Kristina Krkljus is an Art Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. The Miami Ad School graduate already has two Super Bowl spots under her belt and just landed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. She tells us about working with David Beckham and how Stefan Sagmeister inspires her work.
Image: Kristina [left] on set for Pepsi's "Kings Court"
My most recent projects were... Super Bowl spots - "King's Court" for Pepsi and "Checkout" for Pepsi Max. We had a chance to work with Elton John, Melanie Amaro, Flavor Flav and Regis Philbin. It was a lot of fun. Currently, I'm working on spectacular activation for Pepsi. But that's all I can say without getting in trouble!
The best piece of creative work around at the moment is... I randomly found a YouTube video of a Greek hummus brand when I was director searching with my copywriting partner Armando Samuels. We immediately were like: "wow, when did hummus become so hilarious?" Of course, I'm talking about those ridiculous Athenos hummus "Cause Yia Yia Said So" spots. Yia Yia is a grandmother who breaks down stereotypes surrounding Greek family and culture. It's a great way to represent the brand culture behind Athenos. It gives it a real sense of authenticity in a funny way.
I am inspired by... Malcolm Gladwell and his view of the world. I know that he is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what he studies and writes about, but his way of dissecting his world and making people understand details that are hard to see is something that I admire and want to do more of myself. Breaking something down for the sake of rebuilding with a better understanding is a good thing to know how to do.
Without sounding like a total hippie (though I guess I kind of am), nature really inspires me as well. Flow is everything to me. It all needs to feel balanced or I go nuts. Also Nicolas Cage. I just love him/want to marry him.
The advertising festival I'll be attending is... I'll be at SXSW this year. We are going for the digital events as well as hopefully catching some of the music on the last day. I'm also hoping to attend ROFLcon in Boston. It's not an advertising festival per se, but it's a convention dedicated to Internet memes, organized by a few Harvard graduates apparently. Needless to say, it sounds awesome.
The best era to be a Creative was... During the caveman days - pre-civilisation. They had simple, fun and efficient forms of communication and probably didn't see billboards advertising law firms and new movie releases every time they stepped out of their caves. People are too bombarded now.
The next big thing in the world of advertising will be... The last couple of years it was finding inspiration from underground artists like Banksy and others that shaped our society in unexpected ways. I'm really curious to know who might be next for us. If you ask me WHAT might be the next big thing in advertising, I'd say it will be more along the lines of episodic stuff and entertainment/product interaction. I don't think broadcast will ever die.
The digital project I wish I'd thought of is... Uniqlo always blows my mind. They keep doing really unique digital executions that continue to hammer in the brand message. I've never been to Japan, but the way that they advertise a Japanese brand makes their culture seem intriguing and worth exploring.
Stuff like their "World's First Online Waiting Line" campaign. I wonder how they ever got the idea from one room to another, let alone the whole Internet. True innovators in the retail world. You get to view clothing options as they walk by you on an actual catwalk. How cool is that? They also had an interactive Uniqlo calendar featuring seasonal clothing options, showcasing Japan's beautiful weather as well as some music from Japan's top artists. Everything that Uniqlo does exhibits poise and style in a fresh never-been-seen-before type of way. (I swear they didn't pay me to say all of that).
The person who I want to play me in a film is... Jennifer Connelly. She is absolutely divine. Also, the late Rodney Dangerfield is a viable option - just to mix things up. Keep people on their toes.
The person I admire most in my industry is... Of course, I'll have to say Lee Clow here, and not only because I work at Chiat, but because he is one bad-ass mofo. He still makes me nervous even though we've presented to him a handful of times already. He was one of the first hall of famers I learned about while I was at Miami Ad School and now I actually get to work with him. He's undoubtedly any Art Director's dream mentor. He walks into the war room, skims the walls and knows within minutes what works and what doesn't. There is something so incredible about that sort of confidence that really brings Chiat's notion of 'disruption' to life. You know when you have a good idea because he blinks a lot.
My dream collaboration is... Stefan Sagmeister. He is THE MAN! Anyone who went to school with me or works with me knows this. I met him once briefly at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach at a book signing for "Thing's I Have Learned in My Life." He inspired me then and he continues to inspire me now. Most of my work is influenced by him. I am a non-traditional kind of girl and if I could make all of my work by hand I would. I think it looks better and it's more fun. (All of the digital people are cringing now).
In up-and-coming talent, I look for... My partner and I have started to work with the interns at Chiat. We started realising it's good to spread the knowledge and we learn from them as well. There are so many talented people in the biz and it's nice to experience the ones who don't have a huge ego yet. In the words of Coach Taylor, "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."
The digital piece of work I'm most proud of is... I will always have a special place in my heart for our "Unbelievable Beckham" Diet Pepsi viral video (featured in Lürzer's Archive Vol. 4/2011). Not only because he's beautiful and sweet and even posed for a picture with a group of teenage girls on the beach in Santa Monica, but because he's genuinely a killer dude. We had about ten minutes with him and the video is just the gift that keeps on giving. There were tons of videos that surfaced of people trying to replicate his three goals. The age range spanned from small children to grown men. This to me is a cultural phenomenon and I was proud to be a part of it.
The last song I listened to was... The cover of "Suburbs" by Mr. Little Jeans and now some Yacht.
Image: With copywriting partner Armando [right] on set with Flava Flav for Pepsi