TAD-IID Career Talk: Eric Cruz, Executive Director at AKQA Shanghai

Thanks so much for Eric Cruz’s inspiring talk and students who made it on Friday morning. Students were amazed by his +18 year long experiences to “reinvent Asia” + all fascinating works for Nike and other clients from New York, Tokyo to London, Shanghai.

– We exist to create future. Create the new, not and not yet.
– It it doesn’t exist, DIY. Make things happen.
– Advertising helps brand to “tell a story.”

At the beginning of this talk, he introduced the number, “9-7-5-3.”

These numbers are the years when individuals should reinvent yourself. It’s becoming shorter as the technology and culture keep rapidly changing. Do not remain when you got used to. Reinvent yourself every 3 years!

“Experiment NOW, not later.”


IID – DFK special lecture

Speaker: Eric Cruz, Executive Creative Director / AKQA Shanghai
Date: October 30 (Fri), 11:00 to 12:30
Place: Design Factory Korea (Veritas B #206)

Creativity is ever changing and accelerating in the age of digital innovation. What you know now makes up a tiny fraction of what you need to stay relevant tomorrow. +cruz will fast forward through his journey across Asia during The Great Transformation of the last 15 years, exploring his approach to creativity, self-destruction, reinvention, and ‘learning to unlearn’ in order to begin again.


Eric Cruz is a multi-award-winning creative leader, designer and educator who brings with him over 18 years of industry experience. He is a “hybrid creative” fusing an unusual combination of design, film, moving media, music, art and technology, bringing a unique perspective to advertising in the connected age. As Executive Creative Director of AKQA Shanghai, he is leading the growing Greater China creative team helping clients including Nike, Jordan, NBA and Diageo create the future through innovative brand storytelling.

With a broad international experience, +cruz has held various creative leadership positions in agencies across Asia, Europe and the US, developing a creative model for the agency of the future. Previously +cruz was ECD at Leo Burnett Malaysia. He also co-founded W+K Tokyo Lab, a creative think tank and experimental music label.

His work has been recognised at the Tokyo ADC Award, Cannes Lions, ADC NY, ONE Show, D&AD, Spikes Asia, Adfest, AdStars, The FWA and The Japan Media Arts Festival.
Originally from The Philippines, +cruz grew up in the USA and Spain. He studied Graphic Design and Digital Media at VCU, Art Center College of Design in the USA and Europe during the Internet’s heyday. He received his MFA in Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art.


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