Ad Chat - Vincent Vella

Running a bit late this week, but what else is new in this biz? This week we hear from Vincent Vella, ECD, who previously worked at Grey, Euro RSCG and Publicis.

What's your favorite funny story about yourself?
I'm not funny at all

What piece of art (movie, book, music, painting, etc) has influenced you most? How or why?
Undoubtedly the work of Marcel Duchamp. When I discovered his Readymades, I was about 13 years old. Suddenly I understood what a "concept" was. How a simple idea could grow, live outside and beyond of a vehicle, and be truly subversive. This is probably the trigger that made me turn to contemporary art, and then to advertising.

Who was your favorite mentor and why?
I don't know if I can really say I had a mentor ... but my meeting with the team of the Palais de Tokyo, 10 years ago, was a real turning point. Jerome Sans and Nicolas Bourriaud (curators and chairmen of the art centre at this time) influenced me both intellectually and professionally. If you re-read "Relational Aesthetics" by Nicolas Bourriaud today, it very clearly speaks about the era of social networks in which we live in, and the new relationship between « content » and people.

What's one thing that excites you about the future of advertising?
I think we can compare the History of Art and the history of advertising. What we’re living today in advertising, with the advent of digital, is what happened during the transition from Modern Art to Contemporary Art. In Modern Art, the Artist created really beautiful and revolutionary things, but without questioning the medium. He made paintings, sculptures, drawings. Contemporary artists arrived and created concepts that challenged the "traditional" formats: they said « anything can become a work of art ». It is this passage that we are living today in the world of advertising, and that's what excites me: we are the ones who will invent the future of advertising, who will break the rules and the formats. Anything can become a piece of advertising now.

If you could meet with anyone in history (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Andy Warhol, to work with him on new advertising concepts. I heard he was pretty good.

What’s your favorite website/blog, and why? since 2006. I don’t know why.

What's your trick to break out of a creative block?
I try to forget the client brief, and I think about what the brand could do or say to make ME love it. And then I wonder if it’s something I would like to share.

Who is your advertising hero and why?
I really admire Alex Bogusky, because his work at CP+B has really changed the advertising landscape. And I think that what he’s doing today is also very interesting: He says he has shifted his focus from being a "brand advocate to a consumer advocate." I think that good Admen tomorrow will have to be both.

Tell us one of the things on your bucket list.
Create my own agency. Oh, wait ... I can actually remove that off the list now!

What piece of advice do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
Remember that you don’t work for your agency, for your client, or for the recognition of your profession, but for the people.

Keep up with Vincent on Twitter at

Previous Ad Chats
Gideon Amichay Creative Chairman of Shalmor Avnon Amichay Y&R Tel Aviv
Richard Tseng Freelance Copywriter at CP+B
Claudiu Florea Managing Partner - Wunderkid, Romania
Snorre Martinsen of Saatchi & Saatchi Oslo
Laura Jordan Bambach Executive Creative Director LBi
Simon White Rapp, London
Richard Gorodecky of Amsterdam Worldwide
Ray Page of Tribal DDB
Adam Pierno of Off Madison Ave.
Edward Boches of Mullen
Dirk Singer of Rabbit, UK
Gareth Kay of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners
Tim Brunelle of Hello Viking
Rob Schwartz of TBWA\Chiat\Day
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Snappy dresser. Of course. Parisians. ;)