Words of Wisdom from Tracy Wong

November 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

The inspirational Tracy Wong, of Wong Doody, gave some great advice about advertising in my Creative Strategists class last month:

1. The greatest creative barrier.

According to Wong, your biggest creative barrier is, “your big fat fucking ego!” Your ego will hijack your career if you let it. So learn to let go of your ideas and share them with your team. It’s your ego that hides opportunity and blocks your ideas.

2. The great idea.

It’s 99% strategy. You can’t get amazing ideas without developing a strategy and concept first. When you don’t have strategy behind your ideas, you get things like the Quizno’s rat.

3. What’s you greatest creative weapon?

Your ears! If you don’t listen to what your client wants, you will never get anywhere. And how will you ever learn from the talent that sits right across from you, in the office, if you never listen? You won’t. Knowledge talks. Wisdom listens.

4. Embrace compromise.

Learn to compromise with your client and the people you work with. You will probably never completely agree with your client, but learning to compromise with them is a must.

Learning to compromise with the people you work around is also important. If you can’t communicate and compromise with the creatives, planners and/or managers, the work you produce will be mediocre in comparison with a team that knows how to compromise.

5. Engage in the democracy of good ideas.

“There is no “I” in team, but there is in “prick.”” Anything is possible as long as no one cares who gets the credit.

6. Love your client like you love your dog.

I know, a little hard to imagine, right? Well, it’s true. You need to genuinely care about your client and what they want, or the work you produce for them isn’t going to work out. The relationship with the client is everything. Know what keeps them up, tossing and turning in the middle of the night. “Listening creates trust, which kills fear.” Once you’re able to kill the fear, your client will let you do more of the work that you want to do, and will trust you to do it right.

Wong’s take away: “Advertising operates at its best when it blurs the line between entertainment, culture and advertising.”


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