Notes from the nine to five(ish) – Reaktor Creative and the experiment that keeps on succeeding
Read time 5 min
With a full-fledged team and a global clientele, Reaktor Creative Helsinki has come far from where it officially started out – just a year ago. In this episode of Reaktor’s Nine to five -blog series, they tell us how it was done.
Cast of characters:
Katariina, Creative Director
Lauri, Art Director
Minna, operations & client services
I hear Reaktor Creative’s gone from nothing to full-fledged creative team – with some pretty impressive clients – in less than a year. How did that happen?
Minna: Well, for starters, it has been a wild…yeah, wild ride. *laughter*
Katariina: To be fair, we did start from the comparatively thankful position of people being interested in whatever is cooking within the Reaktor ecosystem. That curiosity has been a great help in our quest to recruit the best creative talent out there.
Lauri: Yeah, and we didn’t start from zero in terms of international appeal, either. Reaktor Creative was actually first founded in Amsterdam – hi team! – and that is where a large chunk of our influential clientele found us.
Sebastian: Once we got that flying start in Finland, the only way, really, was up; both in terms of growth and of ambition.
Minna: To me, the most astonishing aspect of this great human experiment is that we’ve managed to go from 20 talented strangers to a well-functioning team…in a setting in which we had no choice but to hit the ground running.
Well, your origin story sure is untraditional. Is that what you are now? An untraditional creative agency?
Minna: In terms of how we operate, for sure. Low hierarchy, for example, is not something many players in the advertising industry explore.
Sebastian: Building a creative studio within a tech company like Reaktor is, in and of itself, untraditional. We have seen creative agencies attempt integrating technological competence into their offering before. Doing it the other way around – and doing it well – seems to be an exciting differentiator, separating us from our competition.
Katariina: Niclas [Kristiansson, ECD] once said Reaktor Creative was an ‘experiment that keeps being successful’.
Lauri: An ‘experiment’ – while we’re not really an experiment in the temporary, or, like, half-assed sense of the word – is always an opportunity, and that’s what we all came here to seize.
Susanne: Yeah, there’s a near-intoxicating sense of freedom in getting to reinvent the way an agency works.
Lauri: And, it forces everyone involved to be a little bolder, a little more curious, and a little more hungry.
Katariina: I’ve loved our approach of shamelessly and publicly being proud of ourselves and our hustle. Agencies that work in marketing and advertising often forget about self-promotion. However, as a challenger in an industry this competitive, one cannot and should not shy away from attention.
Minna: It’s amazing Reaktor Creative’s gotten to work with such a diverse group of clients – from adidas to Liverpool, Netflix to Nightingale, Rovio to Tommy Hilfiger, and Amnesty to name a few. Also, snagging the coveted spot as Sinebrychoff’s lead agency – from an unequivocal underdog position, too – definitely helped in building our credibility.
“An ‘experiment’ is always an opportunity, and that’s what we all came here to seize.”
Speaking of which – Your client Karhu is an advocate for bravery and forging one’s own path as well.
Minna: Yeah, Karhu is the crown jewel of Sinebrychoff’s labels. Working with a brand familiar to every Finn has forced us to challenge ourselves, stay humble, and keep reinventing the brand.
Susanne: Our greatest creative effort of the summer of 2021, Karhu’s Pride campaign, balances right at the intersection of the two.
Sebastian: Karhu’s mission – follow yourself – as well as the brand’s unique tone of voice and presence are very contagious. The message is empowering and the perspective is fresh. Also, who doesn’t love beer?
Katariina: As Sinebrychoff’s lead agency, we’re responsible for taking the Karhu brand forward on all fronts. This allows us to put the full range of our offering, from high-level strategy to high-quality creative, to good use.
It’s been a tough year. What does the post-pandemic world look like to you – and the client?
Minna: Many things that were considered competitive advantages a couple years ago – things like sustainable operations and celebrating diversity – have become hygiene factors. So, now that we’ve started planning the year 2022, it is vitally important to make sure we re-earn the brand’s place in its consumers’ hearts.
Katariina: I reckon our collaborative mindset and multi-disciplinary creative teams will be hugely beneficial in achieving exactly that.
Minna: Yeah, we’ve definitely taken some of the best software development practices from Reaktor’s amazing tech competence and put them to work in a creative context. You know, things like close collaboration with other agency partners, emergent leadership, radical transparency with the client, and testing and failing fast.
“We’ve taken the best software development practices from Reaktor’s amazing tech competence and put them to work in a creative context.”
Finally, a ⚡️ lighting round ⚡️: describe the Reaktor Creative team in one word.
Susanne: Can we do two?
Fine. Two words. Go.
Sebastian: Global. And classy.
Katariina: Sincerely enthusiastic.
Susanne: Umn, non-Mad Men.
Minna: Kind of off-the-wall.
Katariina: Send in your applications, slide into our DMs, smoke signal your portfolios. We can’t wait.
➡️ Send those smoke signals to Reaktor Creative here
This series takes a deep dive into the Reaktor ways of working, giving you a behind-the-scenes view into the everyday joys, struggles, and wonders of working at Reaktor, all over the globe. You’ll find earlier episodes in the links below – and we’d love to have you join as. We have a job for you, as you are.