Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Creatives need to work like Jamie Vardy.

Jamie Vardy is a footballer.

Five years ago, at 24, he was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels.

That is the creative equivalent of being an art director on the Screw Fix catalogue.

Jamie Vardy's dream, however, was to be a professional footballer and play for  the 'Weiden & Kennedy' of the Premier league.

He wasn't the most gifted player. Technically, he was very average. Which is why he was playing for a good pub team.

But he had two qualities.

Energy and passion.

As soon as he stepped over the white-painted line and went to work he became the love child of Roadrunner and the Duracell Bunny. His game was based on pure energy.

He worked hard, he listened to the coaches. And he practiced the art of shooting and passing. 

Halifax Town and later Fleetwood, semi-professional clubs,  were impressed with his work ethic and gave him a chance.

So he found himself playing in the Conference League.

That's the creative equivalent of moving from the Screw Fix catalogue to work on  glossy brochures for Harrods.

After a couple of good seasons as a semi- pro, Leicester City, a Championship team, signed him. It was a gamble.

The good folk of Leicester asked why the club had paid £1 million pounds for a non-league player.

For the first season he was generally considered to be out of his depth, in the same way a 'catalogue creative' might be if asked to write the next award-winning John Lewis television commercial.

When Vardy had a bad day at the office, and I've seen him have many, he picked himself up, reminded himself he's in a great job and hurled himself in to the next challenge.

He kept learning his craft on the training pitches. And he got better and better at his job. 

The harder you work the better you get.

The Leicester shooting coach Kevin Phillips pulled Vardy to one side and got him working on the placement of his shots rather than just shooting with power. 

He scored more goals, made more goals and he helped Leicester get promoted to the Premiership.

Energy relates to the degree of passion you bring to everything you do.

When you are fascinated by a project, or personally invested in a subject or task, you feel charged and exuberant.

You are able to summon up as much energy as it takes to create dozens, scores, even hundreds of ideas to one brief. The energy you invest is repaid by results and positive feedback.

Vardy summons up huge amounts of energy and the results are goals. Which is why he is currently the leading scorer in the Premiership.

And the feedback is a call up to the England team.

He may not be playing for the 'Wieden & Kennedy' of football, but next season he could well be.

His stats are interesting.  
If his current trend continues he'll get around 300 touches in the penalty box,  have 110 shots and score 34 goals. His conversion rate is 30% which means he misses more than twice as many chances as he scores.

That's like writing 300 campaigns a year, getting 110 through the account team and 34 ideas bought by the client.

If one of Vardy's 34 goals is spectacular he'll win goal of the season. 

If one of a creative's 34 ideas is spectacular it will win a Cannes Award.

It is possible to go from the non-league creative departments to the Premiership of Adland.

Jamie Vardy will be at work again this Saturday.

He may not score, but if you watch him you'll see the two things that made him successful.

Energy and passion.

Tony Cullingham runs The Watford Branch of The Jamie Vardy Appreciation Society which currently has 15 energetic and passionate members.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great way to see it, now I dont need antidepressants for at least a couple of hours (unless the client arrives early today)