24 Hours On The Job: ECD Daniel Andreani

Ryan Berman // Sep 22 // Culture



Introducing Andreani. An Interview with i.d.e.a's New Executive Creative Director

I’m a broken record.

I always find myself saying, "It’s in our name what we do best".

With that, I must admit it was a bold idea to think nine months ago we would be able to add a key team player like Daniel Andreani to our company. Nine months later, here we are.

Daniel not only brings his Canadian roots and countless awards (including a few Cannes Lions), but he also brings his creative leadership, big agency experience and, most importantly, his high level thinking and counsel to our company.

Ryan Berman: Daniel, thanks for joining us today.

Daniel Andreani: Merci Ryan. Happy to be here man.

Ryan Berman: Daniel, you have been at Sid Lee, BBDO and Taxi to name a few. Give me one thing you learned from each of those organizations.

Daniel Andreani: I learned so many things from each one of them. Starting with Paul Lavoie and Jane Hope at TAXI. I was taught, "We should always doubt conventions". They used to say, “Doubt the traditional and create the exceptional.” But more precisely from Paul I learned about leadership, owning your work and mentorship. From Jane I learned about the power of beauty and design. At Sid Lee, it was just a crazy time where we felt and believed we could conquer the world. I learned a lot about getting stuff done as well. Our industry talks a lot about creativity. I talk a lot about getting it done right. Execution is everything. If we think back to when I joined the company in 1999, Montreal wasn’t really a creative mecca. But because of us and how crazy we were, we felt that we could change the world right from that little French Canadian city. And we did. And others followed. So much so that Montreal is now renowned to be one of the most creative places in the world. I see the same happening to us at i.d.e.a. right here in San Diego.

Ryan Berman: What work are you most proud of? Why? In the spirit of time, just pick one.

Daniel Andreani: Although my work has been awarded all over the world, some of my favorite work hasn’t been. Which proves that although I enjoy awards, they’re not at the center of all I do. I actually like results and people’s reaction to the work instead of the industry accolades it might get. Oddly enough though, right now my favorite work is a spot I completed that no one has seen for The St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Not sure when and if it will run since I no longer work with them. Hopefully people will get to see it because I know they would enjoy it. It’s a very emotional and beautiful anthem to kids.

Ryan Berman: What are you hoping to bring to the i.d.e.a. team?

Daniel Andreani: The power of big dreams. For ourselves and our clients. In truth, I think you guys already have some of it but I know I can bring more. I’d also like to bring the agency to the global stage. I want us to be recognized for the excellence of our work and the quality of our partnerships with clients. What motivates me in life is doing cool work that resonates with people and achieves objectives. We can definitely do it from here.

Ryan Berman: One of the things I personally have come across since living in San Diego is that there’s this unspoken negative stigma about doing excellent work from this market. What’s your take?

Daniel Andreani: I don’t have any preconceived notions. And if there is then it’s our job, my job, to lead by example. The reality is that great work generates results. End of story. Plenty of studies have proved this, including a massive one done a few years ago by Leo Burnett. Quality creative ideas and execution sells. If a potential partner doesn’t believe in that then I don’t see why we should work together. If anything, I see this as an opportunity to put San Diego on the map as a major creative hub.

Ryan Berman: So? Do you like what you see so far from the team? Yes, I’m leading the witness...

Daniel Andreani: Tricky since it’s only been a day. What I do know is that you have all the makings of a great agency. A powerful one. The reason I know is that I see in you a lot of what I had seen in Sid Lee. A great culture. The promise of great ideas. And a desire to make a difference. That’s huge.

Ryan Berman: Is there an ideal client for you? Who would it be and why?

Daniel Andreani: Clients that like to partner up with their agency. Not those who see agencies as suppliers. All the best work, the most efficient thinking is done through the prism of an emotional differentiation rooted in the true place the product or service occupies in the life of the consumer. Good clients understand this. I also love clients who are part of the dream. The ones that you can have a beer with and talk about the potential of ideas. I also dig clients who understand the limits of advertising if I can use that word. Advertising is not necessarily about generating sales now. It’s about building the value of a product so people connect to it and eventually want to buy it. Sometimes that can take a bit of time.

Ryan Berman: Ok, it’s five years from now. What is i.d.e.a. famous for?

Daniel Andreani: Wow. That’s a big one. Five years from now we have made it on the cover of Fast Company or Monocle. We are known for our creative output, flawless execution, and our crazy innovative culture and freaky cool offices in San Diego, Boston, Montreal and Buenos Aires offices. Maybe Singapore?

Ryan Berman: Final question for you. Have any questions for me?

Daniel Andreani: Of course, I have a bunch! But the main one would be how do you feel about the San Diego advertising community in general? Do you find there is unity in wanting San Diego to become a hub of funkiness?

Ryan Berman: No joke, it has improved immensely since I moved to the market—and not just via advertising. Companies like Digitaria, Vitro, Piston, Mindgruve and Basic Agency are all doing just fine on a national level—and beyond—all from San Diego. The market is growing up and I think that’s good for everyone. It brings more talent to San Diego. People want to live here, and now they’re learning they have more than one option if they choose to move here.

If you made it this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read this!


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