Fura Jóhannesdóttir

01/09

Global Chief Design Officer

Huge Inc.

Global Chief Design Officer

Huge Inc.

Why innovation?

The world is changing faster than we can keep up with. Technology is changing behaviours, brands are struggling to connect with customers which means that they are falling behind. Many of them need to go back to their brand purpose, find a reason for being and rebuild relationships with their customers. The magic lies in that value exchange between brands and customers – that’s where innovation plays a big role. Brands need to do things differently, focus more on their customers, be bolder, take risk and start leading the way into the future. That’s how they connect!

Why London?

London is a very creative city with lots of theatre, art and design. Creatives from all over the world move here to build their career, be a part of the creative community so it’s quite a diverse crowd. London is at the same time a business centre, not only for Europe but for the world. What makes London really great for innovation is that these two worlds meet here, it’s the intersection of creativity and business. We need these two worlds to innovate, the businesses need creativity, empathy and diversity to solve their problems – the creatives love coming up with ideas and creating something new, never seen before. It’s a win - win for both.

Why now?

Many big brands are facing problems they have never seen before. They are being attacked from many directions, tech giants, start-ups and companies that might be stretching into their territories. The game has changed with the introduction of digital, now the customer has more control, more choice than ever. They need to rethink their businesses, sometimes from scratch. It’s time to jump or die – now.

Gerard Crichlow

02/09

Head of Cultural Strategy

AMV BBDO

London

Head of Cultural Strategy

AMV BBDO

London

Why advertising?

Our industry has the power to move hearts, shape values and influence behaviour. I take that responsibility very seriously because we work with brands with the scale to influence.

Why London?

Any marketer worth their mettle has international experience under their belt. As a native New Yorker I'd spent my entire life with an east coast American mindset. Living in London has afforded me the opportunity to think broadly, experience the world as an outsider and challenge my own perceptions. It's made me more empathetic and hopefully a better communicator.

Why now?

In a world where borders are closing and the debate between patriotism and nationalism is raging, being empathetic to other points of view is a competitive advantage. As marketers we are in a privileged position to be on the front lines of understanding human behaviour and hopefully shaping values for generations to come.

Elle Graham-Dixon

03/09

EVP Head of Planning Global

BBDO

New York

EVP Head of Planning Global

BBDO

New York

Why advertising?

Advertising’s influence on how people feel, think and act is greater than any other medium. People who want to create a fairer world can either turn their back on it, or they can try and harness it for good.

Why New York?

New York irrationally manages to attract more people, and more different kinds of people than any other place I know of. Like all great advertising strategies, New York is not a rational decision, it is an emotional one.

Why now?

I used to think that there was ‘a right time’ to do things. But life’s surprises and failures have given me more over the years than anything that I have planned. It’s useful to remember that now is always the time.

Charles Duncan Junior

04/09

VP Technology

Elephant

New York

VP Technology

Elephant

New York

Why advertising?

I love the advertising industry as it offers a unique balance between creativity, technology and innovation. Our collaborative working model allows technologist to be actively engaged at all phases of a project. Making meaningful contributions reinforces the team model that is necessary to do work we’ll all be proud of.

Why New York?

Over the course of my career I’ve work on both coasts, the South and the Midwest. While all of these regions are special in their own unique way, there was never a moment when I questioned New York as my favourite city for living and working. As America's cradle of creativity, culture and money there's continuous inspiration to create and innovate.

Why now?

Our industry is at a major inflection point with digital as a disruptor in the overall marketing space. Initially this disruption was driven by digital agencies, but now solution providers, consultancies and product companies have invested heavily in the space. Digital agencies need to challenge their processes and working models to remain focused on creating things that deliver high brand engagement while we continuing to be great partners to the companies we work for.

Sara Hyman

05/09

CEO, North America

JKR

New York

CEO, North America

JKR

New York

Why design?

I always wanted to be part of the process of building brands. Design affords me that opportunity - the process of crafting, shaping and conceiving a brand is critical to its fame and fortune. Today’s cult brands, as well as those with the largest market cap, have shown us that by investing time and resources into the identity, language and experience of a brand, they win consumers hearts, minds and share of wallets. That’s an exciting place to be.

Why New York?

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of? There's nothin' you can't do... This song was released as I left London to move to New York at the end of 2009 and it continues to ring true for me. New York makes my heart race. It’s fast, demanding and relentless. It’s a place where people gravitate for an adventure - to pursue their dreams, to fulfil their ambition, and to realise their potential. New York doesn’t hold back and neither do those determined to succeed here.

Why now?

The narrative in the creative industry right now is a tough one. Design is well poised to tackle this reality head on, given great design is, at its core, about problem solving and authentic expression. I believe designs’ time is now and there is huge opportunity for brands to apply a design mindset to broader marketing and communication challenges. Our goal as designers is to partner with our clients to find simplicity amongst the chaos, to capture consumers’ imagination in arresting and compelling new ways, and ultimately to seek a unique truth for each brand that only they can speak.

Testimonial

The Blueprint really understand what it means to be partners. They don’t just take assignments, they invest heavily in understanding our business, and most critically, our talent. Where they excel is not only finding the treasured 1% of the very finest talent, but in working hard to understand the unique characteristics of our business and which talent will best succeed in our team. We’ve been lucky to find some of the very best people with the help of Gareth and his team. The Blueprint doesn't just find you great talent, they strive to work with those they believe to be the “changemakers”. This has been a great confidence builder for our company - knowing we have a partner who believes in our mission, will bring progressive ideas on team structure, how to build new capability into the agency, and how to enable talent to create the change we want to see, has been instrumental in allowing us to keep moving forward. I’m proud to call The Blueprint our partner and am excited to see how they continue to help us shape the team who will lead our company today and into tomorrow.

Hugh Baillie

06/09

President, The X Practice, EMEA & APAC

Weber Shandwick

London

President, The X Practice, EMEA & APAC

Weber Shandwick

London

Why communications?

Because the right idea, at the right time, can literally change the world.

Why London?

The diversity, the energy, the scale, the architecture, the culture – and it’s closer to Scotland than most places.

Why now?

Because the prior silos and order have broken apart, leaving big opportunities for those that want them and know who and how to take advantage of them.

Testimonial

Gareth and the team have introduced us to a level of talent that we would otherwise not always meet. They have taken the time both to understand our business and help us develop our understanding of what we require. As such, they are partners, making a real difference to who we look for and who joins us.

Sam Hawkey

07/09

COO

Saatchi & Saatchi

London

COO

Saatchi & Saatchi

London

Why advertising?

Businesses will always need it and its potency is in its creativity. The best bit is that this creativity can and needs to be applied in more diverse ways than ever before.

Why London?

Proximity of talent and competition. It makes it infectious and ensures change happens quicker than anywhere else in the world.

Why now?

Why not now? In chaos there is always opportunity, you just have to be able to see it and get on with making it happen.

Testimonial

I have worked with Gareth and The Blueprint for over a year now. They immediately became our partner in bringing the best transformative talent to Saatchi & Saatchi. And whilst that is essential to every creative business, the most impressive thing is the pace in which they do it. They also happen to be bloody good people too, which is always a bonus.

Greg Assemat Tessandier

08/09

President

Elephant

New York

President

Elephant

New York

Why design?

The question should be: design and advertising, why not? Form, function and emotion.

Why New York?

What's the saying again? If you can make it here...

Why now?

In the culture of the now, we have a chance to shape the paradigm of tomorrow.

Testimonial

I have been working with The Blueprint for over 10 years now. They have been a great partner in my various leadership positions to identify, screen and put forward the right talent to deliver on the strategic objectives set for the business.

Justin Pahl

09/09

CEO

VMLY&R

London

CEO

VMLY&R

London

Why advertising?

Spend your days with wonderful people, working on fascinating problems while creating and making ideas that can influence important global topics and help people to live better lives and make better choices - why do anything other than advertising?

Why London?

Creativity grows through the cracks in the pavement here. I love it.

Why now?

Exciting new prospects will emerge as the world pivots and it feels like the right time to be bold.

Testimonial

We have worked with The Blueprint over a number of years to understand strategically where the right capabilities and innovations could happen and then facilitate by delivering the right leaders to fulfil our ambitions. It is a much deeper and strategic partnership than typical headhunting businesses and we really credit that partnership with a great deal of the success we have had in building a suite of new services and capabilities which are now fundamental to our offering.