32 Under 32: Kamil Kowalczyk

By Egotist / /

Another day, another 32 Under 32 interview. We hope you’ve been enjoying meeting some of our city’s top young talent. There are plenty more to come. Today’s piece is on Kamil Kowalczyk, Senior Writer at ARGONAUT. You know the drill – we’ll be back tomorrow with another one. See you then.

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?

First of all, thank you for the recognition. I’m honored, humbled, and, since I moved to San Francisco less than a year ago, a bit surprised.

I don’t see what I do as work. For me it’s pure fun. I just love creating solutions to different problems. There’s nothing better than coming up with a great idea. It raises your endorphin levels, dilates your pupils, and makes you so excited that you can’t fall asleep. It’s the best feeling in the world.

What kind of accounts/projects are you working on these days?

We just shot a pretty unusual spot for an iconic car brand, which I can’t wait to share with the world. We also won a big video game account a few weeks ago, and there’s a lot of great work being cooked up for that as I answer this question. It’s a really busy and exciting time at ARGONAUT.

What is it about where you currently work that really pushes you to be better?

My favorite thing about ARGONAUT is that it’s a young company. Nothing is set in stone, so everyone can contribute to and shape the agency. The fact that I’m a part of an amazing team that has a chance to make ARGONAUT famous is really motivating.

And last but not least, at ARGONAUT, I’ve been partnered with Shravan Hegde, who’s both an amazing person and a brilliant creative. When you work with someone like Shravan, everything gets easier.

In thinking over your career so far, what work has made you the proudest?

The Literacy Store for McDonald’s has a very special place in my heart. To demonstrate their commitment to children’s well-being, McDonald’s substituted the toy in the Happy Meal with an original children’s book. We promoted that beautiful initiative by replacing all of the regular words in a McDonald’s restaurant environment with nonsensical, unreadable language, altering the digital menu board, posters, tray liners, and restroom signs. Even ketchup packets and employee nametags were made illegible. Restaurant visitors were left to wonder what was going on until the digital menu board revealed the message: “To a child who can’t read, the world can be a confusing place.” Because of the campaign, more than 20 million Happy Meals containing an original children’s book were sold in just two weeks—5 million more books than the entire Hunger Games trilogy sold that year.

Tell us about the film you did promoting Code Tenderloin.

Code Tenderloin (CT) is an organization that teaches residents of the Tenderloin how to code so that they can write a better future for themselves. The moment Shravan and I heard about this groundbreaking idea, we knew we had to be a part of it. So when Del Seymour, CT’s founder, and Neil Shah, CT’s Director of Development & Partnership, told us they needed a video promoting their Indiegogo campaign, we wrote and directed “Crossing Market.” It’s a film that tells the story of a man living in the Tenderloin who is going to his first day at a new job. In order to get there, he has to cross Market Street, an invisible border between the richest tech companies in the world and one of the poorest neighborhoods in America. As the story unfolds, our hero, who was played by an actual Code Tenderloin graduate, overcomes his doubts and insecurities and makes it to the other side of Market, where he can start a new and better life.

Here’s a ridiculously clichéd interview question for you: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

If I’m not replaced by artificial intelligence, I hope to keep doing great work for whatever media exists at that time.

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’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the best creatives in the world, all of whom have made me and my work better. But I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my wonderful wife Kinga. She’s probably heard all of my crazy ideas and has always supported me no matter what. Thank you for being there for me.