Tuesday Mar 28

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Jon and Adam from stealourideas.com

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Issue #03 - Insight

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steal-our-ideas-com-1-2Agency.Asia: So who are you and why are you giving your ideas away for free?

Jon & Adam: We're a pair of New York Creatives and we started the site about a month ago. We both decided to take a break from the ad world to pursue some side-projects and reinvigorate our love of coming up with ideas. We started StealourIdeas.com because both of us love coming up with ideas, but didn't have a great outlet for it. So many people in the ad world are driven by a fear that their one good idea is going to be stolen that it prevents them from coming up with more ideas. Of course, ideas get stolen all the time, sometimes unintentionally, but we were tired of holding them in. We're constantly filling our heads with ideas, and we created stealourideas.com as a place to put them & share them with the world.


Agency.Asia: So you've taken the bold move of creating ads and not putting in the bottom drawer, but out there for all the world to see. Have any of these ideas seen the light of day? Do you ask that you are given any credit and do you imagine any mainstream agencies will ever be so bold - and cheeky - as to steal your ideas?

Jon & Adam: Not long after the blog started, we began taking real briefs from clients and agency's alike. Most of these briefs we do for fun, but some of the clients insist on paying us so we've (unexpectedly) made some income from it. Generally speaking, we've been getting great responses and press inquiries from around the world.  Our fan base is a mix of creative professionals and bloggers, so we try to keep everyone happy by keeping our posts as eclectic as possible, from advertising strategies, to product design ideas. It's really been a lot of fun, and we're going to keep it going as long as people are interested in new ideas.


Agency.Asia: You invite people to submit real briefs, correct? Are you being inundated with requests, and how do you find the time?

Jon & Adam:  Yes, we do.  We love hearing from agencies and clients and helping them crack real business problems.  You know, it's one thing to be inspired by a random product and think up some ideas for it, but it's another thing to find a realistic solution to a real brief. We enjoy both and we try to balance our postings so that we hit both ends of the spectrum.

Sometimes we get hit pretty hard with a large number of brief submissions, so we have to be picky and fair.  First come first serve mostly, although we do disregard some briefs on an 'absurdity and incoherentness' clause; a luxury we never had working in agencies.  The most ridiculous brief we've gotten was: "Make your moms less whorish."  We ended up tossing it for its disrespect and general irrelevance, but we both admit that we thought of a few ambient ideas for whorish moms in general, before moving on. Where do we find time for all of this?- time really isn't something we think about too much.

Too many people spend way too much time thinking about time and it often takes away from actually getting things accomplished.  Our site moves quickly, so it's important to work fast and stay focused.


Agency.Asia: Your illustrative style is very cool and really distinctive, Jon. It kind of takes us back to the days before Photoshop, when we creatives presented 'roughs' to clients, instead of concepts that look as if they cost thousands of dollars to produce.  Is this the way that you guys present to clients in every day life?

Jon & Adam: Thanks, we really just chose this illustration style for the site because it doesn't take long to put together and it gets the point across quickly. Most of our time is spent on the ideas, which really isn't the case at a lot of shops. There are way too many polished turds out there, we try to stand  clear of executing bad ideas to the point where they look like good ideas.  As for presenting to clients in everyday life, it varies, whatever we need to do to get the idea across we make happen.


Agency.Asia: When we asked you two guys to provide us with a photograph of yourselves, you created this very exclusive Agency.Asia portrait. Thank you! What's the story with the mustaches, gentlemen? Underneath it all, are you a bit publicity shy?

Jon & Adam: We don't actually have Tom Selleck mustaches. We've tried growing them before, but it never grows in as full and luscious as it was meant to be. Anyways, this is how we would look in an perfect world.

: You mentioned that you'd taken a hiatus from the agency world to pursue some sideline projects. Are you able to tell us a little bit more about those - or do you feel that someone might get carried away and steal those ideas as well?

Jon & Adam: Well, our baby right now is this site.  Everything else is in stages too early to even articulate successfully,  but there are some things brewing that we'd love to share, and we're sure we will on stealourideas.com


Agency.Asia: And what about your own history? You mentioned that you needed to take a break from the industry to reinvigorate your love of coming up with ideas. We don't want to put words in your mouth, but do you feel that the typical agency environment is actually that stifling? Which agency did this to you?

Jon & Adam: Advertising is a business where ideas are currency.  Sometimes that currency falls into the wrong hands, gets misplaced under the radar or ends up in the bottom of Aunt Mildred's basement closet with her bowling ball. It sucks, but it happens.  At the same time, we don't want to give the impression that it's made us jaded, we've always kind of laughed it off.  And we're psyched to have proclaimed this truth with such vigor through the idea of our site.  You know, sometimes you need to take a step back from your goals, look at the big picture and try to challenge yourself in wholly different ways. It keeps your brain in shape. This site has done just that. It's been a real trip looking at the industry from the outside in. It's a ridiculous industry in every sense of the word. A special thanks to all the hacks (laughing).  No we're just kidding, well kinda.


Agency.Asia:  We ask all our guests to nominate one industry person who they respect and feel that our readers would most like to hear from in the next issue. It doesn't have to be in Asia, by the way. We'll give you guys two people. Who's it to be? 

Jon & Adam: Well, there's a lot of cliched and obvious answers out there, but if you're looking for some great stories and a guy who really sees the world for all it's worth, Tony Viola, Art Director. And if you're looking out for rising talent, Jesse Gottlieb, believe it or not a ex-banker. We're both numbers people, always have been, so it doesn;t surprise us that some of the next big shots are coming from unsuspecting backgrounds.  Afterall, numbers are just a language for observing patterns, and that's exactly what creativity is!


Agency.Asia: As Jon and Adam say on their site, "It dawned on us today that we've been beating around the bush posting random ideas when we could be posting specific ones. E-mail us a summary of your creative brief and we'll post an idea for you to steal. From there you can win an award or just take the rest of the day off to find a more rewarding profession." Perhaps you should visit stealourideas.com and  take them up on it. Thanks very much for talking to Agency.Asia, fellas and all the very best.

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