Creative Sparks

From Catherine Dior to Kenny Imafidion: Leo Burnett Junior Creatives share their creative heroes

Hear from the duo behind recent campaigns like McDonald's 'Make It Yours' and Agency for Nature's 'Girls Just Wanna Grow Plants'

By Creative Salon

Introducing Jas Nandoo and Georgette Fischer, otherwise known as Jas & Geo, a creative pair from Leo Burnett, known for their meme-themed campaign Girls Just Wanna Grow Plants, and most recently, McDonald’s latest campaign 'Make It Yours'.

The pair first met at the University of Lincoln during their three-year Creative Advertising course. The pair had a two-year stint at Dentsu Creative where they were hired off the back of their first placement, before landing at Leo Burnett last year.

Within their first few months at Leo’s, they were nominated to work on the Agency for Nature project, an internal organisation launched to create an awareness and appreciation of nature. The pair’s idea revolved around the populist medium of memes, and so Jas and Geo’s high fashion campaign 'Girls Just Wanna Grow Plants' was created.

The campaign featured heavily in the press, even outside the walls of advertising, landing in VOGUE Business and extending to a headliner of the EARTHFEST exhibition this year.

Their most recent work from Leo Burnett, McDonald’s 'Make it Yours', spans across TV, OOH and social. The ad focuses on the insight that young adults own the invite to McDonald’s by creating their own nicknames for the brand. The campaign doesn’t show a single product or mention the McDonald’s name, but is still recognisably a ‘Maccers’ ad.

Jas & Geo come with big hearts, bold ideas, and weirdly, iPads that they carry everywhere. We love how collaborative and generous they are with their thinking, and that shows in the work. Like their latest McDonald’s brand campaign, where they spent countless hours collaborating with youth groups to understand best how to serve that audience. We can’t wait to see what they do next.

Andrew Long, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett UK

Here, we speak to the creative duo to learn what inspires their creativity.

Georgette Fischer, one half of Jas & Geo, junior creatives at Leo Burnett UK:

A creative hero is quite a lot to live up to. How does one singular person quite possibly embody all the qualities you look for? So, I’ve done the classic job of an annoying creative; I’ve taken the brief, sat with it for a bit and then ripped it apart to make my own. So find below, not just one creative hero but three. 

You may have heard of ‘smalltown’ designer Christian Dior. Yeah, this isn’t about him. It’s about his sister, Catherine Dior. Now, Catherine isn’t your typical creative. She was born a farmer and became a World War II French Resistance fighter, but she was a creative person in her own right. She was the unsung hero behind many of the Dior pieces we know and love today. Without her, there would be no iconic ‘Miss Dior’ perfume. Even after her passing in 2008, her legacy has imprinted on the brand forever. Catherine has taught me that you don’t always have to go out of your way to find creativity, creativity can come to you (I highly recommend watching The New Look on Apple TV if you haven’t already… no this isn’t an #ad). 

Next up is Anna Whitehouse, also known as MotherPukka. Being a mother is no easy feat, (just ask mine), but running a campaign to advocate for all mothers within the industry alongside the day job is iconic shit. Her main campaign, Flex Appeal, debunks the myths of returning to work from Maternity Leave. Raising a whole human child is not a ‘holiday’, nor is it ‘time off’. I am yet to have kids or go through the joys of menopause, but I am learning for the future. What I admire first and foremost about Anna is that she doesn’t sugarcoat anything… and I mean anything. She talks about anything and everything. Her podcast is my personal guide of how to be a grown up and when I do grow up, I want to be Anna Whitehouse.  

Ah, you’ve got to have a bit of a rogue one on the list too. My rogue hero is Alison Friend. In short, she paints animals, but they’re not just animals. They’re a bit funky. An unexpected vibe, if you will. I discovered Alison at the Saatchi gallery, not too long ago. I became obsessed with her work, and now hopefully you will be too. You think you’ve seen art until you’ve seen these. They're every day but with a sprinkling of weirdness. Expect the unexpected. A cat smoking a ciggie? She’s done it. A dog as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring? You got it.

They also feel a little nostalgic, featuring pink wafers and the ever-so-slightly creepy Fisher-Price phones. But overall, they’re wholesome, they’re cute and they make me smile. And after all, what’s creativity without a sprinkle of emotion?

Jas Nandoo, one half of Jas & Geo, Junior Creatives at Leo Burnett UK:

My creative heroes come from books. There’s a lot to unpack here, because:

a) I’m an art director and not meant to care about the word side of things.

b) I have ADHD and I’m not meant to be able to concentrate on reading either.

c) My creative heroes aren’t fictional characters. I probably should have started with that.

In our day jobs we write ads. All we ask is for someone to be interested enough to sit through a minute or two of content and maybe find it funny enough to chuckle internally. Or in an extreme case, say something like “I saw a really good ad the other day” to someone they’re with. That’s all we ever hope for.

But authors ask us to sit down, make a cup of tea, and put a couple of hours aside to focus on the work they’ve written. Authors challenge us to read page-after-page where only pictures are conjured up in our minds. Granted, these authors usually have fewer brand guidelines and much longer deadlines to tell these stories. But do you know how good at writing you have to be for someone to voluntarily sit down and look at your work for hours? Never mind for 30 seconds in between episodes of Love Island.

I couldn’t choose one author to be my creative hero, because that author is constantly changing. When I was five it would have been Daisy Meadows, author of The Rainbow Magic Fairies series. At 13 it would have been Jacqueline Wilson, (let’s not unpack that too much). Last month it was Evie Woods, author of The Lost Bookshop.

Generally, the books which really stick with me are the ones where you reach the end and think “Wow, that was good.” and then you turn to the Acknowledgements section. That’s when you realise the author has been through a lot, and written it all down for the world to see. When the book that reads like fiction and tugs at your heartstrings, is actually a true story. When an amazing book has an amazing cause behind it. In the world of books, you really can be creative and save lives at the same time!

Take the likes of Kenny Imafidion and Zoulfa Katouh, authors of That Peckham Boy and As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow respectively.

Both take heartbreaking tales and turn them into beautiful, unique pieces of writing. Both authors have been brave in putting ink to paper to tell these stories. Both have made readers feel they can relate, even if they have never experienced the story. Both are spreading the word about injustice. Both have probably changed lives because of it.

And what’s more inspiring than that?

The ability to make people relate through emotion and human insight, whether it makes you chuckle internally or stop and think - that has always been the goal. It’s done really well in books, and it can be done really well in advertising. Although I haven’t found a way to make a five second skippable YouTube ad bring tears to someone’s eyes (yet). That is the next challenge.


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