Phil Bilbrough: be brave be bold.

Be brave be bold.

By Phil Bilbrough

This is nothing like me. Be brave be bold…..great advice for someone else. Not that I’m not working on it. I’m right into positive thinking, affirmations and visualization all to shake my super risk averse curse. Whether its on a football field, at work or making a financial decision I’m cursed with the averse. Perhaps I was born fearful or perhaps my parents drummed it into me, either way unraveling one way of being and winding up another is hard.

I’m not unlike a brand manager. Actually I am a brand manager. But I was really talking brand’s managers who look after too many brands don’t have enough budget for all of them and stretched sales targets. These people may prefer a sure thing seen-it-before promotional strategy I mean that might be all they have time to comprehend anyway. Bravery may need time – particularly to sell it in to your boss.

How to be brave? Bravery can’t be taught, but fear can be moderated, suppressed or diverted. My bravest moments were when I didn’t understand what was going on, when I was under an influence, when I accidentally did something brave, and when and only on a few occasions I really believed in what I was doing.

And I think that the brand manager of this Old Spice campaign knew what he/she was doing. Easy to think that they didn’t know what they were getting into, therefore appear brave, but I think that they did know what they wanted and got it and more. I think that they wanted to refresh the old refresher. Perhaps they were brave because Old Spice was flat-lining, so they had nothing to lose.  But that is unfair, its a great campaign.

Whatever their motivation they took a chance and backed it. I’m all for this, most agencies are. A clear and present danger for the New Zealand advertising industry is that no outrageous ideas make it to market. No big idea comes along to propel the industry and open the eyes marketing people.  Without these big ideas motivating its talent and their clients the industry is as worthy as a hungover Elvis impersonator.

Be bold be brave – live with some adrenalin (or something else). Take a risk someone, please. You will love the business again and your industry will love you.


Phil Bilbrough is a freelance online advertising specialist who is blogging on the subject for Scoop at He can be contacted at

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