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Creativity Squared: Peepo David Is Forever a Student of the Game

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Newly elevated group creative director at Wunderman Thompson North America on the importance of food to think well, one-line ideas that make him go “whoa”, and how growing up in the Philippines shaped his work ethic

Creativity Squared: Peepo David Is Forever a Student of the Game

According to creativity researchers, there are four sides to creativity. Person (personality, habits, thoughts), product (the thing that results from creative activity), process (how you work), and press (environment factors, education and other external factors) all play a part. So, we figured, let’s follow the science to understand your art. Creativity Squared is a feature that aims to build a more well-rounded profile of creative people. 

Up today is Peepo David, who was recently elevated to group creative director at Wunderman Thompson North America. He was previously a creative director for New York.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Peepo joined Wunderman Thompson two years ago from AKQA Shanghai + Los Angeles where he led the work for Nike, Jordan Brand and the NBA for over five years. His international creative career began in 2008 in the Philippines, then to Malaysia and China before moving to the US. Since joining Wunderman Thompson New York, he has produced campaigns for brands like Samsung, 9/11 Day, and Hellmann’s. His 2022 Super Bowl spot for Hellmann’s featuring Pete Davidson and Patriots Coach Jerod Mayo was named one of the best Super Bowl ads of 2022 by Advertising Age and People. Peepo’s work has been recognised in Cannes, D&AD, One Show, Clio, Adfest, Adstars, The FWA, The Anthem Awards, and The Webbys.



Person


[I would describe my personality as] extraordinarily simple. 

The world is my teacher. I’m just a student in this dynamic, ever-evolving, never boring classroom. 

I think it’s both [that creativity is innate and can be learned]. We’re all creative. But to be good at it, you must keep learning. The great ones are forever students of the game. That’s how you beat your better.  

[I am] definitely an extrovert. I have my moments where I need to do things myself, but I always appreciate having people around me. That’s where I get my insights and inspiration from.

I believe in routine. It keeps me focused. But I do give myself time in between where I can break it, just to shake things up a bit.

I like to explore and educate myself on other types of creativity… and then I try to connect it back to how I can apply it to my work. 





Product 


If the one-liner of the idea makes me go “whoa” or “ohhhh,” then it’s a good idea. Our job is for people to immediately understand our point, so the simpler the better.

I don’t think [that criteria has shifted]. Mediums and platforms evolve, ideas stand the test of time.

All the work I did for Jordan Brand in China would be the most career- and character-defining for me. The work is great, but the experience behind getting the work done was better. I moved to a country where I didn’t speak their language. The only thing we had in common was that both our countries love basketball. So, we communicated through the game. It made working fun, so the outcome was always inspired. And of course, making a Super Bowl ad for Hellmann’s. That’s off my list now. But hopefully that won’t be my last.





Creativity is thriving. It’s insightful. We have more access to information, which gives us less excuses to be inspired.

It’s also been more challenging. I love how anyone can be a creator now - but we as an industry are always a step behind them. I think that’s a challenge we must overcome because it pushes us to be more creative. 





Process


I look for insights that need to be relatable, interesting, and something that connects to the brand. If one of them is missing, then that’s not the idea I’m going for.

YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. That’s where I get a lot of my insights and inspiration. I just have to give myself a cut off so that I don’t get sucked into the black hole of social media.

I start from scratch. If an old reference pops up in my head while I’m figuring out an idea, then it must be a damn good reference for me to not forget it.

I love a good brainstorm. But you need to bring at least five ideas to the table. That’s when I go to my corner and build out some ideas. I think creatives should always come in with something during a brainstorm sesh individually. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but having something to talk about eliminates the chances of us staring at the abyss.

[If I am stumped] I close my machine and do a HIIT workout. Or I go for a hike. Then I think about it while I’m in the zone. Seems to be working well for me so far. I’m just exhausted AF after. 

[I know when a piece of work is done] when everything makes sense.





Press


I was born and raised in the Philippines. To thrive, you have to be ‘maparaan’ or resourceful. Nothing was ever just handed to me. Being creative in my approach to daily life has helped me since day one. 

I studied IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) in college and they basically showed us how to be a client, account person, strategist, or creative. The whole experience taught me how to think, but it wasn’t enough for me to build a book or hone my craft. I couldn’t find a job and would always be criticised for just coming up with ideas. I was even told that I wouldn’t survive because there’s no such thing as an ‘ideator’ in the industry. So, I put in the work to learn how to write and art direct to get things done by myself. That’s how I got better at this. It got me to where I am now, so I guess being an ‘ideator’ ain’t that bad.

Food [helps me fly]. I can’t think when I’m hungry. I’m a stress eater. I always need to have a snack when I’m working.  

I think clients and agencies need to have a strong relationship. But not just the account team. I’ve always found success when I’m friends with my clients. It’s easier to talk about the work in a more fun and constructive way. 
  
We [agencies] have to get out of our own bubble [to facilitate creativity]. 

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Wunderman Thompson New York, Thu, 07 Jul 2022 14:36:04 GMT