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Agency Life

Cool and Weird Ideas

Cool and Weird Ideas

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

October 9, 2018

They make for some good inspiration.

"People who have nothing to do with advertising give you insights—understanding that you didn’t think of."

Tobias von Aesch, Associate Creative Director at Havas Germany, talks about the coolest—and the weirdest—ideas that he’s ever had.

 

What’s cool about working in Düsseldorf, Germany?
What I like about Düsseldorf is it’s a big city with a cozy feel. You have everything you need and can walk almost everywhere or take the tram or bike to even spend time after work by the Rhine or in the Altstadt (the German word for “old town”). Also, there are a lot of ad agencies located here—this makes meeting and talking to other people in the business very interesting.

What’s fun about at Havas Germany?
The people. You have a lot of cultures and people with different backgrounds. If you need input or help with anything, you can be sure there is someone who can help you out. We have crazy engineers, beekeepers, actors, musicians. You name it, and Havas has got it.

How did you get your start?
I studied graphic design because I’ve always liked illustrating. Additionally, I majored in print media. And due to an internship that was required before finishing my studies, I went to a big network agency for six months. I thought that I’d do this and later start working in a small graphics bureau, illustrating all day. After receiving my diploma another six months later, though, I started working in this agency. And because I liked it so much, I stuck with it.

Tell me about your creative muse?
My creative muse is friends. They give you ideas from just talking. People who have nothing to do with advertising give you insights—understanding that you didn’t think of. So if you get the chance, go outside. Meet friends. Visit exhibitions. Or just take the subway or train and look at street art.

"No idea is too stupid to be written down. Maybe there is something in it that is the spark for something genius."

How do you inspire others?
That’s something you’ll have to ask the others. But what I tell everyone: Write everything down. No idea is too stupid to be written down. Maybe there is something in it that is the spark for something genius.

How are creativity and innovation connected?
One does not exist without the other. In order to be innovative, one has to be creative. Creative thinking leads to innovation, in my opinion.

What’s the most creative idea that you’ve ever had?
Putting my wife’s iPad in the living room, in front of the TV, with my PlayStation running. Having my iPad standing on a board over the bathtub. Both connected to Skype, enabling me to game on PlayStation while taking a bath with almost no lag.

The weirdest idea that you’ve ever had?
Dog toys that charge a battery when using them, which can be used as a power bank for your phone later on. The weird part was that every design looked like a sex toy, which was one reason the idea was killed.

How do you explain your job to those who don’t work in the advertising industry?
I am involved in some things that you see in the streets and on TV when it comes to advertising. I never use my job title because no one knows what the heck it means.

Some advice for those who are just kicking off their careers?
Be bold but not arrogant. Share your ideas with the ones who care, because input and opinions combined can make an idea better. And most important, even though it sounds pretentious: Have fun. It’s a crazy but great industry to work in.

What do you still hope to learn?
Everything I didn’t by now. And hopefully the right things.

"People who have nothing to do with advertising give you insights—understanding that you didn’t think of."

Tobias von Aesch, Associate Creative Director at Havas Germany, talks about the coolest—and the weirdest—ideas that he’s ever had.

 

What’s cool about working in Düsseldorf, Germany?
What I like about Düsseldorf is it’s a big city with a cozy feel. You have everything you need and can walk almost everywhere or take the tram or bike to even spend time after work by the Rhine or in the Altstadt (the German word for “old town”). Also, there are a lot of ad agencies located here—this makes meeting and talking to other people in the business very interesting.

What’s fun about at Havas Germany?
The people. You have a lot of cultures and people with different backgrounds. If you need input or help with anything, you can be sure there is someone who can help you out. We have crazy engineers, beekeepers, actors, musicians. You name it, and Havas has got it.

How did you get your start?
I studied graphic design because I’ve always liked illustrating. Additionally, I majored in print media. And due to an internship that was required before finishing my studies, I went to a big network agency for six months. I thought that I’d do this and later start working in a small graphics bureau, illustrating all day. After receiving my diploma another six months later, though, I started working in this agency. And because I liked it so much, I stuck with it.

Tell me about your creative muse?
My creative muse is friends. They give you ideas from just talking. People who have nothing to do with advertising give you insights—understanding that you didn’t think of. So if you get the chance, go outside. Meet friends. Visit exhibitions. Or just take the subway or train and look at street art.

"No idea is too stupid to be written down. Maybe there is something in it that is the spark for something genius."

How do you inspire others?
That’s something you’ll have to ask the others. But what I tell everyone: Write everything down. No idea is too stupid to be written down. Maybe there is something in it that is the spark for something genius.

How are creativity and innovation connected?
One does not exist without the other. In order to be innovative, one has to be creative. Creative thinking leads to innovation, in my opinion.

What’s the most creative idea that you’ve ever had?
Putting my wife’s iPad in the living room, in front of the TV, with my PlayStation running. Having my iPad standing on a board over the bathtub. Both connected to Skype, enabling me to game on PlayStation while taking a bath with almost no lag.

The weirdest idea that you’ve ever had?
Dog toys that charge a battery when using them, which can be used as a power bank for your phone later on. The weird part was that every design looked like a sex toy, which was one reason the idea was killed.

How do you explain your job to those who don’t work in the advertising industry?
I am involved in some things that you see in the streets and on TV when it comes to advertising. I never use my job title because no one knows what the heck it means.

Some advice for those who are just kicking off their careers?
Be bold but not arrogant. Share your ideas with the ones who care, because input and opinions combined can make an idea better. And most important, even though it sounds pretentious: Have fun. It’s a crazy but great industry to work in.

What do you still hope to learn?
Everything I didn’t by now. And hopefully the right things.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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