Willmott: It's getting harder every year, but the last few years we have all been living in a very different world, and that's definitely affected how cautious agencies, clients and consumers have been.
C: What was your creative highlight of 2004?
Willmott: Personally for us at Publicis/New York the TBS work was a tremendous breakthrough in '04. It was extremely funny work that proved equally successful for the client. The work picked up a Lion at Cannes and it has just won an Effie.
C: Could you describe your experience on this? What factors do you think contributed to the success of the campaign?
Willmott: A great client, great casting, a superb director, magnificent production, faultless editing on top of the tight scripts and a tremendous drive from everyone involved to never drop their standards ensured that the spots were spot on.
C: What, outside of your own work, did you believe to be some of 2004's creative landmarks?
Willmott: We were extremely impressed with the work on Honda done out of London that built on the amazing "Cog" spot. That they have managed to improve the work from such a good start and sustain their tone of voice and start to really build equity for the brand with it is outstanding.
C: Did you observe any interesting or disturbing trends in advertising last year? If so, what?
Willmott: I think everyone has seen enough of the "everybody doing the same thing in one city" type spots that were really over when they did "Tag."
C: Any positive trends?
Willmott: The positive trend is that everyone is still searching for the Holy Grail, so that means it's still out there for someone to grab and run with.
C: Overall, what do you believe was the biggest obstacle to creating great advertising last year?
Willmott: The biggest obstacle to creating great advertising is always yourself.