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The Influencers

Blue Thinking: "A Combination of Danger and Beauty"

INFLUENCER: Following on from Mellor&Smith's 'Take F**king Risks' event with Dave Trott, JCDecaux Blue's Anto Chioccarelli gives her own views on risk taking

Blue Thinking: "A Combination of Danger and Beauty"

“Take risks” - we hear a lot of that in this industry and we see a lot of the opposite too. There is plenty of talk about taking risks, being bold, being brave, breaking the rules, pushing the boundaries… But who really does it? 

Clients complain about ad agencies not taking risks, ad agencies complain about clients, media agencies try to be creative, creative agencies want to do planning, and the confused media owner is picking up the tab. 

“Take risks”, they say, as they are comfortably sat behind their desks, earning a lot of money and winning some lovely awards working with the same clients and producing the same stuff over and over and over again!

When I decided to join JCDecaux Blue I took a big risk. I was going to experience advertising from a different perspective, different environment, different culture. The move from a creative agency to a media owner made people think I was crazy because I was taking a big risk, but I saw and believed in something other people didn’t see - it was a lot bigger and a lot more meaningful. I saw a lot of opportunities to make some remarkable and memorable stuff happen, pioneering new ways of doing things in bold and forceful ways and enabling the creative community to do more, to be more experimental, and to take more risks. I like to think I took a risk to empower more people in this industry to take those risks. 

It takes a lot of energy to do that but if you are passionate about something you must find that energy. Nils Leonard says “passion is attractive” and he is so bloody right! I feel lucky to be so ferociously passionate about things in life, you will live a richer and deeper one and that’s an empowering feeling. It’s where I get my energy from. Passion fuels me and gives me the energy to believe I can make the difference and take risks. I love that danger, experimentation and adventure… It makes me feel alive!

I guess it’s about being comfortable with risk, uncertainty, ambiguity and to push new ideas into action quickly. If you think too much you will end up complicating it and not doing it. Passion is dangerous but if you embrace it you will start to see the magic. 

I grew up in Naples, a city that is a combination of danger and beauty. I always thought this is what advertising should be about, and, of course, keeping it simple.

Simplifying seems risky nowadays. I am a big believer of what Dave Trott says about simplifying. To use his words: “If we cannot simplify it we are screwed before we even start. Make it really really simple.” We don’t do that. Instead, we complicate. We want to impress each other by how much we know and that doesn’t work. 

Taking risks isn’t about talking about taking risks. It’s about doing new stuff. Experiment, reinvent, become an explorer, action differently, get out of your comfort zone, do what you believe in, have an idea and the energy to make it happen. You might be thinking “but what if it goes wrong?” So what?! We shouldn’t be afraid of the unknown. Don’t be afraid of what the end result is going to look like. 

The truth is you don’t know until you try.




Anto Chioccarelli is Lead Creative Partner at JCDecaux Blue.

To read about Mellor&Smith's 'Take F**king Risks' event with Dave Trott, sponsored by JCDecaux Blue, click here