The fresh and collaborative hunger of a creative director - #MemberSpotlight

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Creative Director David Joubert had his own share of successes and career experiences before landing at an independent agency in Sydney. Interestingly, the big advertising game could only interest him so much; it is that hunger and desire for growth, creativity and ideas that seems to fuel every single creative choice of his.

David is a skilled leader who loves to look for the unexpected, that one unpredictable connection which he can then turn into an idea. A fan of psychology and human behaviours, David loves to speak to people as much as he loves creativity itself. And his broad portfolio of work, from his beloved agency Channel T and beyond, certainly shows that much.

For this Member Spotlight, we are getting to know a talented creative director from the Creativepool community. He also doesn't particularly enjoy the word 'pivot.' Can you blame him?


How did you get into the industry?

I was lucky, I think. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do while still in school. Toying with the idea of becoming an industrial designer. It just so happened that we had family friends in the industry and one of them suggested I try advertising. I grew up loving ads, so I studied advertising after school and the rest is, as they say, history.

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I am originally from South Africa. I did a 4-year stint in Asia and am currently living in Sydney, Australia. After growing up in big agencies, I have made the move to an independent with the hunger for creativity and growth. Felt like the right move at this stage of my career. Currently called Channel T but we are in the process of re-branding. So, watch this space.


If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

Probably some form of psychology. I have recently been upskilling in this field and find human behaviour and the human brain fascinating. We certainly are a complex species with boundless opportunity. 

Can you explain your creative process?

I don’t know if there is a specific process that I follow. Each job is different. If there was anything, I guess it would be getting as much information as possible and finding the connections that others don’t see. Then turning those into ideas that speak to people.

How would you describe your style?

It’s a word that gets bandied around a lot, but I would say collaborative. I have learnt over my career that keeping things to yourself is not the best way to make things better. Be selfish about your ideas but be open to putting them out there. Vulnerability can go a long way in this business.

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

There are many. I have been very lucky to have worked with some of the best. Damon Stapleton, Julian Watt, Jon Steel to name a few. But I also admire and continue to be inspired by those who are coming through the ranks. 


How has technology affected the way you work?

It has its ups and downs, but I think it has just become a way of life. Technology, in my mind, is an oxymoron. While we are more ‘available’ than ever, we are also more, ‘free’ than ever. And as we know, creativity happens anywhere, anytime.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Watching, listening, learning, reading, listening, thinking, listening.

What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

I would have to say it is the Climate Reality Project we did with Vice President Al Gore. It was an against all odds pitch with agencies around the world and we won it. It was centred around the Climate Summit at the UN in Sept 2014. Our idea was simple. We encouraged the next generation to do what they do best, ask WHY? This culminated in a two minute film being played at the Climate Summit in the general assembly to the world’s leaders. The 8 kids who featured in the film were in attendance. This was the first time the youth had ever been represented in the General Assembly.


How do you recharge away from the office?

Spending time with my family. My wife and my 2, very energetic, girls. I occasionally, when possible go diving. Nothing like spending an hour in solitude under the water.

What is one tip that you would give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Be prolific and keep going. Don’t leave before the miracle happens.

What’s your one big hope for the future of the industry?

The continued resurgence towards creativity.


If you could change one thing about the industry, what would that be?

Stop advertising to ourselves and ban the word ‘pivot’ from boardrooms.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

ZAG – Marty Neumeier
Creative Blindness and how to cure it – Dave Trott
The Practice – Seth Godin
Tools of Titans – Tim Farris
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
Abstract – on Netflix
Influence – Robert Cialdini

There are so many. Find what interests you.


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