As we all know an American Sweetheart, Gabby Douglas, won the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around Competition yesterday at the London Games. After learning about her inspiring story, we found a few things we, as advertisers (and really people, too) can learn from Gabby and her journey. So we put them together in our first “Five for Friday” post.
5 Things Advertisers Can Learn From Gabby Douglas
- Bigger isn’t always better. Gabby Douglas, at just 4’11 is a small package, but she’s accomplished a world more than the average Jane. Sometimes in advertising, we think every idea has to be big. That every execution and advertisement could be bigger. But Gabby proves that smaller things can pack a big punch. Sometimes the littlest concept (or body) can achieve the greatest results.
- It takes a team. At the age of 14, Gabby asked her mom to move across the country to train with Liang Chow and live with a host family. To become an Olympic Gold Medalist, she needed her mother’s support, her host family’s support, an amazing coach, and the guidance of the gymnasts who competed alongside her. In reality, no advertisement can be attributed to one person (normally). It takes a team to expand upon, hone and package a great idea. Without a copywriter, creative director, designer, art director, account executive and involved CEO, our agency would never be able to put out the work we do, just as Gabby might never wear gold without her team.
- Be the first. Last night Gabby Douglas made Olympic history in more than one way. She was the first U.S. woman to win a team gold and the individual all-around gold in the same Olympics. She’s also the first African-American to win the all-around gold medal. Part of being a great advertising agency is keeping up with the latest technologies and trends. Doing so, allows us to be more innovative. Being the first to put an ad on the side of a bus, or the first to create a mobile app sets an agency apart and shows just how creative it can be.
- Stay focused. Gabby remembers Coach Chow telling her to “stay calm, remain focused and the results will come up by themselves.” It’s true. Focusing on the task at hand and taking a deep breath, gives you the clarity you need to be successful. Agencies who focus on the client’s needsand goals more-so than their own creative ambitions are the ones who create lasting and “golden” campaigns.
- Smile. Throughout her entire run at the 2012 Olympics, Gabby has grinned from ear to ear, during routines and otherwise. Certainly that positivity is another reason she’s gotten so far, and her smile is an amazing addition to her uniform. As advertisers, we must be positive about our work and the work of our peers. Dwelling on one mistake, or a little hop on the dismount, will eventually prevent us from producing great work in the future. Smile, laugh, and be positive because it helps your creativity AND, we like to think, makes our clients happy too!
What have you learned from Gabby Douglas, or any Olympic athlete for that matter?