Article

Michael Nutley
Michael Nutley 23 September 2013
Categories

Justin Cook, CEO, WPP's POSSIBLE, Discusses Inspiration [INTERVIEW]

Justin Cooke is the current chair of BIMA (the British Interactive Media Association) and CEO of Possible, WPP Digital's largest global agency. He's speaking at Inspiration - The Life-Cycle Of Ideas on 31 October.

Justin Cooke is the current chair of BIMA (the British Interactive Media Association) and CEO of Possible, WPP Digital’s largest global agency. He’s speaking at Inspiration - The Life-Cycle Of Ideas on 31 October.
 

How long have you been in the digital world?

Since 1995. I worked for other businesses until I realised I needed to work for myself. I founded my first agency in 1997 and eventually sold it in August 2012 to become part of WPP. 
 

What are your sources of inspiration?

I get really inspired by the size of the opportunity. When we work with clients, that’s what I’m always looking for. If we succeed, what will that mean, what will that result in? What is the outcome we can create? And the bigger and more challenging that outcome is, the more I get inspired.
 

What are you going to talk about at Inspiration?

I’m going to talk about ideas, how you generate them and how you get the good ideas to rise to the top. And then, how you make those ideas a reality. Because the world we’re in now has changed the way agencies come up with ideas, and it’s absolutely different now how you execute them compared to how it was when I first started working in this world.
 

When you have an idea, do you have a process by which you refine it and realise it?

There’s less of a process and more of a framework or a toolkit that you can use according to the type of market or sector you’re working in, the kind of challenge, and the kind of idea you’re trying to create. You draw from it to come up with what’s optimal for the solution you’re looking for.
 

Can you give an example of an idea you’ve had that you’ve followed all the way through from inspiration to realisation?
 

The things that really spring to mind for me are the small things that make a difference; things we did for National Rail Enquiries where we were trying to make people’s lives just a little bit better. These were ideas that came up through really immersing ourselves in the entire experience of traveling from A to B, such as the “Get me home” button on the National Rail Enquiries iPhone app. It works out where you are, it knows where your home station is and it gets you home. There’s another button on that app, which is “Wake me up when I get there”, which I use quite a lot.

 

How does the agency approach ideas?
 

Agencies have always prided themselves on the “Big Idea”; now some agencies talk about the concept of the long idea, the idea that never goes away and is constantly being improved and optimised, and which goes beyond the length of a campaign, in traditional terms. We’ve generated our own methodology around that general principle, and while there aren’t any hard and fast rules for coming up with an idea and executing it, we have a number of ways of approaching that.

For me the most exciting and fun way of approaching those things is when you’re doing it in a very rapid way. You’re very interdisciplinary, you’re very collaborative with the client, and you’re able to fail fast and learn from the rapid amount of insight you’re generating as you’re working on those ideas.

I like running several ideas in parallel; seeing what fails and what sticks, and then trying to mash up any ideas that have some commonality or synergy and then boiling them them down into the one “long” idea.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
The 8 Most Effective Words to Use in Your Next Email

The 8 Most Effective Words to Use in Your Next Email

There are 8 simple, yet effective words you can use to increase engagement in your next email. You can use these words strategically to inspire your subscribers to take action or develop good feelings about you and your brand. Read on to learn about these 8 words and how to use them in your emails.

Shelby McGuigan
Shelby McGuigan 8 August 2017
Read more
What is a CMS?

What is a CMS?

You’ve heard the term CMS, but what is it, what does it actually do? A CMS empowers you to get your companies' message out there, internally, externally or both.

Sean Hargrave
Sean Hargrave 14 August 2017
Read more
Instagram Contests – How to a run an excellent and legal contest

Instagram Contests – How to a run an excellent and legal contest

Running Instagram contests is a great idea! Instagram is a huge social media platform, with 700 million monthly active users. So just being active on it already significantly increases your reach and social media presence. But running contest can take it to the next level by increasing your engagement, generating leads, and making your audience happy.

Jan Zajac
Jan Zajac 15 August 2017
Read more