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Agency Life

Following Your Hunches

Following Your Hunches

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

February 27, 2019

They can bring you far in your career.

"Many understand that creatives are, essentially, artists. We are crazy people, waiting for inspiration..."

Jesús Lada, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Spain, gets candid about the advertising industry and reveals the best part about his job. Plus, the advice he has for all of the inspiring creatives out there.

 

Give some background on yourself.

Well, 41 years ago I was born in Asturias, a region of northwest Spain. I’m the father of two children: Andres, who is five, and Catalina, who is three. I’m a Real Madrid fan. I love sports, cars, and food. I’ve lived in Madrid (twice), Miami, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and New York. Started in advertising 20 years ago—and still loving it.

How did your creative journey begin?

It’s funny because I was studying law, and I realized I didn’t want to be an attorney. So, I switched to advertising. I did an internship at Ruiz Nicoli, a former Madrid-based agency, and it was there that I tried tasks in every department of the agency—and I fell in love with creativity. I worked there for a couple of months, and my creative director told me that I was decent. He said that I should enroll in a portfolio program. So I enrolled in the Miami Ad School.

What is a misconception about being in the creative/advertising industry that you wish would go away?

Many understand that creatives are, essentially, artists. We are crazy people, waiting for inspiration. Of course, the way we dress doesn’t help, but we are actually one of the departments that understands how to become an important player in this industry, and what makes consumers love your brand.

How do you define creativity?

Creativity is finding a new way to do things that works even better. Finding a solution that no one has found before. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about advertising, cuisine, or football.

If you could only pick one medium to create in for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

Audiovisual. Not talking about just TV of course. Film in any media. For me it’s the best way to tell stories, and humans have been telling stories forever. We love stories. I love a good story.

What’s your favorite part about your job and about being at Havas?

Well, being able to follow your hunches. During my career, I’ve had a lot of projects where I said, “If only I could do it this other way.” Now, I can. At Havas, they gave me full responsibility for the creative work of both the Madrid and Barcelona offices, and I’m loving it so far. I love to nurture ideas, and fight for them until they’re out on the streets. Probably that is the best part of my job.

"I do love what I do, and that’s not that usual in our industry nowadays. This is much more than a job."

Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration?

I believe inspiration can come from anywhere, but if there’s a laugh in the process and people are having fun, it’s easier to find. Big, fun ideas that come out of the agency. Just sitting down with our notepads, pens, and some beers has really worked for me in the past.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Unfortunately, no—I wish.

OK, lightning round:

Marvel or DC?

Marvel and Batman.

A million Instagram followers or 100,000 dollars?

Probably the second will come along with the first one.

Be able to fly or teleport?

Teleport.

Be lost on a mountain or an island?

Always be near the ocean.

Tacos or pizza?

Can’t choose here; I’m sorry.

See the future or change the past?

Neither. Both are way too scary.

Finally, what advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a creative path?

Understand that this is a career, not a hobby. Of course, we love it, and we have fun. But we also work weekends and late hours. There is a lot of frustration in our day-to-day so don’t expect a path of pure roses. But it is worth it. I do love what I do, and that’s not that usual in our industry nowadays. This is much more than a job.

"Many understand that creatives are, essentially, artists. We are crazy people, waiting for inspiration..."

Jesús Lada, Chief Creative Officer at Havas Spain, gets candid about the advertising industry and reveals the best part about his job. Plus, the advice he has for all of the inspiring creatives out there.

 

Give some background on yourself.

Well, 41 years ago I was born in Asturias, a region of northwest Spain. I’m the father of two children: Andres, who is five, and Catalina, who is three. I’m a Real Madrid fan. I love sports, cars, and food. I’ve lived in Madrid (twice), Miami, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and New York. Started in advertising 20 years ago—and still loving it.

How did your creative journey begin?

It’s funny because I was studying law, and I realized I didn’t want to be an attorney. So, I switched to advertising. I did an internship at Ruiz Nicoli, a former Madrid-based agency, and it was there that I tried tasks in every department of the agency—and I fell in love with creativity. I worked there for a couple of months, and my creative director told me that I was decent. He said that I should enroll in a portfolio program. So I enrolled in the Miami Ad School.

What is a misconception about being in the creative/advertising industry that you wish would go away?

Many understand that creatives are, essentially, artists. We are crazy people, waiting for inspiration. Of course, the way we dress doesn’t help, but we are actually one of the departments that understands how to become an important player in this industry, and what makes consumers love your brand.

How do you define creativity?

Creativity is finding a new way to do things that works even better. Finding a solution that no one has found before. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about advertising, cuisine, or football.

If you could only pick one medium to create in for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

Audiovisual. Not talking about just TV of course. Film in any media. For me it’s the best way to tell stories, and humans have been telling stories forever. We love stories. I love a good story.

What’s your favorite part about your job and about being at Havas?

Well, being able to follow your hunches. During my career, I’ve had a lot of projects where I said, “If only I could do it this other way.” Now, I can. At Havas, they gave me full responsibility for the creative work of both the Madrid and Barcelona offices, and I’m loving it so far. I love to nurture ideas, and fight for them until they’re out on the streets. Probably that is the best part of my job.

"I do love what I do, and that’s not that usual in our industry nowadays. This is much more than a job."

Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration?

I believe inspiration can come from anywhere, but if there’s a laugh in the process and people are having fun, it’s easier to find. Big, fun ideas that come out of the agency. Just sitting down with our notepads, pens, and some beers has really worked for me in the past.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Unfortunately, no—I wish.

OK, lightning round:

Marvel or DC?

Marvel and Batman.

A million Instagram followers or 100,000 dollars?

Probably the second will come along with the first one.

Be able to fly or teleport?

Teleport.

Be lost on a mountain or an island?

Always be near the ocean.

Tacos or pizza?

Can’t choose here; I’m sorry.

See the future or change the past?

Neither. Both are way too scary.

Finally, what advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a creative path?

Understand that this is a career, not a hobby. Of course, we love it, and we have fun. But we also work weekends and late hours. There is a lot of frustration in our day-to-day so don’t expect a path of pure roses. But it is worth it. I do love what I do, and that’s not that usual in our industry nowadays. This is much more than a job.

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