Product Design
  • Interview Excerpt: Leslie Ali, Writer/Director/Creative Director, New York

    Check out the work of Leslie Ali.

    What do you look for in a student book? And what impresses you?

    I look at what their interests are outside of advertising. I think it informs you more than the actual work itself, because students don’t yet have a body of work that defines them. And the briefs that come out of most ad schools are similar. So it is quite nice to see what they do and what their true passions and interests are outside of advertising.

    How would someone show you that?

    I’m seeing more and more of it. Maybe people just know that that’s my thing. But the books I’m seeing generally have a space for work and a space for play. You can usually find something that runs through both, and you get a sense of the person, their tonality, their sense of humor—something that allows you to believe that this person could be a great lateral thinker.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Leslie Ali

    Leslie Ali is a writer, director, and creative director in New York.

    VW – “Heaven”

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    Interview Excerpt: James Mok, Executive Creative Director for Asia Pacific, FCB International, Auckland

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    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    I certainly like individual flair. I’ve always thought that the best creativity comes out of a person’s ability to express themselves as an individual. I think it’s really hard when you’re young and you haven’t spent a lot of time in advertising. You’re still figuring out things, and you invariably copy a lot. You’re mimicking techniques you’re drawn to, so naturally your work is incredibly derivative, which is unfortunate because everyone is looking for something original.

    I look for someone who can take a brand’s point of view and overlay their own personal point of view about the world, about society, about people. Human insights, I guess. Then work has a bit more meaning. When ads are just a superficial gag or just a play on words, it doesn’t really get through on an emotional level.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: James Mok

    James Mok is Executive Creative Director, Asia Pacific at FCB International in Auckland.

    MINI/SPCA – “Driving Dogs”

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    Interview Excerpt: David Nobay, Creative Chairman, Droga5, Sydney

    Check out the work of David Nobay.

    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    I think what impresses me more than anything else is just a point of view. It’s interesting, a lot of young people come here who have been filtered through older people. So they come in and take me through work and I say, “Do you love this? Because I don’t actually love this.” And as soon as I push them in it they say, “No, I hate this, but I was told it would be really good.” Or, “I was told you’d like it.” And I get it because I remember being young and also being told to listen to everyone. But what you’re really looking for is someone who can filter the information around them, even at a young age. So they can say, “Everyone told me this and everyone gave me this advice but ultimately I’m presenting you something having filtered it through my brain that I’m proud of.” And I very rarely see that.

    [ … ]

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: David Nobay

    David Nobay is Creative Chairman at Droga5 in Sydney.

    Qantas – “Stories for every journey”

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    Interview Excerpt: Damian Royce, Creative Director, Whybin\TBWA Group, Melbourne

    Check out the work of Damian Royce.

    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    The number one thing is being able to identify solutions for brands. When a brand comes to an agency they are looking for solutions to their problems. So the first thing I ask when I’m looking at a folio is, “Are these ideas solving problems?” And, of course, “Are they doing that in a clever and original way?”

    [ … ]

    When you meet with someone do they bring in a laptop or…

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve just looked at the books online to immerse myself in their work and then, in the interview, I ask them some questions and it gives them a chance to explain the ideas in a bit more detail. The other side of the interview for me is to just have a good conversation and establish what sort of personality they have and what their views are about creativity and the industry in general—not just getting a picture of them through their work. I think it’s actually a really good thing to be able to review a portfolio online before the interview because you can see the work and then get a sense for what makes them tick in the actual interview.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Damian Royce

    Damian Royce is Creative Director at Whybin\TBWA Group in Melbourne.

    ANZ Bank GayTMs Case Study

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    Interview Excerpt: Eugene Cheong, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, Singapore

    Check out the work of Eugene Cheong.

    I want to see five great things. Too often students try to bulk up their books, which only shows a lack of judgment and good taste. Ideally, I’d like to see a couple of posters. They are the ultimate test. Any fool can blow up an idea, but it takes a great deal of skill to boil a thought down to a few words and a single picture.

    [ … ]

    How important is finish? Could sketches be enough?

    Creative directors have [an] incredibly short attention span. Present your ideas in the most efficient manner and forget about all the crafty bits. As long as the idea comes across crystal clearly, roughs are fine. Of course, platform ideas need to be explained. The best way to do that is with a concept board, which, funnily enough, is not too dissimilar to a good old-fashioned press ad.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Eugene Cheong

    Eugene Cheong is Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific.

    Coca-Cola – “Sharing Can”

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon