The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Fearlessness Gets Remembered …

So as you know, I’m running The Kennedys.

While it is focused on helping the guys express their creativity in ways they never thought possible, what I’m really teaching is how to be fearless.

Of course, you don’t really ‘teach’ that … all you can do is create an environment that gives them the space to gain the confidence to fail harder [to coin a Wiedenism] and then hope that in time, this approach becomes second nature to them.

The ad industry loves to talk about boldness and bravery, but quite often, what they actually mean is indulgence.

Of course not everyone is like this, but a lot are – which is why at the very beginning of the course, I wanted the guys to understand what I meant by fearlessness … and for me, there is no better person to talk about it than this guy.

God I love this speech.

I love the big things he says and the stuff hidden in the shadows.

Like how you need to commit to something rather than just be interested in it.

That creativity is there to provoke rather than to notify.

That if you’re not thinking in terms of unforgettable, you’re not thinking enough.

Great mantras … stuff that is applicable for whatever you do, regardless of industry.

Of course not everyone is going to be like George Lois – but that’s the point of The Kennedys.

It’s not about recreating someone else, it’s about making them better than they thought they could ever be … and the irony of it is less about developing additional skills, but simply listening and believing in who they truly are.

I’m enjoying watching their journey.

Talking of being who you truly are or more precisely, who you think I am … I’m off on holiday.


Yes, I know I’ve just been away for a month, but the next few days are a national holiday here so deal with it. At least it means you’re free from me, which I’m sure makes you almost as happy as it does The Kennedys.

Till Monday …

24 Comments so far
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fuck me campbell, youre in danger of me nodding along to something youre doing. stop fucking with my carefully laid plans you manipulative bastardized.

Comment by andy@cynic

Seems Wieden has managed to teach him some stuff. Who’d thought that would be possible?

Comment by DH

Well both of these comments will be going into my resume under ‘rare achievements’.

Comment by Rob

george lois is a fucking god. you might not be fucking ruining their lives after all. still a long way to fucking go though.

Comment by andy@cynic

I used to dream of seeing you and Lois work together. I don’t know how things would go but I know they’d be memorable.

Comment by DH

That is kinda freaky Dave.

Comment by Rob

Look at some of the fucked up stuff he’s getting them to do. It’s impressive in an evil dictator kind of way.

Comment by DH

why are you fucking surprised.
im not even surprised hes having another fucking holiday 2 seconds after his last fucking holiday.

Comment by andy@cynic

Looking at the link David put up, it appears you are throwing them into the deep end of raw creative expression. It looks fascinating and frightening at the same time.
I would love to know more about how you are structuring the ciriculum and what the students think of what they’re doing.
And another holiday? I understand why the kennedys may need it but struggling to appreciate why you do. Enjoy the long, long weekend.

Comment by George

I imagine it’s structured to maximise his fun and the particpants’ discomfort. The two are obviously related.

Comment by John

Some may say that John, but I wouldn’t.

The curriculum is basically split into 3 parts:

1. Find your own creative voice

[So projects are based on giving them experiences that address issues and vulnerabilities that allows them to find – and then express – their individual creative style to the challenge]

2. Revel in your creative brain

[A range of assignments designed to challenge them to find intriguing and interesting solutions to a broad range of problems – from social to commercial to communication]

3. Be fearless

[We give them a number of real assignments that hopefully put all they’ve learnt and experienced into practice]

That’s about the only structure we’re giving them … while we know what we’re planning a month in advance, they have no idea week to week so the only thing they are sure of is that on Mondays we get together, chat about creativity, get a guest speaker in to talk about their approach to creativity and then set an assignment – whether individual or team or group – that they [normally] have to deliver by that coming Friday with a ‘check-in’ over lunch on Wednesday.

In between that we go on trips to see different forms of creative expression from museums, to cafes to theatres as well as watch movies and then evaluate them on a whole host of levels.

I’m loving it. I really hope they are too …

Comment by Rob

“giving them experiences that address issues and vulnerabilities”

“I’m loving it.”


Comment by John

I wouldn’t mind doing the course. Assuming I would be good enough to get in the course.

Comment by George

The students look to be smiling so it appears your unique approach to creativity seems to being met with approval. When do we see some of the work they are producing?

Comment by Lee Hill

George Lois is better than Dan Wieden. Discuss.

Comment by Billy Whizz

What is “better”?

Comment by George

No. Who is “better”?

Comment by John


Comment by andy@cynic

Yes. Andy. No doubt about it. [In his mind]

Comment by Rob

Some reporter once asked Joe Namath “Hey Joe, which is better – grass or Astroturf?” Joe said “I don’t know – I’ve never smoked Astroturf”

Comment by Ian Gee

You have no idea how much I needed that laugh.

Comment by Rob

Enjoying your 1000th holiday of 2016?

Comment by DH

dont be a twat, even campbell cant have 1000 holidays in a year. so campbell, you enjoying your 127th holiday of the year? prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] The importance of fearlessness. […]

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