Ben Mooge on Redefining Bravery

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Originally posted on by Ryan Watson

The Havas Work Club creative partner offers his opinions on creating brave campaigns at Advertising Week Europe.

In this latest piece on Redefining Bravery looking ahead to this evening’s ANDYs session at Advertising Week Europe, Havas Work Club’s creative partner, Ben Mooge, offers his thoughts on the theme.

Mooge appears this year as part of a panel led by 2015 ANDYs chair and Wieden+Kennedy partner/global ECD, Colleen DeCourcy. adam&eveDDB joint ECD Ben Tollett; Havas Work Club colleague and creative partner Andy Sandoz; and Mr. President creative partner, Laura Jordan Bambach will also feature in the discussion on the ITV Stage at BAFTA London.

Last year the panel came together to discuss and define what it means to be brave. What is your own personal definition of bravery – either in or away from creativity?

Bravery is telling the truth and not caring about the consequences.

The 50th anniversary of the ANDYs in 2014 was obviously hinged on the bravery theme; how will you build on that this year?

I think we’ll build somewhere else instead…

David Droga spoke about the industry’s ability to potentially influence almost anything in the world. What are your thoughts on that?

It seems to me that anything and everything has the ability to potentially influence almost anything in the world. It would be inexcusable if an industry built on wily, well-timed populism wasn’t contributing.

Can you tell us a recent example of bravery in advertising, marketing or general communications?

The Climate Change Deniers campaign from Barton F. Graf 9000 is the bravest piece of work this industry has been associated with in the last few years, in my honest opinion.

It tells the truth and pulls no punches; no partial circumcision there; no ‘advertising humour’, just full-blown satire in the name of something truly worthy. “Marco Rubio threatens everything in his path” and “if you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachmann” is just such economically brilliant writing.

Where does the responsibility to be brave lie? Is it lazy to put it all on the client, or do you have a duty to take them out of their comfort zone, do you think?

We have a duty to show clients things they haven’t seen, heard or thought of before. Too often ‘comfort zones’ are either a lazy assumption or an excuse. Most of our clients are willing co-pilots in the journey out of the comfort zone towards the interesting quadrant of the brave sector.

What do you hope people take away from your session at Advertising Week Europe?

They look good for their age.

Finally, sum up the message in a sentence…

Be selfish, rude and manipulative.