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Who’s better, Janet or Nancy?


Dear Jancy, honest answer ladies: as a game within your company a team of advertisers had to come up with a whole advertising campaign. If you two, Janet and Nancy were spilt and had your own team of advertisers thus making you each team leaders for two different teams…which one of you would have the best campaign? What different leadership skills do you each possess? Honestly I would like you BOTH to answer.

intro Whos better, Janet or Nancy?We’re mostly one brain in two bodies when it comes to having a point of view on what makes a great ad and how to get there. Our styles are a bit different. I’d say Janet is known as “the nice one”. I’m a bit the Ugly American at times, pretty in-your-face. I’d like to think of it as being straightforward, but I’m one of those people who are sensitive about my own feelings but often insensitive to the fragile egos around me. If you lined up all the people I’ve accidentally offended they’d go to the moon or some nearby planet. I’ve become a pro at apologizing as I need to do it so often. Janet is tough but less of a bull in the china shop. (An art director we love calls me “The Shredder”—”I might as well just slide the comps under your door and hear that sound”.)

So, Janet has a calmer, kinder way of inspiring good work out of people. I have a “straightforward” approach. We usually see work together, so really people experience us as a package more often than not. We both believe in a team approach to great work: we expect the creatives to be supportive of each other and seniors to mentor juniors. We also work closely and in a no-bullshit style with our clients, and the agency’s account services people and planners.

We both try to be good listeners and encourage people to hold nothing back. We ask creatives to raise their hands when they’re overwhelmed. We try to keep at least one interesting project in front of every creative from junior to senior, as much as possible. (Why else would they want to be here?). We throw juniors straight in the deep end and try to give them a lot of attention. We push people to do work that’s smart and unexpected. There are some big hits and some disasters in the process. We don’t penalize for failures. Our best clients don’t, either. Sorry for all the ‘we’ stuff, but I’d have to say we’re same- same on all the big issues of leadership.

So who has the best campaign in your scanario? Easy answer. Janet wins the contest. She’s twice as smart as I am.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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