Magnus Hierta VP Creative Director, The Martin Agency

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TRUST sits down with Magnus Hierta, Creative Director at The Martin Agency, to discuss his inspirations, career path, and recent playful project for Oreo’s “Wonderfilled” campaign.

Briefly outline your path to becoming a Creative Director.

I received my Bachelor of Architecture from SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture), a small avant-garde architecture design school, in 2000. Immediately, I segued to designing and animating for TV commercial production in the LA motion graphics scene. I worked freelance for 12 years in that industry for various studios including Logan, Stardust, IF, Blind and Brand New School, as a designer, animator, and art director until 2012, when I took a full-time position at the Martin Agency as the creative director of a new motion-graphics division. Between that role and being a full-time CD on the Oreo account I keep pretty busy.

What are some of your favorite projects to have worked on with The Martin Agency?

Teaming up with with Dave Muhlenfeld to pitch Oreo and develop a new brand campaign for the world’s favorite cookie just can’t be beat.

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How do you find inspiration? Who are some creatives working today whose work you find particularly inspiring?

Inspiration comes to me in many forms. Sometimes it’s the simple insights of the every day and sometimes it’s the pure genius of those around me. I’m just grateful to be involved in an industry where there is so much talent. It inspires me and drives me to attain the same level of work.

I love artists like James Turrell, Walter De Maria, Gordan Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson. They are all good examples of simple, eloquent, conceptual and well executed work. And I am also a big fan of illustrators like Geoff Mcfetridge and Parra and McBess. Line work, draftsmanship, quirky take on reality, very intelligent and fun at the same time.

I’m just grateful to be involved in an industry where there is so much talent. It inspires me and drives me to attain the same level of work.

Tell us some highlights from working on the Oreo Times Square experience.

My highlight was standing with Brand New School Creative Director Dennis Go in Times Square on a cold December night while we were testing the video. It was like being in a candy store—it looked so beautiful and really stood out from the rest of the advertising noise around it.

Tell us about your experience working with Brand New School on the Times Square project. Describe the collaboration and how you brought the creative brief for Oreo “Wonderfilled” to life.

Working with Brand New School was a dream for me. From the few times I worked with them as a freelancer to the Times Square project, they have always been an inspiring and driving force in the industry. I have a ton of respect for what they do and the way they handle business. So glad to be able to collaborate and learn from such a notable crew.

What were some challenges and anecdotes from working on the Oreo Wonderfilled campaign?

“Wonderfilled” generates so much good work, I wish we could make it all! But consistently one of our biggest challenges is creating work that is both childlike and yet not childish. We are trying to help people see the world through the eyes of a child, not make nursery rhymes. This is a very fine line to walk particularly when using animation as a medium. Our solution is to make sure the message is about changing peoples perspective rather than creating fantasy. That tied with well-crafted and considered visuals usually does the trick.