One of our D&AD Membership perks is our Members’ Spotlight feature that takes a moment to celebrate the work of different industry professionals. Each interview gives creatives a virtual soapbox, asking what they’re currently working on, what are they most proud of, and if there were one piece of work they wish they’d been responsible for, what would it be?
Meet Tor Myhren...
Introduce your place of work.
Grey is a big place. Our New York office has grown from 350 people to over 1,000 in the past 5 years. But even at that size, we try to stay fast, nimble and open. We don’t hire assholes, and we believe in radical collaboration across all disciplines, partners and clients. We reward well-intentioned failures, we have total transparency at “AskGrey.com” where anyone can ask anything and it must be answered by management within a week. Our most famous work is for clients like DIRECTV, Febreze, Canon, the NFL, CoverGirl, Volvo and Gillette. Of our accolades, I am most proud that we are the only agency in the world to be named to Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” two years in a row. Maybe because we have a soul, and believe creativity can solve the world’s biggest problems. So we have targeted everything from inner-city education to America’s gun control problem in our evergreen platform “The Healing Powers of Creativity".
What are you currently working on?
I love work that makes people laugh. Our latest campaign for DIRECTV is called “Lowe vs Lowe”. It’s a simple premise: Sexy Rob Lowe has DIRECTV, and pathetic Rob Lowe has cable. We often work with director Tom Kuntz, and this partnership between Grey, DTV and Kuntz has been unbelievable. I love when you find people you want to keep working with, over and over. So you can just say what you think and offer up absurd, stupid ideas knowing nobody’s gonna judge you. We have fun, we laugh a lot, we write really ridiculous stuff and luckily it keeps infiltrating pop culture and keeps driving the business. Our goal is never to win awards, our goal is to become part of the cultural conversation and to make work that is relevant in the world.
What work are you most proud of?
I am most proud of our highly controversial divestment campaign against American gun companies, called “Unload Your 401(K)”. It continues to gain momentum and won the Titanium Lion at Cannes last June. It took almost a year to get this idea off the ground, and we ended up getting support from the mayor of New York and many other unexpected sources. It’s a great example of how we work at Grey. If we believe strongly enough in an idea we will make it happen against all odds. The “Unload” movement is growing and we’re now targeting University Endowment funds. It’s a powerful idea, and it transcends advertising. Our industry can be a force of good in the world, no doubt.
Unload Your 401k
What work from our Archive makes you think ‘I wish I’d done that’ and why?
'Sound of Honda' because it’s the best, most creative use of technology our industry has achieved to date. Ok, maybe “NIKE Fuel Band’ was better, so that one too. ‘Sweetie' because it actually made a difference and continues to freak out cyber-pervs and make them think twice every time they’re about to do something bad. ‘Meet the Superhumans’ because it’s a nearly perfect film that makes these athletes look much cooler and much less sympathetic than anyone I know. ‘Real Beauty’ because it’s the best human insight our industry has had in at least 5 years. All the great Nike ads from the 90’s, because they inspired me enough to go get a job in advertising.
Black Pencil / Crafts for Advertising / Sound Design & Use of Music for Digital Marketing / 2014
What’s the best advice you’ve received during your career?
My Dad told me, “Do what you love, and the money will come. Do it for money, and you’ll never love it.”