168 Things

168 Things

A podcast series about creative thinking, creative business, and creative life. For people in creative marketing, or anyone who is creative for a living. We are Paul Kitcatt and Chalice Croke, and we've worked in creative marketing for years. This is some of what we've learnt - we hope it helps. We want to make everything better.

Episodes

July 12, 2021 46 min

After a short pause, we're back with a guest - Paul 'Nobby' Davies, a brilliant creative thinker, who's now a coach. We talk about how he got there, how to give yourself and your team a creative upgrade, and Nobby goes on to explain his concept of 'hyper-observation'. Our conversation is illuminated by many anecdotes, all of which serve a purpose, even if it isn't immediately apparent. If you want to con...

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Breaking through the glass ceiling with Chalice Croke - in this episode, I interview my business and podcast partner about the book she's writing. In it she will tell how she went from a council flat in Battersea all the way to the top in a male dominated, and mainly middle class industry - and she hopes her experience can help and inspire other women following in her footsteps. In the podcast, she tells me about her early year...

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Vonnie Alexander was one of the four partners who founded Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw - one of London's best known agencies, in its day. But what did she do next? Here, she talks about how everything she'd learnt and done in her agency career helped her become a highly successful and sought after coach - though it's not quite as simple as that, as you'll hear. If you've ever found yourself wondering how to deal ...

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April 20, 2021 23 min

Do you ever find it hard to make a decision? We all do sometimes. Here's a surprising but effective way to help you stop wondering what to do, cut through the ifs and buts, and make a choice. The episode includes Chalice talking about the method, then a real time demo of it in action, helping her resolve a tricky question. 

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We said we'd do more about copywriting - and here's an interview with one of the best writers in the business, Lu Dixon. She tells us how she started out, who she learnt from, and why visiting a crisp factory was more than just an opportunity to eat hot potato slices. An episode not just for writers, but for all who work with them and want to help get the best words out there. 

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February 15, 2021 15 min

If you're creative - for business or pleasure - how do you stimulate your creativity? Especially now, when all our movements are so circumscribed. 
You need to find your inner Winnie the Pooh, and resist Rabbit. Do what Archimedes did, or Mendeleev. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, listen here and I'll explain. I've made a living from being creative for over thirty years, and worked with many other suc...

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This is a short bonus episode to follow the one about briefs. I found the brief I wrote for this podcast series, and here we have a look at it. The briefing format is unusual, but rather excellent. It was shown to me by Lu Dixon, a creative titan, and I found it very stimulating. Listen and hear about the format, and then the actual brief I wrote - and let me know if you think we've delivered on the brief. Warning - as I wrote ...

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February 3, 2021 34 min

If you have to write briefs for creative people to work from - or if you're a creative person, who gets briefed - you will know what a battleground it can be. Is a brief ever good enough? How much blood, sweat and tears goes into writing them? Is it worth the effort? Yes, it is, because a good brief is the first creative act, and from it, brilliant ideas can flow. In this podcast, we share our thoughts and experience from many ...

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Winning a pitch is only the first step towards what will, you hope, become a wonderful relationship between client and agency. But have you ever analysed how to get there? How trust can grow, and be nurtured? What you all need to do to make it work? 
Angus Crowther and his team at Alchemists have. Their report for ISBA on this subject came out towards the end of last year. In this podcast, we interview Angus about it, and he gives u...

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'Do you have any idea how ****ing busy I am?' Yes, because you have a ridiculously long 'to do' list, and it's crushing you. Not in a good way.

You need an alternative - and here it is, together with the reason why you need to do one thing right now.

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I started out in this business as a trainee copywriter, and it was thanks to an introduction from a remarkable woman called Fiona Ross. We're going to make podcasts specifically to help people who want to learn more about how to be a creative thinker, a writer, an art director, a strategist, a leader, and more, but today I'm going back to my own beginning, to talk about a principle that benefitted me, and that I've trie...

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October 28, 2020 28 min

Everyone who works in marketing has met him - or her - the obsessive, tyrannical perfectionist who picks apart every idea, tells everyone they're rubbish and then burns the midnight oil reworking other people's efforts until they no longer resemble their original author's intents. But perfectionism isn't necessarily destructive and disempowering - it's a driving force for success and for some of the most memorab...

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In this episode, Paul Kitcatt interviews his former business partner, Marc Nohr. Together with Vonnie Alexander and Jeremy Shaw, they founded Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, one of London's most successful creative agencies. In this interview, we talk about how we did it, and what the future looks like for others trying for similar success. 

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The latest episode of 168 Things features an interview with Marc Nohr - here's a taster

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Lazar Dzamic is one of the leading strategic thinkers in digital marketing - or indeed, any kind of marketing. We worked together at Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw; from there he went to Google; and now he's home in Serbia, for a while. He recently published 'The Definitive Guide to Strategic Content Marketing', (with Justin Kirby, publ. Kogan Page) a book that fully delivers on its title. I spoke with him via a video link...

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September 9, 2020 23 min

Storytelling is all the rage, and has been for a few years now. But how can your brand compete with all the other stories out there? Netflix and Amazon have built vast empires from selling stories - and then there are all your competitors, vying for people's attention. It's not enough to let your agency make up some nonsense and plaster it at great expense all over the media. You need to dig deeper to find a satisfying and ...

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When budgets are tight and times are hard, the temptation is to create safe marketing. Bland, samey nonsense. Pap. It all starts with a creative brief getting dumbed down, and then you're all on the road to hell, if hell had the fire and brimstone removed, and all the interesting, bad people, and was run by estate agents. You have to make a stand. 

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August 11, 2020 8 min

Every creative person knows the feeling - you've presented your ideas, and now the client has some comments... and once you've heard them, all you want to do is run away. But don't - or at least, don't go too far. Find a place that can give you solace, and inspiration. As I did, one wet afternoon in London. This podcast tells the story. 

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In this episode, we interview Rob Steeles - a highly successful creative director who is also a self-confessed introvert. How has he done so well in an industry that favours more flamboyant, extroverted characters? Listen to find out, and learn how business leaders can create space and time for more introverted people to flourish, to everyone's benefit. And how, if you are an introvert, you can make your way right to the top. 

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July 20, 2020 11 min

How to develop a superpower that will give you a major competitive advantage - listening and thinking about what you're hearing. You'll find out what your clients want, but can't quite manage to say. You'll stand out from the crowd, in a business where everyone else spends the time they should be thinking about what they're listening to thinking instead about what they want to say. 


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