Creatives from around the world share insights on working in their adopted countries and memories of home.


Issue 13: Working Globally

Cosmo Campbell

Creative Director, DDB Canada 
Originally from South Africa, living in Vancouver 

I can really appreciate how incredibly welcoming Canadians have been. I know it’s a cliché that Canadians are nice, but it’s true, they really are. If you know one or ever meet one, it’s probably a good idea just to randomly thank them for being so damn nice. After all, the world could certainly do with a little more of their niceness.

Creative: Hood Slide, Vancouver Police Foundation

Holger Paasch

Creative Director, DDB Russia
Originally from Germany, living in Russia

Living and working in a different country broadens your view on people, market situations, the economy, dreams, advertising and life.

This is clearly reflected in our work. Ideas become more universal as they have to speak a visual language that is understood by a multi-ethnic audience. I have also noticed that although cultural and historical backgrounds are very different, people’s dreams and aspirations stay the same no matter what country they are from.

Creative: Buy Bigger, Volkswagen 

Jack Christensen

Art Director,  DDB Tribal Group, Berlin 
Originally from London, living in Berlin

When I moved to Berlin I was expecting a bit of a culture shock. But actually everyone, especially in Europe has a lot more in common than we are sometimes led to believe. I’ve been quite lucky because I haven’t had to change my style or way of thinking too much. I’ve found that as long as your ideas resonate with people it doesn’t matter what country you are working in.

Creative: Flower Power, Volkswagen 

Matt Collier and Wayne Robinson

VP, Creative Directors, DDB Chicago
Originally from London, living in Chicago

Learning the language has been very challenging for us. For the first few weeks, we thought the place was full of alcoholics, when people announced they were “really pissed” in the morning. Or realizing that “reaching out to the client,” doesn’t actually mean physically touching them.

Life is still quite similar in a lot of ways. We’re still staring out of a window and thinking about ideas. Only the window here looks out at the water across Lake Michigan instead of a tramp rummaging through a bin in a Soho ally way. Sorry, Hobo rummaging through a trashcan.

Creative: GED Pep Talk Center, Dollar General Literacy Foundation