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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  ihaveanidea @ VCU’s Executive Education for CDs, Day Two


ihaveanidea @ VCU’s Executive Education for CDs, Day Two

Posted on August 3, 2010 and read 3,818 times

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brettcreditpic ihaveanidea @ VCUs Executive Education for CDs, Day TwoBrett McKenzie
Chief Writer, SBN2
ihaveanidea

To see what happened on Day One, including video of that day’s feature speaker, click here.

I’m not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed that Richmond weather has been pretty close to Montreal weather on this trip. Sure, it’s still early in the day — and early in the week, which promises to end as a scorcher — but when your mind is set on bayou-like conditions, 85 degrees seems like a bit of a let-down.

Breakfast is served at the first full day of Digital Leadership and Management Skills for Creative Directors, with plates piled high with bacon, sausage, ham, egg and cheese croissants, fruit salad and yogurt, as well as a staple of the South, iced tea. Nourishment is going to be important today, as Kelly O’Keefe, Managing Director of the VCU Brandcenter says this will be one of the busiest days of the week.

Before the day’s activities got under way, we snagged Rick Boyko, VCU Grand Poobah, and ask him what he expects out of this week.

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After taking the attendees on a tour of the Brandcenter facilities, Rick began a morning-long session called “The Creative Becoming a Manager”. Speaking from a career and a half’s worth of experience, Rick covered such a breadth and depth of topics that had every participant busily scratching bullet points and notes on their pads. He spoke at length about his time at Ogilvy, his past, present and future plans for the Brandcenter, and how he sees the role of creative director changing in the years to come. Rick challenged his audience to not only shape the storytelling of their client’s brands, but to take control of their own agency’s story. He spoke of imposing ambitious goals, and of being able to finance those goals. When it was all said and done, I think Rick may have scared some of the attendees, but it was that good kind of ‘scared’, the one that inspires people to make the changes necessary to get things done when following traditional protocol simply won’t cut it.

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Rick’s presentation was very extensive, and by the time it was over, lunch was being served. While everyone dug into chicken and roast potatoes, I managed to speak with two of the attendees about how the week was shaping up so far.

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The afternoon featured two presentations by some renowned creatives: first up, Rob Rasmussen, US Chief Creative Officer of Tribal DDB. Prior to this week, Rob invited all attendees to email him with the kinds of topics and questions they’d be most interested in hearing about, and this resulted in his presentation’s theme “Creating and Selling Digitally Centric Integrated Campaigns.”

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(approx. 13 minutes)

Because Rob’s presentation was generated by the questions in the audience, it soon evolved from a lecture to a great big Q&A and discussion period, with many attendees bringing specific issues within their agencies to the table. And at the end of the presentation, Rob unleashed the very first assignment, to be completed by the next morning.

The second presenter this afternoon was none other than über-designer Brian Collins, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of the aptly named COLLINS. Brian gave a very passionate presentation about storytelling, covering everything from the 60s space race to soda, from prescription drugs to petroleum companies and everything in between.

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Unfortunately we were unable to get Brian’s presentation on film, but hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to chat with him one-on-one tomorrow, to expand on some of his thoughts for you all following along at home.

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The long day was capped off by cocktails and dinner at the Jefferson, the crown jewel of the city’s historic hotels. The Brandcenter is only a block away from this institution, and in fact once served as the hotel’s carriage house many years ago.

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By this time, everybody was familiar with one another, and there were plenty of excited conversations all around the room… conversations that eventually drifted to the exquisite food being served, from traditional Virginia peanut soup to various beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes. No complaints from me here, and one really big compliment on the white chocolate addition to a traditional carrot cake dessert.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be the Executive Training Course without a fantastic after-dinner guest speaker, and they surely disappoint. Tonight’s guest was none other than John Adams, Chairman and CEO of The Martin Agency. Perennial creative leader and currently the hottest in the country according to Adweek, The Martin Agency has been a fervent supporter of the VCU Brandcenter since its inception. Tonight, John gave a passionate presentation about what keeps an agency CEO up at night. We captured his talk in its entirety, and you’ll find that you don’t have to b a CEO to share his concerns. You could be a Chief Creative Officer or an art director who just started at an agency a week ago.

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(approx. 35 minutes)

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Again, no late night shenanigans for this group of attendees. With two presentations due the next day, everybody went off to prepare.






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