Dan Johnson writes:

No, this isn’t the start of a poorly conceived joke (although it was very amusing at times) this was the first day of a global creative workout we attended in Zurich on behalf of a US agency working for a Japanese client developing creative platforms for a global pharma brand.

Global creative has become ubiquitous over the last decade and with it an often perceived lack of creativity – due in part to the need for easily translatable messages and generic images that will work in the many diverse markets across the world.

Sitting round a very large table in a Zurich hotel on that first day was a mixture of client, sales, marketing, account and creative people from at least ten countries all of whom had travelled to Zurich specifically to attend the workout.

The first half-day was taken up with introductions and an open discussion about the task before us and what each person’s take was on the issues in hand. After this the creatives and the rest went their separate ways and began the task of micro-analysing the brief and developing ideas.

Day two was presentation, discussion and refining of ideas and strategies and finally, after two days we had a wall of ideas that all in the room felt could work globally – these were then taken back to the US for development.

The great thing was that by gathering people from across the world, face-to-face in a room and asking them to discuss a global brief meant that many of the preconceptions about what would and wouldn’t work were either dismissed or, as often happened, a workable alternative was found.

Too often global ideas are developed in one region and then adapted for other countries. In Zurich we produced work as a global community and it really showed when you saw the great variety and quality of what was displayed on the wall at the end of day two.

It was something that we thoroughly enjoyed. We learned a lot, and we can’t wait to do it again.

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