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168 Things

Business & Economics Podcasts

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.

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.


United Kingdom


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.






Pro Bono Mundi - a call to action

If your clients are fucking up the planet, what can you do? Find someone who’s unfucking the planet – in the exact opposite way to your clients – and give them your time pro bono Call it karmic offsetting. The big brands have all the money, and all the power. They pay us to create desire. We know how to make people want more, more, more. The result is a planet on fire, oceans full of plastic, animals going extinct – ad people didn’t create this state of affairs, but we sure helped. We...


Glad all over

Sporting analogies are popular in business - for obvious reasons. Winning and losing, teamwork, roles within the team, etc. can be useful ways to think about what we do. But I think there's something more important about sport, and its relevance to creative business. In this episode I talk about why going to watch a fairly unsuccessful football team matters, and what that has to do with being creative.


The journey to the rainbow - an interview with Tom Gattos

Tom Gattos, founder of the Rainbow Lottery, talks to me about his long and varied career in advertising. He's won awards all over the world, and worked on four continents. And he's still working, as you'll hear - but his great project now is the Rainbow Lottery - if you don't know it, check it out at rainbowlottery.co.uk - and buy a ticket, too. Big prizes and good causes to support. It's an entertaining interview, with teasing references to some of his more hair-raising escapades. About...


Creative upgrades, and the evocative power of a Fray Bentos pie - with Nobby Davies

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 contact Nobby, he's on LinkedIn - Paul Nobby Davies - or you can find him via his website -...


What the xxxx have my xxxx got to do with this sales meeting?

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 years and first jobs, and how she dealt with some of the 'tricky' men...


'They're all humans' - with Vonnie Alexander

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 with a tricky colleague or a difficult situation, listen to Vonnie (and probably...


The Oracle within you

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.


Crisps blown up in the air, uncapping a fresh biro, and what writers owe to readers - with Lu Dixon

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.


How to be creative (even in a pandemic)

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 such people. I've thought a lot about creativity, and watched it happen, and tried...


A bonus episode - the brief we wrote for these podcasts - does it measure up?

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 the brief, and the client was Kitcatt and Croke, the language is...


How to write a creative brief

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 years of grappling with briefs, and give advice on how to ease...


How to grow a great client-agency relationship - with Angus Crowther

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 useful advice on what both client and agency need to do to...


The joy of a 'To Don't' list, and why you should have one

'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.


How I got started in creative marketing, and who helped me

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 tried to apply - to pay forward - over the years. And I owe it to Fiona Ross...


Perfectionism - healthy and unhealthy

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 memorable and influential creative and strategic campaigns. What does healthy...


What we learnt about starting up and growing a business - with Marc Nohr

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.


Trailer - starting up and growing your business - an interview with Marc Nohr

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


Beyond the totalitarian brand - an interview with Lazar Dzamic

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 between Balham and Belgrade. We discussed the future of brands, in the...


What's your story?

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 interesting brand story. In this podcast, we talk about how. We look...


From brand to bland - why marketing gets turned to mud, and how to avoid it

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.