CAMP is a Calgary-based conference celebrating the art and technology of creative storytelling. It brings together artists, designers, developers and plenty of just plain weird people. Knowing we’d be in good company, part of the Chatterson crew attended.
Aside from always looking for new things to learn and apply to our creative endeavours at Chatterson, we also wanted to see if our approach to creative marketing and advertising lines up with how other thought leaders in the industry are tackling challenges leading up to 2020. Good news. We’re definitely on the right track.
Below find our top three favourite talks given at CAMP 2019 and how they reinforce the Chatterson approach to real estate marketing and advertising. (Plus two more we liked too).
Principal Creative Director
I Think I Have Imposters Syndrome,
But It Might Be Someone Else’s
Who He Is:
Xerxes Irani is the principal creative director at Amazon Music. Over his decades-long career he’s worked for brands in markets around the world, managed creative teams on three continents, and helped guide the brand positioning for the estates of Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr, Albert Einstein and Alfred Hitchcock.
What He Said:
Know what you bring. Know your value. Keep bringing it.
There are five types of design imposters:
- The Perfectionist: They have excessively high goals, filled with the self-doubt that they won’t measure up. Their fear of failure is high, and they can’t delegate.
- The Superman/Superwoman: They push themselves hard to feel like they measure up to the competition. To keep up their hard-working appearance, they’re at the office first and last even if there’s no work to do.
- The Genius: They have a fear of working hard because it means it doesn’t come naturally. They don’t feel like they need a mentor.
- The Individualist: They have a fear of help, and of asking for help.
- The Expert: They have a fear of being exposed as a farce, and always feel like they need more training.
Find what you’re good at, what you hate doing, and what you like doing. Say no to what’s not in your wheelhouse, and spend energy on what is. As a perfectionist, the work might not live up to your standards, but it’s not for you, it’s for the client. Pick and choose which of your projects deserve the extra work.
Why We Like It:
Xerxes’ talk provided an important reminder that many, many people in a range of creative disciplines suffer from imposter syndrome and question their own self-worth, talent and abilities on a daily basis. The more out in the open these kinds of feelings are, the more we can combat them, and help more people succeed in their creative careers.
And his message about focusing your efforts on what you’re good at and ignoring the rest lines up perfectly with Chatterson’s recent decision to refocus our service offering on the real estate industry. We launched eleven years ago with the goal of being the best boutique real estate marketing agency in Canada, and this year we decided to double down on that approach, taking on more real estate clients than ever before, so we can stick to what we’re best at.
Inventor & Artist
Who He Is:
Dhairya Dand is an award-winning researcher, designer and engineer currently running a futurist lab in NYC called ODD Industries. His work investigates the human body as a medium for computation, new materials as a tool to embody interactions, and design as a vehicle for mindfulness.
What He Said:
Dhairya’s projects all have a bit of humour in them because he believes: “Ideas come from humour.” The work he showed at CAMP was all displayed in conjunction with feelings to connect his projects to CAMP’s theme of mental health awareness.
- His first invention came from a joke between his friends. In India, you must wait in line for everything, but you can bribe people to get ahead in line. He helped develop an app for rating the people you bribe to get ahead, complete with info about how much to bribe them. Like Yelp for bribes. Close to half a million users downloaded the app before it was shut down.
- This physical flower analyzes real-time tweets to measure if the world is happy or sad, and either blooms or droops in conjunction.
- He missed his girlfriend while they were living apart so he developed a furry, robotic pet that can mimic human emotions. The more you interact with it, the more it learns and can remember your past interactions. The Lovotics robot can identify humans, sense touch intensity, and interpret the emotions in your speech. Plus it lights up, moves around and gives audio cues too.
- He missed how the people in his village in India were more present, they didn’t have their heads in their phones. He developed insoles that tickle your feet to give you directions, and they know what you like so when you’re in a new place they’ll tickle you to go to places you might not see. It eliminates the need to have your head in Google Maps so you can have your head up and enjoy the world, and even remember to stop for groceries.
Dhairya’s biggest takeaway for the CAMP crowd was this:
Learn to look at different situations in the world and figure out how to give them a twist, see them from a different angle. Out of that comes the possibility for a clever invention or idea.
Why We Like It:
Being told to look at the world’s problems and seek solutions that impact everyone is a good reminder that our work doesn’t ever exist in a vacuum. Chatterson’s best work flies well outside the realm of traditional advertising like print and billboards. Our work for community clients often propels us into the world of guerilla advertising and experiential marketing – from branded bikes found in unusual places, to pop-up sales centres in malls, our projects always impact the real world.
Plus, Dhairya made shoes that tickle you, and that is whimsical as hell.
UX Lead and Manager
Say Yes and Figure It Out Later
Who She Is:
Hilal Koyunco is a designer and front-end developer, the UX Lead and Manager at Google, and the creator of wearable technology and smart-home solutions that help people. She makes really cool stuff.
Like “Contextual Smartwear”
What She Said:
Hilal’s talk was not simple but her big takeaway was: “Say yes and figure it out later.”
People who say no:
- Think they can’t be successful
- Are scared of the unknown when the details aren’t flushed out
There are two general types of mindsets:
- Fixed (They’re only good at certain things)
- Growth (Believe they can learn anything)
The most important element of a project is the vision. Define the vision, then figure out what the best medium is later. And consult with experts when you need to.
Why We Like It:
Hilal reminded us that you can miss opportunities by saying “I don’t know how to do that,” instead of saying yes and working through it. You need to find the right medium, collaborate with others, but be aware you’re taking a risk and that you’re going to have to put a lot of work in. But with risk comes reward.
The Chatterson crew’s skill set is diverse, which helps us nimbly respond to client challenges with outside-the-box solutions. Our research team has things to teach our web development team, and the other way around. Our accounts team has insights our creative team may not consider, and vice versa. That’s the value of an agency team over an in-house marketing crew, people with diverse experiences and skill sets coming together to solve marketing problems in novel ways.
While we are unlikely to ever say “I don’t know how to do that,” the Chatterson team always finds the right solution (even if we don’t know what it is at the beginning of the project), and we think that’s pretty close to Hilal’s mantra: “Say yes and figure it out later.”
You can learn more about CAMP 2019 and keep up-to-date on upcoming events by following the organization on social media:
Below are two other speakers we thought presented something interesting:
Anastasa Victor – founder of PLACE, XR research group
Wade and Leta – The creative duo behind NYC based design studio Wade And Leta