Conversations with Craig (Part 2): A Creative Director’s Perspective

In Conversations with Craig (Part 1), we talked about his journey to Creative Director. Today’s post will be bite-sized snippets of his thoughts on his job, future plans, the industry and more.

With 15 years of experience in advertising, what do you still love about the industry?

I love how it’s always evolving. These days we’ve seen the rise of the mobile and digital era where there’s more to explore. Also, we’re here to be a creative problem solver for our clients. Growing along with brands and watching them go from zero to hero is what drives me.

Nowadays, you hardly see anyone working with an agency for long. What’s your secret to staying loyal?

The problem these days is people job hop. After 1, 3 or 4 years, they hop to explore more options or simply to climb the ladder quicker. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of perspective. My advice would be to take it slow and stay focused on your goal. Sometimes, though, it’s just about the right timing. Being at the right place, with the right people at that particular time. I’ve been blessed in such a way. Loyalty is definitely not staying in your comfort zone because when people get too comfortable, they become complacent. I always tell myself that my journey hasn’t ended yet. I don’t believe in walking away or giving up half way because I want to see how the journey ends. As long as it’s not achieved, I will fight for it.

 What do you love most about being a Creative Director?

Bossing people around. Just kidding! It’s more about being able to guide a team and putting them on the right path. I want my team members to be like me one day. That’s why I hired each one of them after careful consideration. Each of them has a certain skill that complements each other.

What do you dislike most?

I dislike seeing good talent go to waste. In the advertising industry these days, talented people are being disregarded. It’s almost like a pasar malam where creative ideas become an object of bargaining. No one sees the passion and hard work that goes into generating great ideas. We’re here to build their brand and business. If people are willing to pay for medical consultation, shouldn’t it be the same for advertising consultation? It’s pretty sad. If this continues, this industry will be affected and creative talents will be lost.

Let’s talk about team. Has the concept of team changed throughout the years?

There’s no ‘I’ in team. I was the president of the alter servers in Assumption church and captain of Team Underdogs (Inline hockey team). I’ve never believed you can do anything alone. There’s a saying that goes ‘you are as strong as your weakest player’. It’s as simple as that. You’ve got to understand every team player. Know their strengths, weaknesses, background, beliefs and, of course, respecting these differences. As a team leader, you have to know how to make use of these differences strategically. Then there’s teamwork. To me it’s all about bonding. It can be as simple as going for lunch break or having drinks, be it in or out of work, together. At the end of the day it’s these simple things that opens the opportunity for the team to talk and get to know each other better. Up to this day, I can proudly say I’ve managed to keep my team close-knit. I don’t believe in short term relationships. If you are dedicated to the team, then I’ll be dedicated to you and guide you all I can. It’s a two-way thing. My ultimate goal is to find the ultimate team, like The Avengers. The team will be so strong and each member functional in coming up with great ideas together.

What do you think team these days need to stay together?

I guess team these days they need more guidance and dialogue sessions. I realize people these days tend to make hasty decisions when they’re faced with problems at work and instead of talking them out, they’re out the door before you know it.

Creative block is a bane in our industry. How do you stay on top of your game?

A pint of Guinness and a reality check that I’m never the best. You will hit a mental block when things become stagnant and they don’t matter to you anymore. There are always new goals to be set and accomplished. Of course there’s always brainstorm sessions where we come together to hear each other out. Great ideas can spark from there.

Given a chance, would you want to change anything about your journey?

I’ve no regrets at all.

What’s the future plans for you and BnBC?

Who knows what the future holds for BnBC. It could be expanding our business into different countries. I may be the creative director here but next time I aim to be the regional director. What ever it is, I’m hungry to achieve more.




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