Staff Reporters
Sep 8, 2022

Creative Minds: Why Yousuke Ozawa looks up to Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry

It was the love of ‘90s music videos that led the creative director at UltraSuperNew Tokyo to a career in advertising.

Yousuke Ozawa
Yousuke Ozawa
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Yousuke Ozawa

Origin: Japan

Places lived/worked: New York, Singapore, Tokyo

Pronouns: He/him

CV:

  • Creative director, UltraSuperNew K.K., Tokyo, Oct 2020-present
  • Creative director, Havas, Tokyo, Jul 2019-Oct 2020
  • Creative director, Weber Shandwick, Tokyo, Jul 2018-Jul 2019
  • Senior creative, Ogilvy, Tokyo, May 2014-Jun 2018
  • Digital creative lead, Elizabeth Arden, New York, 2012-2014
  • Digital art director, Coach, New York, 2010-2012
  • Digital art director, Dentsu, New York, 2005-2010

1. How did you end up being a creative?

There were a number of reasons, but mostly because I loved music videos in the 90s. Like Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Chris Cunningham. That led to me finding out there were occupations where you’re allowed to think about interesting things.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

My most recent work with SKYN. We hypnotised a married couple of ten years to forget each other, and getting them to meet for the first time.


3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

This is a tough one to choose but, it would be either ‘Smoking Kid’ by Ogilvy Thailand, or ‘Return of the Dictator Ben Ali’ by Memac Ogilvy Label, Tunis
h.

4. What's on your bucket list?

I have a rejection list. The things I would love to be rejected by, and hopefully not have to do. (Asking someone who works at a zoo if I can pet a lion is on my rejection list).

5. What career did you think you'd have when you were a kid?

Anything but this one. I would probably have a hard time explaining what I do now to my younger self, but I would tell him ‘it’s fucking great’.

6. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

Calmness does nothing for me. I have to be in a situation, where I feel now or never. Action never happens in calm situations, YouTube happens. But I use calmness when I fill my brain with inspiration.

7. How would your co-workers describe you?

Probably, with a lot of pauses. Like ‘he’s ah… good guy’ or ‘yeah, he’s ah….good’.

8. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

I don’t even want to recall this one. This is probably the reason why I had to find this career.

9. Do you have any secret or odd talents?

When I really need to focus, I write a story while looking at a poster of a movie I’ve never watched before and write a synopsis of what the story is about in full detail. I probably have at least 50 unintentionally original stories.

10. Tell us about a charity or cause you think needs more attention.

Ame Otoko, Ame Onna, a community of guys and girls who always bring bad weather. They need more positive light.

11. Tell us about your tattoo(s).

I have a few invisible ones I accumulated since high school. I tried to get a Kamon (Family Logo) at one point.

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