Point of View: Creative, Beat Baudenbacher

Interview with Beat Baudenbacher from Loyalkaspar

Beat Baudenbacher
CCO Loyalkaspar

Point of View: Creative

In a few words, can you tell us who you are what your job title is?
I am the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at loyalkaspar, a creative branding agency.
Did you have a mentor at one point in your life and how did that person help guide you?
Not really in the design industry. This isn’t really original, but my parents had a big hand in where I am today. My mother was an artist, who taught me not to be afraid of the blank page. My father was a surgeon, who instilled in me that passion and commitment is the price of entry in every career. And my birth country of Switzerland taught me that every detail matters.

In my formative years, there were 3 people I remember helping me onto the path I am on today:

Joanne Klammer, an art teacher at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach, where I spent an exchange year during high school, encouraged me to express ideas visually. An English teacher at the same high school, and, unfortunately, I cannot remember her name (which I feel terrible about!), made me realize that writing is about ideas and not necessarily about the words of a certain language. And Ramone Muñoz at Art Center College of Design, guided me through a challenging and rebellious time in college; he taught me that it’s ok to put yourself into your work.
If you were going to choose one project to post on AdForum to represent your creative vision, what would it be?
We do a lot of different type of work and that’s by choice.

But maybe this is a good example: last year, we rebranded SYFY, the first from-the-ground-up overhaul of the network in years. We designed the logo, visual identity across platforms and the verbal identity that was expressed in a custom typeface. An animation and motion language brought everything to life. Short of maybe tagline development (they don’t really use one) and some live action direction to bring the new personality to life, it really hit the sweet spot of where I think our strength is; building strong, stand-out brands for an evolving and complex media environment. And telling their story in an authentic way across every platform, which requires the strategic and tactical half of the brain to talk to the intuitive and creative part and come up with something both are happy with.
Is there a band or an artist that you listen to most during the work week to help you relax and spark creativity and if so, who is it?
I tend to get sucked into the Pandora universe of one particular artist per project. I’m not sure why. Maybe staying in one sound world helps me stay in that one particular project. Most recently, I was in an Eminem bubble for about 2 weeks, which then got me into Jay-Z, 50 Cent and some Tupac. I often go back to Mark Knopfler, which then meanders into more blue-grassy type stuff on one end and Dire Straits and Pink Floyd on the other.
What would be the one word you would use to describe your office’s culture?
I would hope that people would agree with how I describe it; Love and Kindness. Love for creativity, collaboration and craft. Kindness to ourselves, our partners and our environment.
What can you do creatively when working on branded content that you might not be able to do in the “traditional” ad process?
For me, it opens up different and unique avenues of creative expression and storytelling.
What would be your least favorite thing about the pitch process?
Working in a vacuum. Building successful brands requires deep and truthful collaboration with the people who understand the personality, opportunity and challenges from the inside out. We cannot possibly get the full picture in the couple of weeks we have during a pitch process. And without that insight, it can feel like we’re just throwing wallpaper at, well, the wall, and hope that it sticks...
If you had a chance to be President and/ or King for a day and can enact any rule into law, what would it be?
The law of common sense?
What do you think will be the big change in either technology or culture that will most affect advertising in the next 5 years?
I think brands need to find ways to talk to their audiences in the most truthful way they can. And conduct themselves in morally responsible ways.

On one hand, this means less “BUY ME!!!” and more “This is who I am and what I believe in; if you agree, I think I can make your life more meaningful/joyful/entertaining, etc.”

On the other hand, this means brands standing up for what they believe in and living up to the responsibilities they have taken on by using the resources of our planet and enlisting the labor of the people who work for them every day. This manifests itself in everything from equal pay to a conscious environmental footprint and standing up to short-term political decisions that will hurt everyone in the long run.

And I think they should tell their audiences about their choices. Whether or not that will still be called ‘advertising’, I don’t know...

Beat Baudenbacher
CCO Loyalkaspar