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Soldiers. Ballerinas. AdMen.

“How do you think your experience in the Israeli Army has prepared you for life at Saatchi and Saatchi?”

CHRIS VERNON – 06/04/2011 -14:03:20


‘WTF?!’  is exactly what went through my head at  14:03:30 -6/04/2011.

‘How is there any connection between working at Saatchi and Saatchi and my experience in the Israeli army?’ 

Surely they are poles apart?


Final week. Final blog.

6 weeks in.

What a journey.

The first week was a total panic where I was pretty useless if I am to be honest.  I had no clue what the difference was between Account Management and Planning and everything was flying around my head and colliding.

As the weeks have progressed, so did my knowledge, appreciation and curiosity to the world of advertising.

My team have been absolutely amazing immersing me in the brand and spending so much time guiding me through.   It a shame that this programme is just for the summer as it is only in the last few weeks that I have felt that I am giving them anything back.

We are in the business of making love

Everyone is mad busy at the moment.  We are in our 5thweek and we only have until the end of next week to prove our worth to Saatchi & Saatchi.

Throughout our time here we have been spoilt with information.  We have been able to meet and talk to EVERYONE.  Each week we have several ‘Inspirational Sessions’  where us grads are lucky enough to talk with the likes of Robert Senior, Andrzej Moyseowicz, Leigh Thomas and the list goes on and on! 

So instead of preaching how marvellous we are, or how big our creative capacity can be, I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight the main points for those who were not in the room.


Opening up your mind with international competitive reviews

It has been a lengthy process but I have almost finished my international competitive review. And wow, has it opened my eyes. It’s very easy to get swept up in the day to day living of London life; the media, music and messages that bombard us every day. The morning walk to the tube station, flicking through the pages of Metro, what’s in, what’s out. But this week, I started to look at brands in different countries, their messaging and positioning. I went on to read about how the world is changing, much more rapidly in some places than in ‘the West’. I was aware that the relatively stagnant economic growth rates in the West have been superceded by those in the emerging markets but I discovered some facts that rocked my world this week so I thought I would share them… The first 3 come from a paper by Simon Sylvester at Wunderman called ‘How to dominate the world’. If you are interested definitely give it a read …

– 85% of the world’s population live in emerging markets

– Consumer incomes in China, India and Brazil rise by 7% to over 10% each year

– The Chinese economy will soon be bigger than the American economy with Chinese household incomes one-fifth of those in America. India will follow with incomes even lower than that.

– ZenithOptimedia reports that the growth drivers in worldwide advertising are the US followed by emerging markets, Brazil, China, Russia and India.

Clearly there are huge opportunities for marketing and advertising in emerging markets, some of which are already being explored. I would love to give it a go, mainly because of how much you would learn about the different cultures and how quickly they are changing. With these kinds of economic developments, along with those in technology globally, the lives of people in emerging markets are changing at rapid speed – from connectivity to their visual surrounding. The skyline in Sao Paulo is said to be unrecognizable to that 10 years ago. There are also differences between the mentality of consumers in emerging markets and those in the West… I came across some really interesting ones, one of which was the difference in cultural ‘Zeitgeists’ which the Wunderman paper highlighted – it’s ‘glass half full’ vs. ‘glass half empty’; optimism vs. pessimism. For many in the West, the last 20 years have been very turbulent with bubbles and bursts with unemployment a looming reality…leaving consumers with feelings of angst, caution and vulnerability. But for many in emerging markets, the last 20 years has seen people work their way out of difficulties, being liberated from hardship and seizing opportunities for many to create an easier way of life. The ‘Zeitgeist’ is much more optimistic – it is a different mentality.

It would be great to be able to work in one of these markets in the future and see what exciting work comes out of them as more agencies focus on these markets. Definitely on my to do list!

@Goodge Street Station. Connecting People with God.

@Goodget Street Station. Reading John Hegarty’s new book ‘Hegarty on Advertising: Turning Intelligence into Magic’. Learning about the industry. ‘I work in advertising, I don’t live in advertising’ is what Hegarty said. Work-life balance. Applause. If you get past the cheesy title (Hegarty said he originally wanted to call the book ‘Don’t Read this Book’ with a big X on the cover), Hegarty seems to have some stories to tell.

Humpty Dumpty is a Fraud


Week one was an introduction.  Now in week four, we have been given our tasks, the intensity is growing and we also have taken it upon ourselves to grab opportunities.

Sometimes you feel that you’ve got it totally under control and then in one massive swing, BANG everything is in the sh*t.  Timelines change from next week to tomorrow morning, you miss a meeting and that big project that you have been working on has just changed in what seems like five seconds.  All those late nights, fears, leaps of creativity are out the window.  

Yesterday I missed a talk by the grads of last year.  Me who is very organised and never late.  Ultimate fail.  I have never been in a situation where the whole floor suddenly collapses and you have to piece it back together.

Food For Thought….

My weeks fill of inspiration… I hope you’re hungry!

Risk is the price of progress

Great ad campaigns come from clients and agencies who are prepared to take a risk. Who better to look to for inspiration than the guys at NASA who last week made their final touchdown in the shuttle, completing 30 years and 135 of the riskiest voyages around?

After watching Channel 4’s documentary on the subject last Saturday, I was left totally in awe of what has been achieved and very inspired. (Not to mention, a little bit obsessed with space…if anyone reading this has been to space then I would LOVE to talk to you!)

There were many things that I found inspirational as I am starting my career, one of which was the idea of embracing failure.

A small slice of Advice

I left 80 Charlotte Street at 0010 today. It’s becoming a common occurrence.

I never thought I’d get used to sleeping 5 hours a night. I’m getting there now. It’s not necessarily the workload. It’s that I work better on some things in the dark, when it’s quiet in the city.

I walked down Charlotte Street, and just outside the Tesco was a man, standing still, wearing no shoes. Another guy approached him, pointed at his bare feet and began talking to him in different language.

“You need shoe?” he finally said in heavily accented broken English.

“It’s OK man, it’s a long story”

Without further inquiry, the second man shrugged and walked off.

I carried on my way, relishing the brilliant little scene that had just played out . I was tired, but I smiled at the way the man had reached out and tried to help.

All of this got me thinking about my next article. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt at Saatchi’s so far. Everyone has been giving us guidance on how to be effective, how to be a good suit, how to add value, and how to be a player in the advertising game overall. I wanted to share some of their advice and a slice or two of my own home made stuff as well. But first of all I wanted to share this well kept secret to success. The most valuable lesson of all. Because without it, none of the other stuff really matters.

Get Organized. Anticlimax perhaps, but do it and it will save your f***ing life out here. If you aren’t organized from the first move, everything suffers thereafter. It becomes a sick little game of deadline dominoes where everything keeps getting knocked down and knocked back just because you let the first one slip. I’m learning that the hard way for now. It’s past midnight and I’m at the office still. Work better in the dark my arse.

Can You Make It As An Intern? Test Yourself.

Welcome back.

By now you will be right on course to become a true success, it is only a matter of time before you are at the top of the organisation you work for. To make sure you really are on the right route, this week’s blog is a test to see if you have got what it takes.

You can put your answers in the comment box below or email them to

Each entrant will be marked by myself and the highest scorer will have the honour of being interviewed for next week’s blog entry.

It is multiple choice with bonus points being given for more inventive answers.

You are at a staff outing at London Zoo. Due to an admin error, 6 lions have ended up in the elephant enclosure and all hell has broken loose. Your boss has accidentally dropped his Big Mac meal into said enclosure and he wants it, BAD. How do you react?