Art director’s role grows more complex

Mobius Awards recently interviewed 2016 judge István Bracsok, creative director and partner at White Rabbit, Budapest. Here is the interview.

Q: What is the most fun you have had on a project?



A: There’s a fun moment in every project you do. In our latest “Nature is cool” work for WWF Hungary, we gave a raw deck of boards to brown bears to leave their marks on them. However, one of the bears had a different opinion. First, with one swing of his claw, he ripped apart the boards and then he got bored, climbed up a tree and didn’t want to come down. We had to buy 2 kilos of salmon to bait him to the boards again. That was fun.

Q:  When you are judging a work, what process do you use?  

A: I always look for that never-changing notion of “idea.” Is it there? Can I find it? Does it touch me emotionally? Does it give me goosebumps? Does it make me laugh, bring tears to my ears? Does it give me an insight into a fresh truth? Show me the world in a new way? It’s as simple as that. If I have one of these reactions, the work – works.

Q: What roles must a Creative Director/Art Director play on a project? Have these roles changed?

A: The role of an art director has changed much more than the tasks of a creative director. When I started my career, it was normal that an art director used pencil and paper. Today, that’s unimaginable. In addition, there were many fewer channels to convey a message to the consumers back then, so it was enough for an AD to have strong skills in print and television. Now, the channels have become much more complex. One thing hasn’t changed at all: IDEA comes first.

Q:  What trends are you noticing?

A: I see pure product innovations instead of ideas and communication solutions. I’m not happy with that. And I don’t like the tendency of covering up the lack of ideas with the number of “likes” and impressions. This suggests if something has reached that many people it must be good.

Q:  Do you think that national context/touch is important in today’s advertising?

A: Yes. It’s getting more important as it’s getting more difficult reaching the consumers. But it might help a lot finding a touch-point to reach them, have a visceral impact on them. Nowadays this “national context” plays a crucial part in the world of communication.

Q: You live in a small country. Does it make your work harder/easier?

A: Sometimes it’s bloody hard. Small country, small market, small budgets. Many brands are centralized, and for a small market like this it’s not profitable to develop anything locally. It’s not quite the most inspiring environment for a creative mind.

Q: Are advertising festivals still important?

A: Yes, definitely. More than ever. We need those milestones to see if we are heading for the right direction. They’re inspiring to us and the clients. But we should not forget: those awards must reward not the creative idea but the business results and profitability of that idea for our clients as well.

Q: What inspires you most?

When I feel that I might get closer to understanding the “why” of human existence. Then it turns out that I never will.

Bracsok Fast Facts:

Favorite music: I like classical music for a while, especially the great baroque composers Bach, Forqueray, The Goldberg Variations. Glenn Gould is a genius. Earlier, I was involved in the world of underground music:  Industrial, experimental stuff. Psychic TV, Coil, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle. Things like that.

Last book read:The one which falls off my hand in my death bed (laughs) There’s a wide range of books I like. Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul” was my last book, and it’s a good read. It guides us into an Istanbul that we will never discover.

Best meals: Northern Indian, fresh seafood, spicy Hungarian sausage.

Greatest vacation: Japan. There’s no other place on the Earth where you can find that fine sense of proportion that pervades even the smallest details and things.

Sports Interest: I like swimming. Or, I’m willing to do it, at least.


About mobiusawards

Mobius Awards, established in 1971, is one of the world’s oldest independent international advertising competitions. Each year, the competition recognizes outstanding work in Brochure/Book, Cinema-In-flight, Direct, Mixed Media Campaign, New Media, Online, Outdoor, Package Design, Photography, Point-of-Purchase, Print, Radio, Television, and Student.
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