2 Minutes With ... Dan Lucey, CCO of Havas New York

Advertising adventures of a creative optimist

Dan Lucey joined Havas New York as chief creative officer in December, following two years at Joan, where he was executive creative director and equity partner.

Before Joan, Dan served as ECD at BBDO New York, leading a group that managed all Foot Locker brands, Guinness, Bud Light and priceline.com. He also helped the flagship office earn multiple Ad Age A-List and Creativity A-List appearances.

Earlier in his career, he worked at agencies including Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi New York

We spent two minutes with Dan to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.

Dan, tell us...

Where you grew up.

I grew up in a small town on Long Island called Floral Park.

What you wanted to be when you grew up.

I was accidentally exposed to MTV at a very young age, and from that point on, there was no doubt in my mind that the coolest thing you could be is a musician. I publicly gave up on that dream at 17, but secretly I'm still holding out. 

How you discovered you were creative.

I would get tremendously inspired as a child and always felt the need to make things. I would even pretend to be sick so I could stay home from school and work on my art projects.

A person you idolized creatively growing up.

This dude from my hometown, John Shivers. He was about five to six years older than me, and my friends and I all thought he was the coolest. He had the most iconic '80s metal look and was in a local band called the Glee Club Rejects. John was always super nice to us when we accosted him on the street. Every time we'd talk to him, we all felt like we met a celeb.

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

I met my wife Nicole at a party I threw in college my junior year. I couldn't believe how much we had in common and how many shared interests we had. We started dating a year later, and now we're happily married with two kids. I'm super glad she showed up that night.

The first concert you saw, and your favorite band or musician today.

The first concert I saw was Metallica at Nassau Coliseum. I was in 8th grade and would have seen them the year prior, but I was grounded because of a bad report card. My favorite artist to see currently is Of Montreal. Their concerts are always the most inspiring from a visual and audio perspective. I urge everyone to check them out.

Your favorite visual artist.

I love Nina Chanel Abney. The way she draws figures and her use of color is truly amazing.

Your favorite fictional character.

Santa Claus.

The best book you've read lately.

I'm currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It's very good. 

Your favorite movie.

I never have a good answer to this question. I have too many favorites. 

Your favorite Instagram follow.

@judosilencer. I started practicing Judo a couple years ago, and Instagram is a great way to learn new moves and stay sharp in quarantine. My kids are my new training partners; this has been met with mixed results.

How the Covid-19 crisis has changed your life, personally or professionally.

I get to see my family more, so that's a huge plus. I don't really see anyone else, though, which is not a plus.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on.

I guess I'd have to say Talking Stain, a spot I did for Tide To Go. It was my first big break in the industry and my first Super Bowl ad.

Tide to Go | Talking Stain
A recent creative project you're proud of.

We were asked to make a :15 spot about Fiber One's new formula, and we ended up writing an original song and making a music video about plastic surgery with the Real Housewives.

Fiber One | Yeah, We Had Some Work Done
Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago.

Justin Gignac, the founder of Working Not Working, used to paint stuff he wanted and would then sell the painting for the cost of that object. I was always jealous of that.

Someone else's creative project that you admired lately.

Melina Matsoukas's film for Beats by Dre is really powerful.

Beats by Dr. Dre Presents "You Love Me"
Your main strength as a creative person.

Optimism. I truly believe you can make great things happen if you work hard and have a bit of patience. 

Your biggest weakness.

Terrible speller.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Nature videos on Instagram.

One thing that always makes you sad.

People giving up.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I was lucky enough once to be on a vineyard in South Africa that was also a big cat rescue center. We were tasting wine one minute and petting cheetahs the next. Looking back on it, it sounds quite dangerous … but my mind was blown. I'd be pretty happy working there. 

2 Minutes With is our weekly interview series, publishing every Wednesday, where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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