We're so thrilled to welcome our new Executive Creative Directors, Matt Spett and Chris Dutton. They’re already making a huge impact! Hear more from this creative duo about their long-time partnership, some of their most memorable experiences over the years, and how they’ve mastered their craft.
Q. How did your design style develop?
Matt: I’ve always been artistic and creative for as long as I can remember, but my craft really developed when I got my first job out of college. It was on the account management side of the business, but I knew that I didn’t want to stay in that area. So, I started talking to creatives and they started helping me design initial ideas. Then, I went back to design school and that’s where I really developed my craft. I studied the best designers and the best advertising agencies throughout history, and that was the experience that had the most impact in my development as a designer. As I’ve moved through my career, I’ve found art directors or designers that I really respect, and I try to learn as much as I can from them. I also try to learn from as many design disciplines as possible so that I can keep my own work fresh and well-versed.
Q. How did your copy style develop?
Chris: I first realized that I could write headlines when I worked a few summers at a golf course. They had one of those changeable letter signs in the front and they put me in charge of putting up the sign every week. The first week, I wrote something the way they wanted it, but the second week, I decided to write something on my own. After that, people began responding to the messages and laughing at them. They even came into the golf course to ask who wrote the messages. That was when I realized the power of writing, and that’s what got me interested in the craft.
Q. What’s your favorite part about working with a new client?
Matt: My favorite part is the challenge to make the right decisions for the client and build the right trust. I also love learning about new categories that I haven’t previously worked in.
Chris: I agree. I love learning about new products and new verticals. That’s what’s great about working in the agency world. You get to taste a lot of different flavors and it’s exciting.
Q. What project have you learned the most from?
Chris: We learned the most when we worked on a project in LA for six weeks. We worked on multiple productions in a short period of time, so we really had to learn to work quickly.
Matt: There were also a lot of eyes on the project, including clients and other agency executives all over the country, so we learned a lot about working under pressure. It was stressful, but successful at the same time. Also, on a personal level, we were gone for six weeks, we both had young kids, and we’d never been away from our families for that long. So, dealing with that was a learning experience as well.
Q. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received?
Matt: Early on as a creative, I struggled presenting my work. I was always trying to develop an alter ego. I had a creative director that gave me a very simple piece of advice, which was to just be myself. I took that advice. It was great on a personal level, but it also improved how people received and responded to my work when I presented it to them.
Chris: For me, the best piece of advice was when the client loves the work, stop showing it to them. The client may begin to have doubts if they see it too much and spend too much time thinking about it.
Q. What advice would you give your younger self?
Matt: Take any opportunity you can. Don’t frown on what you don’t think is an opportunity.
Chris: I would say the opposite of what most people would tell their younger selves, which is take it more seriously.
Q. What’s exciting to you about the future of marketing?
Matt: I love VR and AR. Whenever an assignment comes up for anything I always try and think about how we could take the project into a virtual reality direction. I think it’s such an interesting medium and I don’t think advertising has even scratched the surface on the VR/AR world.
Chris: I would agree with that. I think there’s something huge in the virtual reality sphere. The metaverse is going to be the next level. Right now, it’s very cumbersome and expensive, and that’s what’s holding it back. But once it becomes standard and cheaper, it’s going to open a wide variety of possibilities that we haven’t even thought about yet.
Learn more about Matt, Chris, and the entire Rebel Fox team.