CS Presents… What I Want For Christmas (write up)

The sexy jumpers, the George Michael on repeat, the mulled wine and random people wearing false white beards and red jumpers in the street: that’s right, it’s Christmas. We asked our speakers to divulge their deepest most intimate seasonal desires with us: what they want for Christmas, and what they would like to give the creative industry if they were Santa. Here’s what they said.


Alfie Spencer – Head of Semiotics at Flamingo

Alfie has chosen to use Christmas to playfully make his audience aware of two pet peeves. What he wants for Christmas is a maths textbook, and what he’d like to gift the industry is a ban on abstract nouns.

The maths book is the result of a thought process that runs along these lines: we seem to keep linking creativity to informality: informal language as well as knowledge. Creativity is tied to this romantic assumption that we need to be intoxicated bohemians in order to come up with original ideas. I think this holy grail of informality is deceptive, and that’s why I want a maths textbook for Christmas.

The world is full of astoundingly creative people who are crap at maths – to name the most bohemian creative genius alive today: David Bowie – so I’m going to consider myself not completely screwed as a creative just yet. (David, I apologise if you’re actually good at maths xox.)

Then our delightful gift: No More Abstract Nouns, Ever.

Definition: A noun denoting an idea, quality, or state rather than a concrete object.

No more ideas. No more happiness. No more celebration. No more greatness. No more genius. No more creativity. These words are now forbidden in creative copy.

Thanks, mate. *Dejectedly shuffles to Job Centre Plus*


Graham Hodge – Producer at Pulse Films

Graham stays true to the Christmas spirit. He wants this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 20.06.00

(Supposedly to draw our attention to the amazing quality of games today, but possibly just for fun…)

Graham turns out to be a very generous Santa, as he has THREE gifts for us.

  1. “This is what’s known as a book”

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 20.06.10

Also the original book on screenwriting. Which was written a suspiciously long time before the invention of screens – I’m intrigued.

  1. A pair of strap on balls. They symbolise courage.
  2. The talented producer Jim Wilson. He’s even got a Wikipedia page.

Thanks Santa!


Laura Jordan Bambach President D&AD, co-founder of She Says, creative partner Mr President

Laura keeps it delightfully simple: what she desires more is time and space, because it would allow her to dedicate more time to craft in creativity – and to stare out the window a bit too. What she’d like to give us is a childlike sense of wonder, because she feels that this is often lost in advertising.

I’ll give Peter Pan a ring, he’s obviously been hanging out in NeverNever Land too long.


Georgia Barretta Design Director at Geometry

Our gift is her wishlist: Georgia invites the entire creative industry onto Santa’s lap and asks for us to be allowed to enjoy highbrow art the world over. There is no reason commerce and perceived elitist art shouldn’t go on more dates, she says – so let’s make it a feast.


Dave Bedwood – Creative Director at M&C Saatchi

Dave wants all the Star Wars films ever made, including all versions of them on an incredible hard drive to take to a cabin in a Norwegian Wood and then be smashed by Chewbacca who unzips into an 80s hottie with a perm in just her pants – after which he’s laid to rest in a coffin with a screen and Star Wars on a loop. Forever.

And all he’s giving us are stripy socks.


Check out all the photos from the event HERE

Event slides:

Big thanks as always to our partners:

Because Source is all about Connected People, Connecting People, Creative Social is the perfect platform for people to network whilst benefiting from leading industry knowledge. To help conversation flow, there will be a sponsored bar, courtesy of our friends at Source.

We would also like to say a special thanks to our venue partners DigitasLBi for providing us with ‘The home of Creative Social Presents..’ a top notch venue for creative thinking.




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