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What Surprised GPC First-Timers Marcio Juniot, Blake Waters and Steve Robertson

We caught up with delegates from Leo Burnett London and Tailor Made about their first GPC experience

Leo Burnett London Creative Director Steve Robertson and Copywriter Blake Waters, along with Leo Burnett Tailor Made Creative Director Marcio Juniot, are attending this year’s Global Products Committee for the first time. We asked them about their expectations, thoughts and advice for up-and-coming creatives while experiencing the 1Q16 GPC.


Steve Robertson – Creative Director, Leo Burnett London:

What were your expectations coming to your first GPC?
I'd chewed a few other creative ears before getting an idea of what it would be like, and I must say that their descriptions were very accurate. That it will be a great experience but you have to be on your game at all times as Monsieur Tutssel at any point can call on you for your thoughts.

What has surprised you about the GPC process?
I didn’t realize the colossal organization that goes into the event. Hats off to the team and the hosts — it must be like herding an armada of cats. Seeing the vast range of work from all the offices has been a real eye-opener.

What’s your impression of the work this quarter?
I’m seething about a number of pieces of work that I didn’t come up with. Some absolute corkers. There’s a big pile of work too from “tricky” brands that have delivered on message, look great and are effective. I applaud the agencies that have put their weaker work in, too, because this provides us with a barometer to try and improve on them collectively.

Please describe some of your favorite pieces that you’ve seen over the past few days.
We’re only on day two but the high lights for me so far have been:

Brooks trainers. (Watch "The Rundead.") Running brings you back to life, even zombies. It was captivating, looked beautiful, had the product at the center and a lovely twist at the end.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tablet “Game of Thrones” case study was a genius idea and genuinely funny.

LB Chicago’s “Off The Street Club” film about two boys from to very different sides of Chicago coming together was beautifully shot and poignant.

Mexico Board of Tourism’s “Doppelgangers” case study was a truly inspired idea. Holding a mirror up to a workaholic, showing them the holiday they could have had and then giving them the chance to have that experience for themselves — pure gold.

Some of Toronto’s design work was beautiful.

What's it like sitting in a room with the top creatives from around the global network?
Humbling and intense, but thoroughly enjoyable. We all got on well and there’s been the right balance of taking it seriously but having a laugh too.

What’s your advice to all up-and-coming creatives at the agency? Getting paid for ideas that come out of your head is a privilege, try not to forget that. Don’t get caught up in gossip and politics; spend your energy on your ideas instead, because talent will always show through in the end.

Blake Waters – Copywriter, Leo Burnett London:

What were your expectations coming to your first GPC?
Many of my fellow peers had prepped me beforehand, and the word that crept cropping up was “intense.” So I was expecting long hours, fierce debates and passionate scrutinizing of the good and great. And honestly I couldn’t wait. I was down to go to two GPCs last year, but due to work commitments, like any good man I pulled out. But finally I am here and I am so excited to be in a room to see how Mark and our network heads push Creativity Without Borders. Something a creative like myself hasn’t really been exposed to on this level. So I'm expecting a baptism of fire.

What has surprised you about the GPC process?
How the GPC is used to benefit and push the creativity of our agencies and clients. We aren’t just awarding work, which was my naïve view of the GPC, we’re making work better, looking how to improve a case study, or further a good idea and turn it into a great idea. The 8 Balls are secondary to the creative process and how we can advance brands and work together globally to do this.

What’s your impression of the work this quarter?
I have very mixed feelings. I’m either inspired or angry. Inspired by great ideas and original thinking and angry because I didn’t think of them. There are some truly standout pieces of work that I have already proudly told friends about. However, with the great, there is the not so great. Which is actually good to see, because this is the forum to make that work better, to see if there is an idea that can be brought out and given life. And I’ll be interested to see how in GPCs to come we have turned difficult clients into brave clients.

Please describe some of your favorite pieces that you’ve seen over the past few days.
I won’t try to explain the ideas, because I want people to discover see them for themselves. So I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum.

Brooks’ “The Rundead.” What a beautiful, funny and smart piece of film. The idea is so simple. The insight is so human, and basic, and it’s so obvious and the guys have executed it within an inch of its life. I can’t help watching it, and the endline makes the entire ad. It’s a gift and the Brooks brand is clearly in very safe hands.

Mexico Tourism’s “Doppelgängers.” What an amazing and inspiring idea. This is thinking of the highest level. I love and I hate it with a passion, because it’s so good, I’m insanely jealous. I can’t contain my anger as I write this, I’m going to have to punch a wall or write a Marxist manifesto, I’m so wound up about it. I won’t even explain the idea, because it will not do it justice, simply find the work and watch and go find a punch bag.

Amazing Thailand. Who thought that the humble and generic pad thai had some much rich culture and history? This is a beautiful piece of film, directed and edited with flair and passion. It gave me a real insight into Thailand and made me want to go back, or hunt down a pad thai. And the beauty of this idea is that it can no run and run and run. This could become an immersive experience through the streets and markets of Bangkok. Very excited to see what they do next.

What's it like sitting in a room with the top creatives from around the global network? It’s like your first day out of uni. When you think you know so much. You have your degree, a portfolio you think is the mutts nuts and then you go for your first book crit but soon realize you know nothing. That’s the GPC. You realize why everyone in that room is in that room. They are smart, intelligent, can break down an idea to its basic core, then rebuild with greater insight and creative scope. And if you sit there and don’t want to be like them or better, you’re in the wrong agency and the wrong business. So I will listen with hungry ears and take in every scrap of knowledge and inspiration they throw my way.

What's your advice to all up-and-coming creatives at the agency?
There is potential to do something great on every brief. No matter how bad it smells, how the words on the page dull your senses and make yours eyes scream, in there will be a human truth and from that you can build an intelligent and creative idea that can live in any medium. Do not restrict yourself to answering the brief—answer the client’s problem, and use the brief as starting point. Remember audience first, now go talk to them about your brand.

And if you ever come to a GPC, and you’re asked for any special requests, and you will be asked, say something ridiculous. Why not? I asked for a photo of Christopher Walken in my hotel room and boom! There he was when I walked in to my room, and he looks better than ever.

Marcio Juniot – Creative Director, Leo Burnett Tailor Made:

What were your expectations coming to your first GPC?
I was really thrilled about the GPC. I was expecting to see great work from our network, world-class work. And it was better than I thought.

What has surprised you about the GPC process?
Sometimes, when you judge a piece, you act with your feelings or instincts. You simply like it or don’t like it and that is it. At the GPC you always have to explain your point of view. This is great, because it makes you develop solid arguments and improve criteria. The discussions are super high level. I will leave the GPC a better creative director, that’s for sure.

What’s your impression of the work this quarter?
I am jealous. There are several campaigns I wish were mine. The bar is very high. Amazing work. And it’s not just three or four agencies that are doing this spectacular work. You can see it everywhere, in all regions, in all networks.

Please describe some of your favorite pieces that you’ve seen over the past few days.
I like many things, there are a lot of impressive work: the amazing “Justino,” for the Spain lottery; “The Rundead,” for Brooks; “Striking Lessons,” for Brisa group; “The language of wine,” for Chateau Ksara; and “Doppelgängers,” for the Mexico Board of Tourism, just to highlight a few.

What’s it like sitting in a room with the top creatives from around the global network?
It’s like being part of the Jedi counsel. In three days you learn more than in three years. I simply loved it. And I was sitting in front of the master of the masters, Sir Mark Tutssel. Imagine how nervous I was!

What’s your advice to all up-and-coming creatives at the agency?
You are in the right place, at the right time. Enjoy it.


The first-quarter GPC, comprising the top creative leaders from Leo Burnett Worldwide, met in Madrid to evaluate work from around the global network using the agency’s 10-point HumanKind Scale. Work that receives a 7-point rating is considered to be the benchmark for excellence in craft. (To learn more about the GPC and the HumanKind Scale, watch this video.)