Paul is a Creative Director at adidas in Amsterdam. He has spent the last ten years working for advertising agencies like Anomaly, AKQA, FCB Inferno, Leo Burnett and Tribal. Born, raised and schooled in the North of England he moved to London and New York to pursue a career in advertising. During this time he worked for clients including Budweiser, Nike, Spotify, Captain Morgan, ASOS, VW and Volvo. His latest role brought him back to Europe and adidas is the first brand he's worked for 'in-house'.
1.What was your very first job?
My very first job(s) were certainly a way to get exposed to the ‘real’ world ahead of becoming creatively focused. I did everything from bar work to DJing to manual labour on building sites before graduating from University and setting out on the path to Advertising via internships.
2.Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
I’m creative director of digital across campaign work for adidas Originals and the adidas CONFIRMED app. Not only do I get to manage and oversee a team of awesome creatives in Amsterdam but it’s so important to stay connected to all manner of teams across the brand globally. The sheer scale of adidas can make this daunting at times but it really is worth it when a piece of well-crafted creative enters the world.
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? Was there a train of events that brought you where you are today?
Honestly, I knew there was a career for me in creative once I began studying advertising and design at University. I had a great group of classmates and a tutor with an infectious enthusiasm. It was a perfect storm for uncovering the potential and realistic opportunity to work hard and forge a path into a creative job.
4.In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
In short it’s increasingly difficult to keep up. I think the key is an inherent restlessness to be sponge-like and listen more than you talk. The beauty of being in a brand like adidas and specifically within a team like the one I’m in is that there is such a diverse range of characters around me every day. The wide ranging interests and side projects we all have means we can keep each other ‘in the loop’ on the daily.
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 rather than its recognition or industry "success," what would it be?
It would have to be one of the most recent campaigns we’ve directly worked on. It’s the campaign we just executed for adicolor SS21 in which we put real humans with real connections, front and centre of the narrative. In these very strange times we’re living in it was so beautiful to celebrate unity and human connection, really dialling into the small things that make us all tick.
6.Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? Which of these disciplines are you most interested in seeing at CONNECTIONS? (ie photo, film, production, social, experiential, vr, cgi, animation etc)
Many of our productions involve more traditional methods of creation, namely photo and film production. Given just how much COVID has recently changed the production landscape for us we’ve had to be agile in this regard and really look to methods like CGI, animation and illustration to bring our ideas to life in more untested and explorative ways. It’s cool as it allows us to push brand direction too and really make the most of constraints by flipping them into creative experimentation.