Convos with Creatives is an interview series where we talk with Cincinnati-based advertising and marketing professionals about creativity, clients, and whatever else pops into our heads. We're always curious to see what makes people tick, so we've started interviewing Cincinnati-based creative professionals to find out what they have to say about the current state of creativity and video.
If you’re curious about advertising, marketing, or the video production world, I hope you get something valuable out of these conversations.
Our third interview subject is Ried Cartwright, a Creative Director at Curiosity. A transcription of the interview can be found below. Enjoy!
What was your first job in the industry?
I worked for a typographer in Raleigh, North Carolina, so even though I am a writer, I couldn’t get a job in writing, so I lied my way into a position and it really couldn’t have been better. I didn’t understand who I was working with...literally. I had no idea I was working with legends in the industry.
Working with the best of the best in advertising right out of college it just...I guess it made me more intrigued. I’ve met and worked with a lot of very, very creative people, and I just wanted to always be around that sort of vibe.
What was the first commercial you worked on?
The first commercial I was involved with was for The Partnership for a Drug Free America. What was really eye-opening was there were so many people on set. I had never been on set, and there are a hundred people there. So when you walk on set and it’s, you know, something you’ve written, and everybody’s there to do what you wrote or your idea, it’s very rewarding. And it was just some crazy idea that I had written, and it’s like “Wow, they’re all here to do this commercial.” You get those endorphins, it’s like, “Yeah, I finally have worth in, you know, one of my ideas.” I think that’s what creatives always strive for--trying to find worth in what they do.
What’s your favorite commercial you’ve worked on?
My favorite commercial I’ve worked on was Airhead Extremes. It involved three kids walking into a convenience store and there was a clerk behind the counter, and the whole idea was, Airhead Extremes...you don’t choose it...the candy chooses you. It was just really bizarre. I was shocked that it was sold, and shot, and aired. The end result of that commercial was it was pulled like after two weeks. Just way too weird. I’ve had a lot of that.
What’s the hardest part of managing a creative team?
The hardest part about managing a creative team is keeping my mouth shut. It’s just trusting them to get the job done, not giving them any answers, knowing that they’re going to come up with a solution.
What do you look for in a potential new hire?
Hiring new writers is something I’m pretty good at. I’ve been doing this for quite a while, and I really look for weird people. The social misfits, the people with a really dark sense of humor. That makes a good writer.
What’s the best way to get a client to agree to a creative or unorthodox project?
Getting clients to agree to buy into an unorthodox or crazy idea...I think it’s pretty easy. If you bring clients something they’re looking for, you really haven’t done your job. I always tell our creatives, “It’s our job to make them nervous." Nervous is where the fun is.
My favorite part of the job is coming in and having my creative team show me something I’ve never seen before...just surprising me with a new idea or new solution. I just love that.