Creative Report Card 2022: Get to know the top creatives

Almost everything you need to know about Rethink's Mike Dubrick, Zachary Bautista, Geoff Baillie and Erin Maguire.

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This week, we are taking deeper looks at what got the country’s top creatives, strategists, agencies and brands to the top of the 2022 Creative Report Card. Check out the full coverage here. Today we get to know the #1 CD, AD, CW and Designer on the lists.

Name: Mike Dubrick
Years at Rethink:
10
Years in the biz: 12
First job: My first job was a paper route for the Toronto Star. My first advertising job was an internship at Zig. I feel lucky to have done both. At Zig, great work was the expected, not the exception. That didn’t make the job scary, it made it fun. It set a standard that I’m still chasing.
A fun fact: At CP+B, I tanked a game of ping pong against Rob Reilly on purpose because I was worried he’d fire me if I beat him. Rematch?
Award you were most excited to win: It’s not an award, but a handful of Rethink work appears in the latest edition of Hey Whipple Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads. For those that don’t know, that book is like the copywriter’s bible. It’s the book you read and say “I want to do that.” I’ve read that book 50 times. And now we’re in it?
How you arrived at the idea for a 2021 winning campaign: For Heinz, we talk a lot about the brand’s role in culture. We refer to it as the Coca-Cola of condiments. We don’t think of it as the “best” ketchup – it is ketchup. We gave that notion to the team and they came back and said “If you close your eyes and picture ketchup, we bet you’ll picture a bottle of Heinz.” That simple thought ended up becoming “Draw Ketchup.”
Your creative process: Our goal is to create work that earns attention in pop culture. So, we start with that end goal. Our creatives pitch most ideas as a press headline. It forces us to distill the idea down to its simplest form. It also pushes us beyond what the idea is and into why the idea matters. We break the idea down to an MVP that will earn headlines in the press. We then put it into the world and let people decide if it’s powerful or not. If it is, we pour gas on the fire. We call that approach “Go then Grow.” For the Heinz Puzzle, we launched with 57 puzzles, then we did 1,000, then 10,000, and now you can buy it at Walmart.
Beyond making ads, what fuels your creative drive: I’ve been teaching at Miami Ad School for a few years now. I think I learn more from them than they do from me. I’m not sure what that says about my teaching skills.
Your secret sauce for success: The secret is realizing there is no secret.
A memorable lesson advertising taught you: There’s a good podcast out there and I think the name says it all: It’s Only F*cking Advertising.

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Name: Zachary Bautista
Years at Rethink:
5
Years in the biz: 7
First job: I was a custodian at the mall.
A fun fact: I’ve been tasered by accident. It wasn’t fun but it is a fact.
A passion, project or past-time born out of the pandemic: Ordering things off Amazon.
How you got into advertising: I’m terrible at math.
Number of awards won in 2021: 113 awards or commendations.
Which shows: One Show, Cannes, D&AD, Clios, Epica, ADCC, Kinsale, AToMiC, Effies, Marketing Awards, Andys, Strategy Awards, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, CMA, SIAs, Adobe Print Awards, Idéa, The Drum Chip Awards, and the constant overbearing love from my parents.
Award you were most excited to win: The Kinsale Award, because it’s a shark head.
How you arrived at the idea for a 2021 winning campaign: At the start of the pandemic everyone was posting photos of puzzles on Instagram. We just texted our ECD “all red puzzle = Heinz slow?”
Your creative process:
1. Stare at a blank page.
2. Write on the page.
3. Throw that page out.
4. Walk away.
5. Start over with a fresh pot of coffee.
Beyond making ads, what fuels your creative drive: This industry is always adapting and evolving. I find it exciting to think of all the creative possibilities that come with that change. Learning new ways to bring ideas to life keeps me going and something I always want to be a part of as a creative.
Piece of advice you’d pass on to an aspiring creative: Keep going.
Your secret sauce for success: The idea needs to be more appealing than the Skip Ad button.
A memorable lesson advertising taught you: Framing a camera for both 9:16 and 16:9 is not a good start to a shoot day.
Looking back, you would have been most likely to…: Become the mostawarded custodian in Canada.

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Name: Geoff Baillie
Years at Rethink: 4
Years in biz: 4
First job: I was an usher at a rural community theatre when I was in Grade 8, where I had to watch a production of Cats 11 times in one week.
How you got into advertising: Humber copywriting class of ‘18 baby!
A fun fact: Kanye West stood behind me in line at a sandwich deli. No one believes me.
A passion, project or past-time born out of the pandemic: Looking at properties in Belize on Realtor.com.
Number of awards won in 2021: According to Zach Bautista, 113-ish.
Award you were most excited to win (and why): It’s a 113-way tie. But having our ad featured in the book Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads was crazy.
How you arrived at the idea for a 2021 winning campaign: “Draw Ketchup” was inspired in part by an activity my mom had me do when I was seven or so. She asked me to draw a scientist, and I drew a Doc Brownlooking old guy in a lab coat. Then she asked why I didn’t draw a woman or a young person, exposing my unconscious bias as a seven-year-old. 20 years later we thought, ‘Let’s do this, but with ketchup.’
Your creative process: I try to keep things in a notebook for as long as possible. The internet is a blackhole.
What fuels your love for advertising: I’m motivated by the process of jotting down a stray thought one day and months later seeing it brought to life by all these amazingly talented directors and producers and editors. It’s a surreal feeling.
Piece of advice you’d pass on to an aspiring creative: Read Mirror Makers and Capitalist Realism.
Your secret sauce for success: Heinz Ketchup.
A memorable lesson advertising taught you: Try to be in on the joke.
Looking back, you would have been most likely to…: Get his ad ideas from his mom.

 

 

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Name: Erin Maguire
Years at Rethink: 3
Years in the biz: 3
First job: Making a mean Blizzard at Dairy Queen.
How you got into advertising: A co-op position for design school turned into a full-time job.
A fun fact (about you): My clothes are organized by colour. This probably isn’t that surprising.
A passion, project or past-time born out of the pandemic: Perfecting the ability to shave, bleach, and colour my own hair.
Number of awards won in 2021: 40-ish
Which shows: One Show, Cannes, D&AD, Clios, Epica, ADCC, Kinsale, AToMiC, Effies, Marketing Awards, Andys, Strategy Awards, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, CMA, SIAs, Adobe Print Awards, Idéa.
Award you were most excited to win: Cannes Lion.
How you arrived at the idea for a 2021 winning campaign: When the team turned the IKEA catalogue into a coffee table book we seized the opportunity to dive deep into printing finishes. It was a natural progression to create a tactile experience for consumers on the page to feel the products. We also got to nerd out on printing. Win-win.
Your creative process: Get a blank page. Start with a mind map. Fill it with immediate thoughts and start to physically connect them. Take those connections and thought starters, and just start sketching. Once I sketch all the ideas I can think of I look back at the mind map and keep sketching some more. And then scroll Pinterest.
Piece of advice you’d pass on to an aspiring creative: Create work that you truly feel inspired by or driven to make. The care shows.
Your secret sauce for success: Being passionate. And making friends with really smart people.
A memorable lesson advertising taught you: Turns out, copywriter doesn’t mean someone who works in copyright law. OOH means Out-Of-Home. Google slide specs are 1920 x 1080. (Hope this saves you from some of the Google searches I had to make.)
Looking back, you would have been most likely to…: Be a graphic designer with a shaved head and typography tattoo.