Hi, I'm Karl, and my career has something of a story to it.
Today, I'm the Director of Brand Innovation at Saatchi LA and Global CD on ASICS. I split my time between advertising, screenwriting and voice design for Ubiquitous Voice Technology, creating Siris and Alexas for brands.
I'm also writing a book called "The Chief Exploration Officer" about the kinds of leaders we need helming businesses in the 21st century, and most importantly, how to become one.
Prior to this I was Global CD on Levi's at FCB West San Francisco working extensively with AMA (Africa, Middle East, Asia) doing product launches. Before that I was Creative Director of Nissan Americas at TBWA/Chiat/Day in LA, the largest single account in Omnicom, running the Nissan US business and consulting on Nissan global projects.
However, I’m originally from Australia so let’s rewind a bit and I’ll fill you in on how I got to here.
I started in advertising twenty plus years ago in Sydney and since then have lived and worked in Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Amsterdam and Berlin before finally taking root in my beloved California where I've been for over a decade.
The stars aligned for me and I had the privilege of working in some great agencies including BBH Singapore, TBWA/Hunt Lascaris, Leo Burnett Singapore, Beacon Tokyo (a Leo Burnett/Dentsu joint venture), Strawberry Frog Amsterdam and a small design shop in Berlin called Plantage that we turned into a leading light ad agency, where I pitched and stayed on as CD on MINI Global.
Awards wise, I've won a bunch in Cannes, One Show and been in D&AD in the Copy section, my personal holy grail. I’ve also picked up metal in every local award show where I’ve worked. But I'm proudest of the awards that all the creatives who've worked for me have won and their careers that I've helped shape.
The location of all my statues is a mystery to me. I swapped a CCA Gold for a ride over the border into Malaysia after I lost my wallet, there’s a Cannes Gold Lion serving as a door stop in Johannesburg and a South African Lourie that’s a fine hood ornament in Cape Town. The rest… no idea.
My favorite thing about my career is having the chance to truly live in the countries where I’ve worked. I’ve eaten turtle off the back of a truck in Jakarta, been to block parties in Soweto, got sewn up in a hospital in Singapore, prayed at shrines in the Japanese countryside, rolled naked in snow at a German spa, been a resident DJ at the largest black club in Southern Africa and lived on a boat in Hong Kong.
When you are offered the option, always drink the strange coffee.
On the screenplay front, I've been writing them for seventeen years and I'm represented at APA in LA. I've sat in rooms with some of my favorite actors for table readings; hearing your words come of their mouths... it's surreal. Currently I'm working on a live action version of the Japanese video game "Might Number 9" with Legendary Films.