideas that didn't have any conflict didn't do too well either, getting a general "yeah it's nice, but it didn't make me feel anything" from the jury.

To make us youngins' feel included we were allowed a dummy vote on the Grand Prix to see if we were thinking the same way as the jurors. Turns out we were. I would love to tell you who won, but this is one thing that will have to stay in Vegas (Oh crap, I just used that phrase).

Before I miss my plane back to Australia, and lose the privilege of writing this diary for good, I must say a big thank you to the people who sent me here. A massive thanks to Scott Nowell and Justin Drape from The Monkeys for nominating me. Thanks to Lynchy, Kim and the team at Campaign Brief for sponsoring the trip and allowing me to clog up the newsfeed between the ads with my ramblings. Thank you to Barbara and Laurissa Levy from LIA Awards for running one of the most altruistic award shows on earth and giving myself and 75 other young creatives from around the world a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It truly was an honour to be here. And lastly, Vegas, thank you for every hangover, laugh, and friend you've helped me make over the last week. Believe it or not I think I'm actually going to miss you.

CreativeLiaisons_4.jpgPs. Ever wanted to know how many young creatives you can fit into a room on the 33rd floor of a pirate-ship themed hotel? About 63. But that's a story for a whole other blog post.

Viva Creative LIAisons.


Tim Pashen is pictured on left in the top photo. With him are several judges from the LIA Non Traditional category - LtoR Josh Moore (Y&R NZ), Nancy Crimi-Lamanna (FCB Toronto), Josefine Richards (INGO Stockholm), Jeremy Craigen (Innocean Worldwide) and Mark Tutssel (Leo Burnett Worldwide).


WOW said:

Look fantastic. How do I apply for next year? Is there a link?

LIA said:

Dear WOW
See this link for full details

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