Here are 5 creatives who are crushing the art scene – let’s check them out.
First, please forgive the Gary Vee-esque use of the phrase ‘crushing it’ in the headline. It’s very Nickelback-ish and click-baity and I apologize. But hey, it got you here so #sorrynotsorry. Also, sorry for #sorrynotsorry.
Secondly, I don’t hate them. I mean I do, but only in the way that hating another person’s work is the ultimate compliment. Like, you’re so good, I hate you. So let’s jump in and meet 5 hate-worthy creatives.
The Top Creatives Right Now
Besides having a fancy AF hyphenated name, Chris (a.k.a. CBH) happens to be the new CCO of TBWA/CHIAT NY and, boy, he is on a roll. Before I get into specifics, I am going to point out that, in this article I will refer to him as CBHCCOTBWACHIATNY.
CBHCCOTBWACHIATNY has been in the top job for about a year and is just racking up new business wins like crazy and has sparked a spike in creativity that the NY office has not seen in years.
For the US OPEN, they pulled off a bunch of amazing experiential stunts to celebrate female athletes along with legend Billie Jean King. They created Tennis balls that had printed on them stereotypical common digs at young female athletes. When you hit them, and the more you play, the words erase. But the really cool part was they did this activation at the US OPEN to celebrate the release of limited edition BJK adidas sneakers. If you wanted to win a pair, you had to let the staff spray paint the sneakers you were wearing with a stencil that turned them into BJK’s signature blue adidas kick with the white stripes. Dozens of people turned their Nikes, Reebok, New Balance and Converse sneakers into BJK Adidas. Smart. Subversive. Iconic.
Also check out the work for the Brooklyn Film Festival. I love it because it’s concept: ‘Bad Times Make Great Art’ actually asks the viewer to think for a fucking minute. It assumes you know a little about history…that you aren’t a fucking moron. Which is rare. Also, it’s just plain beautiful and eye-catching.
Keep your eye out for anything that comes out of that office. Well done, CBHCCOTBWACHIATNY!
In case you were wondering if I was calling out some cooler-that-thau creative that goes by a single-moniker like Cher or Madonna or Shingy, I’m not. I’m referring to Joan Creative an agency founded by two inspirational women, Jaimie Robinson and Lisa Clunie. They named their new venture after the multiple historically, kick-ass women named Joan: Joan of Arc, Joan Baez, Joan Jett…you get it.
I think what Jaimie and Lisa are building is revolutionary. They founded their agency based around a simple idea. The idea was this: Hey, you know all that stuff we hated about working at traditional agencies? Let’s not do that.
It seems to be working. The agency is growing by leaps and bounds and has already worked with a ton of brands including: Progresso, Nike, Pillsbury, Lucky Charms and Netflix.
Their business model is also pretty cool: They offer brands one of six or seven packages to purchase, so the clients can buy in at a level that’s comfortable for them. This is genius because clients always think they are being swindled by paying for services or people that they don’t use and this gets around that common problem brilliantly.
I encourage you to regularly read DAMNJOAN; an online magazine that is their take on modern publishing. It reminds me of the edgy old-school downtown magazines like Interview and SPY. Yay, Jaimie and Lisa!
You may not know Craig Allen, but you sure as fuck know his ads. The ad where everything the guy touched turned to Skittles? The Man Your Man Could Smell Like from Old Spice? The Oreo Whisper Fight? That’s all Craig from when he was a Group Creative Director at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland. He’s so good: that when he hinted that wanted to leave and maybe live in Austin, W&K agreed to back him in starting an agency there. And if that doesn’t blow your hair back, they also agreed that their minority stake would get smaller over time.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN ADVERTISING.
So, go check out his new agency here. It’s called Callen (after his first initial and last name). I encourage you to poke around his previous work on the site and warm your hands by the fire of his creative genius.
Jesus, I hate Brock Kirby. I hate his ridiculously masculine sounding name. I hate that when you click on the “Awards” page of his site, it takes you 15 minutes to scroll to the bottom. And, of course, I hate his work, because it is so, so good.
For Nike, he wrote this amazing spot, that follows the young Rory Mcilroy, idolizing Tiger Woods throughout his childhood up until the moment he gets to actually compete against his hero. If you don’t tear-up by the end of the spot, YOU ARE A GODDAMN MONSTER.
But the piece that’s just so well done is his masterful spot for The Atlantic, entitled Question Your Answers. It features multiple versions of the actor Michael K. Williams having a very deep and philosophical discussion with his different selves. And man, the discussion Brock has written for the actor tackles the questions of typecasting, racism, politics and even fate. Can your choices affect your destiny? Big heady themes and it is fucking RIVETING. You can’t take your eyes off it. It leaves you thinking, if you think you have all the answers, think harder. The perfect message for a periodical known for challenging assumptions. I hate you Brock Kirby. I hate you.
I happen to know Tony and so I really can’t hate him, because he’s one of the nicest people in the business. That said, his work is very hate-worthy. According to his own bio: He was 2017’s Number 3 Creative Director IN THE WORLD and is also shitty at returning text messages.
Tony is a CD at DAVID MIAMI. Fun fact: He’s Indian-American (which is refreshing in vast wasteland of whiteness known as the Advertising Industry), and he’s currently leading a band of misfits who are constantly churning out amazing shit for big brands like Burger King, Budweiser and Heinz.
How amazing? Well, he consistently finds ways for Burger King to tackle whatever is in the cultural zeitgeist. Like bullying for instance. Tony and his crew sent a message on the importance of speaking up when you see someone being bullied. They created an emotional three minute spot where we see a number of real customers in a Burger King stand by and do nothing while they see a child being bullied in the restaurant.
However, when they find out that their whoppers have received similar ‘bullying’ they are quick to take a stand.
The video then reveals that while 92% of customers stand up for the bullied burger only 12% stood up for the student being bullied. It’s simple. It’s powerful and it’s unexpected from the brand that produced it, which is what you could say about almost all of Tony’s work.
Oh, another thing about Tony that’s awesome? He regularly refers to himself as ‘Brown Don Draper.’
Do you know any creatives who are absolutely dominating their space? Share with us on social at @h_collective