Welcome to The OneSixOne Podcast.

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12

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2020

What is purpose? Why is it important? Can comparison impede our ability to stand out? Why should people care about the work that we do?

In their very first pilot episode co-founders of OneSixOne, Matt, Steph, Andy and Jared share their thoughts around their brand’s mission to See Purpose Realised. Within this podcast the team explores what purpose means to them and how it catalysed them to start their creative agency.

The OneSixOne Podcast

Co-founders of OneSixOne, Matt, Steph, Andy and Jared share their thoughts and conversations amidst the everyday madness of running a diverse creative agency. Recorded at The Qube, London. Produced by Tim Steemson. Theme music- ‘Lights Camera Action’ by meganeko. To keep up-to-date with the OneSixOne podcast, signup and subscribe via
Spotify or Apple Music.

Podcast Transcript

Stephanie Alcaino (00:00):
[Intro] I feel like my profile will be like Steph the photographer. She kills them with kindness.

Matt Miller (00:07):
[Intro] The kind, the kind murderer?

Jared Saar (00:08):
[Intro] The kind murderer.

Matt Miller (00:29):
Hi Listeners, welcome to the OneSixOne podcast where we share stuff we've been chatting about in the studio. I'm Matt Miller. I am a creative director at OneSixOne. This is episode zero one. And in the room today, we have to the left of me...

Jared Saar (00:43):
Jared Saar, operations director. Why is that? Thats not funny, its not.... Every time.

Andy Khatouli (00:51):
I think it's because of how you're such Jared.

Matt Miller (00:52):
It looks you're marking us.

Jared Saar (00:58):
I'm a distinguished gentlemen.

Matt Miller (01:01):
Oh my gosh. To the left of Jared. We've got...

Andy Khatouli (01:04):
Andy Khatouli.

Jared Saar (01:07):
Technically it's the plant to the left. Mitch,

Andy Khatouli (01:14):
We'll introduce... Mitch, the plant. Mitch the plant, looking mighty fine. Yeah, Andy [Khatouli] fellow creative director, design director, whatever you want to call me.

Matt Miller (01:24):
To the left of Andy, we have...

Stephanie Alcaino (01:28):
Steph Alcaino, I'm chief creative officer slash creative director. Again, whatever you want to call me.

Matt Miller (01:39):
The way this is going to work. We're just going to have a conversation and we'll have a theme each episode, and we'll explore some of the conversations that we've already been having in the studio. So we have this kind of mantra, this slight tagline that we have at OneSixOne, 'see purpose realised', which is kind of extracted from our why, which is that we exist to see purpose realised. I think as an agency, it's what we want for our clients that in their values and their messaging, in the reason that they do what they do, they would see it realised through our branding work through our design, through our messaging, all the creative stuff that we do. But at the same time, there's like an internal kind of philosophy as well around seeing purpose realised in that for our colleagues, the people that work for us for freelances, our prerogative is that they would see their purpose realised as well, so that they would discover their ability. They would discover who they are. They would discover things about their why, and that we'd be able to facilitate that through their work and opportunity. So we thought for the first episode, we'll talk about that. Like seeing purpose realised and why that's a thing for us. Why is that our USP behind OneSixOne? Why did we feel like we should set up an agency because we're only in year three? Yeah. Why is it that we set up an agency with that methodology and we thought that it was important for now, but it's probably, I mean, Jared and Steph, you guys have probably got a better understanding of this because you introduced me to a book called Start With Why.

Jared Saar (03:10):
Yeah. I kind of looked at, start with why, because I was asking myself the question, what am I doing? And I think it was around the fact that for me, it wasn't about the, it, wasn't about the idea of like, someone's got to tell me what I'm supposed to be doing in my life. Um, and you know, and waiting for that shining light to guide me on the correct path. I think it was more for me, it was like, I don't necessarily feel satisfied with where I'm at and I couldn't see it changing. So I was asking myself the question, well, how do I find that satisfaction? And getting up in the morning, doing what I love and when I'm 50 years old, will I still be getting up in the morning and doing what I love? And it was that whole journey of like, I just felt, I have to figure this out. And Steph, who is my wife as well? I think we had had a lot of conversations and probably I was quite annoying, I think for about a year and a half.

Matt Miller (03:59):
Just a year and a half?

Jared Saar (04:00):
Well, I think, yeah, I've been an excellent husband. [Laughter] I must say... Anyway... I think we were having that discussion because we had moved from Australia. We were trying to figure a few things out. So when I went on this journey, it was reading this book, Start With Why, but it was also a step back from everything I'd done previously in my career. And work-wise, and actually taking a chance to go well, okay, what is it? What is my, why? What is my purpose? I mean, I confidently can say I couldn't put it into a sentence today for you. I think it's something that it's still as I'm going through life. And even this company is starting to discover like the things I really enjoy and the things that make me, I guess, that satisfaction. But I think when we first started working together, Steph's a professional photographer. That's when we were kind of exploring the idea behind brands and photography and purpose. And you were also on that journey yourself within your own work. Do you want to maybe expand on that stuff?

Stephanie Alcaino (04:57):
Um, I think a lot of my ability to understand work came from understanding the concept, understanding the purpose behind it and why people would even do the work that they do. And I think from my side of things in my career, particularly being a little bit more steered towards fashion, I really struggled doing photo shoots that had no anchor point and no solid story to tell as much as I would be able to do through my travel photography, where the culture was all around me. And I was immersed into someone's story and I found that a lot easier to be able to capture and share that story through my lens then through fashion. So I think it's always been a part of the work that I do, but also being Hispanic and being born and raised in Australia and being an identical twin. Identity and purpose has always been something that I really needed to go through and understand for myself. And even to this date, trying to really understand that looks like when I've shared my life with someone else for my entire childhood. So I think within that, it was actually quite important for us to understand why we even moved to the UK as well as doing a stint in France as well. So adopting a new culture several times for us as a married couple has been quite interesting because we needed to navigate of how we understand ourselves within that culture, as well as in the work that we do.

Jared Saar (06:26):
Yeah. And I think going on that journey, I knew Matt and Matt obviously knew Andy. So I had met Andy at this point, but I think I had known Matt. I'd had these conversations with Matt previously. I think just joking more like when we'd see something on the internet or a website or someone do a song or something like that. And we'd kind of look at the lyrics. So we'd look at something and we'd just saying, what are they doing? What is my, what what's going on here? Like, what's the point of this thing that they've just put out. And I think for Steph being a professional photographer, it was that question of how do we present images to kind of reflect the purpose that the client's trying to share or the story that the client's trying to share. And so I think when we were going into that conversation, I knew Matt and then Matt knew Andy, I think we all kind of came to this point that we're all creative. We all want to have a purpose for our own lives. I think we saw collectively we could help each other find that. But I think as well, when we were showing you the Start With Why book, Matt, I think it was maybe stuff that you kind of knew at that point, but maybe didn't have the words for, but it was just going, I think we should do something here. And I think we all have a shared frustration and things that don't make sense. Um, so it was more like, starting this agency and see purpose. Its like, why don't we start something where it's not just the photography that we feel like we've put the purpose behind, but actually what if when we come and a brand engages with us, we can make sure everything that comes out of what we do mean something and says something. It might be worth actually as well hearing from Andy's perspective as well with branding like that whole journey. But maybe we, before we go down there, Matt, what do you have thoughts on?

Matt Miller (07:58):
I love that you're looking to me for approval. Like i'm running this.

Jared Saar (08:02):
Matt's eyes went really wide, like 'shut up'.

Matt Miller (08:05):
Nah its interesting. I think it's proven itself, like, because we have the tendency to over articulate as creatives, right? So we feel like we need to like justify our creativity. Cause I feel like even as an industry, it's not something that is well funded. It's like, you know, if you go down the creative path, especially if you're like, you know, I'm black, British, or parents, children of wind rush. And so it's kind of like you're told from a young age, your whole life is steered towards career success to a certain degree. So if you're like try to do something creative that isn't going to pay bills, there's a shame attached to it. And I feel like, you know, you don't have to be a minority to even have that on your shoulders. I think if there's just expectations that you're going to have a successful career, that rarely looks like a creative career, it looks like something that's stable and solid. So that may not be the case for everyone. But I think sometimes there's that impetus then to over articulate and justify your creativity because you almost need to make it relevant. It doesn't need to be that way at all. So I think like going down this whole start with why thing was quite important because it's proven itself, even just as a business, like, yes, we're creative, but we run an agency like it's a business. And I think it's helpful for when you're mapping out your business, that there's that intentionality like, you know, the greater reason why you're doing this, you can hold ethical and moral decisions to account and you can hold the culture to account that you're like establishing like within the room. And so I think it's been really important for us to have like, almost like our personal 'whys' align. So we all know what are we about here? What are the things that are going to like wind us up? What are the things that we're not going to stand for? It's not, we need to have a huge paragraph of that. It just needs to be a very simple thing. And I think, you know, the see purpose realised hold us to account to a certain degree. Yeah.

Stephanie Alcaino (09:51):
Well, I also found quite interesting. I think during my journey and being friends with a lot of other creatives is how many of them struggled to actually articulate what they're about and what their work is about and what their anchor and purpose is. I'm not sure whether you guys have found that the same with your networks, but I do find it quite interesting that he caused those no anger point or no one has taught us how to speak confidently about the work that we do and why we produce it, that we're then stuck, needing to compare ourselves to other people. And then we get stuck within this sense of comparison instead of distinction. And I do find that quite interesting.

Andy Khatouli (10:29):
You know, one of the things that stood out to me is in the MGM opening scene, you know, if you've been to the cinema, it's that classic ornate design with the lion in the centre, that's roaring. And if anyone who spotted it and knows a bit of Latin, I don't know, Latin, I just found out what it meant. There's some text around it that says art for art's sake. And I thought that was an interesting concept and I'm sure many, many kind of young up and coming designers and illustrators and creatives would resonate with that idea that there needs no justification for the work that I'm doing. It's integral to who I am. I love to create. It gives me a lot of life and joy, but I think one of the challenges of that statement is that it moves away from the reality of what shapes and moulds our creative process. So regardless of whether you are intentionally trying to put purpose of meaning behind your work, you have already been shaped and impressed on and influence by your world-views, by the culture that you live in by your upbringing, by your values and the things that you're passionate about. So regardless of what your intentions might be, you are always bringing a story behind your work. And I think for us at one six one, we want to tap into that. I guess more, obviously, more boldly. We want to celebrate that part of the creative process because that's what we think speaks most. When we observe work that really resonates with us or that we enjoy looking overall interacting with. And we feel that that's the strongest part of every creative process is the story behind the decisions of why we chose a certain colour or why we lit a scene in a certain way to take photos of that particular subject, why we chose a certain location and whatever, whatever the element is that comes together to form that piece. We want to tap into that storytelling piece. We want to create a beautiful narrative so that whoever might be interacting with that can come along with the journey can get the story behind it. It's not just about the face value look and feel of it. It's not just a pretty picture, but there's something much richer and much deeper behind it. And I think that's why our motto is to see purpose realised. And that infiltrates even through our work, it's not just about coming alongside clients and helping them to understand what their brand is and who they are as a company, or maybe it's a musician or another, I guess, create a project that we're trying to help out on is trying to get them to see that actually there's a lot of purpose behind what we choose and what we decide on it. And so in many ways we don't create art for art's sake because even if your intentions aren't to try and put meaning or purpose behind it, you were already doing that because of who you are, you're a person. So I think that's one of the things that makes us excited about actually tapping into this and saying, this is really key to the creative process. And we want to take advantage of that.

Stephanie Alcaino (13:25):
There's a book that I read recently called Great Thinkers by the School of Life, which went through a whole bunch of different, great thinkers... Who would have thought. But there were speaking a lot about how artists in the old days had the power to highlight and bring attention to things that are often overlooked. For example, someone like Vermeer, it was one of the first painters that would depict every day circumstances and everyday life while before portraiture show was all about people within prestigious positions. And I think we still carry that as artists and as creatives nowadays, that we're able to bring attention to things that people may not think about on a day to day life. And I think that that's the power, that's the influence that comes through art in itself.

Jared Saar (14:10):
It's interesting. I think for me, like almost devil's advocate is in the world of business today as a creative, like you were saying, Steph, who doesn't really know their why or their angle and doing business in a creative agencies, why should people care? Why should people care that we focus on purpose and does it affect the bottom line? Does it actually make a difference to the pounds in the bank? And will it make a difference for their team? Will it make a difference for people connecting with the brand? And I think it's an important question to ask because, um, you know, people want to know, uh, like why should we go OneSixOne versus some other agency?

Matt Miller (14:43):
I mean, I hope it does as otherwise our whole businesses is flawed. That's a good question, actually. Like it's interesting. Cause I had, I don't think I've you guys this, like I had a conversation with a photography agency and the whole reason behind it wasn't that I was intentionally looking for representation, but I'm kind of starting that journey around the photography stuff that I do again, how should that be done? How should it be managed? Like I'm trying to figure that whole space out. And then obviously like as a creative director, we have OneSixOne and the two line up and there's loads of crossover, but I think there are benefits to each other. And so I'm trying to figure out, okay, what's the most responsible way for handling both of these two things. And so kind of exploring this route of like representation and is that the best thing for me? It's I had a conversation with few people. Who've been kind of guiding me through that process and which led me to a conversation with an agency. And it was so interested in the conversation because they'd actually gone through the window of OneSixOne to discover who I was first. So they'd gone to the agency and read through everything. And it's so interesting. Cause I sent like my overview, which has a bunch of images that I take. And an overview is different to your book. Cause it's just images, but the person hadn't even looked at it, which I was a bit like, that's strange, like you're having a meeting with someone and you've not looked to their work. And then they were like, Oh, I'm confused. Is this person wanting us to sign the agency or sign him as a photographer? And then that person figured it out and was like, Oh no, I've found his personal website, which my personal website is just a bit of a joke. I did it in rebellion to COVID. I just was looking at so many photographers websites and the, all the same. They're just white portfolio. You scroll right. Or you swipe up and down. It's just, and it was really boring. And think I was in a strange place at the start of COVID Oh, just for people listening in 25 years, time to this podcast, which is going to break the internet.

Andy Khatouli (16:31):
Research COVID.

Matt Miller (16:32):
It's COVID right now. Oh, you'll be, you'll be reading about this in your history books and everything else that's happened.

Andy Khatouli (16:37):
I think most of those history books will be filled with memes.

Matt Miller (16:40):
Yeah.

Jared Saar (16:40):
Yes.

Andy Khatouli (16:41):
If you don't know what a meme, I suggest researching that. We will probably would advanced to hologram.

Matt Miller (16:47):
When you find this, like in the post-apocalyptic world, like this is a moment in history, right now.

Andy Khatouli (16:52):
That is if this podcast survives.

Matt Miller (16:54):
If it survives. Yeah. I hope it does.

Andy Khatouli (16:56):
We need like a blue Peter capsule thing.

Matt Miller (16:59):
Yes.

Andy Khatouli (17:00):
By the way, if you're not from the UK research that too.

Matt Miller (17:03):
Do you remember time capsules? How arrogant is, it's a bury your crap in the ground, pollute the earth and expect someone to dig out later and care about it. I remember those episodes of Blue Peter where someone would lift out this tin from the ground and it's like, look at this mangled Teddy bear.

Jared Saar (17:19):
Some of this stuff wouldn't be socially acceptable today. Like some of the things that are a hundred years ago...

Matt Miller (17:24):
Maybe not in Australia.

Jared Saar (17:24):
Well yeah maybe not. You can't bury anything in the ground there.

Matt Miller (17:28):
Why?

Jared Saar (17:28):
Too many poisonous things want to kill you while you try to do it.

Matt Miller (17:31):
Anyway, continuing on, what a tangent. So this person basically was kind of communicating that the one six one website was super thorough on the why and the purpose and like was so deep. And then they basically went on my personal website, which is just like, what is this creep? Like? They, they scared. Cause basically, you know, you should...

Jared Saar (17:55):
thatmattmiller.com.

Andy Khatouli (17:56):
There we go. There's the plug.

Matt Miller (17:57):
There's the plug.

Jared Saar (17:58):
And he's looking for representation so if anyone is listening and runs a photo agency...

Matt Miller (18:04):
Basically. Its my face, like on the screen. Yeah. It's like a desktop loads of pictures.

Andy Khatouli (18:09):
It's like a windows XP.

Matt Miller (18:10):
Exactly. And it's really antagonistic. And the person described it as quite punk rock, which I was really excited by because it sounds like something out of School of Rock which Jack Black would say, but anyway, they were like, yeah, your website doesn't communicate that it was just images. And I was like, yeah. I was like, isn't that what it should be? So then I felt like he was saying, you need to show the why. Like, what's your purpose behind that? So I was like, Oh, it's interesting. Cause you know, even agencies, if they're going to sell a photographer to a client, essentially, if there's loads of portfolios on the table and a client picks one, like the images are good, but what is, who is this person? But I feel like then it kind of does a contradictory thing set afterwards because then that person, the agency communicated, they were like, you know, clients are looking for the personality behind the photographer. So every client likes to say, Oh, we had that photographer work on this shoot. Or we have this photographer work on that shoot. And so he's like, see, you know, like as a photographer, you kind of need to have like that, not rock and roll essence, but they were kind of communicating that.

Jared Saar (19:09):
Yeah. Yeah.

Matt Miller (19:09):
So then I was like, wow, you've just automatically undermined purpose. Cause what you really said is you want superstar photographers, that are personalities. So it doesn't matter about what they've shot. And it doesn't matter about who they truly are. You just want someone to present a niche thing that you can sell to a client. So you could say to the fashion client, yo, this guy just swears all the time, but they're really intense, and that intensity creates these images or you want to be like, Oh, this person's all about intimacy and blah, blah, blah. Or you want to have that wild photographer that just like has a backpack and bare feet and just travels the world, hanging out with bands and hanging, like, that's what you're actually asking for. So I feel like it does matter purpose. Right. But I feel like a lot of people don't actually know how that manifests. How do you, how does it, how does that realise itself? Where does purpose actually hit home? Because we see it in John Lewis, Christmas advert sometimes. Right. But then you see, after a while it becomes gimmicky. So I feel like maybe we don't actually know what we're asking for when we're asking for us to get purpose.

Stephanie Alcaino (20:07):
Is it personality or is it something more than that? Yeah. Very interesting. I feel like my profile will be like Steph the photographer. She kills them with kindness.

Matt Miller (20:20):
Wait what? [laughter]

Jared Saar (20:20):
As what? Your selling point?

Stephanie Alcaino (20:22):
I feel like would be nothing else. She's just this goofy person on set.

Matt Miller (20:27):
The kind murderer.

Stephanie Alcaino (20:28):
The kind murderer.

Jared Saar (20:28):
The kind murderer. Wow.

Stephanie Alcaino (20:33):
Where did it go that I suddenly killed people for a living.

Andy Khatouli (20:36):
I think we need to move on. [Laughter].

Matt Miller (20:44):
We probably do.

Jared Saar (20:44):
It'd be interesting stuff to hear your view on this because you explain it really well... Is the idea of marketing to people and marketing the idea of purpose because we're talking about then someone trying to sell a product, which is the photographer and their personality. But at the same time, I kind of heard that you're trying to sell what makes you different or they're trying to sell what makes them difference. So Steph, you have spoken about this when it comes to marketing the different ideas of pushing or pulling and what purpose can do.

Stephanie Alcaino (21:10):
I think we need to get a bit of context before being able to go in that, but obviously pre-internet, it was all about companies putting up billboards or advertising and magazines and saying, look at our wonderful, shiny new products. And then nowadays with the internet, we've been like flooded with the availability of information that now life or marketing has had to transform into something completely different to how it used to be, which is our one-way conversation where the brand would talk to you and you would just be like, nod your head and move on. But now it's changed to something where it's a two way conversation. And I think from that the old day was all about this push marketing. Let's chase after the consumer and say, buy this, buy this, buy this. And then nowadays it's all about, okay, we know who we're about. And this is what we're about. If you identify with the culture that we represent, come join us. And that's more of a pull marketing. And I think this is where purpose has suddenly become the new thing that brands and the marketing industry is starting to talk about that. If we're able to say, well, this is what we're about. We stopped competing. We start bringing people in who identify with our culture and our product and our purpose. And I think that's what has changed nowadays because anyone can find it in the internet. Anyone can find a a hundred different clothing brands that are to some degree, quite similar in their approach. So people are wanting to find out more to understand, okay, out of all of these, which one do I choose, and that really comes about a personality fit long-term and that's a pulling marketing. And I think there's this dichotomy between creatives that are stuck between trying to get noticed versus trying to do the work that they're passionate about. And then within that grey area, they start to lose themselves because they're trying to push to get noticed, but then pull, for people to identify with their work and then they start to lose themselves between the two, because they don't know which one is the right one. And I think brands are stuck within that same capacity of just going, do we compete or do we become quite distinct, I guess, within the state of 2020, if we're talking about purpose, has it become more integral after this year with everything that's happened? Considering that brands are moving more into the digital space and the digital space, uh, predominantly navigated by Gen Z and Millennials who have felt that they've got this task to keep brands accountable, to be a lot more transparent, be a lot more honest and authentic in their approach with, I guess the multitude of things that we've all had to metabolise this year alone. Is it more necessary than we need purpose?

Matt Miller (24:03):
This is a great question because this is something I've been thinking about because our business is about the purpose side of things, which feels like quite human. Like it's a very human thing, but the future is digital. And that means that it's not just even about the presentation, but the measure, so digital agencies are coming up. They're a new thing, right? And it's all about analytics and the measure of behaviour conversion rates. And you can literally be like, right, we can hurt all these people in this direction and generate this amount of sales. You can actually measure the return. Right. And so like huge companies, they want to pay for something they know is going to give them the return. If they're spending a 100K on marketing that they hope might do something, they don't know all that's going to be. But if they plow that into a digital agency, that's going to literally condense and revise messaging to make sure that it gets 300,000 pounds worth of return. That it makes sense. They're going to keep doing that every time. You can almost argue then do we need to ever create new campaigns or rebrand or anything like that? Or do we just literally just have the same old thing and just funnel all our money into basically manipulating people's behaviour? I mean, I think we have a bit more hope as humans than feeling like we're that susceptible to being robots, but I mean, it's a strange time.

Andy Khatouli (25:19):
Just to add to that. I think what I've observed just from personal perspective is that a lot of people are more conscious of what they do with technology. And so people are aware of the certain behaviours and patterns in their lives that is dependent on social media or the internet or their mobile phones or whatever it is. And with recent documentaries, like the social dilemma or having a lot of these kind of former leaders of these big tech companies saying that actually there seems to be a wave moving away.

Matt Miller (25:46):
Its like parents not letting their kids use, like, instagram.

Andy Khatouli (25:46):
That's a clear example. Like, you know, a lot of these leaders don't let their children have a mobile phone even right up until they're like 16 or 18 because they know the dangers and the pitfalls of how technology can influence our behaviours and also how they've been programmed to influence our behaviours. So what I've actually observed is that people are moving more towards human based technology. A lot of artisan crafts have grown in this year as well.

Matt Miller (26:16):
And making bread.

Andy Khatouli (26:16):
Yeh, sourdough bread is obviously on trend right now.

Matt Miller (26:21):
I learnt to make sourdough everyone.

Andy Khatouli (26:21):
Shout out to everyone making sourdough. Coffee. Coffee's a big one at the moment, but even just within the crafts design and illustration and photography, people are after unique pieces. Nobody wants mass produced stuff. People like the personal touch. They, they want to feel like that what they have there is there isn't another carbon copy of it. And I think will be interesting to observe maybe in the next few years is how actually marketing will move away from the digital world. I suspect that that will be a long-term thing. And the way that technology is developing, it might be the case that technology becomes more human, whether that's a chip in your brain or the way that we use technology is more integrated into human life. So over COVID period, we've had zoom and video messaging and whatever, fill the blank there, but we've used technology in a new way. I think previously we would have thought of that as a convenient means of talking to someone, but now it's a necessity.

Matt Miller (27:18):
Yeah.

Andy Khatouli (27:19):
So I think it would be interesting to see how technology becomes more human. And I think that will dramatically affect how we talk to one another, how brands communicate themselves and following on from what Steph said earlier, if there's this conversation happening between the brand and the target audience, then that will massively influence how we present information and how we present products. I think it's not so straightforward. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years' time, we start to see a shift in the way that we use technology.

Stephanie Alcaino (27:47):
I do also wonder that nowadays brands are having to quite like humanise their communications instead of speaking like a brand, they speak like person. And I wonder whether that's more so because we have had this need to harness the digital space a lot more since we haven't been able to leave our homes for a lot of the time that I do find that quite interesting of an approach whether technology can also catch up to become a lot more human to go hand in hand, I guess, with the communications.

Jared Saar (28:20):
Yeah. I think an interesting point in that too, is I guess my, my thought around brand loyalty. And it's asking that question that you said before, push pull marketing, and are we funnelling people through data? And you know, if my microphone over hearing me talking about the PlayStation 5, which is coming out, which is out and I'm getting in a couple of weeks, very excited. Um, but is it hearing what I'm having to say.

Andy Khatouli (28:42):
That was unnecessary information.

Jared Saar (28:42):
And if anyone out there works for Sony, you know, I would love a pair of those headphones, but anyway. So, you know, we're talking about data and conversions and we'll start. So, it's asking the question like we, you know, we could herd people through conversions and all those kinds of things. But I think as we've seen, when we talk about purpose, when a brand says something or does something that is untrue, that's when we lose customers. And I think the idea that we're talking about with data and conversions and all those kinds of things is that's really tiring. And if you have the money for that, and if you can do that, great, then pour all your money into that, figure out what people are doing. And we also think as a business that is important to have those numbers, but to keep that up and to continue to be able to change your message or adapt your message to suit where the trends is going. I mean, sooner or later, there'll be another business that do the same thing as you and say things a little bit better than you do. And can you keep up with that? And I guess we're saying actually purpose, and I guess this is another again, we're plugging Simon Sinek is another one of his books, The Infinite Game he's talking about, what is something that outlasts even your vision and people can pick up your vision going forward and you build a company that's bigger than yourself because that will never die. And if you can share that message and you can make your products reflect that message and you can be true and have integrity to that message. That's brand loyalty. And we've seen, I think there's probably a million examples of when companies don't quite market something that's true. And Gen Z, these days they will go to town on you.

Stephanie Alcaino (30:34):
Yeah, they're a sharp generation.

Jared Saar (30:36):
Yeh they are sharp.They'll figure out if you're telling the truth.

Andy Khatouli (30:37):
Basically don't go on Twitter.

Jared Saar (30:39):
Yes, yes.

Stephanie Alcaino (30:41):
Actually part of my research recently, um, I was, as I always do read a billion articles, but one word that really stood out was 'There is no merit in profit without purpose, equally purpose without profit is unsustainable'. So it really is important that if we want to have longevity in any given industry purpose is so important. So we maintain almost a lane to run in instead of trying to find new destinations every two seconds.

[Music]

Andy Khatouli (31:14):
I was just thinking about purpose and how we discover purpose, whether that's in a brand or in a person. But I was really struck by a video that I came across the other day on YouTube. So funny YouTube algorithms, aren't they? Yeah. You land on the home page and it's like, you should watch this... And then you get suck it in. You're like, okay, I'm going to watch this. And then you're down a rabbit hole and into the abyss of the internet. But the video that came up was former president Obama and he was awarding Michael Jordan with the metal of freedom, presidential medal of freedom. I don't know what that means. Any American listeners, please let us know what that medal is for.

Matt Miller (31:54):
Do they get discounts with it or something.

Andy Khatouli (31:56):
[Laugh] Maybe discounts at Footlocker.

Matt Miller (31:59):
I don't why I automatically assumed you get discounts. Cause, I've never had a medal that got me a discount anywhere.

Jared Saar (32:06):
I just got participation awards. I never got any medals.

Andy Khatouli (32:10):
Do you think Marcus Rashford gets discounts now? Cause if his MBE?

Matt Miller (32:13):
That guy's like a God in Manchester. Yeah. I mean, kudos to him, like it's incredible the work that he's been doing. So thanks Marcus. Love you, mate.

Andy Khatouli (32:25):
Yeah. So back to the story. So Obama's awarded Michael Jordan with this medal, obviously for his achievements in sport and in culture. I think what's great about this video is what Obama says before he gives the medal. So he talks of, you know, Michael's achievements in life, whether that was in basketball, whether that was in fashion, et cetera, et cetera. And what I really love about it is that he attributes his success and his fame and his perseverance to Michael realising who he was as a person. So he says, you know, Michael is more than the rings and more than the trophies and more than the success, Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan. And I thought it was great. How Barack Obama, he put the two together, this idea that Michael Jordan realised his path us. And that's what led him to be great. That's what led him to be successful in life and the things that he was passionate about and the things that he excelled in. And so that kind of made me think about how are there people in my life who have done, likewise, who inspire me to do the same, you know, as the, the famous phrase goes, you know, 'you gotta be like Mike' and I just love to hear, you know, other people in your own lives or have you observed someone from afar? Like maybe it's a famous person or, you know, well-known celebrity or whatever it is, who's realised their purpose and really gone for it to the degree that it's had an impression on you in the way that you live your life and you think, do you know what I want to be like that person?

Matt Miller (33:51):
I mean, they even marketed off the back of that didn't they? Like be like Mike, cause that's what the whole thing was like, if you buy the trainers, if you like eat at McDonald's, if you drink whatever Pepsi or Coke or whatever he endorsed, you can be like my old ads wasn't it. That was like a whole thing, which is crazy. Cause that goes into your thing. Like at what point in life do you get to where your name is? The thing is like the Beyonce. Yeah. It's crazy.

Jared Saar (34:16):
That's a good question. I think, I don't know if I could name someone specifically, like as in this person inspires me to do what I'm doing today, but I think the concept that you're talking about, which is, you know, Michael Jordan, obviously you can talk about purpose, but then you also got to talk about talent and the fact that you could argue or you fell into that world and he just happened to be good. But actually I think what you're saying is actually he's purpose and wanting to be the best and taking everything personally, from what you got from Last Dance was the driving factor for me, what I saw by the end of the series was, um, you know, we can have all these debates and I don't know enough about all the players to say who's the greatest full-time I think it's Michael Jordan. But I think the mindset that he had was, Oh, they're supposed to be the best again. I'm going to show you who's the best. And I think it was that drive that he had the purpose to say, like, I can do this. I can be the best. And I think for me what you're saying, it sounds like who do I see in my life that inspires me to that kind of drive of going like whatever I do. I want to have this attitude. And I think for me, it's not so much about being the best from people that I've seen. But I specifically remember back when I was like a teenager, early teens, I go to church and I went to a church service and there's a guy who was visiting that day. And it just so happened to be that he was working or he had just worked on the Transformers movie when they first came out. And I remember it was like, what? Like this, this guy.... He was someone in the background, but it was like the most famous kind of person that I've ever seen. And he sat down and he drew a picture of a transformer and it was like, Whoa, this is incredible. It blew my mind. But I think for me as a young kid, it was like this thing of going like, Oh my gosh, this is a grown man, loving what he's doing and drawing this artwork for this movie about transformers. And for me it was this inspiring thing of like, Oh wow. Maybe one day I could enjoy what I do so much and find this joy from it because you know, he's on a Sunday, he's not supposed to be working, but he's still drawing and stuff like that. It was a clearly passion for him. So I think for me, it was like my first little eye-opener of going, Oh, excitement and passionate kind of made me think, I want to be excited and passionate about what I do. I want to get up with that joy. Um, and have like that kind of not counting the clock would have to work. So I think for me, I couldn't say his name. I don't know his name. It's more about the idea that he kind of imparted to me, which was this fun, excitement around what he was doing. Um, I don't know about you guys?

Matt Miller (36:44):
It's interesting. I was struggling to think of someone that I would say inspires me because they like realise their purpose all the time. But I think that's because I wouldn't say like I'm a realist, whatever that word means, but I find it hard sometimes if I don't know someone, I'm assuming a lot about them and it's hard for me to be inspired by assumptions because I don't feel like it's real. So I feel actually the people that have inspired me are just very real people that I've actually seen them have a lot of integrity in them say doing the things that they say they're about or the things that they say they're going to do. So one example for me is also like growing up, there was this guy that used to run this youth club called Duncan. It's random story. Like it's not a glamorous story at all. I used to live in this, um, this town in Leeds, Northwest Leeds called Horsforth very random place. Um, but it was a nice place to grow up and he used to just run like loads of youth stuff, just cause he just cared about that town. Like just cared about young people growing up, doing well. He cared about football and cricket, huge Leeds United fan used to love cricket for West Yorkshire. But I think he just did the stuff he said he was going to do. And he displayed to me that he cared about things that he genuinely said he cared about. And for him, his purpose was to just bring life into coursework. So if that meant creating some affairs, or at markets, or at sports festivals or like taking us on trips to stuff, he just loved young people in the town and them doing stuff and them seeing success. And there's been like loads of people that come from that town who've done well in sports because of some of the stuff that he set up or like done well just in whatever. And so I feel like for me, those are the kind of people that when I stop and think and evaluate, do I have integrity in the stuff that I'm doing? Am I actually living my life? Like it has purpose. I almost feel like I'm subconsciously holding myself to account by those standards that those people have set for me. And I think that's something that I try and model as well. I think that's something about the availability of what we're doing at OneSixOne is I want to make sure that my peers, that if I say, we're going to pay you on time and we're going to pay you X amount, we do that. You know what I mean? Like we don't take an advantage of people. Like it's bigger than just "business". Like I think I want to see the people that I care about thrive and prosper. And I think unfortunately a lot of them have been subject to bad cultures at agencies and as freelances, it's not even a privilege. That's just how we should be if we along to each other and value each other and see purpose in each other. And so I think that's something that like the standard that I on a personal level, try and hold in. My role here as creative director is that's the measure that I kind of hold myself to.

Stephanie Alcaino (39:25):
Hmm. So I'm very similar to you guys. There's not one person that I adhere to and get super inspired by. But to me, the quality that I find most admirable is people who just, if they say they're going to do something, they do it. And they're doers more than going around saying I'm going to do this. So I imagine this they're just so willing to get the work done and to go through the grit, to get to where they want to be. For example, my sister gave up her full-time job when freelance and has just thrived in. We have our one of advisers who decided to just start a dumplings stand in her local market. And then she's absolutely thrived in that. And then my friend back at home, she gave up her job as a lawyer to go back to university, to study physiotherapy. For me, I find that really admirable because it takes guts to just go do it. And it takes a good amount of courage to just put in the work, to get it done and to go through some of the failures and some of the things that people might say about you because they're like, Oh, I don't agree with that decision and willing to stick by what you think is right for yourself. To me, I find that the most inspiring element in a person is just someone who just gets it done. And if we go full circle, it's 'just do it' like Nike and Nike represents Michael Jordan.

Jared Saar (40:49):
Yes. Well done.

Matt Miller (40:51):
That's good knowledge.

Stephanie Alcaino (40:52):
Thank you very much.

Matt Miller (40:54):
For someone that hasn't watched anything about Michael Jordan.

Stephanie Alcaino (40:55):
My Michael Jordan knowledge is Space Jam that's but Buzz Bunny. I haven't seen Buzz Bunny around in ages.

Jared Saar (41:03):
Buzz Bunny?

Matt Miller (41:03):
Buzz Bunny?

Stephanie Alcaino (41:03):
Is it Buzz Bunny?

Jared Saar (41:03):
Oh my goodness.

Matt Miller (41:04):
I don't know who that is. [Laughter].

Jared Saar (41:08):
And Dalli Duck [Laughter].

Andy Khatouli (41:08):
Is it just a knockoff version. [Laughter].

Stephanie Alcaino(41:14):
Wait. What's his name?

Matt and Jared (41:18):
Bugs.

Matt Miller (41:18):
Did you just discovered this?

Stephanie Alcaino (41:18):

You know what? I've had my...

Matt Miller (41:21):
Maybe they're knockoff Australian cartoons.

Jared Saar (41:26):
The Laney Tines. [Laughter].

Matt Miller (41:33):
The Laney Tines [Laughter].

Stephanie Alcaino (41:33):
So its Bugs. Man, totally turning into my mother.

Matt Miller (41:36):
They didn't have Roadrunner. They have River Swimmer. [Laughter]

Andy Khatouli (41:51):

I'm kind of similar to what Matt said. You know, I've really appreciated people of good character. Seeing them in their everyday lives, thankful for what they have, humble, doing a good job for me. I'm always impressed by people who are not perfectionists, but people who just love to do what they do. And they can be lighthearted about things who can offer their mistakes. You can just enjoy what they do. And I think for me personally, as well as a creative, it's a bit weird to say this, but I've always tried to encourage myself if that makes sense. So looking in the mirror or looking over my work and thinking, okay, where can I go next? Maybe that's unique to what I do. And I'm sure there'll be loads of people who can improvise without that personal drive, just to be able to go. I love what I do. I just want to see what the next thing I can do. And I even recognise that from a young age, I always had an idea floating around in my head. And my immediate thought was, how far can I take this idea? Whether that's like, you know, really wanting a hot wheels track as a kid. And my parents saying that we just didn't have the money for it. So I've got the cereal boxes in the kitchen and made my own, you know, out of toilet roll. Or, you know, rearranging ornaments and objects around the house to meet my play needs as a child, completely destroying the living room. Even just, you know, as a child watching programs like Smart and Blue Peter, where you see these presenters with such enthusiasm, for the, even just the simple things, you know, learning how to make stuff out of the everyday ordinary item and you know, really putting your mind to it and having fun. So I think I've always been encouraged by people who can take what they have and make the most of it. I've always tried to anchor myself in that way, when it comes to my own creativity, it's not to kind of overexert myself and think, Oh, well, I can't be like this person or can't be like that person, but just to think, okay, what, what can I offer? And can I do a good job of it? And for me, I find a lot of purpose in that, you know, knowing that who I am and what I do.

[Music]

Matt Miller(43:43):
So we thought we'd end this episode with stuff that's on our radar because we're all very different. So we kind of pride ourselves at OneSixOne in being a diverse agency. And that means in our interests, in our ethnicity and our background, um, even our disciplines. And so we thought we get the opportunity at the end of the episode for everyone to just quickly share something that's on their radar that they're excited about at the moment. So Jared.

Jared Saar (44:05):
Ready Player II comes out today. I think on audio book, maybe it's already out.

Matt Miller (44:09):
Oh wait, there's a sequel to it?

Jared Saar (44:10):
Yeah, there's a book. Not in the movie. Look, the movie was, the movie did as good as it possibly could. The book, had so many things in there that to get the rights, to be able to pull off all the stuff in the book, I think it would be impossible. So the movie did what it could. And I think the movie, to be honest, it was like, eh, but the book, the book is incredible and it's read on Amazon by Wil Wheaton and he does such a good job. So then second one is out. I've probably read or listened to it more than eight times. I reckon.

Matt Miller (44:43):
Really? And the second book is out when?

Jared Saar (44:46):
Today. I've pre-ordered on Audible.

Matt Miller (44:48):
Oh wow.

Jared Saar (44:48):
I haven't started.

Matt Miller (44:49):
I've got credits, I'm going to get that.

Jared Saar (44:51):
I'm super excited.

Matt Miller (44:52):
I'm only like two chapters into the first one.

Jared Saar (44:57):
Anyway, so that's what I'm excited about.

Everyone (44:59):
Nice.

Matt Miller (45:00):
Who's next?

Andy Khatouli (45:01):
I don't know if this counts, but I actually really appreciate the new Marvel storyline for Spider-Man introducing Miles Morales.

Matt Miller (45:10):
Okay. Deep.

Andy Khatouli (45:11):
Yeah. I'm really encouraged by how they've adapted the story to include more characters, but specifically the new Spider-Man Miles, you know, representing a part of New York that rarely gets represented in comic books and maybe even film in general. So that gets me really excited. And especially because it's coming out, Oh, it's out already as video games. Yeah. I've read a few of the original comic books and I guess for me, what I'm sold on is the storytelling behind it. Um, you know, being authentic to part of a culture that maybe most people won't hear about because let's be honest, a lot of comic books are written with the default man or woman mold, a small town person who has a radioactive accident encounter. But yeah, it's great. It's great to see diversity in stories.

Matt Miller (45:59):
Yeah, thats great.

Stephanie Alcaino (46:00):
I think in the relevancy of this climate of COVID, I've recently read a book by Zadie Smith called Intimations: Six Essays. And essentially it's one of the first of I'm sure what will be many books about this year? And it's just her thoughts about 2020 and the issues that we had to explore as a globe, in this earth. And anyway, I just find a lot of thought processes quite interesting. And she wrote those six essays when she was in lockdown and stuck at home. So one of the essays was to do with everything that's happened with the Black Lives Matter movement and just her thoughts around race and identity. And I think for me, one question I'll go left with was whether she wrote that essay before or after everything that happened with George Floyd in the U S but I did find a lot of her thoughts, quite interesting and quite provoking as well. And yeah, definitely worth a read.

Matt Miller (47:04):
I watched this Netflix thing literally last night called We Are the Champions, which I think is like five or six episodes. And every episode features a competition of some kind thats a bit abstracts.

Jared Saar (47:20):
Like the cheese rolling down the hill?

Matt Miller (47:22):
Yeah, so I watched the episode, which is on track. I was trying to find the name of it, but it's the Coopers Hill cheese rolling, which is in Gloucstershire. It's a huge Hill and you probably have seen it before. It's like one of those, you know, like the Spanish bull run thing, like it's like one of those things that happens around the world, which is also, I think in one of the episodes, but it's just really interesting. It's like a Netflix documentary. It's like 35 minutes long. And I didn't realize that they have like men's races and then they have an uphill race, which is for kids. And then they only have one race, which is a women's race. So there's some guy that's like 20 something times champion of the downhill run. And he is like a God there.

Andy Khatouli (48:03):
Does he catch the cheese?

Matt Miller (48:05):
No. So what happens is the race... This is the thing, you know, the race isn't to catch the cheese, they roll the cheese. And then as soon as they roll it, you can go. And it's the first person to the bottom wins the cheese.

Stephanie Alcaino (48:15):
Isn't it quite dangerous going down the hill?

Matt Miller (48:15):
It is so, so dangerous. When you watch people, they're like just bouncing. Some people have got a technique, which when they fall, because the thing is everyone falls. So it's how you react to the fall because it's so fast. Like the cheese, I can't remember what they said. It goes like X miles an hour down the Hill. But it's how, when you fall, you use the fall to move forward without injuring yourself.

Jared Saar (48:37):
You become the cheese.

Matt Miller (48:40):
Anyway, what's fascinating is they focus on the women's race because to win it more than three times in a row is like wild, it's like unheard of. Yeah. And so there's this young woman called Florence Early and she's won it four times in a row and it's just built around her story of how she wanted when she was like 18, 17, 18. And it's so interesting because the race is technically illegal. So no one can officially organise it. Cause there's so many liabilities because if someone dies, so they have an unofficial organiser, who's just this woman in a pub down at the bottom. And so she can't be charged cause she's not... it's gone on for like hundreds of years. And there's loads of like stories about how it started. And apparently seemed like the doomsday book. Like there's a picture of like some old guys with a wheel of cheese, but it's gone on forever.

Jared Saar (49:31):
Wheelie?

Matt Miller (49:31):
Wheelie.

Jared Saar (49:35):
Wait, I'm sorry. How is it an unofficial though? Hey guys I may or may not roll a roller wheel of cheese down the house today?

Andy Khatouli (50:04):
Why do people not cartwheel?

Matt Miller (50:05):
Well mate, the speed that you go. So this Florence girl, right? She runs she the last time she did it. The third time it's all about, is she going to win a fourth time? The episode? Okay. The third time she goes down, the fall is insane and she comes up and she broke her collarbone. So one side of her body, there's just a huge bump. And it's like, she's saying like, yeah, technically when you break a collarbone, like this, it's just dislocated, but it will never go back. Oh, so your bones just sticking up. So you can't like, you can't pop it back. So then she does the race and spoiler alert. She wins the whatever, and at the end she just sat, like, she sat with the second and third person and it like at the very, very end, it just cuts to her foot and she's got ice on it and she's like, and they're like, is it broken? And she's like, nah, like it's probably not broken. And then the next scene is like, she's broken up foot crutches. Gosh. She's like, yeah, I'm not doing it again. Like I've tempted fate too many times. I've won it four times. But anyway, I just always super interesting. Cause it's just this, like, I love when like little local stories become celebrated. Like the Michael Jordans, like aside the most important sporting event. Cause we've all done sports days, right. Where our parents came and we like did that thing where we were super proud of when we were like seven years old, we all have those memories.

[Music]

Matt Miller(51:59):
Well, if you're listening for the first time, which you will, because this is the first episode. Thank you very much. We'll see you again on the next episode soon.

Everyone (52:06):
[Bye].



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