Creativity Squared in association withPeople on LBB
Creativity Squared: Unboxing Creativity with Moritz Maus
Advertising Agency
Paris, France
BETC Paris' art director on the importance of simplicity, being surrounded by creativity and visual thinking

Moritz Maus is German creative based in Paris, France. A conceptual thinker with a knack for beautiful craft in love with visuals & word. Currently creating ads at BETC Paris since 2017. Moritz believes in good character, hard work, precise craft, and cool ideas that can (hopefully) add value to people’s lives. Previously, Moritz worked at Ogilvy Sao Paulo and Ogilvy Tokyo.

LBB> What kind of creative person are you?

I’m a creative person that enjoys all sorts of creative outlets be it design, photography, writing or my newest passion - music (my neighbour can tell you all about it).

Though an art director by trade, I would always consider myself a Creative above anything else. Hailing from Miami Ad School, I’m very conceptual and put a great emphasis on strong insights and ideas.

Though I think it’s very important to have one’s field of expertise, I don’t believe in boxing creativity into limiting categories. An Art Director that loves poetry and words? A copywriter that has a great visual eye and taste? Great! I believe that real creativity knows no boundaries. In the end, it’s just as much about self-exploration as it is about self-expression. The farther you go and reach out into the unknown, the closer you’ll get to yourself.


LBB> How do you judge the creativity of a piece of work?

I believe that the best creative work is simple. Based on a solid insight, a human truth, the best work doesn’t ask for complex explanations and looks at a known topic in a new and unexpected way. It sits at the pulse of time and connects dots and parts you didn’t know could ever fit together.

I believe that real creativity does something to you. It moves you in a way that makes you smile, think, dream. It tickles your emotions even way after you’ve first seen it. When I can’t help but think of a piece again and again that’s when I can be sure it’s great. Also, would I have loved to have done that piece of work myself? Does it make me question my own creativity, doubting that I could’ve ever come up with this myself? If that’s a double-yes, I know I’m looking at something really good.

Lastly, the best ideas also seem bigger than their own parts. They move people, create movements and sometimes even make you ask yourself “is that still advertising?


LBB> Tell us about how you like to make creative work

I try to tackle every new brief with a fresh approach. Over the years I have built a repertoire of creative kick-starters that I use depending on how I feel with a particular brief and how much I’m supplied with in terms of information.

I often like to start with intensive research. Who are we really talking to? What does our target group think and feel? What are their worries and beliefs? If it’s a new topic or theme I’m not yet that familiar with and I’m looking for solid insights, you’ll find me in Internet forums, watching documentaries, browsing through online articles and dozens of online reviews, speaking to people and so on. As I mentioned, I think the best creative work is built on great insights and what better way than to get those first-hand. Sometimes an expressed opinion or a phrase that I read suddenly sparks an idea that I would have never had if I had confined myself to the information given in a particular brief.

Being a very visual thinker, I also like to collect visual references, keep up-to-date and expose myself to a variety of visual and creative content, be it advertising, music videos, films, series, art, or photography. I believe good creative work pulls from many areas and isn’t just confined to other advertising.

Unusual for an art director, I also like to write taglines. I always enjoyed meticulously compressing a thought into a few words. I believe it really forces you to channel your thoughts and find lots of creative angles to a given problem. The play with words and use of synonyms, comparisons etc. has sparked many good ideas in the past. Some of those lines have then made it out into the world, most were just a great basis for creative discussion with my creative partners and inspiration for visual executions.

After an initial stage of wandering off on my own I then usually get together with my creative partner to exchange, discuss, and build on top of each other’s initial ideas and thoughts. I believe the best work is usually done in collaboration with other bright minds.

Finally, I try to keep the creative process light and fun. We’re in a business that (mostly) doesn’t change lives, so despite tight deadlines and external stress I find it very important to keep a happy spirit and child-like curiosity. It brings better ideas and makes the whole process so much more enjoyable. And isn’t that what drew us to advertising in the first place?


LBB> What external factors have shaped you and what can make or break a creative project?

I have been brought up in a creative environment since day one. My parents are working in interior design and architecture. My grandfather, to whom I was very close, spent his life working as a set and costume designer for the German State Opera. Creativity in its many forms was something I’ve always been surrounded by and participated in.

Though my professional life didn’t lead me down the creative path at first—but to marketing, business, and professional sports—I can today pull from those experiences to make me a more well-rounded creative and thinker. Having worked at some of the best agencies in South America, Japan and Europe has shaped my creative outlook and has enabled me to experience the many ways the creative process can be approached.

What can make a creative project is intuition, trust, fighting for and protecting good ideas, experienced clients, and ego-free collaboration.

What can break a creative project is overthinking, too much time, rigid hierarchies, and a generally unsafe environment to freely express one’s ideas.