Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What CP+B Has Taught Me



My time at CP+B is coming to an end. It has been intense, long, exhilarating, too short, fun, challenging, easy, tiring, amazing, and very real. I have learned far more than I desired and missed out on too much. It’s these crucible types of experiences that are never forgotten. I hope my notes have given a peek to those who want to see what this place is all about. Below I will try to summarize much of what I have learned for those who missed out.

Before I get to the summary, I wanted to address something I mentioned to some friends. A few weeks ago CP+B had a few all-agency meetings in which Alex, Chuck, Jeff Steinhour, and a few BK big dogs spoke. I took notes and by request intended to post what was said. I want to apologize to those who are expecting these notes and explain why I have decided to withhold. It’s like many experiences in life that can only be understood by being there yourself. Working at CP+B is like this. You really can’t grasp how hard they work, how strong their culture is, or how much energy is within the walls without working there yourself. So I have chosen to keep the events of that meeting to myself, so they remain as inspiring as they were the day they happened.
If this disappoints you I have some advice of my own, work on your book, make a contact, and apply for an internship at CP+B around April. Like CP+B has shown me, good things come to those who work for them.

Here is an attempt at a summary of what I have learned here at CP+B:

1. A strong culture is what makes CP+B successful. Foster a culture unique to your organization, believe in it, and live it.

2. Advertisers don’t have to back down to every whim of the client. In fact, if you aren’t pushing for what you believe is best you are giving less than what they contracted you for.

3. Say the simple message. The strategy, nothing more. (Thanks Paul K.)

4. Most agencies don’t get as much recognition as CP+B because they don’t work as hard. Believe it, I’m not exaggerating.

5. Working too hard inside all the time can make all the work look alike, and push even the most creative to quit.

6. Making boundaries between the youngest creatives and the most experienced creatives can be really annoying when you believe in the principle that the idea is boss.

7. CP+B truly believes the idea is boss.

8. Do something that relates to culture, or even better creates it.

9. There is a reason behind all the madness of CP+B. Don’t believe it? Compare the cost of rent in Miami to the cost of buying in Boulder.

10. Don’t pay attention to haters.

11. While some egos do exist at CP+B, nothing gets in the way of the work getting out.

12. Everyone is busy. Everyone helps.

13. Communication could be much better if everyone listened to the traffic department.

14. Do something courageous, bold, and brave.

15. Alex is not a robot. He is somewhat of a genius. If you have ever wondered if he really deserves the attention, know that I personally witnessed his wisdom and it comes because he is a real person.

Thanks to all who gave these entries even half of a wink,

Concept Hunter

8 comments:

Seth said...

This post is definitely not sucking.

jausetgoen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jausetgoen said...

My comments. By Stephen Winston.

Besides the harsh words in the second paragraph (you know, the "get your own freaking internship and maybe I'll let you see my notes" section), I am under the impression that you have enjoyed your time at the Crispin Porter. From your list it appears that you have drank from the fount of CP+B Kool-Aid and I feel that is Crispin's greatest asset. Creative brainwashing (in a good way). Now these observations are based on what I have read, heard, and seen in others. I have never been to Crispin Porter, and subsequently will never be able to see your notes, but I have enjoyed your play by play analysis of your visit. I would like to clarify two points. First, ever ad agency believes that the idea is "boss." Or at least they should. It is in no way proprietary to Crispin Porter. Second, there is an old adage that says, "Excuse me miss, but your strategy is showing." What I am trying to say is that Crispin does a fine job of putting a creative spin on the usually boring strategy found on a brief. Advertising is not stating the strategy in the form of a tagline, but rather embracing every aspect of what you are trying to communicate through your "idea." Other than that, VIVA THE CONCEPT HUNTER!!!

PS: It was I who deleted a post. Typos cannot be tolerated, EVER!

Concept Hunter said...

Mr. Winston,
You always have the best of comments. May I make one retort. Every agency does "believe" that the ideas is boss. It's just an overused Ad world saying.

Not many believe enough to live by it.

Occasionally at CP+B the intern's idea beats out all the other creatives' ideas. No beaurocratic walls, just ideas.

-Concept Hunter

Becca said...

I may not have commented much on your CP+B posts, but I have read them, and I have hopefully learned some second-hand Crispin knowledge.

Thanks for always pushing us to be better than we think we are.

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