Desmond LaVelle
 
 

A clever, yet thoughtful, headline about me.

Me, smiling, looking thoughtfully at camera

Me, smiling, looking thoughtfully at camera

 

I started this business as a 22-year-old copywriter. The following year, I was a Cannes delegate for Leo Burnett. It was a fast start to a fun career that still feels new. I attribute that newness to being a lifelong learner. This industry is enjoying a ride on a steep curve informed by a thousand inflection points. Every few years, advertising becomes almost unrecognizable. We have no choice but to stay ahead of change.

For all that has changed, one thing remains the same: Good ideas win awards. But great ideas win awards and transform business. I've won nearly every major industry award. But I've chosen to only include work in my portfolio that contribute to the story of a brand rather than individual pieces of entertainment. Gags can be easy. But ideas that demonstrate something bigger than the ad itself can have real impact.

As a Creative Lead in Facebook’s Creative Shop, we partner with the world’s best agencies and the world’s most valuable brands to help build industry-shifting ideas. When you find yourself in rooms with some of the most creative and savviest marketers in the world, you learn a thing or two. This exposure to Facebook’s Creative Council, or any given global brand team I find myself talking to, has had a tremendous influence on me, informing my approach to brandcraft.

It’s is not enough to behave purposefully as a brand. We must build the sorts of ideas that allow communities of people to share in a brand’s purpose. Now more than ever, we’re able to align with the belief systems of actual people and allow them to participate, both in the digital world and in the physical world. This is exciting stuff. And that data, when used nicely, can be creative’s best friend. As an agency creative, my exposure to data was typically quantitative research that ended up killing what I thought to be an amazing idea. Now, the richness of data we have access to can be deeply inspiring for a creative person. The more we know about people, the more we can find the alignment between what matters to them and what our brand can realistically offer.

My goal is to build cross-media ideas that are valuable to people and transform business. When we do that, the awards will follow. 

That’s a not-so-brief summary of the professional side of me, which didn’t leave much room for the personal stuff. Actually, I have unlimited space. This is the internet. But you’re probably tired of reading and want to get to the work so I’ll keep things short.

The “lifelong learner” theme definitely applies to my personal life as well. I’m a husband and father, and fairly new to both. The feedback from my 2-year-old is that I’m doing about 20% of all things to her liking. I’m a first time pet parent to a very nervous Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (she’s barking at something as I type this).

I'm passionate about cycling and have founded a community of cyclists connected by the desire to end cancer. It's called the SwineSpotting Cycling Collective, and our first official ride will be all 460 miles across the great state of Iowa at the end of the July. 

I’m not an extremely religious person. However, for 14 Saturdays in the fall, I have a front row seat in the temple of college football. It’s like a religion in that there are rules and rituals and weird outfits. But it doesn’t offer any sort of spiritual sanctuary – mostly just anxiety and sometimes extreme disappointment. But maybe this will finally be Nebraska’s year, right? Let us pray.