FOUNDER/CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER/JOINT-CEO
Never before has New York Festivals assembled an Executive Jury panel of this magnitude and executive level. The 2018 Executive Jury, is an elite dream team of Global Chief Creative Officers and C-Suite creative executives. Words like iconic, visionary, accomplished and influential, come to mind when describing these prominent award-winning creative leaders. This April they will assemble in New York City for 4 days of live judging across all mediums—one panel of advertising giants, 30+ strong, all coming together to select the World’s Best Advertising®.
Executive Jury Armin Jochum member is Founder/Chief Creative Officer/Joint-CEO of Thjnk Germany, the agency’s employees rank among Europe’s most decorated creative minds.
Under Armin’s leadership, Jung von Matt won 50 Cannes Lions between 2009 and 2012 and was voted Independent Agency of the Year in 2010. The following year, W&V named him Top Manager of the Year. In 2012, Armin set up Thjnk with Karen Heumann and Michael Trautmann. As early as 2014, Thjnk’ s founders were designated “Agency Heads of the Year” and was voted “Agency of the Year” at the Euro Effies. In 2017, Thjnk was twice named “Agency of the Year” by W&V – the leading German marketing publication – and the design award Red Dot.
A member of ADC Germany and D&AD, Armin has sat on several juries in Cannes and at other major creative competitions. He has been a member of the Executive Jury of the New York Festivals since 2014. Armin is actively engaged in fostering up-and-coming creative talent and firmly believes in the spiritual power of mowing the lawn.
Being a Juror:
New York Festivals: Why did you decide to accept the invite to NYF’s Executive Jury?
Armin Jochum: It’s like everything in life. There are things you can do. And things you want to do. At times, our business is incredibly exhausting, and very, very unpleasant.
At just such a moment – when I was about to jump in my freshly refueled Audi and make a quick getaway to another country – the phone rang. And a very gentle, friendly voice gave me the very welcome news that I am part of the 2018 New York Festivals Executive Jury. Now what could be cooler than that? Especially because, every time, it’s such a wonderful experience. To be among this circle of people, locked in a room for a week, sounding out and discussing the entire shortlist of truly outstanding pieces of work. Never losing sight of the big picture. And, unlike many other award shows, there’s not just a single category, or subcategory, or very special, special award. You know what I mean?
So, then I get in my car, drive straight home, read our numerous children a particularly great bedtime story, and open a lovely old bottle of my favorite Bordeaux that Mr. Parker had very graciously given “Best of show” honors to. A highly successful way to end the day, so much is certain.
New York Festivals: What do you look for when hiring new talent?
Armin Jochum: I’m told that I have my favorites – and it’s true. I love working with people who believe in their ideas. People with a “no fear” attitude. People who want to make the impossible possible with bold, irreverent ideas.
It’s my belief that we are living in an age where nothing has more impact than the power of a free thought. Creative minds who are genuine and challenging go far in our business very fast. A few years ago, I had a highly talented intern at the agency. One day, as we were working on the Audi quattro campaign, he came up with the idea that Audi could best demonstrate the outstanding qualities of its all-wheel drive if the moon rover on the next moon landing in 2019 were an Audi.
Meanwhile, that crazy guy is one of the most successful creative directors.
And Audi’s “Mission to the Moon” is one of the most important projects in our agency’s young history.
This and That:
New York Festivals: How do you find balance between your high-powered job and life/family? Any secrets you can share?
Armin Jochum: I married the love of my life and we have three children. I never wanted to be one of those people who, later in life, leave themselves open to the question, “Where have you been all these years.”
Now, it’s not the case that I like what I do. I love what I do. Sometimes, people say I have an “extremist disposition”: I get up in the middle of the night and jot things down, I work simultaneously in different time zones. I enjoy being with my clients, so you could say I’m forever on the move.
New York Festivals: How in the world can that possibly work?
Armin Jochum: I’ll let you into the secret here and now: You can only do it if you have a very strictly regimented, ritualistic weekly schedule. And it goes like this: I promised my wife that, come what may, I would be home on at least two evenings in the week early enough to read the kids a bedtime story. OK, over the years that has shifted somewhat – because with advancing adolescence it’s no longer so relevant whether Winnie the Pooh really exists or not, but rather whether it’s cool to send the guy from Class 5C a WhatsApp message. Then – and this is the most important advice I can give anyone – I have a weekly date with my wife. We meet in a fantastic bar and talk. About our week, about stuff we have to deal with. We discuss who’s where when, who’s taking our youngest to the kindergarten, that kind of thing.
And weekends belong to the family, not the smartphone. Till Sunday evening. That’s when I open my MacBook again. And am amazed at all that’s happened in the meantime. I love my life.