2 Minutes With ... Rob Lambrechts, CCO at Pereira O'Dell

On '90 Minutes of Air Conditioning' and David Fincher's 'Golf'

Chief creative officer at Pereira O'Dell, Rob Lambrechts guides campaigns that engage audiences and speak to culture. He has helped build and refresh iconic brands such as Anheuser-Busch, Adobe, MINI, Stella Artois, the Ad Council, Zelle and more.

In 2018, the agency launched social film "The Beauty Inside" for Intel, which won an Emmy for Outstanding New Approach to Television. This made Pereira the first agency to win an Emmy against traditional TV programming, and the project helped evolve the branded entertainment space.

In 2021, Lambrechts co-authored the book, High Art: The Definitive Guide to Getting Cultured with Cannabis, published by Penguin-Random House. It pairs more than 50 works from artists such as Van Gogh, Monet and Henri Rousseau with various cannabis strains and products.

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

Rob, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in the Paris of the Midwest, St. Louis, Missouri, and now live in Marin County just North of San Francisco.

How you first realized you were creative.

Ask me tomorrow, maybe I'll have realized it then.

A person you idolized creatively early on.

Growing up my dad and Uncle Jim were the funniest people I knew. They had conversations that spawned joke, upon joke, upon jokes, and were littered with all kinds of pop culture references. I used to think "God if I could just do that!" Although, I would be remiss to not add that also growing up I watched my mom, who was a nurse, work ten times harder than I ever could and without her work ethic I never would have accomplished anything.         

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

Because I'm a white male in my 40s with a liberal arts degree, I read Don Delillo's White Noise in college. But it was the first time I'd read capital "L" Literature and thought, "Wait, this sh*t can be funny?!?"     

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

The Flaming Lips. I was at a Flaming Lips show in Chicago when I was working as a (very bad) account person. Listening to them sing "Do You Realize?" it struck me that I was going to die one day and couldn't spend more time doing a job I hated (and was bad at).            

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

You'd think a national book winner about John Brown at the start of the Civil War would be a tight assed, overly wrought homework assignment, but it turns out The Good Lord Bird by James McBride is one of the goddamn funniest, most spirited and big hearted novel I've ever read. (Also shout out to Emily St. John Mandel for Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel as she might be the best person on Earth at putting sentences together.) 

Your favorite fictional character.

Ray Midge in Charles Portis's Dog of the South or Bravo's Andy Cohen, both of whom I find endlessly fascinating.         

Someone or something worth following in social media.    

I'm not on any social media platform and never have been, except for LinkedIn, but come on … I'm not going to name any names here, but I get endless joy out of the LinkedIn posts that use some sort of personal experience (normally bad) to illustrate some (normally obvious) business lesson.     

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

I got really into Steely Dan for a minute there, which I can't say I saw coming.        

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

This is kind of a copout but it's also the truth. I've been at Pereira O’Dell since the beginning (I was the first employee) and I'm starting to think the agency itself is the most interesting creative project I've ever been involved in. At least I hope that's the case since I've invested the last fifteen years of my life into the place. Wait, did I say 15 years? That can't be right.

A recent project you're proud of.

I played a very small part in the "90 Minutes of Air Conditioning" film we created for Midea. Fernando Passos, Julie Rutigliano and Nick Sonderup deserve all the credit and more for bringing this extremely simple and extremely fun idea to life. 

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

David Fincher's "Golf" commercial for Gap might be the single most important piece of filmed content in existence. Her car. Her dancing. The music. The dude hitting golf balls in dress shoes, jeans and a leather jacket. A driving range at night. It's perfect and mystifying all at the same time. 

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Serviceplan's "The Wish" really got me. So simple. So resonant and executed as close to perfection as you can get. It makes me angry I didn't do it.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Being raised Catholic, I've been blessed with a healthy degree of self loathing, which dissuades me of any notion that anything I've ever done has been good enough. 

Your biggest weakness.

I don't have what you'd call the warmest personality. Put more eloquently, I can be a real prick sometimes.         

One thing that always makes you happy.

Eating ice cream straight out of the carton in the middle of the night.         

One thing that always makes you sad.            

Those 30 seconds after eating ice cream straight out of the carton in the middle of the night.         

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

Besides living a healthy and fulfilled life? But seriously, I'd probably be in the Marines (that's not a joke).

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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