Last week 40 Creatives descended to London for our inaugural CS Fresh event, welcoming 40 new Socials into our collective. It reminded me of just how interesting and inspiring our Socials are so this week we are running a week of interviews to get under the skin of some of our favourite Socials as well as some friends of the family. It would have been rude not to start with one of our founding socials who started the journey with us in Amsterdam over 10 years ago:
Not having seemingly aged at all over the last 10 years it was a pleasure to catch up with the fantastic Flo Heiss, Creative Partner at Dare:
What is exciting you right now?
Montage Of Heck
If you were attending a CS Global right now, what would be your That’s Me That Is?
This Instagram video represents the first of a few teasers over the next week culminating in a full 1 minute film about a robot making a pair of Chucks….this will live on the Chuck hack G+ thing [which incidentally was launched with a little help from Creative Socail].
You have an interesting hobby outside advertising? Tell us a bit about Squid News
I don’t have a “hobby”, please don’t say “hobby” ever again….Squidnews is an international underground organisation aimed at destroying corporate boredom in the form of questionnaires.
Okay I can see where this is going already? Lots of pithy answers to questions to hide the real Flo Heiss. Will you let us get a little deeper? Maybe you could answer in German?
So what is your obsession with Giant Squids? And what made you team up with James Cooper to write about a Little Giant Squid?
You remember our trip to Pixar with CS? Coops and I snuck into John Lasseter’s office, put our feet on his table and decided there and then to do something. That’s how the project started. James wrote the words I drew the pictures. That’s how we always worked together at Dare all those years ago. Simple. You just go and make it [You can download the app on iTunes here]
My Squid Otaku-ness just comes out of a fascination with the deep sea and all its creatures and the myth around the Kraken and the fact that up until recently no one had ever seen one alive.
What did you learn from that experience?
If you don’t do it no one will.
And talking of experiences, you only recently stepped back into the Creative helm at Dare after spending time running your own studio called Studio Heiss. What did you think that taught you and how has that experience changed how you work as a Creative Director?
There is two ways of working. The traditional way is to get a brief. Sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Have an idea and then find someone to make it.
The way I like to work is to start making something and then see if it becomes an idea. It’s the exact opposite process to how normal agency process works. I’m not saying mine is better, but it’s how I like to work. Or to use the words of the greatest advertising thinkers of all time Nick Cave: “The worth of an idea never becomes apparent until you do it.”
Would you consider yourself a Hacker, Maker, Teacher or Thief (or a combination of them all)?
Thief – definitely a thief. Or a maker of thieves?
You live in London. What are the must dos for anyone visiting to experience the real London?
Go West. Heathrow. Neasden. Hounslow. Avoid East London at all costs.
What was your favourite photo from my trip to Latin America?
I love them all. Every single one of them.
On a serious note I know you liked all my photos to show your disgust at me polluting your feed. On that note how do you think social media is impacting us as a society and what are the behaviours that you most abhor?
Social Media gives us a false sense that we can extract some sort of insight into society and it’s behaviours based on our own edited life.
How well do you think brands are using social media?
I have no idea.
What trend do you think has the potential to most disrupt brands?
Brands can’t be disrupted. Processes, products and services can.
What’s your definition of culture?
Culture is what happens elsewhere while you are busy trying to define it.
Do you think that brands/advertising are killing culture?
If mainstream and brands are the same thing then yes. That’s not always true though. Underground becomes mainstream with one tap on your iPhone 7
Actually. I don’t really know what I meant by that. But you can use it as a talk title if you like.
What is the best example of a brand adding to culture?
Russell and his Trews
He provides a fresh view on life and it’s goings on. There are not enough voices like him today. He’s terrific, inspiring. And funny.
If there was one thing in advertising you could fix, what would it be?
I’d hate for TV advertising to die. Let’s keep it alive. I LOVE a good 30s spot. Yes. For real.
What’s the one thing outside advertising from the last 12 months you wish you had done?
Those animations in Montage Of Heck.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given (and from whom)?
“Be there. At home, at work, wherever you are. Be there, in the moment. ” (Mark Cramphorn, COO, DARE)
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to young creatives coming into the industry right now?
Your time is now. You have 10 years to establish yourself. Don’t fuck about. Work hard. Take everything you can get your hands on. Make a nuisance of yourself. And pllllleassseee do not “scamp” your work. Make it. Now.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
I should have given that curry in Mumbai a miss last month.
What’s the one question you would like to ask a fellow Social?
What’s it all about?
If you want to hear Flo talk some more and hear about what he what advertising he f**king loved in the last 12 months, be sure to buy tickets to our next CS Presents…. F**K that’s Good Too: I wish I had done that.
Otherwise look out for interviews this week with the likes of Laura Jordan Bambach (Creative Partner at Mr President), Georgia Barretta (UK Design Director at Geometry Global) and Kat Gordon (Founder of the 3% conference).
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