By Egotist / /
Up next in our continuing 32 Under 32 series is Shravan Hegdé, Art Director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Check out our interview with him and check back tomorrow for yet another honoree.
Congrats on being chosen as one of the top 32 advertising and marketing professionals under 32. We selected people who really go above and beyond in their work. How do you think you approach your job differently than other people?
Thank you so much for this recognition! Though it took me by surprise, I’m still humbled by it.
There’s a quote by Alan Fletcher that I really relate to that goes “Advertising is not a thing you do; it’s a way of life.” As a creative I use this central principle for everything I work on. I learn by observing the world around me and try to understand small complexities that we usually miss, from the permanent coffee stains on my desk to the loneliness of steaming manholes on a busy street to people on the street. It is usually there, hidden somewhere within, a big idea waiting to be heard or seen. These everyday experiences have helped me to stretch beyond the given parameters to explore something new—something different—and to integrate it with my own unique experience.
What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?
The love for chips had me working on Doritos for quite some time— BoldStage at SXSW last year and Crash the Super Bowl this year. I’m currently working on some fun digital experiential projects for XFINITY and Cisco. I’m also working on a project for Audubon to help further the conservation of birds.
What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?
Goodby Silverstein & Partners is not just a place that makes stuff people care about; it’s also a place that lets us create stuff we care about. That’s one of the many reasons I’m here. It’s not just an agency but more of a culture that I’m part of. I get to work with some of the most creative minds in our industry, and that, in and of itself, motivates and pushes me to get better with every project.
In thinking over your career so far, what work had made you the proudest?
I’d like to feel proud of every new project I’m on. But to name one in the recent past, I was really proud to be a part of the Chevy Sonic “Firsts” campaign. I worked specifically on the launch of the Chevy Sonic, which involved literally launching a Sonic car by bungeeing it off a 100-foot platform. The idea revolved around building a 90-foot-tall structure out of shipping containers to have a Chevy Sonic slowly get pushed off the edge based on the clicks of viewers interacting with the stunt in real time. The greatest moment was when it actually bungeed after 9 hours and 2.5 million clicks!
We hear you teach at the Academy of Art. Tell us about that.
I went to the Academy of Art for grad school. And one of the reasons why I chose the school was because the faculty was essentially from the industry. Now that I’m a part of the industry, I believe in sharing knowledge. Teaching at AAU helps me give back to the community that gave me so much. I like to push students to go beyond just making a strong portfolio and to become better creatives by tapping into their true potential. This process helps me as well because I get to learn a lot from them.
Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself advertising in space. Maybe I’ll start my own agency on Mars that’s backed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It’s a plausible future, since we’ve almost found water on Mars, at least in the form of ice. Plan B would be to move from art direction to film direction to tell stories in two hours rather than 30 seconds.
This might be tough, but here’s your chance to give a shout out to one person who has helped you get to where you are today. Go.
I feel the need to break the rule here and give a shout out to two people instead! They are Joakim Borgström and Niklas Lilja. I come from a more traditional advertising background. It was these guys who really pushed me hard to explore the outer reaches of innovation and helped me realize my true calling—experiential and interactive advertising.