Julien_Le_Bas

An award-winning creative director and architect

Julien is an award-winning creative director and architect, with more than 15 years of international experience in the experiential marketing industry. First based in France, then Australia, the U.S. and now Germany, he has worked with clients that include Nike, Intel, Novartis, BMW, HERE, GM, and other major companies across most industries. His expertise and strategic thinking in experience design, brand architecture, interactive media, and scenography have fueled many significant corporate events and consumer experiences.

Q: What do you love about your job the most?

The opportunity it gives me to meet brilliant minds, from all horizons. Musicians, artist, designers, but also great business leaders. It is inspiring, challenging and, clearly, never boring.

Q: Into your work, as an Executive Creative Director for Jack Morton Worldwide, you bring lots of experience from your architectural background. How does this skill aid you in experiential marketing?

Architecture is a complex craft, overlapping multiple skills, from psychology to design and technical knowledge. But before all, architects are creative problem solvers. They create experiences with space, light, materials and technology. These various dimensions transpose more or less directly into the Experiential Marketing world.

Q: Which of the events, that you prepared so far, is your favourite?

The BMW 7 Series international press launch in Munich remains one of my favourites. This was an extensive project with no compromises. From the storytelling, the design, the music, down to the unique technologies used. It was also the chance to meet and work with extraordinary people. Finally, the simple idea behind the event carried through from conception to execution, getting amplified along the way.

BMW

Q: And which of the events that others prepared, you wish they were your creation?

Deep Web is a great example of a fabulous piece of experiential work mixing art, sound, light, space and technology. Origin, from UVA is equally inspiring. Although these installations are more art than marketing, they truly inspire me and so do the people who made them.

My dream event is a bold, innovative and powerful moment.

Q: What would be your dream event?

It involves a great story, musicians and a composer, fantastic visual artists, programmers, and an extremely challenging technical setup. It would put in the same room very talented and skilled artists, technologists and producers, and allow me to orchestrate and shape the final experience. My dream event is a bold, innovative and powerful moment.

Q: What has been your most difficult challenge so far? What was that major thing that made your heart race and your blood freeze? And how did you overcome it?

It really depends on the advancement of the project:
First, the challenge is to establish trust with the client and within the team. The best and most amazing projects are driven by a positive and collaborative dynamic. Mistrust often leads to more compromises and watering down of the concept. Leadership is critical.

Then, the development of the idea and its unboxing into a real-world solution requires creativity and trusted internal and external partners that can be challenged, in order to arrive at the optimum execution of the idea.

Finally, the last stage before going live is equally critical as suddenly tens and sometimes hundreds of people get together to execute their part of the grand plan.

I have seen last minute major problems being solved very creatively by teams or individuals in the most creative and elegant way and becoming completely transparent to the audience. This is only possible with the right people and a huge amount of trust.

Unpreparedness makes me nervous. I believe that the most amazing shows, event and experiences are the result of hard work and preparation, no matter how spontaneous and fluid they look. Anyone walking in thinking that they already know the solution can quickly become part of the problem.

Q: JMW says: »Great brands aren’t B2C or B2B – they’re B2E (brand to everyone)«. How do you incorporate this mission into your creations?

Experiences are universal. When successful, they play on the emotional and lower conscience level. People have not waited to have experiential agencies around to create experiences. In that regards, the message may vary and be sharpened for a specific audience, but the principles guiding a great experience transcend the B or the C. Then it becomes a matter of creating the best experience for the most relevant channels.

Q: In your opinion, what is the experiential marketing’s best advantage?

An opportunity for a direct punch in the face. Experiential marketing provides the chance to directly connect brands and their audience, in an authentic and extraordinary way.

Making humans happy is the ultimate goal of experiential marketing.”

Q: When do experiential marketing events work best?

When there is focus and a challenge to solve. Experiential is most effective with a clear message and solid objectives. The creative and strategy team can then develop extraordinary ideas that are simple, moving and original, the essence of excellent experiential marketing.

Q: Jack Morton Worldwide says on its website: »Happy humans are the world’s best advertisers«. Could you elaborate, please?

What people remember are what moved them, in a simple and original way. They will also potentially share their memories and insights within their circle of influence. In that regard, making humans happy is the ultimate goal of experiential marketing.

HERE_CES2018_JLB_S-4854

Q: How do you see the future development of the experiential marketing?

The fast emergence of potentially disruptive technologies keeps changing the way people interact with each other and with the space and brands around them. This ever-changing landscape is a fantastic opportunity to re-invent our creative and delivery process. It is basically our sandbox. The future of Experiential Marketing is bright and will call for all sort of the brilliant minds, from all horizons.