As Chief Creative Officer of BBH Singapore I form part of the agency’s leadership team that drives our culture, innovation and business. I also sit on the Global BBH Board and the Publicis Groupe Creative Council for APAC&MEA. Glad we got that out of the way.
Six months after I took the role, the pandemic hit. And yet we achieved the agency’s most successful year in its entire history on all accounts: revenue, profit, creative success as well as culture (with new initiatives around mental health, inclusion, diversity, training). Campaign Magazine UK named us runner up for Global Creative Agency alongside Mother London and Adam & Eve.
We launched a new entertainment platform called Running Stories. We innovated on new platforms like TikTok by creating an interactive RomCom. And we launched a new gaming offering with Riot Games (publisher of the world’s biggest PC game) as our first client.
"There are three ways to get things done. The right way, the wrong way and mine."
Creative Excellence is something I personally drive and for which I’ve been recognised with over 500 awards and certificates at every major award show including 10 Grand Prix and a Titanium Lion at Cannes. My work wasn’t just awarded by the industry, it has also won several audience awards at the Webbys, Best of Show at Film Festivals and the Youtube “Top 5 Films that restored our faith in humanity”. It has garnered millions of organic views, was featured by industry and consumer press, was discussed at the United Nations as best practice in Social Media and keeps pushing boundaries which the Iranian Censorship Board can attest. At one point in time, 3 of the 5 most viewed Coca-Cola commercials on Youtube were written or directed by me. Apple’s Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki once tweeted “a product everyone must buy” about a fun thing I invented. I am passionate about driving the industry forward and keep getting invited as a judge.
I believe that - regardless of who pays for the work - it’s the audience that’s the real client. We’re working in their service. My background in film, where I worked on German TV series, taught me this valuable lesson. (I still direct from time to time for which I’ve also been recognised)
I strive for an environment that’s free of ego and politics, allowing us all to focus on work that’s fun and rewarding.
"Sascha was chosen to be on the 40 under 40 list by Campaign Magazine. It’s like getting certified as 100% organic. Except that we’re not talking about food here. And it’s not really related at all."
My leadership style is anti-alpha and creates space for others to own and shine. Small impowered teams can move mountains. Big structured teams are mountains. To me, leadership is not about one person sitting at the top calling the shots. True leadership can and should sit anywhere and can come from any position. It’s all about exciting a group of people around you to go above and beyond, while loving what they do.
Creativity isn’t a department. It’s a culture. And that culture needs to be nurtured. Playfulness, experimentation, taking risks are big contributors. I set up an innovation lab empowering younger teams to make and prototype. We’re currently working on a game with an exciting new gameplay. We’re also prototyping a new approach to social commerce. We held a virtual open house for the agency which was so successful we turned it into a format and sold it to a client. We brought to life a virtual agency mascot that you can feed like a real Tamagotchi (physical art meets coding). Last year we even brewed our own award winning beer to celebrate the end of lockdown and getting back together.
We use difference to make a difference. I believe in and support diversity in all forms, breaking old structures to create space for people with a difference. That means hiring from less privileged backgrounds (by paying interns a living wage), working harder to fight gender imbalance (with mentorship programs to work on barriers for female leaders to rise up, training programs for up-skilling, and promotions from within the agency). And so many other things we support to create a very inclusive culture. The proof of success is in the numbers.
What you will find on this little website is a glimpse of my career so far. I’ve structured it with the following labels (and in a way that makes the list looks like the mushroom cloud of a detonated bomb, because: impactful work. Get it?)
TOP TEN (because who has the time…)
I’ve lived many lives so far. Aside from my current job, I have worked in various capacities when I was younger. As newspaper delivery boy, Maths and English tutor, bank teller, barkeeper in the German military, assembly line worked at Mercedes Benz producing SLK engines, accounting assistant at Siemens, editorial journalist for satellite TV, show host on VIVA (the German MTV equivalent), red carpet photographer at film festivals, sound assistant, editor in chief of a students paper, cameraman, waiter, consulting brand manager for Snickers and website designer way back in the 90s.
But my first real job was on film sets. Every day I could feel the incredible energy of people coming together bringing something to life that - up until that moment - only existed in someone’s head. This energy and excitement has been with me ever since.
That’s what gets me out of bed every day.
Well to be honest, what gets me out of bed is usually one of my three kids who all mean the world to me.
To read my CV, buy the book "Cool infographics" and open it on page 198.
Are you a Millennial and don't like books?
Below you can find a CV version you're likely to be more comfortable with.
It's a digital world now anyway, isn't it? #pointingouttheobvious