Steve Gorrow on Insight
We had a chat with one of the masterminds behind some of the best campaigns in this lame marketing driven world we live in: Steve Gorrow. Insight's "Dopamine" and "Repeat after me..." egg-laying-chicken. I wouldn't exactly call this work Art (with capital letters), but hey, believe me, it really isn't that far from it...
Can you start telling us about the title of your latest campaign ("Repeat after me...")? I've heard all sort of stories around it. There's one mentioning it was inspired by a graffitti painted in Bristol a few years back, which I later noticed appears briefly at the beginning of the video... Also, what came first, the story or the title?
?Yes, that title came from that amazing quote, which kinda summed up our trip. We all just wanted to get away from the recession and the doom and gloom of the city to have some fun. The idea for the trip came before the title. We actually had another name for the trip but then we switch it at the end when we where putting it all together. The other title was "save the planet eat yourself".
Did you feel the pressure after such a critically acclaimed success such as the Dopamine campaigns? And are you proud with the results? Please, explain a little bit the process to brought you to where you are now...?
Yeah for sure dopamine was an absolute joy of campaign. Everything just came together, and it was always about the art installations, which the past 5 campaigns had been about too. This time I flipped what the campaigns where about and put back on all our team riders to shine a light on these guys. And so the road trip idea was born: let's stick all our guys on a crazy bus and take them to a music festival in Byron Bay. This campaign was also to promote our new green label and Insight's swing to make more sustainable clothes and getting more earth conscious. I am proud of that trip and I know I will look back one day and go: "wow, did we actually do that? That's crazy!".?
And in contrast to the evolution, let's also comment on Insight's constant ideas. We personally love how you brought back surrealism and the whole 60s and 70s 'freedom style'. You've been riding this train since Insight's first days, but seeing how the whole 'hippie' scene has become something accepted by the masses in the last couple of years, how are you feeling about it??
Yeah we love promoting freedom, it's the best thing to do. It's what we all love. And if now all this is trendy, what will we do…? Huhuhuhuhu. We will just keep doing what we do, keep pushing ourselves and mainly just keep getting better at it. How it comes out visually is the easy part.??
Does everyone in the skate and surf scenes respond well to Insight's success? Who are your biggest fans and who your biggest detractors, and why??
You know surfers and skaters are smart people, and the fact they are watching us and saying good things or bad things is enough for me to be stoked. Just being involved in surfing and skating is what I love to do, and I hope we can keep doing creative things way down the track.?
When you set out to prepare a campaign of the magnitude of your last one, how does it all start? Do you have a strong plan of the specific pieces you want to achieve (key Ad photographs, certain video shots, etc.) and you follow a straight calendar to do so? Or is it more like having a vague idea and a few mood-boards and then releasing the dogs and set out to shoot to see what happens...? When I think of the spirit of Insight campaigns I get the impression that it's the latter, but when I see the quality of the results, I'm not so sure anymore. To simplify, I guess I'm asking you to tell us a bit about your working progress.
?Hahahahaha, OK it's a bit of both, but you're right, I like to let things roll and see what happens. For me that's the joy of all this stuff, the real stuff. But you also have to have a bit of a plan, so you know that at the end of it all you have a few key Ads you can rely on. So with this shoot I think I had about 4-5 key ads for surf and skate and the rest was just "what ever happens", let the guys have fun and just be a fly on the wall or as i like to call it "a fly on the beast". When you stick this many guys and girls together on the road it's just a lot fun.??
Tell us a little bit of the people you work with. Fraser Anderson, Dustin Humphrey... Who are these people and what does it mean working with them.?
I always try to work with friends. I feel you get the best results with them and it makes for a more enjoyable time. Everyone feels that when there's good vibes on a shoot then you're half way there. Fraser is a good friend and amazing art director. We worked together for ages at Insight. He took care of skate and I did surf and we had alot of fun. Dustin, the photographer for Dopamine, came through a friend of mine, Luke Stedman, and he was the best man for the job. He brought with him this Split lenz camera which gave us an egde on that campaign. There is also a team of guys at Insight which are amazing too. They're all artists and musicians, so be surrounded by such creative people all the time is amazing.
??For many people sometimes it's easy to forget that all these campaigns have commercial purposes. With all the filming, shooting and drawing, sometimes one guesses there's more of an emotional approach to this than an intellectual one. How do you turn your work into something with -we won't necessarily say artistic- such great conceptual and aesthetic value? In short: how do you balance creativity with marketing so gracefully? I guess you won't be giving out the whole truth easily...
Thanks for your kind words, I am stoked that you look at it that way. I don't believe in the standard product Ads, I never have. I find them brain numbing, and I think most surfers and skaters do too, so I always try to focus on lifestyle and attitude, and I try promote freedom and fun, rather than just a plain old garment which ultimately follows behind all this anyway…??
What should we be expecting in the near future form Insight? Is there anything being brewed which you can talk about already...??
Well, you know, I had some big ideas that I have been dying to try… but this recession keeps cutting the budgets in half, so it's making it harder to keep coming up with interesting concepts, but this next one should look pretty cool if we pull it off.?
Finally, an idea that crossed my mind when I started being a freelancer designer a few years back and which I'm sure other people will appreciate knowing about: how does someone get to be involved in your campaigns? What does it take to work for/with Insight? Who do we call, blackmail, send naked pictures to...?
Persistence, the industry is small, so just keep trying and trying. Do the best job you can and when you try something work 'in the now', do the best you can in the now and it will set you up down the track.?