New ADCC podcast shares making-of stories about great Canadian ad campaigns

Sometimes when a Korean landlord says no to your advertising idea, you just have to call your Korean father and get him to negotiate the deal for you.

That’s what lg2’s Nellie Kim did when she and her partner Chris Hirsch were working on their award-winning outdoor campaign for Nike. The pair recounted the story in a recent episode of “Created,” a new podcast from The Advertising and Design Club of Canada hosted by Lyranda Martin-Evans, VP and executive creative director at DentsuBos (in photo above with Stephen Jurisic for an upcoming episode).

The big idea for Hirsch and Kim was a mannequin doing chin-ups inside an apartment window, beside the copy “Your only competition is you. And also other people. Like her,” with a giant arrow pointing at the mannequin (see it right).

Hirsch and Kim kept running into people telling them the idea couldn’t happen—but they wouldn’t take no for an answer.

“Nellie has a great line with creatives, where we say ‘If it is a good idea it is going to hurt a little bit, and usually a lot,” Hirsch told Martin-Evans. “The greatest ideas get the ‘No’s’ the quickest from all the people you need to be on board for stuff like this.”

When Hirsch and Kim heard no, they kept working the problem—eventually asking Mr. Kim to talk the apartment’s landlord into allowing the mannequin in the window. Mr. Kim got the deal done.

Storytelling about the commitment, dedication and blind passion for turning a great idea into a great reality is a recurring theme through the stories shared with Martin-Evans on Created. “It’s not just about being creative, it’s about getting it created,” she says at the close of each episode.

Anthony Chelvanathan’s producer also answered the phone with “No” rather than hello when he was trying to save a bold tennis-themed outdoor execution for TSN. But his refusal to take “no” for an answer meant saving the idea himself—with a handful of eager Leo Burnett interns. “Just try,” Chelvanathan told Martin-Evans. “If you fail, get up try again… and never give up.”

“Created is telling the stories of how great campaigns in Canada got made,” said Martin-Evans, who is also on the ADCC board. The inspiration for the podcast is inspiration itself. After recording the first few episodes, Martin-Evans said she felt touched by the stories from her guests. “And I’m an executive creative director who’s been in the business for 20 years.”

Aside from Kim, Hirsch and Chelvanathan, Martin-Evans talked with Angus Tucker about the self-promotional work for John St., Nancy Crimi-Lamanna about the world-famous work for Canadian Down Syndrome Society, and Andrew Simon and Matt Antonello about the iconic “Sexy Sumo” work for Subaru.

“It’s really about unpacking the client obstacles and how you overcome those obstacles, the creative process, and what do you do with the budget you have… how do you push through and the importance of perseverance,” she said.

The ADCC launched the podcast last month—with help from Grayson Music—as part of its mandate to celebrate great work and inspire others to strive for greatness.

“The ADCC is all about helping to raise the creative bar in Canada,” said Simon, now chief creative officer of Edelman and president of the ADCC. “Recognizing all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into the creation of wonderful work, we wanted to celebrate the insightful and often hilarious journey to get there through the stories of the creators themselves.”

You can check out all five episodes of Created on iTunes or here, with upcoming episodes that feature Aaron Starkman, Nancy Vonk, and Carlos Moreno.

David Brown