2 Minutes With ... Heath Pochucha, ECD at Periscope

On Harley-Davidson and Volkswagen, Patrick Swayze, and cracking the brief for Hefty

In 18 years of building iconic brands, Heath Pochucha has held leadership positions at some of the world's most creative and innovative agencies, including Fallon, Carmichael Lynch, BSSP and Deutsch LA. He is currently executive creative director of Periscope.

As a passionate believer in building brands people love through every tool in the toolbox, Heath has created and shaped award-winning and industry-lauded work for clients suchas Volkswagen, Harley-Davidson, Google, MINI, Jack Link's, ESPN and Subaru, to name a few. Heath holds a double major in English and communication from St. John's University.

P.S. Heath has been hit by a car, kicked by a horse and stabbed with a knife. He has surfed in a tropical storm, biked in -30ºF, scaled the Great Wall of China, and circumnavigated the globe.

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

Heath, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in central Minnesota surrounded by cornfields and literally graduated from a school surrounded by cornfields. Today, I live in central Minneapolis literally surrounded by buildings.

How you first realized you were creative.

At a fairly early age, I started writing and illustrating stories and quickly learned my writing was far better than my illustrating. I would also put on plays for my parents, casting my younger and, at that time willing, siblings.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Patrick Swayze. Still do.

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

9th grade. I was listening to the radio late one night when Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came on for the first time and blew the doors, windows and roof off my brain. I still vividly remember the impact of that moment.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

Basquiat and, not surprisingly, Nirvana (still).

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Chickens, Gin, and a Maine Friendship: The Correspondence of E.B. White and Edmund Ware Smith. It's a testament to the lost art of letter writing. Long live the Pony Express.

Your favorite fictional character.

Chunk from Goonies. And every fictional character Patrick Swayze ever portrayed.

Someone or something worth following in social media.


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

Personally, I sit way more than I ever did. Professionally, I sit way more than I ever did. I need to sit less, personally and professionally.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.

Every minute of every project I worked on for Harley-Davidson and Volkswagen. Not only are they iconic brands, but both have a rich history and consistency of putting great advertising out into the world for longer than I've been alive. It was both an honor and a privilege to be able to put some blood and sweat into each, and do so shoulder to shoulder with some of the biggest and best brains I've ever had the good fortune of sharing headspace with.

A recent project you're proud of.

Recently, we created a campaign to promote one of Hefty's new sustainability efforts. Not only was it a rewarding experience to shine a spotlight on sustainability initiatives, but we got to do so through the Strongest Man in the World. But probably the most rewarding part of the entire project was when we first showed the work and the first words out of one of the clients was, "I didn't think this brief could be cracked and you cracked it." We (or I) joked it was like sticking the Triple Lindy (only fans of Rodney Dangerfield and Back to School caught the reference). Until TikTok revives the cultural relevance of Back to School, I'll keep doing my part.

Hefty - Airplane Plane Youtube
Hefty Airplane Air Traffic
VRHP - Hefty Airplane Crack
VRHP - Hefty Airplane Huge Effort
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

I may well be the 500,000th person to say this and deservedly so ... the Miller High Life Man from W+K. Everything about it is perfect. Every. Thing.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Jules Feiffer, William Steig and George Booth. The lesson: If an element of your career involves creating comics for The New Yorker, you will live into your '90s.

Your main strength as a creative person.

An openness and kindness to ideas and their creators as the sculpture takes shape.

Your biggest weakness.

Impatience. Sometimes it's good to charge ahead and high-hurdle barriers. Sometimes it bites you hard in the tookus. Or tuchus.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Being in a place I've never been before, drinking a beer I've never had before.

One thing that always makes you sad.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

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

I'd come full circle and write (but not illustrate) stories in a cabin surrounded by trees tucked far away from everything but a lake.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series 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.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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