Creatives Now: Menno Kluin

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"I'm very analytical and structured," admits Menno Kluin, the 30-year-old Dutch art director who topped Creativity's list of the most-awarded ADs in 2007. "A lot of things, especially within advertising, if you do it structured, you have a better chance of succeeding. If you just do it chaotically and hope that it happens, it usually doesn't." Even when it comes to his career, Kluin has left little to chance. He pursued "every possible education" before taking his current job (his first) at Saatchi and Saatchi, N.Y. in 2005. He earned degrees in both graphic design and marketing and communications before even attending the Miami Ad School in Hamburg. "Basically, I'm licensed to do every job in an agency," he says, admitting that he's "not sure if that helps."

It doesn't seem to have hurt, however. Since joining Saatchi—former ECD and awards magnet Tony Granger brought him on full-time after a previous internship—Kluin has won a Gold Lion in Press & Poster at Cannes in each of the last two years. In 2006, it was for his print campaign for StuffIt Deluxe, in which categories as dizzying as "What She Got in the Divorce" and "Things Made in China" are compressed onto a single page, often with room to spare. Last year, his type-driven campaign for P&G's Glide Dental Floss—in which annoying sticking points like "9AM Meeting" get wedged in between the letters of simple pleasures like a "Big Night Out"—brought home the gold. "I want to take things one step at a time," says Kluin, who has lately branched into TV with work for StuffIt and JCPenney. "First I wanted to do great print. I'm kind of there, I hope. There's always room for improvement, of course. Like Tony [Granger] told me once, it's not a sprint, it's a marathon."

Granger, of course, has now moved on to Y&R, and fellow ECDs Jan Jacobs and Leo Premutico have forged out on their own to launch the boutique Johannes Leonardo. But the unflappable Kluin does not worry about Saatchi's prospects under new ECD Gerry Graf, just in from TBWA/Chiat/Day. There "may be a style change," he says, "but the goal is still the same."
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