Tag Archives: Nike

Creative Director Mitch Crook talks Nike and establishing a successful business

When Mitch Crook recalls what initially sparked his interest in design, he credits an inspirational art teacher from his youth. Mr. Dominic Culkin, from Crook’s high school in Hertfordshire, England, would inform his student about exhibitions to see what books to read, and what magazines to buy. This teacher’s ability to connect his class to art and design opened up a world and sparked a passion for a young Crook that shaped his entire future, and he still possesses today. Little did Mr. Culkin know the impact he would have on not only his pupil, but the United Kingdom as a whole. Crook is now the Founder and Creative Director at his company Hotel Creative, a design agency behind some of the country’s most renowned retail advertising campaigns.

Despite not having heard of Mitch Crook before, you have most likely seen his work. His company, Hotel Creative, is a multi-disciplined creative consultancy based in London. His team specializes in concepts, visual design and art direction for brand communications, experiences and pinnacle retail. They pride themselves on great ideas, quality production and a high standard of delivery, combining attention to detail with a no-limits attitude. With Crook at the helm, he constantly impresses both colleagues and clients, and after seven years in business, Hotel Creative has become a leader in the industry.

“I have never come across a more brilliant, talented and charismatic Creative Director than Mitch. I am constantly astounded by the innovative experiential campaigns he creates on behalf of his clients,” said Marcus Price, Associate Creative Director R/GA, New York.

Collaborating with Nike, Hotel Creative was responsible for many of their most successful product launches, directly contributing to increased awareness and commercial sales. Through his work, Crook has been partly responsible for Nike being the dominant sportswear brand in retail across the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

“Nike is the best brand in the world. Their vision for the future is streets ahead of their competition. I’m a massive Nike fan, love their product, love their demand for excellence and how innovative they are across all fields of play. The way they took on soccer with a clear mission to be the biggest brand was outrageous, but totally Nike and look how they’ve achieved that over the last 15 years. So much of what I see in Nike reflects why I set up Hotel Creative, we share similar creative goals to do things that haven’t been done before,” said Crook.

Specializing in apex visual experiences for luxury brands, Crook is a Nike brand expert and a global design influencer. Earlier in his career, before Hotel Creative, Crook was given great insight into working with Nike whilst working his way up in the creative world. At the time, online shopping was beginning to take off, with e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay beginning to emerge as the giants that they are today. Despite this, Crook had a vision for retail that went against this trend; he believed that physical retail could still be more successful than ever if more of an artistic and creative approach was taken, making it bigger and better than ever. It was this idea that sparked the creation of Hotel Creative, and he pitched his concept to Nike UK, and they agreed to be his founding client. The promise of work gave Crook the courage and confidence to launch his own agency, and Nike has been his principal client ever since.

“Mitch has been responsible for, and involved with some of the most iconic Nike campaigns in the world. He always looks to push the boundaries of retail design,” said Adrian Fenech, Senior Brand Director, Nike Inc.

Crook’s loyalty and passion for Nike is evident in Hotel Creative’s work with the sporting brand. His direct experience with the company and his understanding of the field gives Hotel Creative an intimate knowledge of what works. Crook says his team pushes their own boundaries every single day to consistently produce high-achieving results for Nike. Nike respects this, and gives Crook a lot of creative freedom to explore new and unique ideas, something that has become a bit of a trademark for Hotel Creative, as no other creative consultants have achieved for Nike what they have. Crook treats every project through a fresh lens, and he does not have one house style that Nike simply adopts. Every single campaign is different, and each is visually stimulating for consumers.

“We have to react, find new things, new techniques, continually adapt our creative approach to what will excite and capture the imagination of consumers and what enhances and communicates Nike’s product,” he described.

Such an approach makes Nike the best and most challenging client in the world, according to Crook. Not only do they work with Nike on local territory campaigns around the UK, Hotel Creative also works on them at a global creative level, creating future campaign directives that set the tone for their creative rollouts across the world. There is never a moment with Crook’s company is not dealing with Nike. Projects typically take about four weeks, sometimes even less, but can last up to three months. The creative process involves Hotel Creative presenting a number of creative directions and refining them to align with Nike’s product and their audience. Every day is different, processes and order are often hard to impose, but they have built up a lot of trust between each other. Crook knows what is expected of him, and never rests on his laurels.

“Nike have an unnerving sense of the future and that futuristic vision excites and inspires me. Over the last 30 or so years they have transformed into such a globally innovative brand, continually pushing technologies to create new products for both elite sports and everyday consumers. This cutting-edge approach is a magnetic force for many creatives and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved working with Nike, given they have the ability to pick the best,” added Crook.

With such a passion for his work, there is little doubt as to why both Crook and Hotel Creative have become international success stories. Crook never let his connections with Nike die down as he was building his business, and he encourages all those who look to follow in his footsteps to remember, it’s not what you know, it’s who.

“Study, work hard, play hard. Work the system and build your contacts. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Look who’s doing work you love or aspire to do. Contact them and ask if you can assist in any way at all,” he advised. “All knowledge is good knowledge, even if it’s a bad experience, it is something you know not to do again. Always learn and reflect on what you did and what you could have done better. Then you are ready for next time.”

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Editor Vladimir Boboshin Proves that Passion Fuels Success

Vladimir Boboshin
             Film and Commercial Editor Vladimir Boboshin

Originally from Moscow, Russia, film and commercial editor Vladimir Boboshin has taken the film and advertising industries by storm with his unparalleled ability to create captivating stories from raw footage.

“Editing film, regardless of the genre and form, is very much like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, with one major difference: you don’t have a reference picture. You find pieces that match together and then find their neighbors and so on,” explains Vladimir. “I like to see how the story shapes up out of the chaos.”

Vladimir Boboshim is supremely talented; anyone who can make an Ikea commercial touch audiences on an emotional level deserves some serious attention and praise, thankfully the numerous awards his productions have received speak for themselves. In an industry where behind the scenes contributors rarely get the attention they deserve, Vladimir Boboshin has managed to make a name for himself as one of the advertising industry’s most sought after editors.

Some of his editing work in the commercial world includes Coca-Cola’s “Olympics,” “Exam,” “Christmas,” “Open Up for Happiness” and “Rucheyok,” Canon’s “Stolen”, “Handover” and “Breach,” 20 commercials for Ikea, 11 commercials for Nestle, four commercials for Road Safety Russia, one of which entitled “Belt” received the Grand Prix Award at the Meribel Ad Festival and the Gold Award at the Road Safety Film Awards, and many more. Vladimir also worked as the editor of the Russian comedy series Univer, where he edited 99 episodes, and the show Nasha Russia, where he edited 74 episodes. He was also the editor for the promo-trailers for the films Silent Souls, High Security Vacation, and The Practice of Beauty.

While Vladimir has developed an effective style in editing commercials for advertisers whose main goal is to sell their products, he is not pigeonholed in his talents, something proven by the vast spectrum of his work. He has managed to create a portfolio of work that is both impressive and diverse, something he partially attributes to the fact that he is from another country.

“I’m bilingual and I‘ve worked with so many different people from all over the world, so over the course of my career I’ve learned to see and understand different visual styles and work ethics,” says Vladimir. “Many Hollywood editors haven’t been exposed to the same variety of international approaches as I have, because here in the US the work is more channeled. You get pigeonholed into a category – like car editor or comedy editor – and then most of your work only comes from those areas.”

As the post-production supervisor of the multi-award winning film Franz + Polina, Vladimir was in charge of overseeing the work of an entire team of editors, a feat he accomplished with ease. The film received three awards at the Avanca Film Festival, the Gold FIPA Award at Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming, the Golden Frog at Camerimage, the Magnolia Award at the Shanghai International TV Festival, among others.

The ability to successfully manage an entire team of professional editors comes down to more than just being technically astute in the field, it requires a certain type of personality. Being a talented editor by no means equates to being a people person with strong communication skills, but Vladimir is one editor who does happen to have these traits.

He explains, “The most definitive experience I got from large-scale projects was the importance of communication and soft control. With so many creative egos involved arguments are inevitable and my role oftentimes was to channel the argument into a positive flow so the parties involved come to an agreement and everyone is satisfied in the end.”

One aspect of Vladimir Boboshin’s journey as an editor that is incredibly unique is the fact that he didn’t undergo any formal education in order to break into the industry. However, that is not to say that he hasn’t spent years training himself in the tools of the trade, and when it comes to working as an editor in the film industry one must be a master of these tools.

“I never had any formal training or mentoring before I become an editor. All of my studies were on the job in the heat of the moment and there was no one to help,” admits Vladimir. “As for film language, one can learn as much as he is willing to, I think this sphere of knowledge depends on the person. I believe that the real way to hone one’s craft in the industry happens on the job, bit by bit.”

And that is just how Vladimir did it, bit by bit he managed to learn and master the same tools that took most other editors several years to figure out. Vladimir is proof that when a person’s passion is what fuels them to achieve their goals, obstacles begin to seem less daunting and instead become exciting challenges and a means to improve.