To celebrate young Aussie talent in adland, B&T has embarked on a series where we chat to creatives working at some of the world’s most prolific advertising agencies in New York City.
Speaking with a new up-and-comer each week, B&T asks Aussie expats everything from their favourite clients to more pressing questions such as how often they’re asked to “put shrimp on the barbie”.
It’s time to meet some of the industry’s brightest.
This week we put BBH New York art director Casey Schweikert’s head (pictured above) on the chopping block.
How long have you been in NYC for?
Tell us a bit about what you do.
I’m an art director with over seven years’ experience. I’ve been working in NYC for the past 3.5 years, starting out at R/GA New York then moving to BBH New York.
I’ve created campaigns for PlayStation, Amazon, Seamless, JBL, Nike and Verizon to name a few. I was also named a One Show Creative ‘One To Watch’ in 2016.
What have been the biggest learnings moving to NYC?
Everything is bigger here. The clients, the budgets, the meetings.
Finding the right people to do good work with has definitely been important. I’ve been lucky to work at two great agencies, R/GA and BBH. They’re quite different but they push good work.
What has taken you by surprise about the city?
I’ve met a bunch of awesome Aussies who I probably never would have met back home. Everyone who moves here for a job in advertising is working their ass off to make the most of it. There’s a lot more of us than I would have thought before moving.
How do American and Australian adlands differ?
I’d say Australians are more laid back and ready to have a laugh about anything. That and in New York, people aren’t religiously going to the pub on a Friday afternoon.
How are they similar?
Even with bigger budgets, the structure is ultimately the same. There are creatives, account managers, producers, planners etc. Everyone’s talking about how there’s not enough time and not enough money. But things still get done.
How is the creative process (both in ideation and execution) different to Australia’s?
Not at all. It still starts with a good insight. And our CDs know a good idea when they see it. Things go from there.
How much bigger are the budgets?
I’d say a lot but America is bigger, so it makes sense. There are more people and more process, so I think a lot of the money goes towards that. But definitely for some clients, the budgets are massive and it shows in the work.
What has been the biggest benefit of moving?
Getting to work on bigger clients and working with some pretty killer CDs.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Probably figuring out how to navigate all the layers of a big agency. That, and understanding American football whenever an NRL brief comes in.
Roughly how many times a week do you get asked if you’d like to put a shrimp on the barbie?
Never. I get more jokes about bloomin’ onions.
Do you ever find yourself pigeon-holed into the ‘Aussie expat’ basket or is it fairly easy to carve out your own identity?
I’d say it’s fair game in a creative department. We have teams from all over at BBH, so it doesn’t really matter where you’re from. My writer is from the States, so it’s a good balance.
What has been your favourite project so far?
We recently did a spot for PlayStation with an Opera singer, which was a lot of fun with a bunch of social content too. But we have a campaign for Planned Parenthood that’s coming out soon that I’m really excited about.
Who is your favourite client?
PlayStation and Seamless.
What is your favourite ad of all time?
Carlton Draught’s ‘Big Ad’. Classic.
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