It has to be the Hero we did recently at Stopp. It started out with the idea of a normal size Swedish campaign, and we ended up with 46 million unique visitors from all over the world. And practically no media money. A true king or virals.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden I started my advertising career in New York.
After returning to Sweden, I continued working in various Swedish agencies on the Account side, running key national accounts during my 10 year tenure on the Agency side.
In 2007, I was recruited by Stopp to launch and run their Interactive Department.
Come 2009, I launched the US office of Stopp in Los Angeles together with Pasi Johansson, CEO of Stopp AB. After almost 2 years of operation in the US, Stopp LA has produced successful national campaigns for BBH, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, 180LA and more.
What do you do for inspiration?
Well, I spend roughly 5 hours a day online. As far as books go I am quite picky, but once in a while I find a book that inspires me. Smart people inspire me too I guess.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
bbh-labs.com, Figthplay.tv, google.com
How many hours do you work each week?
In the position I am in right now my work is with me almost every waken hour, but physically working about 55-60h/week.
How do you relax or unwind?
Late night skating on an empty Venice Beach. Or enjoying a good red wine. Now I am on a cleanse though... so I have to settle for running with my dog, Smilla.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
I love the feeling I get when we have finished a big production/project. Everybody is happy and full of energy for the next challenge. One of my other favorites is when we have been working day and night on a concept and someone comes up with that missing piece in the puzzle.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
That has to be back in the days, around 32 hours. Now I try to plan better... and I also in some extent ask of my clients to do the same.
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
I have been changing jobs a lot, basically because I couldn't find a workplace challenging enough. That have given me an understanding for how different types of organizations work and it has taught me to listen and observe before you act.
What software could you not live without?
My browser. The web is not dead (yet) as some parties claim.
In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you?
Harvest is great.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Web design is not an area where I have any general complaints in. However I think we need to get better with UI, loading time, navigation etc. Basically the whole user experience in many sites are really staggering.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Absolutely. Almost everyone in our business checks in to thefwa.com It's great self promotion for us, for new business as well as for recruiting talented people.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
I would have to say the Robyn video we did. Were we let users participate in her online 3D music video, Killing me. We implemented tweets from people all over the world to contribute to the video real time. http://www.robyn.com/killingme/
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
Sometimes we come up with ideas that are more like Events or Direct Marketing activities. And if we are happy with them we present them. So we dont see it as a hinder. I would use the word limiting, since we never set out to come up with Print ideas for instance.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
I think websites as a medium will change. Maybe we wont even talk about websites in 10 years. The lines between many channels and mediums will be blurred. We are already watching TV on our computers and surf the web on our TV sets.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
It has to be the Hero we did recently at Stopp. It started out with the idea of a normal size Swedish campaign, and we ended up with 46 million unique visitors from all over the world. And practically no media money. A true king or virals. Also the fact that we took an old concept and brought it to life with the latest technology.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Many believe that because of Apple and HTML5, Flash is going to die. All of these companies will continue to develop their products. But to stay alive they more than ever have to keep up speed and make sure that they constantly evolve. Flash will probably be around, but maybe not in its current form and shape.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Of course you can, I have seen many examples of that. As far as Designing goes I would say its 50-60% talent. The rest can be taught or learned through experience. Send your work to some people that you respect professionally, if they like your work you are probably on the right track.
How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?
All the fancy title does not distract me, generally it´s enough to take a look at a persons work to determine if he/she is "right" for the job. Its harder when you are hiring Account people or Producers, there is no real good/fast way to confirm their claimed qualifications/skills.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
A Jetfighter. Maybe not when I go for groceries though.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Mainly through all my great co-workers. But I am also spending a lot of time doing research on-line.
What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?
I like the South American countries, they have a good selection of crazy-creative people. Japan is great for interactive inspiration and innovation.
There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?
I dont have a particular brand or type of production that excites me, I do however like to be first with something. Like a new technique. Or solving an old problem in a new way is great.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
Well we are actually here to take over the world. The recession set us back a bit, but we are working on it. First LA, then we move on to Asia. Hong Kong perhaps.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
It might sound silly, but one of my challenges is that I´ve always wanted to create THE optimal schedule/timeline temple. Both from a functional and a graphical point of view. I might need some help with that though...
Also, Stopp is doing work shops with Miami Ad School, Hyper Island and Berghs SoC. Through that and other similar engagements I learned that you can always improve your presentation skills.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
A trip to Vegas.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Scotch & Soda perhaps. Dutch brand for coats. http://www.scotch-soda.com/
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Well, I have to constantly remind myself: It´s only a job. Health and family first. But it doesn't work really.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much