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Carlo Cavallone

Executive Creative Director / 72andSunny Amsterdam

 

Born in Milano, Italy, Carlo started working while in school as cartoonist for a music magazine, and as a comic book translator (Batman and Walt Kelly’s Pogo). He got a degree in Humanities at the University of Milano, with a thesis in History of Italian Theatre, and studied film at the Tisch School of Arts - New York University, New York.

Carlo used to publish his own fanzine, Ka-Boom, where he wrote about movies, television, videogames, junk food, and pop culture in general, while organizing obscure film festivals in obscure venues in Milan. He wrote and directed a few even more obscure short films.

Carlo started working in advertising, in Milan, FCB and Leo Burnett. In 2001, he moved to Amsterdam where he joined Wieden+Kennedy, on Christmas Eve. For almost 9 years he was a writer on Nike, with a focus on football, but also worked on clients such as Heineken, Siemens, Vodafone and Coca Cola. He was a Creative Director on Turkcell, Pirelli and EA Games.

On September 2010 he joined 72andSunny in Los Angeles as a Creative Director on Sonos and Pirelli. A year later he moved to Amsterdam to run the Amsterdam office, as Executive Creative Director, where he's been working on all accounts.

Carlo used to play bass guitar, but not really well. He played rugby semi-professionally for 16 years.

 

You will be judging the Film category at Cannes this year. What are your expectations? Was the past year a good year for film? 

I love film. My expectations are to have fun watching a lot of interesting work I haven’t seen before. I honestly don’t know much about what has been produced this year in film. I haven’t seen too many pieces, apart from some we produced or other friends in other agencies made. I have seen a few things, prejudging for Cannes and I think there are some really interesting pieces from Asia and Europe.

Last year you won the Grand Prix in Press. What will you be looking for in an entry when you will be deciding who deserves a Grand Prix?

My criteria will be the originality or disruptiveness of the piece, the timeliness - and the level of crafting.

What work from 72andSunny do you believe is a top contender for a Cannes Lion this year?

I hope we can do well with the Samsung “Fanboys” work from 72 LA, with the Google Art, Copy&Code work also from 72 LA, and with our Unemployee of the Year campaign for Benetton.

What was your favorite year at Cannes? And why? 

Possibly, the one where I won a Gold Lion for Nike “Musical Chairs” and Dan Wieden was the president of the jury. Was nice to see him and show him the award. He was pleased, he laughed, we had a beer. I think it was 2004.

What's the best thing ever happened to you because of Cannes?

Wow. I don’t know. I haven’t been much there. It’s nice to win awards. Because of Cannes I think I got a lot of people saying good things to me. I love the attention. My wife was really excited when I won my first lion.

Because great work comes from great inspiration, can you expand on the reasons why one or two of the things you mention on your top 10s have been so inspiring?

I always found movies and comics really inspiring. Especially comics. I learned English with comics and they always influenced my writing, I was a comic book translator before being a writer. The balloon forces you to be synthetic and go straight to the point. “Watchmen” which I mention in the movies is a massive inspiration for me… also surrealist artists and writers, like Bunuel and Queneau. Surrealism is the art form closest to good advertising, I think.

If not advertising what else? Cartoons? Rugby player? :) 

Everything works really. Doing sport semi-professionally was great way of learning sport insights first hand. Living “through them” really helped my career working on Nike, for example.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? How did it turn out?

I guess it was leaving Italy and my job to try to learn another language and advertising culture in the Netherlands, when I joined WK. In retrospective, not a big risk, at the moment, it felt like. The other risk, I guess, was the Unhate campaign for Benetton last year. And you know how that went.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

I would have to quote Dan Wieden, again: “Walk in stupid every day”. But also Jeff Kling, one of my mentors growing as a writer: “Never use exclamation marks!”.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland<br />photo credit: Wikipedia

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Watchmen<br />photo credit: Wikipedia

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The World According to Garp<br />photo credit: Wikipedia

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Los Angeles<br />photo credit: Wikipedia
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Milan, Italy<br />photo credit: Wikipedia
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