Become an advertising Creative Team: interview with VCCP

This week I wanted a slightly different view-point. Rather than talking to individual Copywriters or Art Directors, I’ve spoken to a Creative Team at VCCP; Jason Scott and Joris Philippart about how to become an advertising Creative Team, where the guys get their inspiration from and what VCCP look for from future creatives.

Having previously worked at the likes of Ogilvy and Mother between them, I think it’s a safe bet to say that no-one else can offer experiences and advice on how to become an advertising Creative Team like these two can. VCCP is a very prestigious agency, responsible for ads for Coors Light, O2 and Compare the Market. Sound like an agency you want to work for? Read on:

1. What does your day to day role consist of?

We’re creatives at VCCP. Joris is an Art Director, so he specialises in art, design and overall look. I’m a Copywriter so I’m supposed to specialise in da wrds, but because we’re a team, there’s always a cross over. We both mainly work on O2.

2. How did you get to where you are now?

I studied strategy, which was really boring. Then ran away to India where I got sick a lot and ate spicy food whilst working at Ogilvy as a writer. Joris studied Design in Eindhoven and then booked a round the world ticket to different agencies. We both feel that the best creatives don’t necessarily have to study creative advertising. That’s not to say they didn’t at some point, but you learn from the different weird and wonderful experiences you put yourself in.

“We look for people that think differently. You’d be amazed how similar a lot of student portfolios are.”

3. What was the biggest challenge you faced to get to where you are now?

The ‘devil’s advocate’. The person in the room who always thinks like a client. They don’t help Creatives in anyway, but the best agencies don’t have them. George Louis said “tell the devil’s advocate in the room to go to hell”. Love that man.

4. What do VCCP look for from future Creatives?

People that think differently. You would be amazed just how similar a lot of student portfolios are.

I’d say do more digital and think of new products and services. Do you own projects and promote them on blogs, it’s the best way to get your name out there. Some of the most “famous” work was done in half a day and was promoted by ourselves, without spending any money at all.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

99p filter coffee from Pret. The internet. Films. Books. Galleries and museums. Mainly though they come from talking to one another. The more we talk, the better things get. That’s what I love about working as a Creative Team.

6. How do you personally overcome a creative block?

Never underestimate the power of denial – you only get a creative block if you tell yourself you have one. Get away from your desk and do something else. We find that the toilet is a great place to think (hence drinking so much coffee).

7. What advice would you give to future budding Creatives?

If you want to become an advertising Creative Team, find a partner with the opposite skills to you. If you’re an Art Director, work at your craft and fight a Copywriter – and vice versa. None of the “we both do everything” routine, you have to take responsibility for your skills to craft something properly. It’s worth mentioning that some people make great work as single Creatives.

8. What steps would you recommend to getting into an agency?

Make your first client yourself. Think of a project that will make you famous. Also, don’t target every agency in town, pick your favourite and work your way in.

9. What has been your career highlight so far?

Finding creative love and having the opportunity to make beautiful idea babies.