Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member John Weiss

Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Human Design

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The angst and churn around how to create something meaningful that is based on both creative instinct or experience and data, and deciding which is the greater force in driving business results. There’s a chasm between the two camps (instinct vs. data) that agencies have to figure out. Creative and data are clearly not mutually exclusive, but I believe the agencies that stake a conviction on their ability to create the unpredictable (which data cannot always predict) will win. In the meantime, it’s fascinating to see the positive impact and conversations that have been a result of the stress on the system.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I’m a huge fan of humanity. It’s why it’s in our agency name (Human Design). Human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination will be the singular force moving the human race forward. It will be the equivalent of the next industrial revolution.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

The work Human Design did for International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to protect The Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has protected key species on our planet since 1973. Its own survival was called into question when the new administration threatened to cut its funding. Human Design created a campaign that clearly showed how the ESA is the critical one-act that we cannot stand to lose. We rallied celebrities to “act” for a species of their choice, by lending their name, social feed, and signature to a petition to the US Government to keep the ESA funded. Visuals depicting the fall of the ESA—which then set off a cascading downfall of species, ending with humanity—were created to mimic dominos falling; a narrative that anyone ranging from 7 to 70-years old would immediately recognize and comprehend the gravity of the situation. The campaign was executed from start to finish in 6 weeks, and what started with 5 celebrities ended with 33 signing on to participate and share their voice.