Today is my last as a resident of Paris. A day that closes two chapters of my life. One chapter living and working in Paris - an extraordinary place. The second and more significant chapter being nearly nine years at DDB ending.
Tonight, stepping onto the platform at London's St. Pancras Station, with my wife, will be the first time I walk on British ground as a resident. Though I have always been a citizen it will now also be a home.
On Monday I begin at Saatchi & Saatchi London working on a pan-Euro brand to be shared later. Of course, I would not step across the well worn Nothing is Impossible granite entry tile if it were not for a superb role with a great team and superb leadership.
Admittedly it is with heavy heart but a deliberate choice to leave DDB - time will tell if it is a permanent breakup - but it is the right decision at this time personally and professionally.
I have given a lot of me to DDB and it has given much back exponentially. An infinitely appreciated return entirely at the hands of the people I was fortunate to work with. Most particularly the folks in Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, London and Buenos Aires. They truly hold up to the Bernbach-ism of Talented But Nice.
Our stay in Paris was not as long as originally intended, but leaps of this type in today's environment come with high degrees of uncertainty. As expected it was tough, and while gaining the respect of the French at one of Paris' most Parisian of agency is rather challenging it is superlatively rewarding once gained. We leave having grown as people (yes, I know that sounds lame but its true) and fallen in love with a city and the far reaches of France. We will be back, repeatedly. Not a moment of regret for uprooting from a comfortable gig in North America and I greatly appreciate the DDB Paris team for bringing me in.
To close my DDB life it seemed right to celebrate the work I felt most fortunate to be a part of. I don't generally like talking about my work but I thought it the best way to thank those I worked with on these and every other campaigns totaling over 200 creative and effectiveness awards. This primarily is for those whom I sadly know didn't receive my personal note last month. Sorry about that, but still, thank you. That goes for you too Mr. and Mrs. Clients whom are equally intertwined with all this.
Right then, now, if you are in London - stay tuned for our "Patriation Celebration" coming this fall and some other endeavors for 2012.
Favorite Creative I Was Fortunate to be a Part of and the Shiny Things Most Appreciated:
1. ICBC CounterAttack - (New York Festivals United Nations Award) Firstly it was rewarding to stem, after over a decade of decline, a recent increase in drunk driving accidents. Secondly it was flattering to see a certain car maker and agency in Colorado land of a rather similar execution. Oh and one of the first viral sensations and Canadian ad to break 1 million YouTube views - an impressive number back in 2005 before there was such a thing as "viral style" to ads.
2. The Weakshop - (Cassies best of Show 2010 & 2011) A real product line and retail entity devised for people who don't drink enough to get them to drink more milk. It did that and the hyper-integrated / transmedia / mulit-platform or whatever you want to call it proved the possible incremental gains of not relying on TV. Interestingly, at the Canadian Cassis last year it won be of show as digital films. This year, the same creative was re-edited and ran on TV winning TV best of show.
3. Stolen Car Show - (2004 Cyber Lion) A car show that never happened but for Miss Stolen Car Show to encourage teens to use anti-theft devices. Included through blog characters and MSN Messenger auto-response program what people today call a "social media strategy."
4. Youth Against Gang Violence - (Media innovation awards & CMA gold integrated) A labour of love to combat what tore at us the most about the city we loved - its drug trade and gang violence touching every social strata.
5. Midas Chase - (the 2009 One Show Gold Broadcast Pencil, FailBlog) A campaign to sell winter tires that would never have happened if we didn't propose and succeed in re-investing usage royalties to head office and develop creative based on national insight. This is the campaign I am most proud of and enjoyed the most developing through all the usual hurdles and challenges.
6. Lipton Ice Tea Tokyo Hotel - (Euro Effie Finalist) The reason for my most to Paris and like most international tranfers in advertising they don't bring you in because everything is great and running smoothly. The dancing however, is sharp...