How to be a winner with heart?
basically, use your head and common sense
Memac Ogilvy performed beautifully at the latest edition of Dubai Lynx. Behind the agency’s most iconic campaigns are, obviously, remarkable individuals. From those, there are two with a literally golden touch when it comes to culturally relevant campaigns and ideas that impact society for the better. For their perspective on work, life in the Emirates, clichés about their country of adoption and what makes them tick, explore the vivid conversation below.
1.What would make your soul sing? What makes you happy?
Logan&Ben: Playing golf. We discover it while in the UAE, the green is refreshing and the game itself it helps taking the mind out from the work stuff.
2. A childhood story that announced the creative person you are today
Ben: My mom would ask me to draw birthdaycards; she always encouraged me in this creative direction.
Logan – When I was 7, I saw a billboard and I instantly said “I want to do that”. B
3. Best context ever for inspiration was:
Ben: Cliché enough, but yes, the morning shower moment.
Logan: When I am upset I get inspired. Sometimes early mornings have the same effect.
4. The project you loved most:
Ben – “The Zero tolerance ribbon” is the project I loved most, since my education is design rooted. It’s a simple and powerful idea, serving a good cause.
Logan: “Potatoes on Mars”. Peru is, unofficially, the guardian of the potato. One of our former colleagues was the marketing director of The Potato Center and his organization reached out for a rebrand. That’s how an Emirati agency ended up working for a Peru company. It’s a small world.
5. The project others loved most:
Logan: The Rescue radio. It was well received by a lot of different people and had a real social impact.
Ben: #Bottletop, a NGO initiative founded by Cameron Saul and his father, Roger, the Founder of the British luxury fashion brand Mulberry, was launching a conscious design challenge, creating handbags made from recycled bottle tops in Africa, alongside South African artisans.I love this project for two reasons – first is professional, I was fond of the idea behind it, second is personal – while I was freelancing for it I was headhunted for Ogilvy in Dubai and that’s how I ended up here. I was in the right place, at the right time.
6. The best thing about UAE creativity is:
Logan: Because Emirates are a melting pot with many nationalities, cultures and taboos, you can’t be super bold, in a Western kind of way and you can’t go with the first hand idea. That’s a good thing. Limitations are pushing you to find alternative solutions, leading to ideas never heard of, that are culturally rooted.
Ben: True, true. The cultural diversity pushes us to debate and to find new ways of doing things. Here, you just can’t print“fuck”on a KFC bucket and send it to the media.Even in cases like “Zero Tolerance Ribbon”, there were constant talks about being aggressive in the message. Aggressiveness is a concept that Western and Middle Eastern people understand in different ways and it is interesting to find the intersection zone between the two worlds, to convey a powerful message.
7. Best statement of Emirati humor:
Logan: “Inshallah” –the way some people use it is ridiculous. “Inshallah“ it’s a way of saying both “yes” and “no” and it depends of the receiver to perceive if the outcome is set to be positive or not.
Ben: I agree with Logan,I think it’s hard to understand the humour properly,without knowing the language and growing up in the culture, but there is something funny about the “what will be will be” attitude, itapplies to literally everything and at a certain point you realize everything is out of your hands so you just have to roll with it.
8. Advice for international head hunters, related to Emirati / UEA creatives:
Logan: Don’t believe everyone’s bullshit, if I were you, I would triple check.
Ben: The grass always seems greener, be careful whoyou pull out from the region, don’t be charmed by the UAE hype, hire people on their own merit.
9. Best place in Dubai:
Ben: Al Quoz / Alsercal, an industrial area converted in a playground for designers; there are many commercial enterprises, exhibitions, art galleries, creative spaces. It’s a contemporary cultural vibe worth discovering.
Logan: Al Fahidi district in Old Dubai. No glitz, no skyscrapers, it’s an authentic feeling.
10. Best Place in The Emirates:
Logan: Ras Al Khaimah.
11. Your opinion on money
Logan: What money? Put the work first, it’s more important; your portfolio is far more relevant.
Ben: It’s a misconception when it comes to money and the region topic. I have been here for 3 years. It’s an expensive place to live. But yes, UAE has its perks; you can travel to other places easily, since it is very well connected. In this sense, you feel thebenefit of being away. You are here for a while, not a long time, so the experiences are worthy and far more relevant than money.
12. Your opinion on spirituality:
Ben:Being a good person, that’s my spirituality.
Logan:I’ve lived here over a decade, got in contact with many religions. I am friend with Muslims, Hindus, Christians or agnostics. We don’t talk about Allah or God. It’s very simple, really – when you are a good person, you are good person and that’s about it. Another thing that I admire about the Emirates in relationship with spirituality: here there are no religious conflicts. It’s a very open, tolerant and inclusive society, every one is getting along with everyone,there are no murders, no fighting. It is a formidable example of how you can build a harmonious society with multiple cultures and multiple religions, living peacefully side-by-side.
13. Most disturbing cliché about UAE
Ben: The regular clichés:“you can’t drink a beer” – of course you can, if you walk into a bar. You can’t hold a girl by the hand…let me tell you – I live a perfectly normal life. The citizens are asked to be respectful, civilized and to behave themselves. It’s something everyone should do it, everywhere on this earth. To be fully honest, I feel a lot more free and safe here than back home. There everyone knows, there are areas to be avoided. There is no such thing here. One can peacefully explore everywhere.
Logan: Fanaticism and extremism are the most disturbing clichés about UAE. In reality they are extremely nice, welcoming people. The UAE it’s a very inclusive society.
14. Recommend a book for a young creative:
Logan: “The alchemist”by Paolo Coelho and the associated mindset. Don’t go elsewhere, because all the treasures you need are within yourself.
Ben: Try Dave Trott books, he has a different approach on creativity and how one can come out with smart ideas. See for instance “Predatory Thinking – A masterclass in out thinking the competition”, “Creative Blindness – And how to cure it”, “One plus one equals three”, “Creative Mischief”.
Gold – Outdoor
Gold – Print And Publishing
Gold – Health And Wellness
Silver – Print And Publishing Craft Silver – Innovation Bronze – Print And Publishing
Shortlist – Health And Wellness
Shortlist – Promo And Activation
Shortlist – Media
Gold – Film
Gold – Film Craft
Gold – Media
Silver – Outdoor
Bronze – Film Craft
Bronze – PR
Bronze – Digital