Carl Rung Creative Director, Monterosa

TRUST caught up with Carl Rung, Creative Director at Mobile Developer, Monterosa, to discuss technology, design, and life as a hotshot copywriter in the 80s.

There are many career paths that lead to the role of Creative Director. How did you arrive at this position? How did your professional experience prior to this prepare you for it?

All my life, I’ve been interested in gadgets and technology. When I was a kid I used to open up machines to see what they were made of and to understand how they worked. Even though I always had an interest in tech, I eventually started to lean more towards graphic design, photography, music and sound design. I worked at a local advertising agency with digital projects for a few years after I graduated from college, but the dream of something else, something bigger, was always present. I attended Hyper Island’s Digital Media program with a focus on Design and Art Direction. It opened up the world to me. I went to San Francisco and worked on a few really exciting projects at AKQA. When I went back to Stockholm, I became Digital Director and later Head of Digital for one of the larger advertising agencies in Sweden. That role was great – working with a lot of different projects and talented production companies, and always scouting for the next big thing in digital.

I have been in love with the iPhone since the day it first came out. Soon after its release, I got the opportunity to create a truly great mobile service. That’s when I first came in contact with Monterosa. At the time they were a small team mostly made up of developers. We started working together and after six months, Monterosa’s CEO told me that they had bold plans and asked if I wanted to join them and lead their creative work. I already thought that mobile was the most interesting field in digital, and at the time I missed being surrounded by magnificent nerds, so I said yes. A few people might have thought that I was crazy for leaving the big and well known agency, but I saw great potential in Monterosa. Now, a few short years later, we’ve done some amazing award-winning work and, more importantly, gathered the very best team in the industry. I know I made the right choice.

What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve had a hand in during your time at Monterosa?

We focus in two main areas. The first is campaigns, where we work together with the best agencies around the globe, and the other is service/utility development, where we handle our own clients on a long-term basis. I love that we do both and learn so much from the different projects.

When it comes to campaigns I have to say that working on the Daybreak project together with North Kingdom and BBDO NY was amazing. It’s such an integrated project over different platforms and touch points in so many layers of interaction, all based on this immersive story. While we were doing Daybreak, we also worked with Samsung Mobile in South Korea to create an Android application. It was connected to their new popup flagship stores Samsung Mobile PIN, which was released during the London Olympics. I think that production was very beautiful.

On the service/utility side I have to say that my favourite project is still the mobile payment and loyalty card application we’re doing for Ikano Bank (the bank of Ikea). It was the project that brought me and Monterosa together in the first place.

People who work hard and fight for the ideas they believe in inspire me in general. It doesn’t really matter what industry they’re active in.

What new mobile projects and technological advances are making you excited about the field?

I often get that question and I have to say that it’s so many different things. The mobile area is literally booming and I don’t think we’ve seen anything near what’s coming in the next few years. I love working with integrated projects that take the user on a journey over different platforms, whether it’s through a great service or a vibrant campaign. We currently work on projects that concern second screen behaviour, mobile integration at events and customer journeys from in-store or web retail onto mobile, all of which I think are very interesting.

I think that brands who understand and acknowledge the user behaviours of different platforms will get a huge advantage. We work a lot with user scenarios to find those small things that makes a product really great. If I should name a few great services that I wish I could have worked on, I’d include Über car service, Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea and Square Wallet.

Who are some creative professionals working today who inspire you?

I get a lot of inspiration from the startup scene. I think that the people at AirBNB, Spotify and iZettle do a great job, for example. People who work hard and fight for the ideas they believe in inspire me in general. It doesn’t really matter what industry they’re active in.

What kind of mobile phone do you own and why?

My main phone is an iPhone 5, but I have a number of phones and tablets. I’ve used the iPhone since the day if was released back in 2007. I love the simplicity of the UI and how Apple has managed to make the hardware and software work so well together. My favourite Android device is the Samsung Galaxy SIII. It’s great in many ways, but it doesn’t compare with the iPhone for me in my daily life.

What would you be doing if your career had gotten its start before the advent of the Internet Age?

I guess it could have been a number of things. I’m sure that it would have involved creation in some way. I’m fascinated by the music industry. I’ve been a musician myself for many years. I’m also into interior design. I sometimes joke about the dream of being a copywriter in the eighties, when everything seemed to have been about coming up with striking one-liners.