This spring Fishbowl hosted a live Q&A with BBDO Chief Creative Officer, Greg Hahn. Professionals from all over the advertising industry had the opportunity to ask him questions and hear from his perspective.
Greg Hahn has over 30 years of experience in the industry, with 10 of them spent at BBDO. He has helped the agency earn the title of most awarded agency in the world and has won in shows like The One Show, D&AD, and Cannes. He has also been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company Magazine and listed as a Top 10 Creative Director by Ad Week.
The Q&A provided advertising professionals with a chance to chat directly with a creative leader in the industry and learn from his experience. Greg’s straight-forward and conversational manner helped make his Q&A one of the most popular conversations on Fishbowl in 2018.
Fishbowl’s mission is to make industries and companies more open and connected, and Greg’s Q&A covered many topics that advertising professionals are thinking and talking about constantly, but rarely with industry leaders, particularly in a way that is real and unscripted. Greg shared insightful thoughts on topics ranging from the state of the ad industry in 2018 to wisdom and advice for all ages. Here are some of the standout quotes:
What it takes to be a great Copywriter
(Greg originally started as a copywriter)
“My two-minute ad school: Step 1 – what to say. Step 2 – how to say it. If you’re stuck more often the problem is with Step 1. What are you trying to say? Is it interesting? Many people jump to Step 2 and bang their head thinking of executions. If you know what you need to say the ideas and ways to get that across come a lot easier”
How to stand out as an Account professional
“I’ve always thought Account people should have portfolios. It would have to be an industry thing but I think it incentives Account people if part of their hiring was dependent on the work they helped get made. In general, I would say account people take as much pride in the work and feel vested as the creatives.”
If you’re wondering if awards matter
“The award system is 30 miles from perfect. Great work gets passed over for a lot of arbitrary reasons. In general though, great stuff rises. I think the big benefit to winning an award is exposure. So having said that, there are a lot of way now to gain exposure for your work. Industry blogs like Adweek get viewed by more people than the award sites.
The reason I think exposure is so valuable is because when I get a book if I see something I’m familiar with and like it, I’ll remember that person more. I don’t care when I saw it or if it won an award, I just instantly give weight to something is good and has some degree of fame.”
Greg on the value of data to the creative process
“I think data can be a really useful tool to get to surprising and counterintuitive work. But it’s just that, a tool. It’s the map, not the road. You need creative minds to interpret it and form to something human. Another benefit is that it can be used to sell ‘risky’ work.”
If you’re a young professional looking for advice
“I would suggest trying to get on a pitch. It’s a chance to get in the foxhole with senior people. It moves fast and great ideas from anyone are super valued.”
If you’re wondering about the state of the ad industry in 2018
“When I started it was all about tv and print. With that, you had a lot of time to concept and think. Today it’s all become fragmented, more content to create less time to do it. This isn’t a bad thing. You get to make more stuff. You just sleep less.”
Fishbowl lets junior professionals connect with industry leaders in conversations extremely similar to this one. We loved having Greg Hahn conduct a conversation, you can find the Q&A here by tapping on this link from your phone: https://joinfishbowl.com/RGH2YOrydM