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The Drum Awards FCB Chicago Out Of Home

The Judges’ Club: meet Avital Pinchevsky, FCB Chicago’s global ECD


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

September 26, 2022 | 7 min read

While you still have time to apply for an extension to The Drum Awards for OOH, we caught up with jury member Avital Pinchevsky, executive vice-president and global executive creative director at FCB Chicago.

Avital P

Avital Pinchevsky, executive vice-president and global executive creative director at FCB Chicago

Born in Israel, Pinchevsky remembers waitressing in a coffee shop next door to Publicis Johannesburg at just 14 years old. Every day, two businessmen would come in, drink copious amounts of coffee and talk to each other excitedly. One day, she asked them what they were doing and they replied they were brainstorming ideas for ads.

“My little brain exploded because I realized that there were people behind the ads,” she explains. ”I always liked ads better than TV programs and had this love for shorter formats.”

Fast forward a few years, and Pinchevsky landed her dream job learning from the giants at TBWA Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg. She then set her sights in the US, where she worked her way up the chain at agencies including Crispin Porter and Bogusky/Boulder and Leo Burnett/Chicago, before taking on the senior vice-president and executive creative director role at FCB Chicago.

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Over the years she has cultivated a diverse roster of clients including brands like Walmart, Anthem, Cox, Stonefire, Kellogg’s, Samsung, Xbox, Jell-o, McDonald’s and First National Bank

What’s the secret for media and creatives to work better together?

Creatives are media savvy and media people can be creative too. That’s where good ideas can come from. But often clients will book the media before the creative vision is fully formed. Having the flexibility to change the media, to play off the creative idea, is something that’s important. Keeping each other close and partnering up from the beginning is a win-win for both.

What makes a great piece of OOH? 

It needs to be immediate. There’s no time to pause. Proper OOH should always be out of home – it shouldn’t be in a print ad that has been translated into OOH. And there are things that you can do in the space that you can’t do anywhere else.

It’s interesting that we’re using 3D in OOH. There are many tools at our disposal, and if it happens to be PR-able, wonderful. But great OOH should be judged by the impact that it has upon seeing it outside. If 3D increases that impact, then that’s great. It’s not necessary for every idea, however, but if a great piece of work uses 3D to tell an amazing and compelling story that has an impact, that’s awesome. Finding new ways of doing OOH is always fun and innovative. 

What is a piece of work you’re most proud of?

It would have to be the Hug Project for Cox Communications. This was a project that had lived in our minds for a while, and the pandemic was a good time to execute it.

Once the vaccine came along, we realized that there were a lot of people who couldn’t get it and celebrate the reopening like everyone else. So we created a project where we sent a hug vest to people who couldn’t be with their families. And the vest emulates a real hug. We connected immunocompromised people with families that hadn’t seen each other for a while, and then we created a second iteration of it, which was to connect people who are separated by immigration issues. 

What’s been the best advice someone’s ever given you?

Don’t worry about sharing your ideas and being generous with them. If they live through other people, that’s OK. Don’t be precious. Just be generous and know that you can always come up with more.

Where do you turn to for your inspiration?

Going to the cinema really does something to my brain, where I’m completely cut off from the world and immersed in something else. When I come out, I feel like my brain has had a restart, and it’s always been great for me if I’m stuck on a brief.

Also, getting yourself out of a situation where you’re thinking about something exclusively. Take a walk or go down to the beach and put your mind elsewhere. Allow the brain to reset and the creativity to flow again. We’re solving problems in a creative way, and sometimes you don’t see the answer because your brain has gone too far down a rabbit hole. Pause, reset and think of something else to come back to the problem refreshed. That helps.

What are your views on the importance of awards?

Awards are important because they recognize excellence in our industry, they build careers and they build brands. But they should be a by-product of excellent work. Don’t create work solely for the purpose of winning accolades. But do understand that awards are especially a young creative’s currency because that is how you build a strong book with pieces in it that are well known. 

The Drum Awards for Out of Home deadline has passed, but you can still enter by applying for an extension.

The Drum Awards FCB Chicago Out Of Home

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