One of the goals of any communication is to break through the clutter. Winning a few Cannes Lions Grand Prix awards and D&AD Black Pencils doesn’t hurt either.
Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley, two creatives at AMV BBDO, have led ambitious work over the past couple of years that has profoundly affected culture. Most notably, the pair created #Bloodnormal for Bodyform/Libresse, which was an awards darling but, more importantly, opened up a conversation about normalizing menstruation.
Additionally, the duo were creative leads on The Trash Isles, an ambitious program with LadBible and the Plastic Oceans Foundation, whereby a patch of Pacific Ocean garbage became its own country.
With these and other significant award-winning projects under Lossgott’s and Hulley’s belts, AMV BBDO promoted the pair to executive creative directors, only the fifth generation of ecds at the agency.
“If creativity is the weapon that will help our clients break free from the pack, then Nick and Nadja are AMV’s atomic bomb,” said Alex Grieve, AMV BBDO’s CCO, formerly an ecd at the agency. “They are the best creatives of their generation. … They will rise, as they always do, to the new challenge of leading as ecds. And we will all rise with them.”
Adweek caught up with Lossgott and Hulley to learn more about their creative paths from when their careers began in South Africa, leading to their new roles today, and views on creativity in today’s climate.
Adweek: You have been a significant part of two breakout campaigns—#Bloodnormal and The Trash Isles. How will powerful work like that inform how you approach your new roles?
Lossgott and Hulley: Bloodnormal was a film trying to get onto TV with activations exploding off it. The Trash Isles was a country, not an ad. They may seem wildly different, but they have common features. At their core, they are visually striking, mold-breaking, brave ideas that are made through collaboration. And they both wanted to earn their place in the world. Impactful, unexpected insights that pursue any channel necessary to get noticed is the kind of work we want to make for our clients.
In your mind and experience, what makes a great ad? Why is that?
Advertising comes in so many different shapes and sizes now—30-second ads, feature-length films, stunts, petitions, a tweet, Instagram stories—and we’re working in an environment where we are competing against culture rather than tagging along. It’s an awesome new sandbox to play in, but it does make it easy to forget that nothing has really changed. Ingenious business problem-solving advertising is still just the marriage of a great idea and exceptional craft.
You both seem pleasantly surprised by your paths so far. How important is that humility in your new roles?
We know that the best work we have made has always been through collaboration. From the planners finding and shaping amazing insights, to the account people coming up with creative, tenacious ways to sell work, our clients who buy it, the producers working miracles to get it off the ground and the directors and artists who make it all better. The temptation is to think it’s all down to you. But it never is.
If you let your egos take up all the space, there won’t be any room for everyone else to help solve the problem.
What is the future of creativity in the industry as it stands today?
Humans are storytelling animals. Math, data and science can reduce the world to its logical, binary 0s and 1s, but what moves us, what persuades us, is the people who can magically build it all back up into an image, a turn of phrase, a narrative that makes us laugh or cry or gasp or feel.