CARLO CAVALLONE, EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT 72&SUNNY AMSTERDAM
Born and raised in Milan, Carlo Cavallone studied Humanities at the University of Milan, later enrolling in the film program at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. In 2001 he moved to Amsterdam and signed on at Wieden+ Kennedy, where he would spend the next nine years, working on Nike, EA Games, Vodafone, Coca-Cola and Heineken. In 2010 Carlo joined 72andSunny LA as creative director, and a year later he was asked to lead 72andSunny Amsterdam as executive creative director. “Good commercials need to add something to the world instead of just asking for people’s attention for no reason”, he says.
What do you love about your job?
I love to help people -especially young people- to put really good work out into the world for our clients, and feel proud of themselves.
Which recent projects have you particularly enjoyed working on?
Every project at 72andSunny at the moment is super exciting. It’s hard to pick favourites, but in the very recent past, I would say our work for Smirnoff in Africa stands out.
What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?
A big job for a global telecom company, back in 2004: a massive amount of money and time wasted. A lot of good talent was burned on a bad idea and with a client who had no intention of doing anything good. But like every bad experience, there was a lesson to be learned. In this case it was: never go on a massive production without a real script.
Is there something you hate (or don’t like) about advertising?
I don’t like people who are cynical about our job but still do it. People who would like to do “art” and complain about doing ads. If this is how you feel, then do “art”… I also hate cheap humour, like sexist humour.
In your opinion, what characteristics should a good commercial have?
It should be simple, honest and emotional. Good commercials need to add something to the world instead of just asking for people’s attention for no reason.
In percentage terms, what’s more important in advertising, the idea or the execution?
I would say the balance should be 70% idea – 30% execution. Sometimes 60% – 40%.
What is your favourite ad ever?
It’s hard to decide between Nike “Airport” and Guinness “Surfers”. Both inspired me to try to do this job better.
What was the last cultural event that really impressed you?
Very obvious answers: True Detective and the latest Arcade Fire tour. Also the band alt-j. I sound like such a mainstream-hipster now.
I read that, about 20 year ago, you were really into comics. Who was your favourite character?
I would say Snoopy and Beetle Bailey when I was younger. As I grew up, I switched to graphic novels. I have a soft spot for Daredevil and Batman -which I used to translate into Italian. I like grey-area characters, troubled superheroes.
Have you ever been to Berlin?
I love Berlin. I have a few friends that live there, though don’t feel like I’ve spent enough time in the city. I love that it is so massive and spread out, with so many parts and layers to it -beautiful and a bit fucked up at the same time. I wouldn’t immediately describe it as being very “warm” but it’s still very welcoming and seems to be full of great people too.