Loeries Creative Week Durban

[Behind the Loeries] with... Andrew Human

This week, we find out more about Andrew Human, CEO of The Loeries. In his past life he was also a scientist, and known as the world's leading expert on the electrochemical behaviour of cemented carbides. Whichever of these incarnations rings a bell, Human says you definitely don't know him for his dancing!
Human loves technology, but only when it adds value to our lifestyle. That’s because no matter how much tech there is, we remain simple creatures with desires that haven’t changed over millennia, and technology that speaks to those desires is what works for him.

So, while he’s on Facebook and LinkedIn, he doesn’t see himself as a prolific online communicator by any means. That means while he doesn’t have his own Twitter or Instagram account he’s still a key component of the @Loeries collective.

As a result his opinion is taken with utmost respect in the industry, and why he’s currently making headlines and social media mentions for berating the “enormous amount of non-offensive” advertising work going on at the moment. Here Human shares more insights into the industry as he takes us behind the scenes of his daily work life…

Human in the SAA lounge at King Shaka Airport KwaZulu-Natal.

1. Where do you live, work and play?

Human: I live and work within five minutes of Rosebank, Johannesburg, and I try not to stray beyond walking distance when I don’t have to.

2. Describe your career so far.

Human: I fell into the Loeries by chance. I spent 10 years at university studying engineering and science, and in the 1990s I was seduced by digital media. I had my own digital agency – in that Wild West period when everything was new and most companies didn’t have a website or an email address. Then I moved to New York City at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000, where I worked as a creative director, writer and strategist. I stayed in NYC for around five years and ended up working with award shows like the One Show, Art Directors’ Club and London International Advertising Awards. Then in 2005, I was asked by the Creative Circle to consider taking over the reins of the Loeries, and that’s it…

3. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

Human: Long, indulgent Italian meals with great conversation; as well as reading, cycling, and pondering.

4. What do you love about your industry?

Human: I’ve always been a believer in creativity and the power to improve things through innovation. This industry is led by ideas and it’s great to be part of that.

5. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

Human: The good thing about the Loeries is that the focus changes constantly throughout the year, creating a work environment that is constantly changing. Like many people today, I spend a large chunk of my day looking at my inbox and meeting with people.

6. What are the tools of your trade?

Human: The most important tool of our industry is the brain. Ideas are the primary engine of the creative industry and everything else is there to turn those ideas into reality.

7. Who is getting it right in your industry?

Human: Companies that realise the way we communicate has fundamentally changed and will never go back again. And companies that use creativity as a business tool.

8. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

Human: I often hear that the Loeries is “only advertising” and “only creative”, to which I respond that “advertising is everything”. Every time a brand interacts with a consumer, it’s advertising – interior design, PR, design, mobile, social media – it’s all advertising. And creativity has been proven to yield more effective results than non-creative work. So, creative advertising is everything! That’s my catchphrase.

9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

Human: Garrick Hamm, a Loeries Jury President in 2011, said that the only place he doesn’t have ideas is at his desk, behind his computer. I think this is absolutely true and it’s so important to get away to think and explore. I like to spend time on my own in quiet environments – parks, hills, gardens, streams – and my early morning shower is definitely a great source of ideas…

10. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

Human: If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret!

11. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

Human: I’m not a big social media communicator so I don’t tweet and I seldom use Facebook. I do love Google’s news aggregator and that’s where I go first thing every day. We’ve also started using a great new app called Slack to manage our projects.

12. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Human: Talent and hard work are the two most important ingredients – and you won’t get by with just one of the two.

Simple as that. You can read more about Human by clicking here, and ensure you’re following @Loeries across all social media platforms.

Also remember to visit the Loeries website and our special section to keep your finger on that creative pulse if you can’t wait for Loeries® Creative Week Durban from 15 to 21 August.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity, the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017, and can be reached at ...