Top 3 Takeaways – MIMA August “CATFOA – Peter Nicholson”

Tim Brunelle is like MIMA’s version of NPR’s Terry Gross. They have similar interview styles and bare a slight resemblance… almost like long lost cousins. It’s weird, go ahead and Google image search that.

Another thing that’s weird is the acronym CATFOA – “Conversations About the Future of Advertising”. It’s a MIMA Monthly format that, like NPR’s Fresh Air, flows easily with equal parts entertainment, education and inspiration.

In August Tim introduced us to a new creative force in the Twin Cities agency scene, Peter Nicholson, CCO of Periscope. We learned a bit about Peter’s reasons for uprooting his family from NYC to MPLS (Periscope was the agency model Peter wanted to build in NYC, but to build it there would’ve taken him 7+ years), we saw samples of his work (which includes some great commercials), and discovered his and Tim’s thoughts around cultivating diversity within their creative departments (see below).

Top 3 Takeaways:

1. The Most Flexible Agency Wins – we need to adapt to how people react day-to-day, sometimes minute-to-minute. This nimble approach can only happen when media is truly integrated with the rest of the agency. Agencies need to evolve into almost a newsroom environment, with daily briefings that allow teams to collaboratively look for the storytelling opportunities for the day ahead.

2. Obsessed Talent is the Best – when building his creative teams, Peter looks for people who are fanatic about a specific craft, someone who’s dedicated to honing and perfecting a particular creative output. He made mention of how seemingly linear career paths were when he started his agency career vs. how incredibly nonlinear it can be now. While it’s broader and therefore easier to try different avenues, Peter encouraged burgeoning talent to pick a path and create the best work within that lane before you move onto the next.

3. Why so Many White Guys? This was an interesting point in the conversation, considering Peter and Tim are two white guys. Peter promotes a conscious responsibility to creating diverse teams, but he didn’t get into the nitty gritty on how he ensures diversity is built into his current teams. Rather, he talked about encouraging young people from diverse backgrounds to enter the field and grow within it… and that as more white dudes retire, diversity will open up. A less than satisfying answer. Tim put a cap on this portion of the conversation by stating that he thinks about getting an interesting mix of creative people into the room and trusting that the good work will come.

The entire conversation is posted on the MIMA website if you’re intrigued to hear more from the latest creative leader in our market and Terry… we mean, Tim.