The Roaring Twenties Reloaded?
Asae Tanaka, Associate Creative Director / Art Director, Ogilvy Tokyo...
Corinna Falusi is this year's chairwoman for the ADC competition. She's partner and CCO at the agency Mother in New York. Her client-list ranges from Belgium beers to intergovernmental organizations. In the interview Corinna talks about the creative process, what she's really proud of and how she wants to act as a chairwoman.
Your Project for Amnasty International „The Refugee Nation“ is exhibited at the Design Museum, at MOMA and at Victoria & Albert Musem. How does it feels?
A very good feeling! It’s easy to come up with a good idea, but it’s so hard to make it become reality. In this case the question was, will people use the flag? And they did. 2016 was the first time a refugee team participated in the Olympics as a nation. All the other nations and teams were proudly waving their nation’s flag, so we thought the refugee team needed a flag that they could call their own. The flag of the Refugee Nation was designed by the artist Yara Said, a Syrian refugee who found asylum in Amsterdam. As a symbol of solidarity with all those that had to wear life vests to cross the sea to look for safety in a new country. We started by reaching out to the Olympic committee, but they shut us down immediately. We did not give up and reached out to the refugee athletes directly, which culminated with a group of them using the flag during the games. The flag has since been displayed by refugees, world leaders, activists like Ai Wei Wei, at protests, and on products. I am proud for the flag to be displayed in museums, but what I am really proud of is that the flag has been displayed by real people around the globe.
What I am really proud of is that the flag has been displayed by real people around the globe.
You are CCO & Partner at Mother Agency in New York and you are working for international companies in general. How does creative work varys to german work flow?
What I always liked about the US is its endless optimism and desire for the new. There is no place in the world where trends appear and disappear with such speed. This fast paced environment and the willingness to try out the latest technology or social platform is fantastic for generating new ideas. The US is a very large market. Budgets are bigger and there is more at stake, especially for global brands. That’s why the process of selling an idea can be extremely lengthy and complicated. It is even that much harder to persuade massive brands to buy ideas that are brave.
Your created campaign for „Heineken“ ran in over 100 countries for the Champions League. Do women maybe know more about beer than men do?
I say that in general women know more about everything. But that aside, I always struggled with the cliches of having certain people type cast for certain brand or projects. There is something to be said about getting to different ideas from different minds. Sure if you absolutely hate beer, yes, you probably should not work on beer. But there is still a lot to learn from why people dislike the things they dislike.
Where do you get your creative input? What inspires you the most?
I am living in one of the loudest and most hectic cities in the world. To me, inspiration comes from silence and nature. In the search for the “not been done before”, I always avoid looking at inspiration from the now. I like looking back to the past. We are currently producing work that is inspired by cheesy 80’s music videos and films by Jean-Luc Godard from the 60’s. The older I get, the further I look back. Soon I will land in Midevil times. What made me better as a creative is social media and the use of social platforms. There is so many opportunities for combining media and using these platforms in completely new and exciting ways. For example, we just did a project for the New York Public Library where we transformed Instagram Stories into an e-reader for entire works of classic literature.
Your are one of the few female CCO in creative industries. What could and should change in US and in Germany for women in this business? What works better in US than in Germany? Are in US some aspects, which Germany could adopt ?
We all have to stop hiring ourselves over and over again. Diversity is not a trend. It is a necessity. We can only get to a wide range of idea if we encourage diverse thinking. And this goes beyond diversity of gender. This is diversity of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, and thought. 2019 has been a fascinating year with #MeToo not only affecting how we work together, but also finally affecting the work itself. Commercials or films from 10 years ago suddenly feel extremely dated. It is clear that we are part of a massive social shift. The switch in the US started when clients and brands demanded a diverse work force from their agencies. Things have changed very quickly since then. We can help start to solve this imbalance by hiring more diverse people. Nothing is stopping us from this.
Diversity is not a trend.
It is a necessity.
What do you think are features and characteristics of an extraordinary CCO should have?
I can only answer this for myself. Stubbornness, never giving up, and delusional optimism have worked very well for me so far.
Next year you are Chairwoman for the ADC Contest. How do you prepair for this task?
I am very honored to fill this role. My first job was in Hamburg at Jung von Matt. And I still remember what it meant to me to be recognized by the ADC. It has since absolutely defined my career. To always look at every single brief and to believe that it can be the best possible idea. Award shows are important as they set the standard for great and new ideas. They help creative, agencies, and clients to see what to aspire to. I am approaching this with a lot of respect. It’s important to be kind and open minded to every single entry. To give every idea the chance it deserves and not wipe away a thought that is less known or odd. At the same time it’s important to be critical in judging what is a truly great and unusual idea. Did it solve a real problem? Did it make a real impact? Did this change how people think about a brand? Did people use it? Was this an idea that was not only seen, but also felt? Equally important is the craft, both writing and visual. That is what makes good ideas really great. With the awarded work we do also have the responsibility to shape the future of advertising.
Which topics do you set for coming ADC Contest? What makes a great campaign? What are the do and dont’s?
To me a good idea has to be either useful or entertaining. I am most interested to see ideas that are different. Good ideas solve complex problems. The best thing I have ever heard and lived by is: “What’s the wrong way to solve a problem.”
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