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Creatives You Should Know: Matilda Kahl & Viktor Angwald, Saatchi & Saatchi New York

Art Director, Copywriter Create Interesting Stories for Boring Things

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Matilda Kahl & Viktor Angwald
Matilda Kahl & Viktor Angwald
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Saatchi & Saatchi New York's Matilda Kahl recently got worldwide attention for her really "boring" clothes. For three years since her previous gig at Y&R, the 27-year-old art director has worn the same uniform of a white shirt, black slacks and simple bow tie to the office in an effort to keep her mind focused on the job. Her outfit became big news around the globe, but it's just a morsel of her story. Along with her partner, 28-year-old copywriter Viktor Angwald, she happens to make really great advertising, too.

The Swedish natives met at Berghs School of Communication, later studied at Miami Ad School and then landed their first jobs as a team at Y&R New York before moving to Saatchi.

There, they were behind the eye-opening GLAAD and Gay Men's Health Crisis campaign starring Alan Cumming, "The Celibacy Challenge." It depicted funny porn-like scenes of men engaging in normal hobbies in order to point out the ridiculousness of an FDA ruling requiring gay men to abstain from sex for a year before donating blood.

"The more we work in advertising, the more we realize that morbid subjects are so much easier to absorb if you use a little bit of humor," said Ms. Kahl. "That something so discriminatory exists in 2015 is a joke, and since it's a joke let's make the campaign a joke."

Outside of that, they've made a habit of creating interesting stories for typically boring things like packaged goods. A pair of risque ads they created at Y&R for Pepperidge Farm likened eating Milano cookies to racier pastimes like boozing or using a vibrator. The spots were the brand's first produced ads in over a decade. "When you do a comeback you can't go in silence," said Ms. Kahl. "You want it make some noise. That gave us the courage to produce something more daring." Added Mr. Angwald, "It's about upping the bar enough to be a little uncomfortable, but not too much it won't go through."

Out of Saatchi, they just debuted Cheerios' latest touching ad featuring multi-ethnic families. In it, a woman and her son play a cute blind taste test with the cereal's various flavors, making it seem totally natural to have three boxes of the stuff lying around the house. "The challenge was how can you get every flavor without it become the traditional horrible commercial where you just throw around flavors," said Ms. Kahl. "It sounds like a pure product brief when you look at it, but since Cheerios is very focused on family, we could totally marry those two and make it a nice intimate moment between a mom and her son."

"We like the challenge of working with clients that are not usually classified as fun," said Ms. Kahl. "But of course, we would't mind working on something like Oculus Rift."

See more of the 2015 Creatives You Should Know.