creative minds: why Yousuke Ozawa admires Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry | Advertising

Name: Yousuke Ozawa

Source: Japan

Places Lived/Worked: New York, Singapore, Tokyo

Pronouns: he / he


  • Creative Director, UltraSuperNew KK, Tokyo, October 2020-present

  • Creative Director, Havas, Tokyo, July 2019-October 2020

  • Creative Director, Weber Shandwick, Tokyo, July 2018-July 2019

  • Senior Creative, Ogilvy, Tokyo, May 2014-June 2018

  • Digital Creative Leader, Elizabeth Arden, New York, 2012-2014

  • Digital Art Director, Coach, New York, 2010-2012

  • Digital Art Director, Dentsu, New York, 2005-2010

1. How did you end up being a creative?

There were various reasons, but mainly because I loved 90’s music videos. Like Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Chris Cunningham. That led me to discover that there were occupations where you were allowed to think about interesting things.

2. What is your favorite work in your portfolio?

My most recent job with SKYN. We hypnotized a married couple of ten years into forgetting each other and getting them to meet for the first time.

3. What is your favorite work created by another person?

It’s hard to choose, but it would be ‘Smoking Kid’ by Ogilvy Thailand or ‘Return of the Dictator Ben Ali’ by Memac Ogilvy Label, Tunisia.

4. What’s on your wish list?

I have a reject list. The things I would love to get rejected for and hopefully not have to do. (Asking someone who works at a zoo if I can pet a lion is on my reject list.)

5. What career did you think you would have when you were a child?

Anyone but this one. I’d probably have a hard time explaining what I do now to my younger self, but I’d say ‘she’s fucking great’.

6. Do you work better under pressure or when things are calm?

Calm does nothing for me. I have to be in a situation, where I feel now or never. The action never happens in quiet situations, YouTube happens. But I use calm when I fill my brain with inspiration.

7. How would your co-workers describe you?

Probably, with many pauses. Like ‘he’s ah… good guy’ or ‘yeah, he’s ah… good’.

8. Tell us about the worst job you’ve ever had.

I don’t even want to remember this one. This is probably why I I had to find this race.

9. Do you have any strange or secret talents?

When I really need to focus, I write a story while looking at a movie poster I’ve never seen before and write a synopsis of what the story is about with all the details. I probably have at least 50 unintentionally original stories.

10. Tell us about a charity or cause that you think needs more attention.

Ame Otoko, Ame Onna, a community of boys and girls who always bring bad weather. They need more positive light.

11. Tell us about your tattoo(s).

I have some invisibles that I accumulated since high school. I tried to get a Kamon (Family Logo) at one point.

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