By Egotist / /
As promised, we’re back with yet another great 32 Under 32 interview. Today’s subject is Bram Ceuppens, a Digital Writer at Heat. Read about Bram’s interesting story and then make sure to swing back by tomorrow for another of our pieces about SF’s best young talent.
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?
Bedankt, merci and thank you. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this.
I don’t I think I necessarily do things that much differently than others. As a creative, you mostly try to work around your idiosyncrasies to make the best work you can. In my specific case, I’ve learned to harness the power of my calmness and fussiness to, on the one hand, keep a very relaxed and stress free approach to advertising, but at the same time, be very critical and perfectionistic on every job. It’s a strange of mix of not caring and caring way too much, and it works really well for me.
And then there’s also my affinity for terrible puns and badly drawn phalli.
What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?
Being a digital creative, I’m lucky to work on a lot of different Heat accounts in many different configurations. Usually my partner Stijn and I will have some ongoing projects of our own, but at the same time, we might get asked to collaborate with other teams to either handle the digital portion of a campaign, or just jump in to contribute some ideas. It’s a nice way to keep things fresh and interesting.
But to answer your question: so far, we’ve done work for EA, LG, Arlo and Liberated Wines, and we’re currently trying to crack a Shutterfly holiday brief. You’d be amazed by the amount of ideas a product like a personalized shower curtain can spark.
What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?
At any great agency, you expect to be surrounded by a very talented group of people. The thing that’s unique at Heat though, is the incredible sense of camaraderie. Everyone wants to see each other do well and there’s a real selflessness to everyone on the team. It’s probably the greatest testament to Heat’s recruiting policy.
In thinking over your career so far, what work had made you the proudest?
It would probably have to be Song For Life; a campaign we did for an alternative Belgian radio station called Studio Brussels. It’s this thing where we convinced the Belgian government to let citizens officially register their favorite song in their medical records in case they’d ever get Alzheimer’s. That sentence probably raised some questions, but if you have a few minutes to spare, the case study will answer all of them.
Anyway, as an ad creative, the average lifespan of everything you put your heart and soul in usually never surpasses the 4week mark, so to be able to make something that actually has a lasting impact, and even gets adopted by your government, is pretty cool.
You’re from Belgium. Does that help or hinder you in creating ads for Americans?
It’s been a surprisingly smooth transition. I just watched all of the inflight entertainment on the way here and that basically taught me everything I needed to know. But seriously, the fact that most of our pop culture is heavily influenced by the US and UK does make things a lot easier.
It also doesn’t hurt to come from a country where every campaign you make has to work for three different cultures: the Dutch speaking part of Flanders, the French Wallonia and the German East Cantons. It teaches you some adaptability pretty early on.
Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I have absolutely no idea. The only long term plan I’ve ever made was to become a geologist when I was 7. And after that fiasco I stopped looking too far ahead. If I’d had too much of a career trajectory 2 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have been here now, trying to think of clever ways to answer SF Egotist questions. So I can definitely recommend just taking things as they present themselves and keeping your eyes open for life’s curveballs.
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.
That is tough indeed. At every hurdle, I can think of at least person who helped me clear it. So I’ll save the shout out for my mom. It’s a pretty selfish thing to run away to the other side of the planet for a cool advertising job, but she’s been nothing but proud and supportive about the whole thing. Actually, his article will probably add to that, so I should probably thank you guys as well.