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Nick Worthington: From Great to Good

"A dyed-in-the-wool adman with over thirty years of hard-earned experience, Nick Worthington knows a thing or two about award winning work. Though he’s decorated the shelves of Publicis Mojo, BBH and AMV BBDO with numerous glittering awards, it’s his work for Colenso BBDO that he’s best known for.

Over the year’s Colenso BBDO have floated a fully working pub around the world for Speights; built a treehouse restaurant for Yellow Pages; created a radio station for dogs for Pedigree; and launched Brewtroleum, a biofuel made from beer waste, for Heineken DB Export.
 
In this article he talks about how the industry has steadily grown a conscience and how the type of work being produced is changing because, when it comes to the creativity, good is the new great.
108062 - Nick Worthington

Alarmingly, governments around the world seem to be losing their ability to recognise and judge the underlying sentiment and needs of their countrymen.

At the same time it seems brands are becoming increasingly influential and successful as agents of social change.

Basically because their life depends on it. The same CEO’s that were charged with taking companies from good to great in the 80’s and 90’s, are now working out how to take those same companies from great to good.

Good is the new great, so to speak.

Just like in politics, people get to choose who they support, which companies and brands get their dollar.

Which power company.

Which car company.

Which clothing brand.

Which food company.

The power has always been in the consumer’s hands. But now, so are all the facts, all the dirt, scandal and malpractice.

PR companies going into damage limitation mode is no longer good enough, and now an equal if not greater opportunity has arisen - to tell the stories about the good companies doing great things.

And there will be winners. Big winners.

Some companies will prosper, others will struggle, wither and die.

Policies will change.

Environments will be protected.

Ethical farming practices will flourish.

Child labour will become uneconomical.

All in the pursuit of money.

Your money, our money.

Six CEO’s of some of the world’s biggest brands asked agencies to step up and lead the change.

Why?

Not least, because it’s good for business, their businesses. And this time, maybe, that’s good for everyone.

This is truly an exciting time to be in the creative industries.

If you’ve ever thought about quitting and going to make the world a better place, now is not the time.

Global brands by their nature have a bigger footprint than governments, they are borderless and touch more people of more ethnicities, religious beliefs and political persuasion than any nation state.

Which makes brands that are interested in social change on a global scale potentially more powerful than presidents - and creatives with the skills to tell those stories more valuable than ever.

Brands who are bold enough to become better brands, better for the environment, better for humanity, better for communities, are being rewarded in sales by people who are drawn to them.

They should also be rewarded by our industry.

Selling stuff that degrades people, society and the world we live in is no longer acceptable.

I guess there was a time when we could be forgiven for not knowing cigarettes caused cancer, or that the hidden sugar in everyday foods caused diabetes, or that diesel fumes cause respiratory disease in children.

What would be unforgivable is for any of us to miss this opportunity to be part of this change.

I was once offered a job to go and work with the world’s largest soft drinks company, not to do ads, but to help work out how to make them a company that would continue to be relevant in 15-25 years time. It was an exciting opportunity to stop being a critic and become part of the change. To this day it’s one job I regret being unable to take.

Back to politics.

A friend of mine was recently asked by The Whitehouse if perhaps there was a more creative way to fight terrorism than the methods they were currently deploying.

Now that is exciting."

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.
 

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