John Mescall Curated
Executive creative director at McCann Australia
CURATED BY :
Media Marketing: You will also give the opening speech at the Golden Drum titled “How to Win When You Can’t”. What is it about?
It’s just a little talk about what I think it takes to make great work and build a career under tough circumstances, when nothing seems easy and there are all the excuses in the world to just accept mediocrity.
Media Marketing: You are a regular member in juries at festivals of creativity. This year you chair the Best Practice Jury at the Golden Drum. What are the criteria you focus the most on when selecting your favorites?
I want to be jealous and joyous in equal measure. I want to see ideas that solve tough problems, not ideas that seize upon easy opportunities. And I want to see ideas that are hugely ambitious. Even if the idea is being executed on a small scale, it should be seeking to do something significant.
Media Marketing: Do you have a favorite campaign – one that you believe hit all the marks?
Dumb Ways to Die is pretty hard to beat in that regard: it achieved incredible levels of engagement, virality and awareness and also did the hard job in helping to reduce accidents and deaths. It proved my theory that odd and charming work can do the heaviest possible lifting.
Where do you find inspiration for so much groundbreaking works? What is it that drives you in work?
Inspiration is all around you. It’s really just a matter of paying attention to the world, rather than just living in your own little bubble. I think I’m driven because I have a deep need to prove myself, which is a subject best reserved for my therapist I think.
Media Marketing: You have won a host of awards during your career, including whopping 60 Cannes Lions. How important are awards for creatives?
Awards aren’t the goal, but they do serve two very important purposes for both creatives and everyone else in the advertising industry. Firstly, they remind us of what great work looks like, and constantly challenge us to push beyond work that just does the job. Awards show us what is possible and set the standard for our industry. Without them, the work would suffer. Secondly, the ability to consistently win awards proves to the industry that as a creative you have the tenacity to keep pushing despite constant rejection, setbacks and difficulties. It’s not easy to do work good enough to win awards, and if you do it says quite a bit about you.
What is your favorite dumb way to die?
What cultural changes have been the most profound?
In your opinion, what is the role of the festivals and award shows?
Has a negative response from a client ever affected your creative process?
Do you strive to be unique?
Is creativity innate or learned?