"Do this or die."
Those are the words from Bob Levenson that Haye Anderson lives by. From her inspiration to the works she creates, Anderson takes her projects seriously. She sat down with DesignRush to share how she "plays to create," the campaigns that inspire her, and the George Lois motto that keeps her motivated.
DR: What inspired you to become an art director?
HA: The ad Bob Levenson submitted to Time Inc. in 1960 – Do This Or Die.
It’s this battle cry for honesty, from both ad agencies and from product manufacturers, to create with integrity.
DR: What are some projects of your own that you are particularly proud of?
HA: The work our team did for SoundCloud.
They reached out to us (NA Collective) to develop an activation plan for their new paid subscription service – we wanted to break away from the traditional, and give consumers a way to connect with the music. We wanted to return live music to its gritty, unpolished roots and position SoundCloud as the brand who was reclaiming that space. We threw a series of underground pop-up concerts in nondescript, everyday locations as an homage to impromptu rock concerts and artists’ humble beginnings.
Over the course of 72 hours, SoundCloud tripled their social media following, gendered 1M+ media impressions, 2M+ video views, and 21M+ social media impressions.
This activation laid the groundwork for how the brand speaks to its community and reminded them, that with SoundCloud Go, they can listen to their music anytime, anywhere.
DR: Take us through your creative process.
HA: You have to play to create. No one ever made anything fantastic by just sitting in a meeting. Engage with your surroundings – touch things, get outside, have a conversation, drink a beer.
Verbal process more. Ideas hide within the seams of conversations, in a ridiculous joke, or an email subject heading. Find them; polish them up, and then give them space to breath. Always go big first then edit.
Be willing to destroy an idea or walk away from it. The good ones will always withstand that jerk playing devil’s advocate.
DR: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
HA: Great question. I’ve really never gone looking for it.
DR: What designers or brands speak to you, and which designs or campaigns of theirs are your favorites?
HA: Hmmm. I have a few.
The work Wieden+Kennedy Portland did for Nike in February 2017. It was goose-bump-giving -- really impactful. It promoted the idea that sports develop character, and that mutual respect should live everywhere and not just on the playfield.
72andSunny created this awesome campaign for Yoplait called Mom On -- it’s so badass!
Leo Burnett killed it with their playful Samsung VR ad – when that Ostrage took the fight I almost cried! It is that good!
Barton F. Graf’s 2015 campaign for Nature's Care Organic Soil -- ha! It just was about a pile of dirt. Really simple, yet really charming.
I really could go on, but I’ll use some self-control.
DR: You have the day off. What can we find you doing?
HA: I am probably at my studio in Brooklyn making something or at a museum looking at something someone else has made.
DR: Is there anything that helps you beat “creator’s block”?
HA: Inspiration comes from getting out from behind your computer screen – know what’s going on outside our industry.
It’s important to always be learning and challenge your brain. I recently started taking Krav Maga classes – it’s a totally different mindset. Challenging your brain and your body to do something different is a great way to gain a new perspective.
DR: What motto motivates you in your work?
HA: “Tell the devil’s advocate in the room to go to Hell." -- George Lois
A former Executive Creative Director shared this with me -- it’s about believing in the idea and checking those who decide to slide into the conversation just as the decision is about to be made.
DR: Any final thoughts, comments, or words of wisdom you’d like to share with someone in the industry?
HA: Comparison is the thief of joy, act with kindness but be direct, create with integrity, and remember to eat lunch. Seriously take lunch.
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