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Primus Nair set to leave BBDO after 7 years, new ECD named

After seven years with BBDO Singapore, executive creative director, Primus Nair (pictured left), is leaving the agency. Replacing him is  Mateusz Mroszczak. Mroszczak will join BBDO Singapore from Happiness Brussels and Saigon where he was group creative director spending equal time between the two offices.

Prior to Happiness, Mroszczak (pictured right) was executive creative director at Darwin BBDO in Brussels. Before Darwin BBDO, Mroszczak was creative director at digital hotshop, Y&R These Days.

Mroszczak said, “When I first met the BBDO Singapore team, I knew immediately it was going to be a great fit. The story of how they’ve been transforming the agency and their vision for what a great agency should be is inspiring. I am really excited about having the opportunity to work with team and help to elevate The Work, The Work, The Work. We have got all the ingredients needed to do amazing work – a deep pool of young talent, strong client portfolio and a collaborative network.”

Richard Fraser, CEO BBDO Singapore told Marketing, “We look forward to welcoming Mroszczak to Singapore and back into the BBDO network. Mroszczak has had tremendous creative success during this time at Happiness and Darwin BBDO, creating work that is borderless, memorable and effective. We look forward to working with him to create the same success here in Singapore. With this appointment, Mroszczak replaces Primus Nair, who is leaving the agency to pursue new opportunities.

“Nair has been an invaluable member of the leadership team and a key contributor to the growth of the agency during his time here. We thank him for all the years of energy, effort and dedication, and wish him all the best,”Fraser added.

“It’s been an excellent journey for me at BBDO. I’ve met some of the best people in the industry and have had the opportunity to create work that I can truly be proud of. I have no doubt the team will continue the excellent work we’ve started and I wish them all the best,” Nair told Marketing.

Previously from McCann Erickson, Nair joined in 2011 as creative director and was promoted to ECD within three years.  He was also senior copywriter at Saatchi & Saatchi. In his career, Nair has worked on projects in London, Hong Kong, New Zealand and all across Asia and has played a role in developing brands such as Toyota, Guinness, KFC, Sony, Lexus, Kraft and Nestle, Mercedes, P&G, and SingTel, to name a few.

In 2013, Nair led the work on the well-known Singtel “Hawker Heroes” campaign, which has been recognised as Singapore’s biggest ever social campaign and is showcased in Singapore’s National Library archive. His work on Diageo has also found its way into the Guinness Book of Records.

Nair added, “There’s so many things that I dig about this gig. I love using creativity to come up with business solutions. I love seeing the brands I work with grow. I love standing up in front of a room and selling an idea because I genuinely believe in it. But above all else, the best part of my job is the people I work with. This industry has been wildly welcoming to interesting characters and at BBDO, we’ve built a team  of some of the most dedicated, hard-working weirdos anyone could hope to meet. Coming into work is always a bit of an adventure.”

Read the rest of his interview below:

Marketing: You have been working with BBDO’s clients for over seven years. What are some of the biggest shifts in clients you have seen?

I think the biggest shifts in marketing have actually come from clients. In some cases I think they have adapted to the changes better than we have. We’re seeing  more brands developing in-house capabilities ranging from production and design to having their own fleshed-out creative department. This has made the client-agency relationship much more interesting as it’s forcing us to be more collaborative but to also develop a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the brands we work with.

There’s significantly less situations where we being given a brief and then lock ourselves away in a room to crack it.

Marketing: Do you feel that it is harder to create great work these days than in the past, given that client budgets are shrinking?

Not at all. Granted, in some cases budgets aren’t what they once were, but the landscape has changed so dramatically that are infinitely more avenues to solve a problem outside of traditional means. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good film, but today, you can reach just as many people with a well-executed insta-story. And that’s exciting.

Marketing: As an ECD who has been through the shifts in media from traditional to digital, what has been the biggest challenge for you?

Not getting distracted. Honestly the past few years have been awesome for creatives. We blinked and suddenly pretty much anything we wanted to do with technology we could. VR? No problem. Want to create a biometrically enabled digital lightbox? Done. The tool box is overflowing and for a creative the instinct is to dive in and start playing. And as a result,we’re seeing more exampled of technology simply for the sake of technology. In some cases its made a lot of our communications more shallow.

I try to remind myself that as shiny as things have gotten, insight and strategy are still king.

Marketing: How do you keep up with changes?

I’m not an exceptional creative (lots of people will be nodding along to this). If there’s anything that has given me an advantage in my career its that I am naturally curious. If there’s something new, I want to know about it. Doesn’t matter if its technology or Korean dramas, I have the worst case of cultural FOMO that you will ever see. Typically there three hours from when I wake up to when I have to head out to work that I have reserved for just reading, or browsing headlines. More often than not i also use this time to indulge my obsession with online learning. I’m a huge fan Code Academy and The Great Courses.

As a result, my house is a playground of books, magazines, ukuleles, gaming computers, manga, Lego and bicycles. My bookmarks bar covers everything from mechanical engineering to cosplay.

Marketing: What do you think are some of the skill sets necessary to be a fantastic creative in the modern world?

I think today, the industry requires creatives to be much more complex creatures.

As the agency model evolves, creatives are going to find themselves being much more involved in the entirety of the process than ever before. This means individuals who are intrinsically more strategic will go way further. The ability to look at the the challenge and think about genuine business solutions based on the things you know about the media landscape and the consumer are vital. The new creative is part planner. And this means they are no longer limited to agency roles.

Additonally, I’d say presentation skills are crucial. I’ve seen too many great ideas die because we don’t invest in the skills to do them justice.

Marketing: What’s next for you?

As for what’s next, watch this space.

 

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