Tobi Ogundipe

Creative Strategist

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Creative strategy consultant; accidental social-entrepreneur; and native Angelino looking for opportunities with innovative brands.



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Posts tagged advertising

DDB NY repurposed the #firstworldproblems hashtag by using a familar cultural phrase to expose an American truth…we complain about stuff that we shouldn’t. End of story. Now go give some kids in Africa clean water you overpriveleged complainer! 

No, but in all seriousness. Clean water is crucial for poor populations in Africa. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see first hand how so many health related issues (e.g.hypertension, diabetes, stomach worms, chronic diarrhea, infected wounds) could all be cured or seriously diminished with access to clean water.

So yeah, share on FB and Twitter but more importantly, skip one of your 2-3 beers and donate

*Side note* Is it just me or do you wish the website was just a bit better. Less static, more interactive. I’m guessing it’s a non-profit effort so funds may be scarce to say pay the agency to re-do the website. Having worked in non-profit marketing for a little bit, I myself sometimes forget that you’re still selling something and if you’re targeting Americans to dig into their pocket and give then you still have to move people to action by providing eye catching, tear jerking, and/or ethos bleeding content. 

My man Batali couldn’t have said it better. This is what makes me love cooking and advertising. Completely different fields but Mario Batali is right; There is something so refreshing about simple ingredients coming together and making your mouth water for more. His idea of great food makes me think of the Google spots. Even though the technology is probably crazy complicated for the average person, the Google spots are so…simple. The Nike spots Find Your Greatness and Voices…simple. It just a nice reminder that whether its an outfit to wear out, a dish for a dinner party, or a new spot for a client sometimes it is best to pare it down to the key ingredients and




A Whole Lotta Planners

Planners, strategic thinkers, and a sprinkling of creatives made for a pretty awesome two-day mind-stretch fest with Santa Monica beach as our gorgeous backdrop.

All in all Planning-ness was amazing. My favorite sessions were both on the first day: Sharon Lee on understanding and analyzing cultural trends and Rob Perkins on how to scratch an itch. 

I love when speakers come with tangible goodies and not lofty ideas that sound/look good in powerpoint. 

Sharon Lee brought the goodies and a whole lot more as the opening number to my Planning-ness experience. Two treats in particular stand out:

  1. Her trend Analysis “How To” list 
  2. Her chart explaining how Millennials approach life and work and why companies looking to hire younger people need to be at the forefront of the current life culture shift.

Hopefully her deck will be up on the Planningness site soon so you can check out her Trend Analysis how-to but I’d like to highlight the Millennial work/life chart because I feel it’s so indicative of my life right now (see photo above this post).

Rob Perkins came with poignant insight having been a planner and a creative. I think the biggest thing I took from his session was how decks die but storytelling through images and sound has so much more stickiness. The concept of “telling your idea to a stranger” -or your computer in this case- transcribing your words; matching it with images; and then making a V.O video sounds like more work but if you think about it, it’s really just about the same as putting together a deck. Of course putting this concept into practice depends on the type of agency you’re at and the openness of the client. 

Oh…crap. Can’t forget Bud Caddell.

This guy made us play the game Go at like 8 or 9am…I don’t know what time it was all I know is that the coffee I was drinking wasn’t cutting it. But, I really want to get the game even though I sucked at it and the planner I was playing with mercilessly killed off most of my pieces. 

  1. I think the game is a great way to get your brain working and getting your brain to recognize patterns and connections where you might not initially have.
  2. It was a great opening activity to introduce us to the idea of complexity and how it’s not about running away or simplifying complexities but embracing complexities but embracing it and even going at it head-on through collaboration.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quote’s from Planning-ness and a great article to go with it…

Governments [brands, companies] should not be afraid of informed individuals [but of] synchronized groups - Clay Shirkey, SXSW 2011

This #Riot article from the December 2011 issue of Wired Magazine not only dissects the synchronized nature of riots and protests but applies that same synched philosophy to music trends. 

For a quick round-up of this year’s Planning-ness check out Thas Naseemuddeen’s post. (I thought I had a one-up in the “cool name” dept but she has me beat).

Planning-ness 2012

Planning-ness…this week…SO EXCITED!

I agonized over which sessions I wanted to go because every time slot has two amazingg sessions and speakers competiting against each other…grrr. Clearly a well put together line-up. 

But then I realized I should just pick because I can’t be in two places at once and I would learn something new either way. I’ve never been to anything like Planning-ness that puts innovative and creative thinkers and doers in one place and asks them to “get excited and make things.” 

Of course I’ll bringing along my Moleskine but Planning-ness (so I’ve heard) isn’t the kind of conference wheere you sit in a large conference hall and take endless notes and go about your way…it’s all about the interactive learning expeirnece which is the way I learn best so I’m all for it.

I definitely dropped a pretty penny for the tickets (especially for an unemployed 20-something) but I’ll be reporting back to you all if it was worth the 2.5 Benji’s but I feeling it will be.

If you’re also coming to Planning-ness leave a comment or find me on twitter!

Here are the sessions I chose:


Sharon Ann Lee: How to understand and analyze cultural trends

Rob Perkins: How to scratch an itch

Craig LaRosa: How to design a service

Daniel Berkal: How to be a social butterfly


Bud Cadell: How to Play Go … And Navigate Real World Complexity

Andreas Weigend: How to leverage social dat

Fran Hazeldine/ Pelle Sjoenell: How to navigate the creative / planner relationship

Brad Haugen: How to create celebrityrad Haugen: How to create celebrity

The Nature of The Pitch

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post on AMC’s new show The Pitch. Besides the fact that I make a milli-second appearance in the show I just feel that the show didn’t not do the profession of advertising any justice. Wong Doody Crandall Wiener, the agency I was interning with at the time, came up with a total of three solid campaigns - only one of which was actually shown on the show. 

Such is the nature of television…the real story is left on the editing floor.

I did make it a point to monitor the twitter chatter from other ad professionals. Lot’s of negative which is fine but if you’re going to trash a whole agency why not check out all the material first. Totally get if you feel like you could have come up with something better but look at the whole picture before you put your two cents. But as Tracy Wong said….such is the nature of advertising. So many man hours and ideas never get recognized when it comes to pitch day.

I personally spent 9a-midnight….9am-3am days on the pitch which pales in comparison to the crazy hours our kick ass production team and creatives from LA and SEA pulled. My hats off to them. ‎

Of everything I participated in, out of everything that ended up on TV here’s what I took the greatest issue with: certain people made advertising seem like it was brain surgery. Now, I have the utmost respect for the John Jays and pioneers of the industry but, I know doctors and lawyers…advertising is NOT that hard. Sorry. I would never compare what I do to standing on your feet for 36 hours straight repairing someones vital organs. It just doesn’t compare. And that’s not to say that a world class surgeon could come have come up with the Apple Think Different campaign. Two different disciplines entirely but I think any true advertiser that doesn’t waste time mired in their own BS would admit that we’ve got it a tad bit easier than a surgeon or 1L law student. What bothered me even more is how certain made excuses about taking care of certain things at home on their profession. Maybe for that personal but I personally witnessed THREE colleagues -all in their mid to late 30s- juggle kids under 5, their accounts, and traveling for new business pitches. They came into work looking amazing every morning, full of energy, and always adding to the team, all with no excuses. Yeah sure, from time-to-time they cut out early but I didn’t bat an eye because I knew how much they added to the team…even answering e-mails into the dead of night after putting their little one’s to be: taking a page out of Sheryl Sandberg’s book and showing the young one’s how it’s done. 

That was a little rant-ish but it has been bugging me since the pre-season sneak preview. 

For the record, the pitch process was exhausting but so much fun. It’s the time where you see what your co-workers are made of, the time that the agency teams come together and bond. It shakes up the monotony of routine client work and forces you to stretch, grow, and frequently - fail. 

Also, yes…Tracy Wong is as bad ass as he looks. I mean who else wears a yellow tie and shoes to a pitch? I don’t think I could even pull that off.

So yes, bad ass yet incredibly humble and approachable for an industry vet with his name on the masthead. 

I will leave you with a quote from one of my WDCW colleagues.

Something to put it all into perspective. 

21,000 man hours
1,680 hours filmed
2,100 cups of coffee
150 subway sandwiches
84-page background deck
25 people on the team
14 days of work
8 “creative” brains
5 producers
3 Seattle team members in LA
3 campaigns presented
1, 60-minute pitch
10 minutes of “The Pitch”

Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, #ThePitch

The Furlough

So it’s been a month since I last posted and so much has gone down in the last 30 days it’s astonishing. But this is a blog not a memoir so -as always- I’ll try to keep it short and sweet….

Ciao WDCW!

My last post was right around the time I ended my planning internship at WDCW. It was 3.5 months of constant pitches and new and exciting work. Somehow I always end up at places where I get thrown right in. 

But I shouldn’t say “somehow” because that is what I look for in every opportunity. A chance to get my hands dirty and learn immensely along the way. 

I met some amazing people and had some great growth opportunities while I was there and I am better for it which is what you would want to say about any period in your life so no complaints here!

Hellooooo NY!

After that it was two weeks of prep for my trip to NY. So phone calls, e-mails, and more e-mails trying to pin down a crash spot and info interviews during my week long stay in NY.

In seven days I increased my network by about 30 people, learned the NY transit system (which is not hard at all but initially overwhelming), got to see three VERY different parts of NY, and learned the importance of connecting with anyone and everyone even if you don’t see yourself working at that particular company.

Increasing my network:

The ad biz is small…really small…painfully small so it’s best to be at least polite but deinitely impressive when you meet new people in the ad biz. And by impressive I don’t mean laundry listing everything you’ve ever done or acting like you’re the hottest thing to hit advertising since the original VW Beatle. I mean, having a position that you can defend about how you approach advertising, what you’re passionate about, and how that makes you a unique candidate. If you can steer an interview/informational interview to be more like a conversation and less like a interview, I have learned it is always to your benefit. 

So how much of a network increase? Well I knew all of say four people in NY based advertising before setting foot in NY. One of them I didn’t e-mail, two didn’t respond, and one did. 33% success rate? NOT BAD! Of course there were countless others who connected me to someone who connected me to many someones and so on but it turns out that one person connected me with more people than anyone else I spoke to/conectred with in regards to landing an ad gig in NY. 

Amazing isn’t it? 

My NY ad network went from eseentially 3 to 30 in a matter of two weeks. 

What was surprising in all of this is that I received help from a lot of people I didn’y expect to get help from and the people I thought were excited to help me never even responded. 

So cast your net and cast it wide…REALLY wide because you never can tell what/who will catch.

Headed to Africa

In the midst of killing my feet and calfs in NY, I was also fundraising for my medical mission trip to Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Through my CrowdRise page I have been able to fundraise over half of the $3000 cost for me to go. All donations from friends, family friends, and complete strangers. 

Not really sure how my connection will be in CAR but I will try to post while there. 

I’ll post more about my trip to CAR and NY this week. 

What a hot new target market, Gillette

Facial Hair Trio

If you don’t know much about me because you may have never actually met me yet so graciously decided to follow my tumblr and read my musings (thank ya kindly)…

you should know this:





Looooooooove it! 

But I should clarify. When I say facial hair I don’t mean…

Now I usually don’t use my blog to dictate my preferences in men which is why that is not the point of this post.

The point?

Gillette is launching a new shaving device, keenly targeted to the 40% of men who style their facial hair. Men who “want to create a look on their face as an expression of their identity.”

Now, as a budding planner I could dissect this new product and talk about fashion trends and general cultural trends that lead men to take special care with their facial hair and muse on whether that 40% are men who also take special care into the clothes/brands they wear, and so on.

But i’ll be honest, I’m more interested in the leading gents they chose for their new campaign. To bring their stylish facial wear to life they chose Gael Garcia Bernal (yum x1000), Andre 3000 (always one for an eclectic and fresh sense of style), and Adrian Brody (who I usually don’t care for but surprisingly looks quite dashing with long dark hair and an expertly trimmed mustache and goatee). 

Yeah, that really wasn’t about advertising…

I tried. 

Is “The Pitch” Really Worth It?

I came across this article from a TalentZoo e-mail and it really made me think about the resources that are used in excess during the pitch process. 

Now being an advertising newbie I always looked at the sheer amount of man hours used for a new business pitch as an industry norm. All hands on deck, employee bonding, trying to shell out your best work in two minutes-kind of process. The pitch process is fun, exhilirating, and thorougly exhausting; which is fine but what happens when you don’t win? What happens to the accounts that were pushed aside for a week while everyone hopped on the new biz train? 

I would guess this is especially taxing for smaller agencies who are trying to grow their brand/agency. 

Thinking strictly as a business owner, I have to think about how much those flights, tissue sessions, and countless presentations eat into the bottom line. 

Now I don’t profess to know the answer nor am I advocating for a strict “no-pitch” policy as the writer of the Talent-Zoo piece seems to be. 

Of course there are many more factors that I have not addressed and some I can’t address because I’m not in a VP, SVP, Partner, or CEO position. But here are some I would consider:

  • Bigger/older shops like Saatchi, Ogilvy, DDB, etc. have holding companies they can pull from in the event of a large pitch but with that - one would assume - comes red tape, differences in agenda, etc.
  • If you don’t have a holding company to pull from but have major “street cred” to rely on like say Wieden & Kennedy, you can use your volume of work and ability to attract excellent talent from a host of creative and analytical fields to offer your services to brands before they even know they need it - so to speak. Even with the recent unfortunate loss of the Target account, W+K is still very much a heavy-weight in the ad world and can still use it’s catalog of excellent work to approach innovative, forward thinking brands. 

But everyone had to start from somewhere right? So what do you do when you’re a small fish trying to play with the big fish?

To be honest, I don’t have the answer and I’m not really sure there is one right answer for the advertising industry. It’s definitely a high-pressure, high-stakes business to be in but then again, what industry isn’t? 

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