6 May 2014

Creative Talk with Mark Easterbrook

CT Newsletter May 2014


The importance of attitude is what it’s all about for Mark Easterbrook, talented Creative Director at Goodfolk. Read about his inspirations, creative philosophy and how he breathes life into a brand.


What’s your creative philosophy?


Always remember the audience. In a creative industry, you’re creating for them as well as yourself.


Who have been your biggest creative inspirations?


I’ve been incredibly lucky to work alongside some amazing creative people. The ones who have inspired me most are the ones who help others elevate their own ideas and make them better - and smart, fired up creatives always inspire me to be better.


Who is the one individual who has influenced you most professionally and why?


My Dad, who’s a farmer and still doesn’t really get what I do, bless him. He taught me that you work hard and you do right by people. Everything else builds from there.


What are some of the main differences between a large network and an independent agency like Goodfolk?


I’m still getting my head around that. I’m not a fan of the word ‘nimble’ - I think it’s overused and I think large agencies can be just as nimble as small ones. But I think a small agency has the freedom to reinvent and reinvigorate their offering, based on the opportunities they find for themselves.


What characteristics do you look for when hiring creative talent, either freelance or permanent?


I look for people who get excited about creativity, who respect the people around them, and who want to learn. Not just about the job - but about everything.


Is it imperative that the creative hires you make have prior industry experience?


Reality often says yes. But I got my start from someone who was prepared to give me a go, despite having no advertising experience or training. You can teach skills easily enough - it’s attitude that will set someone apart.


What’s the one campaign (either domestic or international) that’s impressed you the most in the last 12 months?


‘Oreo Daily Twist’ takes the biscuit for me. A deceptively simple idea that puts a smile on your face, delivered without a massive creative and media budget.


How important is craft, as opposed to creative insight?


They’re both important, but I believe it’s the insight that breathes life into the craft. A weak idea is still a weak idea, no matter how beautifully it’s crafted.


How has the advertising industry changed in the last few year?


The democratisation of technology has given anyone the power to produce a piece of communication and send it out into a media channel. Strategic insights, creative ideas and craft are what agencies bring to the equation. That part’s not new of course, but we need to work harder to show the value.


And where do you see the advertising industry in New Zealand heading in the next decade?


The industry seems to go through cycles of diversification and consolidation. _Smaller agencies and specialties rise up, big agencies absorb their approaches and evolve a little, then the cycle starts over. But strategic insights, creative ideas and craft (which could be defined as delivering an idea in the best possible way) are the constants.