2 Minutes With … Till Diestel, CCO of Serviceplan Germany

On Banksy, Wes Anderson's H&M ad, and what advertising can learn from gaming

Till Diestel, one of the most awarded German creatives, was appointed chief creative officer for Germany at Serviceplan in June 2022. He was previously chief creative officer at BBDO Germany.

Till had already worked for Serviceplan in Hamburg from 2006 to 2014, reaching the level of ECD during his time there. He then moved to adam&eveDDB London, where he developed prominent campaigns such as H&M Come Together, the John Lewis Christmas campaign, and the Skittles Romance Super Bowl ad.

In 2018, after three years in London, Diestel joined BBDO Berlin as a managing director. In 2019 he was appointed chief creative officer of BBDO Germany, overseeing creative output for clients including WhatsApp, WWF and Ford, and led BBDO to the top of the creative rankings in Germany for the first time.

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

Till, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I grew up in a small town in northern Germany, and now live in Berlin. 

How you first realized you were creative. 

When building with my Lego bricks. I always threw away the instructions and built my own different crazy creations, and played my own stories.  

A person you idolized creatively early on. 

George Lucas. Star Wars all day.

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

My school gap year in New Zealand at the age of 15. Spending one year away from Germany. Literally the furthest away you can be from home. At a time with only email or expensive phone calls to connect back home. Being alone far away, it really helped my self-confidence, got me interested in people and woke my curiosity for the new and unexplored.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire. 

Banksy for me. Showing the world a constant mirror. Banksy doesn't hold back or follow the rules while still maintaining the anonymity. Every stunt Banksy makes, makes me go "Shit, wish I would have thought about that or had the bravery to do it." 

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

Everything Everywhere All at Once by The Daniels. I mean, it is all in the title.  

Your favorite fictional character. 

Linus van Pelt from Peanuts.  

Someone or something worth following in social media. 

@unnecessaryinventions because they mostly are really necessary.  

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

Had to get glasses. Working too much in front of the screen, I guess. It was tough to work from home over such a long period. I really felt there was a disconnect between the teams, the agency. It took a hit on agency culture, how we work. The small chats in between just don't work via Teams/Zoom. We are in the people business, and great things happen because of the exchange of chemistry.  

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

The H&M Christmas campaign "Come Together" directed by Wes Anderson. Because it showed me that having an impossible idea in your head—"Maybe Wes could direct this film"—can actually become a reality if you believe in it and work hard for it.

A recent project you're proud of. 

A few I really liked, but if I go back a bit, I will say the campaign WWF "Eurythenes Plasticus" I worked on at my time at BBDO. Coming up with the idea of finding a new species contaminated by plastic pollution and giving it a new name. It was so far out there that it took us two years to pull this off. But we partnered with one of the leading scientists on our planet, discovered a new species in 7,000-meter depth and entered it into the permanent taxonomic record to now become an ambassador to the damage we doing to our planet. Again, it proved to me "anything is possible" when you put the right team on it and fully believe in it.

WWF Germany | Eurythenes Plasticus
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

Must be Richard Brim from adam&eveDDB. A constant force of creating new and powerful campaigns that resonate in culture. Always trying to find the new, the weird, the emotions.

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

As a gamer, I really admire the work of Neil Druckmann, who created and wrote the series The Last of Us. Gaming, for me, is the most interesting form of entertainment, and if a game can glue you to the screen for dozens of hours by a single narrative, it is just amazing. Better than any movie or show. Honestly believe we can learn so much from good games for our industry as well. Immersive storytelling done right.

Your main strength as a creative person. 

Connecting the dots.  

Your biggest weakness. 

Too many things that I find interesting. Gotta keep focus!  

One thing that always makes you happy. 

Building with Lego bricks. 

One thing that always makes you sad. 

Not having spent enough time with family. Got to get better at this.

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

Special effects or animation for movies. Hello, Pixar.

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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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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