What is the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
It isn’t too recent, but the Draw Heinz campaign really resonated with me. Through all the over-the-top set pieces and crazy VFX in a lot of campaigns, it was nice to see a brand come down to earth and see some good ol’ clever creativity. I also applaud Heinz for recognising their place in the condiments space and leaning into it by declaring themselves the bonafide champion. It was fun to see.
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- Agency Rethink/Toronto
- Production Company In-House at Agency
- Chief Creative Officer Aaron Starkman
- Executive Creative Director Mike Dubrick
- Creative Director/Head of Art Joel Holtby
- Art Director/Associate Creative Director Zachary Bautista
- Copywriter Geoff Baillie
- Producer Alex Butt
What website(s) do you use most regularly?
IGN; I love movie reviews, but theirs seem to hit the spot for me. I’m a forgiving lover of films. When blockbusters have corny moments I find them easy to brush off and I think IGN shares that same philosophy: focusing on the big picture (no pun intended) instead of getting hung up on granular details. They really decide on a lot of pictures for me.
What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
I bought an ergonomic mouse and my life has changed. With a family history of carpal tunnel, my wrist pain is gone. Turn your hand sideways people and ditch the standard mouse!
What product could you not live without?
I’m going to go with a food and say pesto. We’re chopping fresh basil every day in my apartment. Stop by anytime!
What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
Ugh, there are so many to choose from, with so many different appeals. I’m gonna cop out and say Top Gun: Maverick strictly because I haven’t had that much fun in the theatre in ages. I also really appreciate when the filmmaker’s dedication is so apparent on screen. You could have taken the easy route and relied on CGI and readily available aerial tools to film these scenes. But no, they strapped a damn Cineflex onto a fighter jet and put their actors through real flight manoeuvres. You could feel the intensity, and the end dogfight felt that much more impactful because they gave a real damn about it.
What film do you think everyone should have seen?
See above. Practical effects people!
What’s your preferred social media platform?
Instagram. Please don’t Facebook message me folks, I’ll miss it.
What’s your favourite TV show?
Right now, Barry. All time? Game of Thrones. I’m an HBO stan, and Barry feels the most honest. I imagine being a hitman would be awkward, and Bill Hader kills it. Also, no pun intended. Game of Thrones strictly due to the sheer scale of their accomplishments. Bag on them all you want for a lacklustre final season, but the audacity to approve a 90-minute night-only battle scene for an entire episode is madness. And I love it.
What’s your favourite podcast?
Not a big podcast guy. I don’t find myself in situations to sit down and listen to people for four hours, and maybe I’m too impatient. It’s why I love 30-second ads so much!
What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?
If you could only listen to one music artist from now on, who would it be?
I honestly can’t answer this, and it stresses me out trying to! I can be listening to pop one minute and immediately switch to classical, my Spotify is that wild. I sometimes ask myself, “Am I the only person who switched from this song to the next?” But, to force an answer; Kid Cudi.
If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?
This may sound extreme, but I’d like us all to come to the conclusion that our target audiences don’t want to watch anything we release. They want to skip our ad to continue watching their fail videos on TikTok. I want creatives and filmmakers to understand the social stigma around ads so we can transform this space into a form of content people don’t moan at when it plays on TV, tablet, phone, or wherever. We’re all extremely talented and we want to make brands and consumers laugh, feel excited, invigorated, and so on. A little self-awareness (i.e. the Heinz ad) can go a long way.
Who or what has most influenced your career?
My father. I have plenty of directors, artists, musicians etc that influence the type of things I want to make, but it’s his story that drives me. An impoverished immigrant from Italy, supporting three kids, teaching me how to make incredible food, and putting me through college. Not to mention sticking up for me in little league. Love ya, Dad.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.
I am an enormous nerd and my dream project is to direct a video-game adaptation. Maybe one day.