havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/gavin-guidry-on-what-it-means-to-create-in-atlanta/
Agency Life

Gavin Guidry on What It Means to Create in Atlanta

Gavin Guidry on What It Means to Create in Atlanta

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

February 5, 2018

And why everyone should too.

“The Annex embraces people who do their own thing, so they end up with unique and progressive content.”

As a Senior Art Director at The Annex Atlanta, Gavin Guidry isn’t interested in traditional advertising. He’s identifying people who do their own thing and how they’re pushing the industry forward.

So, how’d you land at The Annex Atlanta?

I’ve been on the creative scene for a while in Atlanta doing the marketing for local boutiques and festivals, shooting videos, photos, etc. It was always a goal of mine to transition to advertising, so I took what I was already doing and applied it in an agency setting. After a few years at agencies in Atlanta and staying plugged into the Atlanta creative community, I met Ryan Chun, Braden Wambach, and, later, Jason Peterson through some mutual friends who mentioned they were planning on setting up shop in Atlanta. I’d followed Jason Peterson on Instagram for years, so when I saw the opportunity, I made sure I would be a part of it.

How is The Annex different from other advertising agencies?

The Annex is different because they take what traditional agencies see as risky or out of the norm and use it as a competitive advantage. When I decided to get into advertising, it was super difficult to even get an interview because I didn’t have traditional agency experience. But The Annex embraces people who do their own thing, so they end up with unique and progressive content.

How does Atlanta compare to other global markets, like New York, Paris, or Beijing?

Atlanta is smaller than those other markets. I always joke that instead of six degrees of separation, in Atlanta there’s really only one. Because the creative scene is so small, you end up rubbing elbows with a lot of the city’s creatives on a pretty consistent basis. If you go to a music show, an art show, and a party all in the same night, you’re likely to see all the same people at each place. And it’s awesome.

Also, the agency scene in Atlanta isn’t as well established as it is in New York and L.A. That can seem like a bad thing for some, but I just see a huge opportunity for us to do some really cool stuff in the city with Annex Atlanta.

What’s the coolest project that you’ve worked on in your career so far?

The coolest project I’ve worked on was actually for one of the most uncool clients I’ve ever worked with. Church’s Chicken was looking for a way to celebrate Kendrick Lamar before the 2016 Grammys because he’s dropped Church’s name in a few of his songs. Instead of focusing on Kendrick, I decided to focus on the community of Compton, the positive effects of people like Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre, and the role that Church’s played in the community. We ended up creating a beautiful short documentary that Church’s was so happy with that they extended the campaign, and we ended up producing more docs in San Antonio, St. Louis, and Atlanta.

For those who are not in the business, explain what you do as Senior Art Director.

The art director role works a little differently for me because of the nature of the Coca-Cola business here in Atlanta. I lead my team’s creative, along with my partner Sarah, so I actually end up operating more as a creative director. I spend most of my days concepting and creating social media content for brands like Sprite, vitaminwater, smartwater, and Fanta. Because we only handle the social media side of things, it’s my job to take a large national campaign idea created by a different agency and figure out how to make it relevant for people on social. And because I started at Havas as a content creator, I get to run production on sets and even shoot if I have to.

What do you bring to advertising that no one else can?

Not sure about no one, but I think I’m pretty balanced when it comes to experience. I’m blessed to have had the best of both worlds in my career. I went to school for marketing, but while I was doing that I was creating content for brands like Hypebeast and countless other personal projects. So my approach to advertising is a weird mix of super strategic and super creative that helps me push the boundaries with ideas while making sure it makes an impact for the brand.

“The best experiences I’ve had when it comes to my life as a creative are the days when I would roam around the streets of Atlanta with my friends with only one goal in mind: to make cool stuff.”

What do you like to share on your blog?

I only blog my photography. I still try to get out there and shoot so I don’t get rusty. I end up taking my best photos when I travel, so my blog/Instagram page ends up looking like a travel page.

You seem to be into music culture and photography. Which musician would you love to capture in a photo shoot?

Kendrick has been my favorite artist for years now, and I’ve got to shoot at his shows a couple of times, but a 1-on-1 session with him would be amazing. Or maybe Andre 3000. He’s a legend.

How many countries have you visited? What’s your favorite country outside of the United States and why?

I’ve visited eight countries in my life, if you count the Bahamas, lol. Colombia is my favorite country so far. I grew up taking a lot of Spanish classes, and I’ve always loved Hispanic culture. My wife is Colombian, so finally getting to experience the culture, the food, the language, and the people was one of the best experiences of my life. The simplicity and beauty of the country made for some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. It’s my goal to go back once a year, and, at this point, I low key think I like Colombia more than the U.S. I hope I can live there someday.

How do you incorporate your personal experiences into your work?

The best experiences I’ve had when it comes to my life as a creative are the days when I would roam around the streets of Atlanta with my friends with only one goal in mind: to make cool stuff. Now that I lead a team, I try to keep things as dressed down and free-flowing as possible so we can just make cool stuff.

What do you wish you could change about advertising?

I wish brands would understand that consumers, for the most part, don’t really care about your brand. Unless you’re going to offer your audience something they need or create content that they seek out, your messaging will just get lost among the noise.

What do you hope stays the same?

I like the emphasis on video. I hope people keep finding creative ways to showcase their brands through video.

What do you hope to learn?

I want to learn what the next evolution of the agency is. I think we’re in a transitional period in the industry. There are a lot of editorial platforms that act as agencies, so I want to see how agencies grow and adapt.

Tell us your fun fact.

I was in a Disney Channel commercial when I was a kid.

“The Annex embraces people who do their own thing, so they end up with unique and progressive content.”

As a Senior Art Director at The Annex Atlanta, Gavin Guidry isn’t interested in traditional advertising. He’s identifying people who do their own thing and how they’re pushing the industry forward.

So, how’d you land at The Annex Atlanta?

I’ve been on the creative scene for a while in Atlanta doing the marketing for local boutiques and festivals, shooting videos, photos, etc. It was always a goal of mine to transition to advertising, so I took what I was already doing and applied it in an agency setting. After a few years at agencies in Atlanta and staying plugged into the Atlanta creative community, I met Ryan Chun, Braden Wambach, and, later, Jason Peterson through some mutual friends who mentioned they were planning on setting up shop in Atlanta. I’d followed Jason Peterson on Instagram for years, so when I saw the opportunity, I made sure I would be a part of it.

How is The Annex different from other advertising agencies?

The Annex is different because they take what traditional agencies see as risky or out of the norm and use it as a competitive advantage. When I decided to get into advertising, it was super difficult to even get an interview because I didn’t have traditional agency experience. But The Annex embraces people who do their own thing, so they end up with unique and progressive content.

How does Atlanta compare to other global markets, like New York, Paris, or Beijing?

Atlanta is smaller than those other markets. I always joke that instead of six degrees of separation, in Atlanta there’s really only one. Because the creative scene is so small, you end up rubbing elbows with a lot of the city’s creatives on a pretty consistent basis. If you go to a music show, an art show, and a party all in the same night, you’re likely to see all the same people at each place. And it’s awesome.

Also, the agency scene in Atlanta isn’t as well established as it is in New York and L.A. That can seem like a bad thing for some, but I just see a huge opportunity for us to do some really cool stuff in the city with Annex Atlanta.

What’s the coolest project that you’ve worked on in your career so far?

The coolest project I’ve worked on was actually for one of the most uncool clients I’ve ever worked with. Church’s Chicken was looking for a way to celebrate Kendrick Lamar before the 2016 Grammys because he’s dropped Church’s name in a few of his songs. Instead of focusing on Kendrick, I decided to focus on the community of Compton, the positive effects of people like Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre, and the role that Church’s played in the community. We ended up creating a beautiful short documentary that Church’s was so happy with that they extended the campaign, and we ended up producing more docs in San Antonio, St. Louis, and Atlanta.

For those who are not in the business, explain what you do as Senior Art Director.

The art director role works a little differently for me because of the nature of the Coca-Cola business here in Atlanta. I lead my team’s creative, along with my partner Sarah, so I actually end up operating more as a creative director. I spend most of my days concepting and creating social media content for brands like Sprite, vitaminwater, smartwater, and Fanta. Because we only handle the social media side of things, it’s my job to take a large national campaign idea created by a different agency and figure out how to make it relevant for people on social. And because I started at Havas as a content creator, I get to run production on sets and even shoot if I have to.

What do you bring to advertising that no one else can?

Not sure about no one, but I think I’m pretty balanced when it comes to experience. I’m blessed to have had the best of both worlds in my career. I went to school for marketing, but while I was doing that I was creating content for brands like Hypebeast and countless other personal projects. So my approach to advertising is a weird mix of super strategic and super creative that helps me push the boundaries with ideas while making sure it makes an impact for the brand.

“The best experiences I’ve had when it comes to my life as a creative are the days when I would roam around the streets of Atlanta with my friends with only one goal in mind: to make cool stuff.”

What do you like to share on your blog?

I only blog my photography. I still try to get out there and shoot so I don’t get rusty. I end up taking my best photos when I travel, so my blog/Instagram page ends up looking like a travel page.

You seem to be into music culture and photography. Which musician would you love to capture in a photo shoot?

Kendrick has been my favorite artist for years now, and I’ve got to shoot at his shows a couple of times, but a 1-on-1 session with him would be amazing. Or maybe Andre 3000. He’s a legend.

How many countries have you visited? What’s your favorite country outside of the United States and why?

I’ve visited eight countries in my life, if you count the Bahamas, lol. Colombia is my favorite country so far. I grew up taking a lot of Spanish classes, and I’ve always loved Hispanic culture. My wife is Colombian, so finally getting to experience the culture, the food, the language, and the people was one of the best experiences of my life. The simplicity and beauty of the country made for some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. It’s my goal to go back once a year, and, at this point, I low key think I like Colombia more than the U.S. I hope I can live there someday.

How do you incorporate your personal experiences into your work?

The best experiences I’ve had when it comes to my life as a creative are the days when I would roam around the streets of Atlanta with my friends with only one goal in mind: to make cool stuff. Now that I lead a team, I try to keep things as dressed down and free-flowing as possible so we can just make cool stuff.

What do you wish you could change about advertising?

I wish brands would understand that consumers, for the most part, don’t really care about your brand. Unless you’re going to offer your audience something they need or create content that they seek out, your messaging will just get lost among the noise.

What do you hope stays the same?

I like the emphasis on video. I hope people keep finding creative ways to showcase their brands through video.

What do you hope to learn?

I want to learn what the next evolution of the agency is. I think we’re in a transitional period in the industry. There are a lot of editorial platforms that act as agencies, so I want to see how agencies grow and adapt.

Tell us your fun fact.

I was in a Disney Channel commercial when I was a kid.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: