不断探索的创意人——专访TBWA\上海创意群总监Patrick Tom     

  “总监之路”是中国广告网新开辟的一个栏目,在这个栏目中小编会采访很多广告公司的总监大咖,在对话中,让他们对自己的经历娓娓道来,他们的道路,或水到渠成、一帆风顺,或历尽险阻、充满坎坷,或经典到可以奉为广告学的不朽案例,但相同的一点是,他们对于这个行业如滔滔江水般的热情和点滴积累的宝贵经验。小编和你一起来探索各位总监成长的道路,无论你看完是唏嘘不已、捧腹大笑还是倍受鼓舞,小编都希望你能找到一条真正属于自己的道路。


Patrick Tom


  个人简历
  Patrick在亚洲有超过十年的工作经验(包括在越南、中国香港和大陆),在美国时,曾经作为资深创意人就职于盛世长城、阳狮、麦肯光明和博达大桥。大洋两岸的工作经历带给他开阔的视野和多样的文化体验。在TBWA\香港担任两年创意群总监及首席美术指导以及在TBWA\越南担任三年创意执行总监之后,Patrick目前在TBWA\上海担任创意群总监。
  Patrick曾担任八方智联的执行创意总监,并使得该公司在2008年成为全香港最炙手可热的广告代理公司之一。他的作品得到了世界范围的广泛认可,包括戛纳广告节、金铅笔威比奖、龙玺奖等等具有影响力的奖项,同时Patrick也担任过Spikes亚洲广告节、纽约广告奖、釜山国际广告节等国际广告大赛的评审。

  中国广告网:您一步一步走到今天这个职位,是事先就给自己做个这样的规划还是误打误撞呢?
  Patrick:艺术是我们家族的基因。我的父亲以前是一家大型国防公司的技术插画师,那个时候他会把航天飞机的初步外形设计和美国航空航天局的项目草稿带回家。当时我就想,原来靠画画也能挣钱。所以我从很小的时候就开始学画画了。在大学里我学习平面设计,毕业以后,在洛杉矶成为了一名设计师。
  一天下班之后,我开车回家,在公路上我看到了一块非常不美观的户外广告大牌:标题非常糟糕,设计和图片让人觉得难受。于是第二天,我问一位同事,谁在负责这块广告牌的创意工作,他告诉我说,是一家广告代理公司。就这样,在第二周,我辞去了设计师的工作,开始寻找在广告公司里谋职的机会。

  中国广告网:在这个过程中你想过要放弃吗?你遇到的最困难的事情是什么?
  Patrick:说实在的,我从来没有想过要放弃。我非常享受用我自己的方式去解决这些创意问题的过程。但是我一直都有一个想法,就是开一家全世界最有趣、最新奇的冲浪运动商店。
  目前为止,在我的职业生涯里,对我来说最难的事情是在美国工作10年之后转战到亚洲市场。在美国,选择一份创意行业的工作是一种职业选择,但是到亚洲以后,我发现,创意工作对许多人来说只是一种为了达到其他目的的过程。开始的时候,适应周围的环境和文化差异是一个不小的挑战,但现在我在这里已经有十年的时间了,我运用我在东、西方的所有经历,让它们无论在生活中还是在作品中为我所用。

  中国广告网:在您从菜鸟到总监的过程中,您最大的感受是什么?
  Patrick:我相信一点,那就是我的最大潜力还没有完全发挥出来。年复一年,我始终在成长,也始终在学习如何去做一名更好的创意人。随着新技术的发展带来更多面的消费者参与方式,我也了解到这些改变都将为创意带来更多可能性。对创意人来说,没有一种手段或技术是真得能够完善的,因为我们随时都面对着可能截然不同的明天。

  中国广告网:对于目前所处的行业,您有怎样的认识?您觉得这个行业最有魅力的一点是什么?
  Patrick:广告是一个充满惊喜的行业。无论是新的科学技术,还是新的创意执行手段,你永远都不知道尽头在哪里,这也使得这个行业不但具有挑战性而且令人兴奋。广告可以使人接触到各种各样的行业,去做各种各样的事情,而且充满变化。我无法想象为一家法律事务所工作和为一家会计事务所工作能有一样的惊喜。
  工作中最让我兴奋的部分是,我们为客户去开发创意的解决方案是可以挣钱的。我会竭尽全力为客户去寻求最与众不同、妙趣横生的表达方式。

  中国广告网:您今年年初刚刚来到中国大陆,那么您对于目前大陆的广告创意有什么样的看法呢?
  Patrick:和其他任何国家一样,在这里我们会看到好的创意,同样也会看到坏的创意。说实话,在这里6个月的时间,我看到的创意中坏的要多于好的。但是我也相信中国有很大的潜力去成为创意行业的领导者。中国的消费者正在变得越来越成熟,悟性也越来越高,我认为市场营销人员会重新校准他们的信息传递方式来反映消费者行为的变化。如果他们不去这么做的话,便无法成为他们产业领域的领导者。现在我看到很多过于直白或过度解释的传播信息,而不是能启发和提升消费者的信息。

  中国广告网:您对刚刚步入职场的新人有什么样的建议和忠告呢?
  Patrick:丢掉你的自负。自负是学习路上最大的障碍。当你把它甩在身后时,才是真正开始走向成熟的时候,你不会认为失败是一件可怕或者让人尴尬的事情。所以一开始就准备好去失败吧。年轻人始终要记住的一点是学无止境,你永远不可能知道关于创意的全部,它时时刻刻在不断变化着,而你要做的是保持一颗开放的头脑,让自己尽可能灵活,让好的创意不断流动。

  中国广告网:您平时的工作应该说是很繁忙的,那么您是如何来平衡工作和生活的呢?
  Patrick:现在我会更倾向于家庭,尤其是陪伴我两岁半的儿子Christian。他非常有好奇心和冒险精神并且非常慷慨,这个年龄也正是小孩儿会说好多有意思的事情的时候。孩子的童真带给我很多灵感,也带给我很多快乐。和他在一起的时候总能提醒我在这个创意行业和在自己的生活里,该有什么样的态度。

  中国广告网:未来您有什么样的计划呢?
  Patrick:未来,我只能说,我会抓住每一个出现在我面前的机会。不断保持开放的头脑,是自己保持谦虚以寻求更多进步的机会。


  附:英文采访原稿
  CNAD: How did you get where you’re now? Is it well-planned or a coincidence?
  Patrick: Art runs in my family. My father was a technical illustrator for a large defense company. He would bring home early designs of the space shuttle and other NASA projects he had drafted. I thought to myself, wow he’s getting paid to draw? So I learned to draw when I quite young. I studied graphic design in university and after graduating I worked as a designer in Los Angles.
  One day after work, I was driving home on the freeway and I noticed a terrible outdoor billboard. The headline was horrible, and the design & photography were awful. The next day, I asked a colleague who was responsible for the creative of billboards, and he told me advertising agencies. So I quit my job as a designer the following week and started looking for a job in advertising.

  CNAD: Before you get the post as GCD, have you thought about giving up? What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever met in your career?
  Patrick: I never thought about giving up being creative. I enjoy creative problem solving in some way shape or form. However, I always entertained the idea of one day opening the world’s most innovative surf shop.
  So far in my career, the most difficult thing for me was transitioning to Asia after working in the US for 10 years. In the US, choosing a job in the creative industry was a career choice. In Asia, it seemed like simply a means to an end. Adjusting to the cultural divide was very challenging initially. But now that I have been in Asia for 10 years, I can take all the experiences I’ve had in both the east and west, and use them to my benefit.

  CNAD: In the process from a freshman to GCD, what’s your deepest feeling?
  Patrick: I believe my personal best is still to come. But year after year, I continue to grow and learn how to be a better creative. With the influx of new technology allowing for a wider opportunity for consumer engagement, I’ve been very adaptive in understanding how the change may benefit the creative. So ultimately there is no one process or technique I can refine because it will be completely different tomorrow.

  CNAD: How do you understand the advertising industry? What do you think is the most charming part of advertising?
  Patrick: Advertising is filled with surprises. You can’t see what’s on the horizon, whether it is new technology or creative executions yet to be introduced. That makes it both challenging and exciting. I can’t imagine it would be the same working for a law firm or accounting firm.
  The great part about our business is that we get paid to develop creative solutions for our clients, and do our best to express them in the most unique and interesting way.

  CNAD: You have just come to China early this year. What is your perspective on Chinese creativity?
  Patrick: Like every country, you will see good creative campaigns and bad ones. After being in China for just 6 months, I see more bad than good. However, I believe China has a lot of potential as a leading creative market. As Chinese consumers are becoming more sophisticated and savvy, I think marketers will recalibrate their messaging and demand creative campaigns that reflect the change in behavior.
  If they don’t, they will never lead in their respective categories. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of messaging being ‘dumbed’ down and ‘spelled out’ for the consumer, rather than inspiring and elevating them.

  CNAD: Do you have any suggestions for those who have just stepped into advertising industry?
  Patrick: Lose your ego. Your ego is the biggest barrier getting in the way of your learning. When you leave your ego behind, you won’t be afraid or embarrassed to fail. So enter the industry ready to fail. And always know that you will never know everything you need to know about creativity. Creativity is a constant, always evolving. So keep an open mind and stay as fluid and as flexible you can.

  CNAD: How do you balance your work and life under the pressure of busy work?
  Patrick: I spend time with my family, especially my two and half year old son Christian. He’s so curious and adventurous, as well as generous. He’s also at an age where he says the funniest things. Time with him is a great reminder of how we should all be in this industry and in our own lives.

  CNAD: What’s your plan in the future?
  Patrick: To continue taking advantage of every opportunity that is presented to me. Keep an open mind and keep my ego in check.

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