Updates from April, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • chibialfa 4:46 am on April 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    “What should I read so I can write?” 

    Yesterday i asked what is Eugene Cheong‘s favorite book. And he promised me to get back asap with a list.
    Today, he emailed not only his favorite books, but also his piece of advice.
    So here it is, friends…
    Enjoy 🙂

    Lydia Tarigan
    Excited Copywriter


    Here’s some writing tips I gave to Paul Lim. The note includes my recommended reading list.

    Eugene Cheong
    Regional Executive Creative Director
    Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific


    My only advice to writers is that they commit to memory the very best writing there is.

    I made it a habit to underline bits I like in the books I’m reading and, then, to religiously transcribe them onto my trademark black notebook. By committing them to memory, they become part of me.

    Here’s what, Prof John Carey, has to say about the habit:

    ‘We can remember pictures, perhaps quite vividly, but it will hardly make us want to see them again. But learn a poem by heart, and you have it for ever. You never again have to consult a text. You can say it over to yourself in the small hours. It is yours. The equivalent would be lugging The Kiss home from the Musee Rodin, or strolling out of the Frick with Vermeer’s Girl Interrupted at Her Music and, cumbersome though it might be to get through the door, Gainsborough’s Walk in St James’s Park. With literature we can commit these thefts shamelessly and as often as we choose. Indeed, it is better even than that, because supposing you did get the Girl Interrupted at Her Music home, you could never make her a part of you. You could not take her into yourself, so that her beauty becomes yours. But with literature you can. Once its words are lodged into your mind they are indistinguishable from the way you think.’

    The greatest writing, usually, comes from outside advertising. From poetry, speeches, movies, the Bible, fiction and non-fiction.

    Here are some of my favorite writing.

    In the battle of life, it is not the critic who counts—not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doers of deed could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, who does actually strive to do the deeds… who, in the end, if he succeeds, knows the triumph of the high achievement and who, if he fails, at least will never find his place among the cold and timid souls who never knew victory or defeat.

    -Theodore Roosevelt

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

    It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

    We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

    Actually who are you not to be?

    You are a child of God.

    Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

    As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

    -Nelson Mandela

    If our life is ever really as beautiful as a fairy tale, we shall have to remember that all the beauty of a fairy tale lies in this: that the prince has a wonder which just stops short of fear. If he is afraid of the giant, there is an end of him; but also if he is not astonished at the giant, there is an end of the fairy tale. The whole point depends upon his being at once humble enough to wonder, and haughty enough to defy. So our attitude to the giant of the world must not merely be increasing delicacy or increasing contempt: it must be one particular proportion of the two—which is exactly right. We must have in us enough reverence for all things outside us to make us tread fearfully on the grass. We must also have enough disdain for all things outside us, to make us, on due occasion, spit at the stars. Yet these two things (if we are to be good or happy) must be combined, not in any combination, but in one particular combination. The perfect happiness of men on the earth (if it ever comes) will not be a flat and solid thing, like the satisfaction of animals. It will be an exact and perilous balance; like that of a desperate romance. Man must have enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them.

    G.K. Chesterton

    Great writing gives you ideas to think with. It stocks your mind. It does not indoctrinate, because diversity, counter-argument, reappraisal and qualification are its essence. But it supplies raw materials for thought. Like drugs, drink and antidepressants, literature is a mind-changer and an escape, but unlike them it develops and enlarges the mind as well as changing it.

    Here’s a list of my favourite books.

    1.  Developing the leader within you. John C Maxwell

    2.  Let My People Go Surfing. Yvon Chouinard

    3.  The Art of Travel.  Alain de Botton

    4.  The Hungry Spirit. Charles Handy

    5.  Halftime. Bob Buford

    6.  Understanding Comics. Scott McCloud

    7.  The Book of Tea. Kakuzo Okakura

    8.  Sophie’s World. Jostein Gaarder

    9.  History of the World. J. M. Roberts

    10. The Art of Eating. M.F.K. Fisher

    11. One hundred years of solitude. Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    12. Poems on the Underground.

    13. The Story of Art. E.H Gombrich

    14. Modern Times. Paul. M. Johnson

    15. The Nation’s Favourite Twentieth Century Poems.

    16. The Instance of the Fingerpost. Iain Pears

    17. Bird by Bird. Anne Lamott

    18. Birdsong. Sebastian Faulks

    19. War and Peace. Leo Tolstoy

    20. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Robert T. Kiyosaki

    Now, how does one become a great headline writer?

    Nobody can string together 200 words like Neil French can. However, if it comes down to one thought and a dozen words I am more than capable of whipping Frenchy’s arse. You see, I have turned a weakness into strength. I read my first book when I was 17, so I really do not have a library in my head. Now because I am not a literary person like Neil, I prefer sound bites to soliloquies. While Neil writes (and speaks) prose, I am a writer of epigrams. In that sense, I am more an art director than a writer. For me, it has always been about attention getting. My aim has always been to inflict maximum damage with a single remark. I liken it to sinking an aircraft carrier with a power drill. It’s a very juvenile art. There is a lot of aggression and hitting below the belt with this sort of street writing. That’s because, most of the time, you have be unreasonable to be heard. I recently come across a treasury of pithy lines that’s definitely worth buying. The book’s calls The Funniest Things You Never Said and here’s a few samples from the book, enjoy:

    100,000 sperms and you’re the fastest?

    I don’t visit my parents often because Delta Airlines won’t wait in the yard while I run in.

    -Margaret Smith

    God gave men both a penis and a brain, but only enough blood supply to run one at a time.

    -Robin William

    You don’t know a woman until you’ve met her in court.

    -Woody Allen

    I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

    -Boscoe Pertwee

    Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.

    -Woody Allen

    Start off every day with a smile and get it over with.

    -W.C. Fields

    I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.

    -Joan Rivers

    He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.


    Who is one cell short of an amoeba?

    -Anne Robinson

    How many times do I have to flush before you go away?

    -Stephen Fry

  • chibialfa 3:02 pm on December 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , awards, cannes, clieo, , d&ad, director, famous, inspiring, jagdish, lions, navy, oneshow, penguin, ramakrishnan, session, singapore, spca,   

    Welcome Session: Jagdish Ramakrishnan 

    Tomorrow O&M Jakarta will have a special guest. Some famous advertising person are perceived as rock stars. Not based on the look (although I have to admit some great Creative Directors manage to look good), but based on their works and award achievements. Yes, creative ranking, too.

    This will not be the first time this office invite a guest speaker for an inspiring session. The last speaker was John Merrifield and I really really enjoyed his session. I hope tomorrow we’ll get another inspiring one.

    So I google the name, and the result is amazing. Not merely because he has tamed many prestigious international awards like Lion Cannes, D&AD, Clio, OneShow, and many more, but also because I found out that he cares about animal’s and nature’s welfare. I really can’t wait to meet him!

    With roots in Chennai, Jagdish Ramakrishnan, or ‘Juggi’, worked forseveral agencies in India before moving to Singapore in 1995, where he has gone on to become one of Singapore’s most lauded and consistent creative talents. He has defended his reputation with wins at Cannes, the Clios, D&AD, and One Show for both Aware and Greenpeace. Runner-up as Creative of the Year at Media’s Agency of the Year Awards last December, losing out to two ECDs, Ramakrishnan heads an award-winning team that includes fellow Top-10 Saatchis Singapore creative, Richard Copping. Citing animal rights, wine, and travel among his many interests, outside of the advertising community Ramakrishnan volunteers with Acres, an animal welfare group, and also acts as a guide for the Nature Society.

    In Aug 2007 Juggi left Saatchi to join BBDO as ECD in October and the agency has already moved to form a new creative leadership team comprising of Andrew Petch, Richard Copping and John Kyriakou.

    Ramakrishnan, who replaces Farrokh Madon who left for McCann Erickson, will work together with BBDO Singapore CCO and chairman, Danny Searle. BBDO MD, Jean-Paul Burge said “as we move from a being a strong local agency to a centre of excellence in the region, one of my key pre-occupations is to ensure that we have an unfair share of the best talent. With Juggi we have this, he is a great addition at a time when the business is growing and BBDO Singapore is developing Total Work ideas that are both effective and creative”.

    Source : Brand Republic News and Media and Marketing Interactive

    These are some of his well known works;

    Thai SPCA – Cannes 2007 Lions Winner

    Penguin – Cannes 2007 Outdoor Winner

    Republic of Singapore NAVY: Stop Dreaming

    D&AD 2006 winner yellow pencil – Writing For Advertising category

  • chibialfa 7:03 pm on October 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adfest, adoi, , droga, glamourous, judges, judging, khai, one show, pattaya, , yasmin ahmad   

    It’s tough being judges 

    When my boss was given a task to judge a local award show from another country, he invited another creative directors and group heads (including the freelance one, how generous of him) to join him in the judging session. He thought more fresh eyes would help, and at the same time it gave us the new experience being the judge of other people’s works.


    Beside, there were also free pizzas so it was pretty cool.

    Unlike the One Show award show judging I put as illustration above, we sat there inside the CD room, facing a large monitor, brought nothing but our eyes and minds. First thing we have to do was look through all the works based on categories. And say “in” or “out”. “In” if we feel it deserves something, “out” is well.. out. Then we look through all the “in” ones again, to decide if the works deserve finalist, bronze, silver, or even gold. We voted by raising hand to stand our point.

    The process took about 2 hours (thank God it was only 56 entries, compared to 3000 entries my boss judged in the last ADOI award) and it was tiring. Until then, I had always seen award shows from the glamourous side, and envy those judges who sat there in their own special chairs, had done the judging session inside the most expensive hotels with cool swimming pools and booze and expensive sun glasses but anyway… One thing I realized now, being a judge is TOUGH.

    It’s tough to be mean. Seriously, these works are other people’s babies. I can imagine the art directors staying several nights crafting the layout, supervising the photo shoot and digital imaging process by holding on to the words from his/her creative director “this can win something in the next award show”. It’s also has something to do with the good karma, I guess. You will never want your own works to be treated with disrespect.

    It’s tough to be nice. Aside from the ideas or even the crafting, one thing I noticed that how important it is to present your work. A few years ago, our agency got negative comment from some judges in a local award show because we printed our work more decent compare to others. But hey, it’s a beauty show, and beauty queens sure want to look their best when being judged, right? How to present your ideas is another crafting you have to do before entering any award show. It’s simple, if they don’t get your idea, they won’t buy it no matter how good it is.

    It’s tough to fight for your believe. Imagine you’re sitting next to big names like David Droga, or Yasmin Ahmad, and you heard them sigh impatiently and yell “OUT” on the first place, when you’re about to say “IN”. Omg, what to do? I don’t want to look stupid in front of them but how if I really really like the piece? Worst, how if it was MY piece and I believe in it and I have to influence them to vote for it? In this case, it matters to have ego to boost your confidence so you can stand on what you believe. Of course it’s easier said than done. Because I don’t think I am capable yet to do any of that.

    It’s tough to be fair when you’re tired. First round when your eyes and minds were still fresh, it was okay. Some judges are known as the good police, when they gives a lot of opportunities in the beginning. But even the nicest judges get tired, and when they’re tired, they can be very mean. Now I understand why Khai said award shows are pretty much like lottery games. But only if your works really really good, then it will raise to the top like the creamy bubble on top of the beer.

    So before the the glamourous award night and getting wasted in the after parties, it is tough to be judges. I raise my glass to all the good award shows judges out there. You simply deserve the luxurious hotels and all that.

    When I had the one time opportunity to go to Pattaya and see AdFest several years ago, my former group head thought me this little geeky game which was pretty fun. We had two days to see all the work entries being displayed in the largest labyrinth walls I’ve ever seen. It was hundreds of print and outdoor works. All the tv works were being played in a small cinema next to the huge labyrinth. I spent the whole two days checking out all the print and outdoor entries and putting my own votes in my own little note book, pretending I was one of the judges. The day of the winner announcement, I cross checked my vote with the results. Of course, I missed a lot, but still… it was fun.

  • chibialfa 4:48 pm on October 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , choking, elephant, print ad   

    Kayaking Ad “Choking” gets Best Print at bestadsontv 

    click for larger image

    “After the ‘what the…’ response, it became clear that the same peanut, is now in a larger size. How often do we get to see elephants giving the Heimlich?”

    -Paul Brourman (judges from bestadsontv)

    The Kayaking ad “Coking Elephant” didn’t get anything at the last AdFest, Media Spike, and Cannes. So getting elected as Best Print of The Week in bestadsontv gives a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. There’s still ADOI and Citra Pariwara for the last hope. All I can do now is crossing fingers.

    Fully aware that the spotlight will be gone in a few more days, I saved the screen shot (above), and another screen shot showing Paul’s quote.

    This one is for you, my dear elephants

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc