Online All Stars 2010: Christian Haas

HaasExecutive Creative Director, Associate Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

When Apple announced the iPad at the beginning of the year, CEO Steve Jobs told customers that it would only work on AT&T's overloaded 3G network. In just 3 weeks, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners designed and manufactured a sort of sleeve with a built-in personal WiFi branded and powered by client Sprint that turned the highly anticipated tablet into a 4G device. It was the first product made by the agency -- from concept to production. "But more than a product, it was a marketing idea," says Christian Haas. "One based on a smart insight."

What inspires such boundary-pushing work? "GSP is an agency of craftsmanship," Haas said. "The people that work here work hard not to get things done, but to get them done better - something people feel proud about."

Haas himself has good reason to be proud. Since 2006, he's worked on some critically acclaimed campaigns for HP, Adobe, eBay, and General Electric. Sprint's "Welcome to the Now Network" campaign is still going strong, most recently pushing Sprint's HTC EVO 4G Phone - "the first 4G phone."

As its gadget-friendly work for Sprint suggests, Goodby isn't afraid of the technology that has many agencies reeling. "We've seen more innovation in the last five years than in many years before ... and that's an exciting thing," says Haas. Which is not to say that Haas is a slave to every digital trend. "Our industry has an endless fascination with shiny, new marketing things and there's a constant gold rush to be first."

Haas - who got the agency bug at age 4 when his mother brought him to work - devotes his free time to a food blog called No Salad as a Meal. How, we asked, does good creative compare to good cuisine?

"Both can surprise you, pull you in and make you come back for more," he says. "Both can be memorable and entice you to share. But while hunger affects our perception of food - when you're starving, everything tastes good - good creative has to work harder to make its mark. Most people don't crave advertising."

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