Chris GRAVES

Chief Creative Officer | TEAM ONE

Chris Graves is the Chief Creative Officer of Team One – Saatchi & Saatchi's fully integrated marketing communications company with unique expertise in premium branding and the affluent customer. Chris oversees all aspects of brand storytelling for clients like Lexus, The Ritz-Carlton, and Indian Motorcycle Company, among others. His global responsibilities also include serving for more than 10 years as a member of the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board. Under Chris’ leadership, Team One continues its mission to reimagine the emerging media landscape for some of the world’s most aspirational brands. 

With a career spanning over two decades, Chris’ work has been recognized by nearly every significant creative competition. He began his professional journey in New York working for Ogilvy & Mather and TBWA/Chiat/Day, before returning home to his Southern California roots, where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

questionnaire

1.)     What was your very first job?Young and impressionable Art Director at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. 2.)     Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.As Chief Creative Officer, I oversee the creative output of the agency. That means assembling the best talent, making sure they’re motivated and keeping the standards high. And then try to get the hell out of their way. 3.)     How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery?In college I signed up for some art and design classes to avoid my slightly more demanding pre-law courses. The instructor noticed at one point that I didn’t completely suck, and told me I might want to check out Art Center. One visit, and much to my parent’s dismay, I changed course. Advertising was not a career that was ever on my radar growing up. But it seemed like the perfect combination of creativity and problem solving. And it sounded like more fun than law school. 4.)     In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?I live in constant fear of getting too immersed in this industry. I try to force myself to look for inspiration outside the walls of the ad world. Art, culture, film are always excellent sources of fuel. But you can never underestimate the long lost art of simply spending time with, and listening to actual human beings. It never fails to give me some of the best insights on our consumers and the behaviors we are ultimately trying to influence.  5.)     If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?The ways in which we create influence in the marketplace for our clients continue to evolve like crazy. It’s what makes our business so exciting and at the same time, so challenging. Because of that, some of the most exciting assignments right now are the ones that involve entirely new combinations of technologies and behaviors. Recently we worked directly with Facebook to develop a first-of-its-kind campaign that leveraged their smart audience data. We launched the Lexus NX with a campaign called 1,000 Ads, that capitalized on Facebook’s unique ability to hyper-target by individual interest and affinity. Which allowed us to segment the NX by demographic details, interests, geographical location and vehicle preference. We were able to create and serve up messages that weren’t just relevant, they were as my digital friends would say, hyper-relevant. While maybe not the most high profile campaign, it gave the whole team the chance to exercise a different part of their creative brain, and the challenge of finding a solution without an existing roadmap. The unique creative potential of brand storytelling and tech innovation is one of the reasons it’s so exciting to be part of this industry right now.  

jury

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