2 Minutes With … Nina Akestam Wikner, CD at Nord DDB
Nina is a creative director at Nord DDB. She's been in advertising for close to 20 years, working in Sweden and the U.S. Nina has published several of papers on how diversity influences marketing effectiveness, plus books on feminism and sustainability.
We spent two minutes with Nina to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.
Nina, tell us …
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
Stockholm, and Stockholm. I landed back here via Paris, New York and L.A.
How you first realized you were creative.
I believe all humans are creative, or we would die. So, I assume it was very early. I was stupid enough to decide to make a living out of it when I was about 7 and started writing.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
Madonna. I fell in love with her style and attitude when I was in pre-school, then her music in my early teens.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
Moving to Paris and realizing Stockholm is a comparatively very, very small city.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Picasso. I'm always blown away thinking about his productivity and the way he challenged the status quo in the art world. But I also admire his self-promotion and brand-building skills.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
I've been thinking about Hanya Yanagihara's book To Paradise every day since I read it. I read a lot. And almost everything I read is inspirational in one way or another. Just the fact that someone sat down for months or years working on a piece of writing so that others can enjoy it—I find that inspiring. Same thing goes for podcasts, movies and art.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
The Row is the one brand that I always appreciate across all platforms. Their attention to detail and craft shows that inviting your customers into an interesting world is always a good idea. Like, a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-good idea.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
I wrote my (so far) best-selling book, The Feminist Trap, in a fit of rage. I was furious about how the global feminist movement kept tripping itself up by focusing too much on minor details and internal fights.
A recent project you're proud of.
The campaign "What We Do Today, We Do for Tomorrow." Because of the war in Ukraine, Sweden's security situation has changed tremendously. We had to find a way to make the population support the expansion of Sweden's defense. Which is tough, because Sweden is not a very nationalistic country, and we haven't been to war in 200 years. Finding the right tone was tricky, but it came through really well, because of the grit and talent of the people involved.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
I run a lot, but never connected with a running brand until Satisfy came along.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I want to know everything about everything. And I have a pretty good cringe radar.
Your biggest weakness.
Impatience. With people, ideas, the world in general.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Running my own brand.