Fredrik Carlström is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Creative Director of Great Works America, a full-service digital marketing and communications agency that represents a diverse range of clients including Absolut Spirits Company, H&M and Nokia. In his dual roles, Carlström, a veteran marketing executive and acclaimed film producer, utilizes his deep and broad experience in both marketing and entertainment to spearhead Great Works America"s mission to create innovative and cutting-edge campaigns that engage consumers and encourage them to interact with leading brands.
Carlström joined Great Works America in February 2007 when the company opened in New York and signed an exclusive partnership with Carlström"s Third Factory, a film production company — the first deal of its kind between an advertising agency and a film production company. This partnership marked the transformation of Great Works America into a marketing agency that bridges the worlds of advertising, art, media and entertainment.
Question: How Do You Judge Potential?
Fredrik Carlstrom: How do you know if someone’s good? I mean, I think it’s-- I mean, recruiting is obviously a very difficult thing. I think that it’s like a party or a bar, you know? There’s certain places sort of self-- what do you call it, self-curate, I suppose? Like there are certain people who are attracted to you because there’s a commonality. And then I think you use your gut. I mean, you know, you meet them a bunch of times, you talk to them, you ask them questions, you try to be-- you know? I mean, I like people who-- to me it’s all about how you think. How the process-- you know, people come with books or with portfolios, or cases, or things they’ve written and stuff like that. It’s all very good. But it’s at the end of the day, like how do you get here? And that, to me, is what is interesting. I mean, when I came here and I tried to get a job in advertising, I couldn’t get arrested, because there were all these sort of creative recruiters who had given a book or one of those award books by the creative director and said, “This is an ad. This is what an ad looks like. If you see this, call me.” And they would sit and look through my book, and they wouldn’t see that, because a lot of stuff that I’ve done, the magazine I mentioned, or events, or stuff that they just-- they don’t look like ads, which I think is good advertising. So I think the process, the “how did you get there?” is really the interesting thing.
Recorded on: 6/12/08