A day in the life: Daniel Bonner, chief creative officer of Razorfish

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Part 3 in a series: Agency's creative chief chimes in on jet lag and meetings

Whoever said "progress never sleeps" may have suffered from insomnia, or perhaps they pioneered something truly global that changed the lives of millions — or, then again, maybe they continued their relentless pursuit for an answer for decades until their mission was complete.

Whoever it was, I’m pretty certain they were not on board my delayed Airbus A330 from JFK to LAX. But, given the turbulent jet-stream headwind that the pilot has been wrestling with for the past five hours, they could well have been. My progress today involved no sleep whatsoever — and so my day begins unusually early. …

12:17 a.m. Arrive on a delayed flight at LAX from JFK.

1:00 a.m. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

5:00 a.m. "Do. Do. Do. Do. Do-do-do." (I must change that alarm ringtone.) No lie-in for progress this morning either, which is a good thing because today begins with a road trip. From Los Angeles, I’m rolling out past the Malibu hills en route to our San Luis Obispo office, where our state-of-the-art production studio, video-motion graphics and soundstage live.

5:30 a.m. Before I hit the road, I call our new international executive creative director, Nick Turner. It’s 9:30 p.m. in the UK, but he’s one of the hardest-working night owls I know. He updates me on some key talent initiatives.

9:00 a.m. Arrive in San Luis Obispo. The investment made in this facility is crucial to our ability to deliver world-class content across any number of formats and channels. This is my first flying visit. I meet the team, take a tour, say hello to a client and leave impressed. The coffee is strong. Progress will be wide-eyed today.

10:00 a.m. Traveling back to the LA office, I turn my phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and crank through e-mail. Focus on feedback to the Hong Kong team (while they sleep) for a pitch in the Middle East.

10:50 a.m. Still on the road — which is apt, as I take the time to share key automotive experiences and opportunities with a sister Publicis Groupe agency based in London.

1:00 p.m. Arriving at the LA office, I meet with our West Coast executive creative director for an update on a number of client engagements. I meet with every executive creative director across our 18 offices at least once every four weeks, and often more frequently than that. Today’s two-hour face-to-face was worth the trip alone. We discuss a pioneering experience and intellectual property platform. Genuine goosebumps. For 20 years, Razorfish has been transforming business through applied creativity, technology, media and an obsession with our clients’ customers. Today, evidently, is no different.

3:00 p.m. It is important, as the chief creative officer, that I drive our philosophy and approach internally, so I allocate time to lead the creative direction for Razorfish’s 2015 Brand New Thinking Awards. This internal initiative is now in its third year. As an innovation business, it is crucial to motivate and celebrate the most pioneering work across our global network.

4:00 p.m. While traveling, I’m always keen to address the entire team and, today, I get the chance as the guest speaker at our "first Thursday" all-company inspiration session. Following a successful Cannes festival in June, the theme is "winning." I share work, current trends, our ambitions and my insights that will hopefully inspire more medal-winning work for 2016.

5:00 p.m. Dinner and drinks with a new client.

7:00 p.m. Head to LAX. From JFK to SLO to LA to Hong Kong. Met the team. Reviewed the work. Shared experience. Inspired change. Led the client. I’ll take progress over sleeping any day of the week.

Daniel Bonner is global chief creative officer of Razorfish.


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