The Velocity of digital business

Ajaz Ahmed and James Hilton from AKQA give us seven rules for doing great work in advertising

Ajaz Ahmed and James Hilton AKQA kicked off day two of the conference with an insight into the seven rules of Velocity – a new book they’re created about doing great work. The main message of the book is that you should have a passion for innovation as well as a passion for profits.

Let’s break that down a little:

1. A Smith & Wesson beats four Aces

Sometimes competition escalates to a struggle for survival, as it did in card games in the old West. Evolve immediately – entitlement kills. Entitlement can be a company thing as well as a personal thing. Instagram was bought for $1bn on the same day that Kodak filed for bankruptcy. That’s a clear example of the dangers of entitlement in an established company.

MTV have redefined TV twice. The second time is the new social, mobile approach they’re taking now, particulrlaly the ability to sync your viewing with friends worldwide.

2. Things are easier done than said.

If you have an idea, roll your sleeves up and do it. They point to Steve Jobs cutting through the dross of a meeting to focus down to “do we have a product?”

3. The best advertising isn’t advertising

Brands need to make meaningful connections. Absolutely everything a brand does tells a story – be it an event, a retail experience, or the packaging. The best brands make sue that these stories have the greatest level of emotional resonance.

Nike training club – a personal trainer in your pocket, giving resonance to the “Just Do It”. 70m minutes of training – for less than the cost of a 30 second commercial.

4. Convenient is the enemy of right

Ajaz hates advertising. He shows us an anti-littering ad, demonising young people by putting a snout on their face. And they’re running these ads all over London – and in one borough they don’t have any trash cans on the street,

Convenience is essentially mediocrity.

5. Respect human nature.

At the end of every piece of communication is a person. There’s lots of design for designers and advertising for advertisers. People want their life to be better, more fun and less cluttered. Getting to that level of product requires incredible focus and craftsmanship. Don’t create advertising, create wonder.

6. No good joke survives a committee of six.

He hates committees even more. They stop things happening. Make decisions quickly and focus on outcomes.

7. Have a purpose larger than yourself.

Put your passion, heart and soul into your work. Have audacious goals and vivid descriptions. Create something that outlasts you. If you’re not scared, you’re not doing something new. If you’re not dancing the line between getting famous and getting fired, then you’re not having fun. If you having fun, the love comes out in your work.