Group Creative Director | Anomaly
Los Angeles, CA
by Mara Serdans
What's your side hustle?
Any chance I get to break free, I paint and draw. I wish I had more time to make it a full hustle. Right now it’s more like a side side side hustle.
Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
Gatherer. I like hanging on to things. Design-y things. Not so much as a collector or a hoarder... but more as a purveyor of designed elements for tomorrow’s inspiration.
What is your mantra? Patience. Don’t force things. Let the game Come to you.
In-N-Out or Shake Shack?
Erwin Federizo Talks Zoomraderie, Inspiring Change, and Grabst a Pabst to Close Out 2020
As a new year full of hope and optimism kicks off, we catch up with Erwin Federizo, fresh into the start of his new role as the Group Creative Director at Anomaly Los Angeles. Erwin reflects back at the rises and falls of the past 12 months and what began as a 3-month freelance gig at 72andSunny LA that quickly turned full-time when the pandemic first took the world by storm last March. Prior to his position at 72andSunny, Erwin held prominent positions such as Executive Creative Director at Vans, Wieden Kennedy in Singapore and NY, Deutsch LA, among others.
And right off the bat, Erwin scored big with an opportunity to work on a Super Bowl spot for the NFL.
“We had an amazing core idea on the table that needed some further script development, and it was a fun first assignment for me to begin my time at 72andSunny. And we ended up winning 4 Emmy Awards.”
Clearly a win-win, “I felt like I helped build a successful commercial and at the same time picked up an account that had a lot of steam and excitement around it. But I wasn’t assuming we were going to win Emmys on the first assignment that I got.”
Riding this wave of success, the team kicked off the following NFL season with, “It Takes All of Us,” a timely and relevant spot about the spirit of coming together for the greater good. The spot captures how the NFL players banned together as a united voice for positive change, along with the football community to support healthcare workers, communities in need during the pandemic, and shine the light on issues like Black Lives Matter. “The NFL is a brand that is in the middle of history when it comes to equality and Black Lives Matter. And in order for us to create real change it’s going to take all of us - the solidarity of all Americans, owners, players, fans.” It’s no wonder that football is a microcosm of America.
“Some say don’t mix sport with politics or social issues like Black Lives Matter but about seventy percent of the NFL is made up of Black athletes. How can you not continue that conversation in marketing and have a strong point of view and be on the right side of history?”
The agency is also working hard to promote “Inspire Change”, an NFL initiative that raises awareness and tackles systemic racism and social injustice. The program showcases how the players, owners, and the league work together to create positive change within communities across America. While the initiative has been around for years, it is taking positive steps in marketing its message even louder now. “The NFL is part of our culture and they have a responsibility to have a POV and share it with the public. My job was to amplify and lift the voices of the players and what they believe in and put that into the marketing.”
Amidst the unexpected twists and turns of the year, Erwin kept busy with various other shoots, many of which have been managed remotely.
Part of the NFL account involves capturing content for the NFL Shop – yes, that’s merchandising and apparel for all 32 teams! Last fall, Erwin’s team produced 4 spots over 4 different cities. The shoot kicked off in LA and was led by director Kai Reagan and production company All Day Every Day. From there, it sped off to Chicago, NY, and New Orleans. With lockdown strictly enforced, All Day Every Day picked up Kai’s film notes and teamed up with directors in the other cities to capture the remaining content. The shoot format required a light touch and trust from the client and agency as it was shot in 8 and 16mm format. No tethered monitors and Zoom reviews – a likely anomaly from the daily Zoom meetings at the agency.
But agency culture and happy hours must persist. “The agency is trying their best to keep spirits high but not burn people out with Zoom or Google Hang-Outs.” The LA office even holds a weekly half-hour happy hour aptly named HHH that serves as a platform to share agency news and for employees to contribute to casual conversation as a collective.
“Having Zoomraderie is important but so is having the time off-camera. It’s healthy for people to not worry about their video presence on every call.”
Anyone working from home can attest to Zoom fatigue and can surely agree that our unseen flannel pajamas are the new power suit.
Within the agency, Erwin has also taken an active role by inspiring younger minorities in the business. As a minority himself, “I’m glad to be in this leadership position and help be the momentum for change.”
Erwin’s work didn’t stop with the NFL. As GCD on the Pabst Blue Ribbon account, Erwin’s team worked steadily to ensure the beverage provides refreshing relief to the doldrums of pandemic life. After releasing eight spots produced this past year and four more on deck, Erwin and his team deserve to kick back with a tall cold one. Their “Grabst a Pabst” campaign embodies the brand’s historic sense of fun, inclusion, and “going for it” attitude.
In this recent campaign, the team re-recorded an old-timey jingle from the 1950s using modern lyrics to promote the beer and a new line of hard seltzers. The :30 second spot, comprised of a tapestry of animations, was created by various artists across a wide range of disciplines. Each creator was given a portion of the song and built their artwork around their interpretation of the lyrics.
“There was no prescriptive brief other than asking the creators to visualize the song for us.”
The brand has notably built a creative movement to support and commission a thousand artists to champion creativity and the arts during this difficult time aptly titled it “1,000 Creators Mission.”
With a new year ahead and no doubt more Super Bowl-level spots on the horizon, we raise a glass and toast to Erwin’s winning drive and passion to make work that matters.