2 Minutes With … Louis Massaia, CCO North America Healthcare at Weber Shandwick

On creating tools for good

Over the last 25 years, Louis Massaia has helped build agencies, teams, careers and a reputation for consistently delivering best-in-class creative across all channels. He's crafted work for blockbuster brands and small players in categories ranging from cosmetics to cancer. Efforts in health and wellness include Chantix, Advair, Botox Cosmetic, Viagra, Mirena, Narcan, Farxiga and FreeStyle Libre.

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

Louis, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in western and northern New Jersey. I currently live in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. It's peaceful and everything you need in life is a stone's throw away.

How you first got interested in health.

My mom was a nurse, and my dad was an accountant. My mom took great care of people, and my dad took great care of people's money. So, they were both caregivers in a way and top-notch human beings. However, my interests, as far back as I can remember, were the same as they are today and strongly rooted in art, writing and music. My curiosity as it related to health grew mainly in the realm of holistic approaches at around age 24. I became aware of the importance of optimal health and how best to achieve it. 

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

The short film "Reverse the Silence" was created to put the shame and guilt associated with accidental opioid overdoses on trial. At the time, the spike in ODs shot through the roof, yet most of the real conversations surrounding the events themselves were buried in denial. Attempting to tell this story and capture the frustration and inner rage associated with such an event (all in 30 seconds) was a challenge. I always liked this PSA because it played a very important role at a pivotal time.

Reverse the Silence
One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.

We are now in the business of creating tools for good. Tools that help people in unexpected ways. To me, this has been the common thread among all the great new work in the health universe that is getting attention and making a real difference. And I'm excited about what the future holds and what I’ll create next.

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

"The Lámh Project" was by far my favorite. A simple gesture became a tool for good. I have a very special place in my heart for the Down Syndrome community—and this work was such a gift to them.

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

I'm a big fan of  the Dr. Gundry podcast. He's full of insightful and practical tips on how to live your best life. In terms of a book, my favorite this year must be How Not to Die

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I'm a big fan of early Van Halen

Your favorite fictional character.

Lt. Columbo

Someone worth following on social media.

My brother Michael Massaia is a world-class photographer who works alone and is the sole craftsman from the instant the negative is exposed to the moment the final print is made. That's extremely rare these days.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

The ability to have a vision and see it through with clarity.

Your biggest weakness.

Perhaps I'm a little too nice at times.

One thing that always makes you happy.

Hanging out with my wife Marie, my dog (Mr. Louis) and watching my team and the people I work with at Weber grow and make great work. 

One thing that always makes you sad.

Twenty-five years of doing timesheets. 

Something people would find surprising about you.

I don't really love to travel so much unless I'm going somewhere for a specific purpose. The things I love to do—design, write, play music, make food, exercise—can all be done within any given 500 square feet.

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

I'd be making something, even if it was the world's best meatball. 

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.

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