Mihnea GHEORGHIU

Global Digital CD | PUBLICIS ITALY

Mihnea got into advertising when he was 19 in Bucharest, Romania. In the years that followed, he worked in Hamburg, Paris, London, Madrid, Toronto and New York. The work he created and creative directed over the years has won over a hundred awards (Cannes lions, Clio, D&AD, One Show, ANDY, New York Festivals, London International Awards, Eurobest, Epica) and mean comments on some advertising blogs. Mihnea likes to think of new things to say or new ways to say the same things. He really enjoys that stuff. That, and raccoons. Mihnea thinks that raccoons are cool. Since 2017, he is the Global Creative Director in Publicis Milan, overseeing all the global work for DIESEL and Heineken digital.

questionnaire

1. What was your very first job?

Junior Copywriter, Leo Burnett Bucharest. I was 19.

2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

I like to find new things to say, or new ways to say the same things. The rest is a sweet mix of problem-solving, well-crafted entertainment and doing good business.  

3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

I was 11 or 12 years old and I was watching TV with my mom and dad. Commercials came on. I remember this spot for Ajax window cleaner in which Prince Charming came and cleaned the top of Snow White’s glass coffin.

Snow White wakes up from her long magical nap, gets up, only to bang her head, hard, on the invisibly clean glass lid of her coffin and then she faints back. My parents were laughing their asses off every time this was coming on. That’s my earliest memory of falling in love and wanting to do short, entertaining things.

Then, in high-school, my best friend and I were doing posters and leaflets for our sports teacher who was doing a bit of real estate biz on the side. We got paid in beers.

And after that, when I was a bit older, I saw Honda Cog, Guinness Dreamers and Xbox Mosquito work – that’s when I realized that there are no limits to what you can do in advertising. So that’s when I knew, ok, this is what I want to do. Screw business school. So I quit university and became the youngest creative in the Romanian advertising.

4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

People make me curious. I like talking to as many random/weird/interesting people as I can. Bartenders, tourists, cab drivers, the guys selling lighters and Autan, etc. Any person who can make me step out of my bubble for a bit is a huge inspiration.

5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

Recognition and industry “success” should be equivalent with breakthrough creativity and innovation, right? But I know what you mean.

Ok, let’s rewind it a bit. It’s 2016, Romania. Same sex marriage is illegal by law. No surprise there, for a heavily Christian-Orthodox country that has more churches than schools and hospitals combined.
However, the Romanian constitution is a bit more open and chill, defining marriage as a communion between “parts”.  

A dubious organization called “the coalition for traditional family” managed to gather 3 million (!!) signatures from people all over Romania to start a referendum to change the definition from the Constitution and turn it into “marriage is a communion between MAN and WOMAN.” Which is a very dumb and useless effort in a country that has so many real things to fix.

Anyway. They dumped all those signatures on the parliament’s steps, next to a big sheet of paper where the organizers left other signatures, for everyone to see.

So, a few friends and I gathered (advertising creatives, typographers, jewelry makers, photographers, web designers and programmers), took those public signatures and turned them into an engagement ring that anyone could use to propose to anyone. The profits all went to support ACCEPT, the Romanian LGBT NGO.

This was a rollercoaster from start to finish. Turning the signatures into one “signature of hate”, then turning it into a silver ring, then photographing it, building the website, promoting it, PR-ing it and making sure all the deliveries go as planned was a hell of a challenge for six people to handle, in parallel with our day-to-day jobs. But once everything was done and the media took notice and huge companies started ordering the rings by the dozens, it was all worth it. Besides the infinite satisfaction to bring something like this to life, it made us all say “we had no idea we could do that”. 

Here’s the project.
http://acceptromania.ro/inelulaccept/index_en.html

jury

Creative Director | LEO BURNETT
Executive CD & Partner | SUPERHUMANS
Head of Gbl Brand Comm. | MASERATI
International Brand Image Sr. Mgr | POMELLATO
Global Communication Manager | MOLESKINE
Head of Brand & Trading Communication | SKY
WW Omnichannel Retail Dir. | MAISON MARGIELA
Creative Director | DUDE
Media Marketing Manager | BORBONESE
Global PR Manager | PHILIPP PLEIN
Creative & Digital Director | TBWA
Executive Creative Director | PUBLICIS
Executive Creative Director | DDB
Creative Dir. | VICE Fashion & Luxury Group Italy
Communication Director | CARTIER
Founder & Dir. | FASHION FILM FESTIVAL
Co-Founder | THE KEY CREATIVE COMPANY
Co-Founder & Chief of Innovation | THE BIG NOW
Art Direction Brand Specialist | BULGARI
Communication Director | ADIDAS
Dir. of Media & Production | ETRO
Head of Advertising | ENI gas e luce
Creative Director | CUCCO
Head of Mktg & Comm. | PRIVALIA GROUP
Group Chief Marketing Officer | BARILLA
Creative Director | SARTORIA
Head of Digital, Mktg & Retail | NYX - L'ORÉAL
WW Comm. & Marketing Dir. | GILMAR
Design Curator & Journalist
Head of PR & Communication | YOOX
Founder & CD | STUDIO FALAVIGNA
President | BRANDCOT
WW Visual Design Manager | BULGARI
Art Director | CONDÉ NAST ITALY
Creative Director & Partner | M&C SAATCHI
Senior Print Designer | EMILIO PUCCI
Global Digital CD | PUBLICIS ITALY
Global Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
External Communication Mganager | IKEA
Head of Communication | VHERNIER
Founder & Creative Director | MACSIOTTI
Board Member | ADCI
CD & Visual | NAPAPIJRI, VF CORPORATION
Communication Director | FAY
Creative Director
Creative Digital Project | DSQUARED2
Executive Creative Director | ARMANDO TESTA
Creative & Sr. Art Dir. | CONVERSION AGENCY
Global Head of Content & Media | DIESEL
Mktg Mgr | ICR Cosmetics & Founder LABSOLUE
Global Head of Creative Production | DIESEL
Mktg & Prod. Dir. | FERRAGAMO PARFUMS
Exec. Digital CD | ROBILANT ASSOCIATI
WW Image Production Sr Mgr | ETRO
Communication Lead | MICROSOFT ITALY
CEO/Creative Partner | AUGE HQ
Head of Social Media | ELISABETTA FRANCHI
Head of Mktg & Comm. | FABIANA FILIPPI
General Mgr Italy & Greece | COTY PRO. BEAUTY
Head | MEDIACOM ITALY
Global Communication Director | HOGAN
Creative Production Director | WE ARE SOCIAL
Creative Director | DUDE
Media & Digital Comm. Mgr | ROBERTO CAVALLI
Exec. Creative Dir. | YOUNG & RUBICAM
WW Head of Digital | VERSACE
WW Head of Digital & CRM | ILLYCAFFE
Creative Director | RUINI STUDIO
Head of Strategic Innovation - SVP | PIAGGIO
Brand Manager | BEIERSDORF
Head of Communication & Digital Mktg | ASPESI
Head of Marketing & Communication | AGNONA
Head of Digital & Content EMEA | ALFA ROMEO
Digital & Content Mgr | PAULA CADEMARTORI
Chief Marketing Operations | TRUSSARDI
Sr. Brand Marketing Mgr | VF CORPORATION
Chief Global Marketing & Communication | PINKO
Creative Director | STUDIO BLANCO
Sr. Art Director | YOOX
Executive Creative Director | FCB
Advertising & Comm. Mgr | BASICNET
Global Marketing Manager | RAY-BAN
Group Creative Director | FCB
Marketing Creative Director | BOTTEGA VENETA
Creative Director | LUXOTTICA
Chief Digital Officer | ETRO
Image Production Manager | TOD'S
CEE Content Lead | COCA-COLA
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