James Yeats Smith
JYS
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
WRITER
DESIGNER
-
AMSTERDAM
THE NETHERLANDS
+31 (0) 6 1565 8423
JAMESYEATSSMITH@ME.COM
"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."
- Gustave Flaubert
JYS
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
WRITER
DESIGNER
-
AMSTERDAM
THE NETHERLANDS
+31 (0) 6 1565 8423
JAMESYEATSSMITH@ME.COM
Work Experience
2007 —
ANOMALY / AMSTERDAM
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
-
2015 -
-
Johnnie Walker, Converse
SID LEE / AMSTERDAM
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
GLOBAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR;
ABSOLUT VODKA
-
2013 - 2015
-
Absolut Vodka, Malibu,
Microsoft, Red Bull,
Carlsberg, Nivea
OGILVY 1984 / JOHANNESBURG
FOUNDER +
CONTENT SPECIALIST
-
2010 – 2011
-
M-Net, Multichoice,
Coca-Cola, SAB Miller,
BP, KFC
SYRUP / NYC
SENIOR COPYWRITER
-
2011 – 2013
-
Puma Team Sports, HBO,
Moleskine, Calvin Klein,
Bvlgari, Bottega Veneta,
Rihanna, Speedo
METROPOLITAN REPUBLIC /
JUPITER DRAWING ROOM /
JOHANNESBURG

ART DIRECTOR
-
2007 – 2009
-
MTN, FIFA, FNB Bank,
Guess Jeans
Awards + Achievements
2007 —
D&AD
2 X YELLOW PENCILS:
TELEVISION & CINEMA
MULTI PLATFORM BRANDING

THE ONESHOW
2 X BRONZE:
BROADCAST DESIGN 
BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT
2 X SHORT-LIST: SOCIAL

ADC GLOBAL
1 x GOLD: DIGITAL

CANNES LIONS
3 X SHORT-LIST:
CYBER STORYTELLING
CYBER CO-CREATION
BRANDED CONTENT FICTION

EUROBEST
1 X SHORT-LIST: FILM

ANNECY FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION

VIMEO
VIMEO STAFF PICK 2014

THE LOERIE AWARDS
3 X GOLD: VARIOUS
1 X SILVER: DIGITAL
3 X BRONZE: VARIOUS

THE PENDORING AWARDS
1 X GRAND PRIX: DIGITAL
4 X GOLD: VARIOUS
2 X SILVER: VARIOUS

THE BRAND DESIGN COUNCIL
1 X GOLD: CI
1 X SILVER: TYPE DESIGN
1 X MERIT: CI

PROFESSIONAL JURIES
ADC, NETHERLANDS
AD STARS, ASIA
KIKK FESTIVAL. BELGIUM

MIT
RADICAL INNOVATION
CAMBRIDGE, MA 2012
-
Completed a summer program focussing on innovation within the SME sector.

TED ACTIVE
PARTICIPANT
PALM SPRINGS, CA 2013
-
Colaborated with Intel on the 'Future of Mobile' project.
 
#NextFrame is a co-created animated short film by graphic novelist Rafael Grampá and five million Absolut Facebook fans worldwide. During a three-week period the audience influenced the action and storyline, submitting thousands of ideas and original artworks. The co-created film, named Dark Noir, generated over 25 million impressions, picked up a Vimeo Staff Pick and demonstrated Absolut’s belief that creativity lives within everyone.
PROJECT NO001
Absolut #NextFrame
ROLE:
CREATIVE DIRECTION
- Daily posts before and during the collaboration recruited the Facebook community, leading to thousands of written and illustrated submissions.
 
- #NextFrame Recruitment Film
  
- Below: Scene One's storyboard after consumer ideas were selected and integrated.
 
- The final co-created film, Dark Noir. Produced in collaboration with Absolut Facebook fans, Rafael Grampá and the animators of Gorillaz.
- Users whose ideas we’re selected received signed, editioned Rafael Grampá prints courtesy of Absolut.
- 3D renderings of the film's protagonist, Vincent Black.
 
- #NextFrame Case Film & Making Of
Absolut needed to restate its claim on global nightlife and stand out in a saturated, highly contested category. To ignite the creativity within everyone we developed Absolut Nights, a branded experience program that unites both audience & artist to defy nightlife conventions. The worldwide launch of the Absolut Nights program saw four first-of-its-kind experiences roll out in four global cities over one month, from which all global communication assets were derived.
PROJECT NO002
Absolut Nights
ROLE:
CREATIVE DIRECTION
IDEATION
ART DIRECTION
WRITING
 
 
 
 
 
 

Experience 1 of 4:
Transforming The Dancefloor

- Johannesburg, South Africa. Collaborating with pyrotechnic artist, Charlie Gadeken, we turned a dance floor into the reactive centrifuge of the party. A 70 ft reflective cube constructed in the African bush housed a purpose-built dance floor that converted kinetic energy from the audience into a spectacular pyrotechnic show. The harder they danced - The bigger the explosions.
- The 70 ft cube was constructed over a three week period near Johannesburg and featured two clear façades on opposite sides for viewing purposes.
- Spoek Mathambo & Fantasma kept the crowd jumping throughout the night.
 
- #AbsolutNights Featuring Charlie Gadeken
 

Experience 2 of 4:
Transforming The Light show

- Berlin, Germany. Collaborating with London-based fashion collective, Studio XO, we transformed the light show by developing proprietary light emitting, tech-couture outfits. Upon arrival at Berlin’s overgrown power station, Kraftwerk, guests were fitted and styled with wearable-tech garments before venturing into the night to become the show.
  
The collection of dresses and accessories pulsed in sync with the music.


Producing structured film and photographic assets in the midst of a live experience posed a host of logistical challenges that needed to be pre-empted & overcome.

 

Experience 3 of 4:
Transforming Identity

- São Paulo, Brazil. Marianne Krawcyk, writer of 'GOD OF WAR' fame, collaborated with us to create an immersive theatre experience that saw the audience assume a new nocturnal identity. Over two hundred guests transformed themselves into characters with different motives and fell into an exhilarating storyline that played out over an entire evening.
  
- Plot points and character prompts were distributed in miniature Absolut bottles.
- The depth of each character was limited only by the guest's imagination.

Experience 4 of 4:
Transforming The Disco Ball

- NYC, NY. Conceptual light designers, Vita Motus, worked with us to reinvent the ultimate nightlife symbol, the disco ball. A defunct shipyard in Brooklyn's Red Hook became the setting for the construction of a 20 ft pulsating orb with 96 modular display panels. Suspended above a 3000 strong crowd, the orb's frenzied strobe effects peaked during a live performance by producer, Zedd.
Night Canvas is a digital activation that formed part of the Absolut Nights experiential launch. Instagram images captured by audiences during Absolut events were, unbeknownst to them, selected and artistically transformed by illustrator Joe Wilson. As Joe finished the artwork, Absolut would post it back on Instagram tagging the original user and creating sustained WOM for Absolut after each event.
PROJECT NO003
Absolut
Night Canvas
ROLE:
IDEATION
ART DIRECTION
CREATIVE DIRECTION
 
- Instagram images were artistically transformed, tagged, posted, liked & regrammed by the wider Instagram community. #AbsolutNights
Selected portraits based on images taken by guests.
MK built its reputation as South Africa's leading music TV channel by showcasing young, edgy local bands to an audience that had mostly overlooked the domestic music scene. Over time MK had lost its way and soulless mainstream videos were starting to suffocate the airwaves. The brand needed to regain credibility - it needed its personality back. A two month trans-media campaign with 60 different tag lines and no logo was developed to do just that.
PROJECT NO004
MK
Brand Campaign
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
CREATIVE DIRECTION
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above: A summary of MK's first 20 days in 20 seconds. Following a dramatic break-up, the homeless MK takes to the open road in search of solace.

A Multifaceted Persona:

- Portraying MK as a monolithic brand with a singular personality trait was too one-dimensional for its Millenial audience. Instead, MK became a holistic person with insecurities & vanities, vices & virtues that defied restrictive descriptions in favour of ambiguity. Much like its audience, MK simply is.

For 60 days MK was personified as 3 different characters that each lived for 3 weeks. Daily episodes flighted as idents on the channel enticing viewers to delve into the details of MK's life online, where they could befriend and converse with him in real time.
- Daily posts on MK's personal blog, 'Eat. Sleep. Have Visions.' featured reflections on the absurdity and beauty of life, frequently accompanied by images, anecdotes and video clips from the road.
 
- Day 01, Episode 01
- Below: Assorted episodes, girls and portraits from MK's first personification.
 
- Day 07, Episode 07
 
- Day 15, Episode 15
 
Above: MK's second lifecycle condensed into 20 seconds.

Persona Non Grata:

- MK's second incarnation sees her on the brink of breaking down or breaking through. As a young musician MK is right up against the breadline, intent on strong arming music into a career. It's not until she learns to write for herself and not for others, that she finally sees the light.
 
- Day 24, Episode 24
- Day 31, Episode 31
 
 
Above: MK's final lifetime condensed into 20 seconds.

Personal Liberty:

- MK's third and final persona finds him at the centre of a familiar friction; external expectation rubbing up against personal desire. MK decides to forego a conventional education and pursue his own business, culminating with the opening of a speak-easy in Cape Town. This narrative conclusion coincided with the opening of an actual MK pop-up bar with live performances by bands featured throughout the campaign.

Case film & Results:

 
Moleskine had expanded its product range from notebooks to sling bags, pens and even spectacles. In need of their very first ATL campaign, Syrup won a five-way pitch by tapping an inherent product truth and championing real digital utility, all while maintaining the brand's understated elegance.
PROJECT NO005
Moleskine
Brand Campaign
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
 
 
 

The RFP

- A hand-illustrated version of the creative proposal was delivered in Moleskine notebooks to key stakeholders of the company.

'Thoughts
Become Things'

- Left: At the heart of the winning campaign was a simple idea that struck a chord with all Moleskine lovers; Every great achievement started with a simple sketch on paper.
- Tactical OOH placements landed the campaign idea.
- Spreads were created for tactical placements in relevant print titles, such as WIRED & Monocle.

'Moleskine's
Lost+Found'

- Building on a classic Moleskine innovation, we developed an online platform that would become the global hub for Lost & Found notebooks and Moleskine products.
- We announced the platform with a series of misplaced celebrity notebooks that when found, carried the actual reward.
- Below: Screen shots from Moleskine's online Lost & Found hub.
The Pendoring Awards is one of South Africa's premier creative award shows with a particular emphasis on excellence in Afrikaans. A branded content and print campaign championed the resilience of the creative spirit by heroing three prominent South African artists and opened the annual call for entries.
PROJECT NO006
Pendoring
Call For Entries
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
FILM DIRECTION
CREATIVE DIRECTION
 
 
 
- Above: Afrikaans translation, "Don't try and be better than anybody else. Just try to be better today, than you were yesterday." Zander Blom, Artist
- Left: Afrikaans translation, "Success and peace is answering to no-one but yourself." Markus Wormstorm, Musician
 
 
Mars-One is a private aerospace firm that is leading the charge in manned interplanetary travel and habitation. It endeavours to establish the first human settlement on Mars by 2023 and will select its crew from an open application process - the first of its kind. I wrote & directed the film that opened the call for entries to the program and received over 150,000 paying applicants.
PROJECT NO007
Mars-One
Astronaut
Recruitment Film
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
FILM DIRECTION
CREATIVE DIRECTION
 
 
- Animating still photographs taken during the Mercury & Gemini missions lent authenticity to the film and credibility to the project.
- Aerial photography by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter/MRO.
- A short documentary film exploring the motivations of an applicant - Mercedes-Benz/Avant-Garde Diaries.
 
T-Minus is a 99 character mono-space, bitmap font designed for use in digital display. As a character set, T-Minus owes its post-modern geometry to its use of fewer pixels to conserve energy, making it suitable for long distance or even deep space travel.
PROJECT NO008
T-Minus
Custom Typeface
ROLE:
IDEATION
DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
 
- Above: The T-Minus Specimen Sheet depicting the 99 character typeface set to the backdrop of Martian anaglyph images - courtesy NASA JPL.
tminus
  typeface
aA bB cC dD eE fF gG hH iI jJ kK lL mM nN oO pP qQ rR sS tT uU vV wW xX yY zZ / 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Manned Mars exploration by the United States has been explicitly identified as a long-term goal in the Vision for Space Exploration by former President, George W. Bush. Based on predictions by NASA and ESA, a manned mission to Mars could take flight by 2035.
_
- Above & Below: T-Minus font detail and sample paragraphs.
Considering the massive amounts of information being displayed digitally, the use of fewer pixels to display text would contribute in the effort to conserve limited energy resources.
_
The first season of HBO's Game of Thrones was a huge success. However, it turns out season one performed poorly amongst 18-24 year olds due to a major misconception about the show. We needed to change the perception that GoT was a fantasy series about warlocks in a forest and expose the darker adult themes of the show before the release of the second season.
PROJECT NO009
HBO Pitch
Game of Thrones
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
 
 
 

A Moral Dilemma:

- We positioned the show as the ultimate test of morality. Playing on our viewers' inherent sense of wrong and right we left the outcome of three real-life dilemmas squarely in their hands, initiating them into the high-stakes world of Game of Thrones.
- An online hub housing 3 moral conflicts synced seamlessly with Facebook, publishing the outcome of each decision.

Dilemma 1:
Greed/Charity

- The first moral dilemma presented viewers with a real-life choice between personal gain and selfless generosity: Steal from the poor or give to the poor? Either way, their decision would be made public on Facebook eliciting outrage or praise from friends and family.
- Each user's decision was paired with a GoT character of similar moral standing, exposing new viewers to the throne's contenders.
"By putting others before yourself, you've experienced what it takes to play the game of thrones."
- John Snow

Dilemma 2:
Destroy/Create

- The second dilemma posed a choice between gratuitous destruction or cultural creation. Users could vote to demolish a building, or record music within it.
- Choosing creation over destruction would see the Arctic Monkeys record a new single inside the abandoned building.

Dilemma 3:
Betray/Praise

- The third and final test gave you the ability to cloak your Facebook identity and express your true feelings, whether it be a confession of love or the ultimate betrayal.
- Logging in with Facebook allowed quick access to friends to betray or praise without fear of reprisal.
Tourism in Barbados was heavily reliant on a loyal, but aging consumer base and needed to attract a younger American audience. Working with Rihanna we aimed to capture the raw, authentic beauty of the island and designed a campaign to maximize social sharing. Leading the charge on her personal Instagram Rihanna enticed viewers online, where they were transported to a showcase of her favourite Bajan haunts and hideouts.
PROJECT NO010
Barbados Tourism
Feat. Rihanna
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
 
- With 14.3 million followers on Instagram, Rihanna exposed a younger consumer to the stunning beauty of Barbados.
ContentMode is a digital fashion magazine edited by New York celebrity stylist, Deborah Ferguson.
A short film featuring Norman Reedus explored his conflicting relationship with New York City and accompanied an editorial fashion spread with him as the issue’s feature.
PROJECT NO011
ContentMode
Style Profile
ROLE:
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
 
- Photography by Jeffrey Graetsch
With ambitions of becoming the most directional online fashion magazine in the world, ContentMode needed a design language that was up to the challenge. Supported by a contemporary colour palette and a flexible grid structure the brand was given a suitably fashion-forward aesthetic.
PROJECT NO012
ContentMode
Digital Design
ROLE:
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
 
Sid Lee Amsterdam needed to expand its European headquarters from its home in De Pijp to a purpose-built campus in the West of Amsterdam.
A 200 year old water pumping station in Westerpark was the ideal foundation to construct a modular atelier to house Sid lee’s artisans and welcome clients from all over Europe, Middle-East & Africa.
PROJECT NO013
Sid Lee
Amsterdam HQ
ROLE:
SPATIAL DESIGN
GRAPHIC DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
CREATIVE DIRECTION
 
 
- Natural textures and fibres were used throughout the interior to create a warm & inviting atmosphere, including an acoustic powder coating on the ceiling to enhance the conduction of music throughout the space.
- Sid Lee's creative department, dubbed the Oval Office, was designed to instil a sense of unity whilst being modular enough for a variety of team groupings.
- Throughout the building a concerted effort was made to maximise natural light sources.
The Italian National Football team was getting a newly developed home & away kit for the Euro Championships courtesy of Puma. A global TVC was created to galvanize support for the Azzurri, glorify the sacred jersey and dovetail with a strong merchandising campaign.
PROJECT NO014
Puma
Italy Football Kit
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
DESIGN
ART DIRECTION
 
- Italians are notoriously superstitious, especially when it comes to the pride of the nation - football. This 60" spot taps a local insight showcasing Italian passion.
The embodiment of bold masculinity, Bvlgari Man is a new fragrance by master perfumer, Alberto Morillas, designer of L'Eau d'Issey, Kenzo Flower & Marc Jacobs Daisy. A sophisticated digital design language and celebrity endorsement presented Bvlgari Man as the quintessential male fragrance.
PROJECT NO015
Bvlgari Man
A New Fragrance
ROLE:
IDEATION
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
 
- Housed within a concrete monolith, users were able to slowly reveal the new fragrance by liking or entering their details.
- A monochromatic colour palette & minimalist aesthetic conveyed the brand’s view on modern masculinity.
Bvlgari was releasing a classic trio of female fragrances with its redesigned Omnia collection. Across digital and print, a premium design aesthetic heroed the product range and imbued Omnia with the femininity of an iconic, contemporary fragrance.
PROJECT NO016
Bvlgari
Omnia Collection
ROLE:
WRITING
ART DIRECTION
 
James Yeats Smith
JYS
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
WRITER
DESIGNER
-
AMSTERDAM
THE NETHERLANDS
+31 (0) 6 1565 8423
JAMESYEATSSMITH@ME.COM

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