32 Under 32: Niclas Långsten

By Egotist / /

We’re getting down to the end of our 32 Under 32 interviews, but here’s another good one for you. Today we talked to Niclas Långsten, the lead copywriter at Stilla. Check out what this rising star has to say and then come back on Friday for another piece. We’ll be finishing up the series next week. Don’t miss any.

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?

It’s quite an honor, thanks! I grew up in Sweden but was always obsessed with American culture as a kid, so I think I’m lucky enough to have a healthy combination of Swedish self-criticism and American guts. I combat the devil in my details, but I go for big challenges when I see them and surround myself with the best kind of people to prevail.

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

It’s been a busy spring at Stilla where we’re getting ready to launch our pocket-sized security system. At the moment, we’re working on polishing an update of the company branding, so we might just pop up with a sweet campaign or two.

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

Working at a startup like Stilla is truly something else. Conventional incentives aren’t really there yet; you don’t do it for recognition in the industry or a crazy pay, but instead you all share a vision and collectively scribble on that tabula rasa until you get to improve the lives of many people. The success of the team basically revolves around the trust you put in and the trust you receive back.

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

Hmm… At the time or in retrospect? If it’s the former, it has to be how it all started. I knew communications was the thing for me, but I just needed a foot in the door. I submitted my work samples to Berghs in Stockholm (shout out to Berghs on their third consecutive ‘School of the Year’ Lion in Cannes by the way) and I’ll never forget when I got that acceptance call. I was dancing around the apartment in my boxers for the next hour or so.

You’re leading a global student ad competition. Tell us about that and how you got involved.

We were shaping the branding for our initial Stilla product, and wanted to add a little growth hacking to the process. I kept seeing the hunger and quality of my peers’ work at award shows, and so the answer was right there: we invite students at the top schools for creative communication and pit them against each other. Simply put, we outsourced the opportunity and challenge in making something brand new familiar.

We got down to work and started with partnering up with Indiegogo for some nice prizes. Then we gathered up a dream team of jury representatives from places like Google, Facebook, Spotify, Microsoft, WPP… well, the list goes on at pressaltx.com. The turnout was great and we got quality submissions from all over the world.

The overall mission was greater than just one campaign however. We successfully connected communicators of tomorrow, with a product of tomorrow, under the supervision of judges who have helped pave way for both. Hopefully, we can run this initiative for a long time to come.

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

Realistically, I hope to have reappeared on this list about 9 times by then, and to have a seahorse aquarium in my home.

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.

Ever since she gave me a good scolding for not recycling properly (before carrying on to introduce herself), my boss Elin has been a huge inspiration and has really allowed me to grow, both as a professional and a person. The all time MVP award has to go to my oldest brother Daniel though, he taught me well.