Meet Simply180’s Creative Director: Kamo Atanassov

Simply180’s Creative Director has traveled, worked, and lived in many places. But if Kamo must pick one favorite spot on earth, it would be his bubbly hot tub. And who can blame the man? Enjoying some R&R in his backyard paradise is sure to get his creative juices flowing.

Let’s get to know Kamo in his own words.

How did you find your way to Simply180, what do you do, and how long have you been here?

I’ve led creative teams and departments in big and small agencies in South Florida, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Sofia, Bulgaria. I also ran my own consultancy for a while. Then, four years ago, I joined Simly180 as the agency’s creative director.

Why Simply180?

At Simply180, I find a healthy balance between independent work and collaboration. We all have our areas of expertise with just enough overlap to appreciate the individual contribution to the final product. As a result, the team is nimble, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

I also like that the company does not specialize in a specific industry or media, which means my job never gets boring. I may edit a cosmetics video in the morning, write a jingle for an injury law firm in the afternoon, and design a rum label in the evening.

We constantly challenge ourselves to do new things and learn from these experiences. This informational vibrancy simply doesn’t exist in large agency teams, where you’re usually stuck for months and years with one or two brands.

What’s the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

I have learned too many, and they all contradict each other.

On a serious note, I have always believed that you should do what makes you feel good. Work takes the most significant and productive part of the day, so it better be rewarding.

What have you learned from Simply180 clients that made you better at what you do?

Everything. Every new client presents an opportunity to learn more about another trade, market, and related cultures. I enjoy this part of our job no less than my espresso in the morning.

Some brands may look less glamorous at first glance, but they all have the potential to become more prominent and attractive. For instance, it did not sound too exciting when we added a commercial cleaning company to the roster. But during the pandemic, cleaning and disinfection took center stage, and we helped our client reinvent their brand as a progressive hygiene management firm. As marketers, we can help actively transform the perceptions of any brand or trade.

Take car insurance ads, for instance. They were super annoying before GEICO showed the world that car insurance could be fun. Now all of the car insurance companies are trying to be funny, which in turn makes them annoying again 😉

What’s the one thing you wish clients understood about your job that could help improve their branding/business?

As their marketing agency, we have one goal–their success. It’s okay to disagree about how to achieve it, but we should listen to each other’s ideas. We see things from different perspectives, and our collaboration allows both sides to understand the bigger picture.

Where can we find you, and what are you doing when you’re not on the clock?

Since COVID-19, my world has shrunk to the property lines of my house. You can usually find me digging dirt in the backyard, grilling shish kebabs, or enjoying a glass of daiquiri in the hot tub while annoying the neighbors with my jazz or electro-swing music.

What’s your favorite place in the world?

I have great memories from all the places I have lived and visited, and I still want to see more of the world. If I picked only one place, though, it would be the abovementioned hot tub with the lake view behind our house.

What’s your personal or professional mantra?

Do your best (when possible).

I hate mediocrity and half-ass work. It does not matter what you do. It does not matter if anyone notices. You should be proud of your work.

In Steve Jobs' biography, there was a telling episode about a lesson he learned from his adoptive father, a mechanic and a carpenter. Jobs said that his father refused to use low-quality wood–even for the backside of cabinets. Arguably, by following his father’s uncompromising pursuit of aesthetics and quality, Jobs made Apple the most valuable brand in the world.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?

As a human being, I am an adaptable creature. Physically, I can’t live without air, water, and food. I enjoy the latter more than I should. Emotionally, I am very attached to my family and friends.

If you ruled the world of design, what would you change?

This is an interesting question. I believe that design, as a communication art, is part of our culture. We all (for good or bad) contribute to the conversation daily, but no one rules it. Anyone can go against the norm, build a unique style, and set a new trend if people decide to follow. These are all changes to the world of design, but designers can only enforce their ideas for the brands and communications they control. I hope we never live in a world ruled by a single artist–it would be too boring and depressing.

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