Jon Randazzo and Zach Hilder

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Jon Randazzo and Zach Hilder
Jon Randazzo and Zach Hilder Credit: Joakim Bottenus

Hometown: (Randazzo, pictured left) Rochester, New York; (Hilder, pictured right) Chicago, Illinois
Previous Jobs: (Randazzo) TDA Advertising and Design, Boulder Colorado; (Hilder), Hal Riney Chicago, Energy BBDO Chicago
Recent Projects: Axe and more Axe. We've been jamming on this current assignment for a while. But don't ask us how long it's been. It's not cool to ask creatives to do math.
Career Landmarks: (Randazzo) Axe Gamekillers. I'd only produced a few TV spots before and all of a sudden we were shooting a TV show. It was priceless. I not only learned a ton about production, but also the business side of what it takes to make something like that happen; (Hilder) Definitely the Juicy Fruit work I did while at BBDO in Chicago. Here I learned that the best comedy is taken very seriously. To use restraint, not go for the joke and let the absurdity come from the situation.

What was your biggest challenge in the last year?
Randazzo: The economic climate. Clients are getting tight and they're not willing to take the risks they used to, but you can't stop pushing the creative boundaries. I realized it was time to become smarter in how I approached the work, keep my head up and stick to my gut.

Hilder: It was tough seeing so much good work die. Especially in today's awesome economy, everything needs to be justified. Advertising is not a science. And the moment you start treating it like it is one is the moment you lose the art in it.

What are you excited about in the wider world of creativity?
Randazzo: I'm pretty excited to see that the world of creativity has broadened because advertising always had such a traditional model. It's opened up opportunities for agencies to work with networks, movie studios, artists and marketers that they never had before.

Hilder: With YouTube, blogs and I'm not going to say it—but it rhymes with my favorite Mariah Carey movie, Glitter—we're able to not only make all of our ideas available to the world, but also experience parts of the world we never would before. You look at the stuff Vice Broadcasting System (VBS.TV) is doing going to North Korea, Beirut and Afghanistan. That's something we'd never see from traditional news.

What are you most inspired by?
Randazzo: I get most of my inspiration from people. A dark pair of sunglasses and a low profile Yankee's cap is all I need to make New York my personal cinema.

Hilder: The hopes of one day having the power and resources to get all of my ideas made. That and Wu-Tang.
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