Pontus Caresten — Copywriter, DDB Gothenburg
Pontus talks to TheNextGag about his particular journey into advertising and the creative process in his agency.
Pontus Caresten is a Copywriter at DDB Gothenburg in Sweden.
THENEXTGAG: I DIDN’T KNOW THAT YOU MOVED FROM SHOUT. SO NOW, YOU ARE AT DDB GOTHENBURG, IS THAT RIGHT ?
PONTUS CARESTEN: Yes, exactly. I changed this summer, so it is quite new.
TNG: AND HOW BIG IS THE AGENCY OVER THERE ?
PC: We are small. Right now we are fifteen-sixteen people here, but we’re growing rapidly.
TNG: DO YOU WORK MOSTLY WITH LOCAL CLIENTS ?
PC: Not really, no. Actually, all of my clients at the moment have national markets. Right now I work with one of the biggest grocery stores in Sweden, a new bank and a theme park. And I used to work with Burger King, Continental Tyres and Yamaha Music. For example. So, I have done work with national clients and international ones as well. But local is fun. The bravery of the client is usually a lot more important than the budget.
TNG: DO YOU HAVE ANY BIG PROJECTS COMING UP ?
PC: Yes. We are in the middle of something for this grocery store actually. That’s coming up quite soon, in just a couple of weeks forward. I think, and hope, it will be a really good project.
TNG: AS A CREATIVE, WHICH TYPE OF MEDIA DO YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH THE MOST ?
PC: It differs a lot. I prefer when you as a creative don’t have the media strategy already thought out. But, of course, you don’t always have that kind of privilege. But I try to start with the problem, and the media choice usually come naturally. The most recent thing that I did and that I’m proud of is a campaign called “The fun queue” for the theme park I mentioned, Liseberg. Last summer they launched a new roller coaster called Helix. It’s big, fun and very spectacular. But instead of focusing on that, we thought “What’s the worst thing about Helix?”. And the answer was quite obvious: queues. They are really long, often up to an hour. So, we tried to fix that someway. We couldn’t make the queue shorter, but maybe we could make it seem shorter instead. So, we created this game where you can play against everybody else in the queue on your mobile. So, basically everybody saw the same thing on their mobile phone screen and you play against everybody else. It’s like an attraction in itself, just to stand in line. Every 15 minutes, the winner got to pass the queue. Mobile was the media, but we didn’t know that when we began the project.
TNG: I SEE. THE FIRST CAMPAIGN I SAW FROM YOU WAS THE MISS SKINNY ONE. THE IDEA WAS GREAT.
PC: Thanks. In that case we had almost no budget whatsoever. So we needed PR to make it big. We relied heavily on the celebrities involved in the campaign, and it caught a lot of attention in Sweden.
TNG: SERIOUSLY, IT IS A GOOD ONE. AND HOW DID YOU END UP IN ADVERTISING?
PC: Actually, it was really a lot of coincidence for me. I started out wanting to be a journalist, and I moved to Gothenburg to study journalism. Me and my girlfriend didn’t even have a place of our own, so we went to stay with her parents. Also, we wanted to save money for a trip. To get some extra cash, I looked at agencies close by and I managed to get job, for one month. And I really liked it. I had no experience whatsoever, and I didn’t really know what the profession was about. I had no experience and I didn’t go to any of the big advertising schools either. I went to Uppsala University, so I have no advertising background. This first job was my school basically. And instead of one month, I stayed there for over four years. So, that’s when I started enjoying it.
TNG: I SAW IN YOUR PORTFOLIO ONE CAMPAIGN THAT YOU DID FOR BURGER KING, YOU KNOW, WITH THE GIANT FRIES.
PC: Oh yeah, that’s right.
TNG: AND I REMEMBER SEEING THIS ONE ON CREATIVITY ONLINE MAYBE LAST YEAR. AND IT REALLY SEEMS LIKE A GHOST AD, YOU KNOW, THE ONE THAT YOU ONLY SEND TO A FESTIVAL BUT HAS NOT ACTUALLY AIRED. SO, DID IT REALLY AIRED IN SWEDEN ?
PC: Haha, I see what you mean. But I have never done any fake ads. It was published in Swedish papers.
TNG: THIS ONE I REALLY LIKED. I ALWAYS SAY THAT THE KIND OF GREAT CAMPAIGNS ARE THE ONE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO OUT AS A POSTER IN YOUR ROOM. AND IF YOU LIKE FAST FOOD, THIS ONE IS ONE OF THE KIND, AS IT WAS VERY APPEALING. I THOUGHT IT WAS SIMPLE AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND BEHIND IT.
PC: Nice to hear.
TNG: IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE DREAM CLIENT TO WORK WITH, WHO WOULD YOU PICK ?
PC: Hard question. But like I said, the bravery of the client is more important than the budget or the brand status. I have really enjoyed working with pro-bono clients, for example. The ones that have a subject that I truly believe in.
TNG: AND ABOUT THE STORY THAT YOU TOLD EARLIER. DID YOU END UP GOING ON YOUR TRIP FINALLY ?
PC: Haha, yeah. We went to Malaysia for a month. A perfect trip.
TNG: WAS THERE A CAMPAIGN THAT YOU SAW IN 2014 THAT YOU REALLY LIKED ?
PC: Always hard to name favorite campaigns, but I liked this French one.
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