Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Peter Brennan is an award-winning graphic designer with a successful career and great education, who will selflessly share his experience and knowledge with the audience at this year’s Play Media Day 05 online conference. He is the founder and creative director of the agency “Electric And Analog”, he has 20 years of work in the creative industry on 3 continents, and he worked with clients from all over the world. The work he does has brought him a lot of amazing situations – and the most interesting ones he will share at an online conference on June 5th.
How did you get into your current field of work? Did you always want to be in it?
Brennan: Growing up as a kid in England, my dad was an alcoholic who was abusive towards my mum, and my escape was picking up crayons and drawing. I moved to South Africa when I was 9 years old and excelled at art class, and then studied Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing at College as soon as I finished school. This was 1998 and it was the days of using Macromedia Freehand and Quark Express on a beige coloured Power Macintosh G3 tower that had a mind-boggling 4GB hard drive. I was 17 years old. I loved being able to take ideas from pen and paper to a computer screen, and exploring the possibilities of creativity. I studied Marketing & Business Management the following year, and then got my first job at a successful South African advertising agency called International Concept Organisation (ICO). It was full of uber cool creative people that I respected and admired so much. People like Shane Small, Clint de Goede, Pete Bircham, Paul Zeidler, and run and owned by Neville Trickett, Glen Cherry and Paul Kraus. I was by far the youngest person in the business and I was affectionately given the nickname “Kippy”. My first job at the agency was to make tea for the senior creatives. Daily. I was like Tea Boy, but I soon got promoted to being in charge of deep-etching t-shirts from product shoots for one of our biggest clients, a clothing retailer called Mr Price. I remember Shane and Clint would come back from a product shoot in the studio and they’d hand me a CD with over 1,000 raw images on them. My job was to get rid of the backgrounds and provide transparent .png’s that the team could then use to design catalogues and instore POS. I loved it. I eventually moved up into designing smaller jobs like flyers and brochures, and I just couldn’t get enough of being at that agency. There was an epic culture of amazing creative people and a real sense of camaraderie. It was the first time I’d been part of a proper team at a company, and we all became genuine friends too. These days the ICO alumni is spread out all over the world, but we still keep in touch and I often think about those days as it was, without doubt, the job that made me realise that I wanted to make a career in the creative industry.
Can you tell us more about “Electric And Analog” company?
Brennan: Of course. Electric And Analog is an independent brand, content and design studio. We transform brands to drive sales and make people & companies better. We work with innovative startups, individuals, and internationally recognised brands to solve problems through creative thinking and execution. Our sweet spot is helping reinvent brands in order to make them profitable, future-proof and relevant. We’ve created a 6-step, 6 week process to creating what we call “an electric brand”. An electric brand is a brand that connects with it’s audience on an emotional level, drives sales, and makes the company and the people that work there better. Once we complete the rebrand process, we move into producing assets like websites, brand films and brand imagery. We run Electric And Analog around a few simple truths: Firstly, be nice. It’s not hard to be a good person, and in turn, be a good company. Secondly, we have a belief that an innovative idea surrounded by the right mix of creative and technology gets business results. That’s why we exist.
How COVID 19 is impacting marketing performance and how clients and brands adjusting budgets?
Brennan: It’s a strange thing to say, and I’m conscious of this coming across as a hard sell (which it’s not), but if there was ever a time to reinvent your brand it’s now, whilst the world is essentially in hibernation. We’re a branding agency, not a marketing agency, so I’ll refrain from commenting on marketing performance, but from a branding perspective, we’ve actually seen a big surge in new briefs coming into the agency. It feels like some companies realise that now is a good time to work on brand, so we’re thankfully super busy at the moment, which I’m extremely grateful for. And at the end of the day, our job is to create memorable brands that cut through the clutter and get noticed, so now is in fact a great time to do that. When Covid-19 first started to become a real concern, I reached out to a number of people on Linkedin who I consider to be “virtual mentors”. These are essentially people who have more experience than me in running a creative business, particularly through a downturn in the economy. I spoke to six senior creative industry mentors, and they all said the same thing: If you can cut your costs and survive this period, whilst providing value to your community, you’ll thrive when we come out of it on the other side. With this in mind, we’ve taken an approach of trying to add genuine value to our current and future potential clients. Now is not a time to sell and try and hit targets and KPI’s. Now is a time to help and provide real and actual value. The knee-jerk reaction of most people and businesses in a time of crisis is to freeze spending with the view of trying to survive, but if you run a business that can provide genuine value, and you can really help your clients, then there’s a conversation to be had. And I think the more we can be “business as usual” the better. The part that has to change is the approach to the client. Instead of selling, we need to be really helping. It’s simple, if you do something for someone that gives them a genuine return on their investment, why wouldn’t they spend money with you?
The biggest professional achievement and biggest professional challenge?
Brennan: I feel like I’m a few years away from talking about professional achievements. I mean, there’s been little wins over the years. From creating a 3D photo app with my brother, Martin, and taking it to the world stage at Web Summit, to starting Electric And Analog. We’ve hustled our way through that and learnt so much in the process. I think there’s really something in just starting projects and see where they go. For the last two years we’ve been working on a non-alcoholic beer called Heaps Normal that we’ll be launching in the next couple of weeks. I’m really excited about that.
In terms of the biggest professional challenge, it would have to be parting with my ex-business partner last year. Parting ways with someone in business is hard. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it left me exhausted, bitter and burnt out. That affected my work and my business, and put us into a bad place as a company. Thankfully I have an incredible support network around me of people who helped me through it. I always say that everything happens for a reason, so no matter how hard it might seem when you’re in the middle of a situation, having faith that it’s meant to be that way and that there’s something better for you just around the corner sometime makes it an easier pill to swallow.
What trends in marketing are you anticipating after COVID 19?
Brennan: Well I’ll be glad to see the end of every company in the world saying ‘We’re here for you’. That was crazy. All those creative minds out there and almost every single corporate is sending the same message. What a wasted opportunity. I think what Covid-19 has done is turn peoples’ bullshit detectors on, and I think brands and businesses need to really be aware of this. Consumers will think twice or three times before making a purchase now, and they’ll be more cautious, more aware, and more alert of what they’re being sold. But it goes back to what I mentioned earlier – if you genuinely add value to people’s lives, then they should purchase your product or service. It’s up to companies to (1) engage their target audience on an emotional level so that those consumer feel aligned with that brand, and (2) just really add value so that people make an informed and conscious decision to invest in what brands are trying to sell to them.
What will you talk about on Play Media Day online conference?
Brennan: I’ll be sharing my 2020 keynote called ‘Startup. Burnout. Take Over the World’. It’s a candid and honest report of my life and career in the creative industry. I share 5 lessons learnt before starting a design agency, and five lessons learnt since starting a design agency. I’ll also share some tools and resources on how to be a better creative and a better person. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the Play Media Day audience.
More about the event, tickets and speakers is available at https://playmediaday.com/en/home/ as well as on the social media Play Media Day.
Communication is endless!