32 Under 32 – Florian Marquardt of GSP

By Egotist / /

We’re back – refreshed from the long break and ready to showcase more of the best Bay Area talent from our 32 Under 32 winners. We’re kicking off 2018 with Florian Marquardt from Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Check out what he has to say, then check back tomorrow for another great interview. We’ll be rolling through all 32 winners.

Congrats on being chosen as one of the top 32 advertising and marketing professionals under 32. When it comes to your job, what do you think you do differently to stand out?

I believe I always knew what kind of creative I wanted to be. The sooner you know, the more time you have to focus and get better and develop your own brand. You’ll be a little bit ahead of the game. Especially people with an Art Director background have to ask themselves as early as possible wether you want people to solely see you as the guy who can photoshop pretty pictures or as the guy who’s strategically and conceptually strong. Of course it’s not mutually exclusive. It’s important though. It’ll decide the briefings you get the chance to work on, the people you’ll work with and learn from, the type of agencies that want to hire you and ultimately the work you’ll be known for.

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

I get to work for two of the biggest legends in the industry, Jeff and Rich. Complete rockstars. More humble, smart and driven than any of us. There’s no better motivation to push yourself to get better than having these guys around every day. They also make it very easy. You get better by osmosis.

Somewhere out there is a kid half your age who wants your job. What do you tell them?

Ha. I’d be highly surprised if any kid half my age is aware that the job I’m doing actually exists. Unless you’ve watched Mad Men. Most people somehow stumble into the business in their 20’s or even 30’s. But for the purpose of this interview: “Just do it. Impossible is nothing.” I know, terrible joke. But really, just go for it. You’ll figure out fairly quick if this is for you or not.

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

Proud is a strong word. I’m happy with a bunch of pieces I’ve done though. “Help 50 Cent” for example. A tongue-in-cheek, kickstarter-ish side project I realized in the summer of 2015. A day after the rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy we put up a microsite that was linked to Spotify and his track called “Piggy Bank”. (Get it? 50 Cent, Bankruptcy, Piggy Bank.) Spotify pay’s every artist $0.006 or something for every stream. Basically we helped fill his Piggy bank by asking people to stream his song, ‘Piggy Bank’. Very meta. I think “Help 50 Cent” made him a whopping $275 or something, quite a bit considering the tiny amount of revenue artists make per play. It made the front page of TMZ, Perez Hilton tweeted about it and such. It was fun. No “thank you” from Curtis himself though. What a douche.

What do you want to accomplish career wise? What are your goals?

I want to do work that influences culture. Work that’s visible. That could be actual, physical products like furniture or sneakers. Even architecture and interior design. That’s where my head goes. That and everything music and sports. Or a mix of all of it. The music industry has been struggling for years now, helping labels to get back on their feet would be one of the most interesting challenges I can think of right now. As a creative you can apply your skills to many different industries and environments. Whether you work at an ad agency, a label, as an independent consultant, entrepreneur or start your own business. Ultimately my goal is to do meaningful work wherever I am working.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

I don’t think I’ve ever received a specific advice in that regard. Not that I remember. But there are certain people that I look up to. All of them did their own thing. Basquiat, Ocean, Abloh, Ingels, West and Leslie. I can identify with that.. doing things your way.

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.

Actually not tough at all. Till Felber. He was my mentor and senior writer when I landed my first gig back home in Germany at Jung von Matt. He sort of took me under his wings and became my go-to guy at the agency. He taught me what a good idea is and how to make them better. It was a lot of fun despite all the long hours. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him. Thanks Till!