Jesper Åström is a digital mastermind and a long-time friend and contributor to The Absolut Company. He was also recently named one of 30 most influential creatives in Sweden. We sat down and had a talk with him on creativity, data driven campaigns and his aspirations on becoming a YouTube sensation.
Congrats on your honorable mention as one of Sweden’s leading creatives by influential magazine Resumé. Why are you on that list?
– Thanks. I think they’ve included me because I say chocking things that makes for great headlines. They contact me regularly for comments and insights and my basic idea is to give them what they want. They know that I know how to use data in a creative way and that I have a long and strong track record of being good at mastering tactical outtakes for brands and products. I’ve been around some 20 odd years by now, you know.
What’s your opinion on the current state of creativity in Sweden?
– I think we’re struggling a bit to find our pace at the moment. It’s a huge gap between generations, where creativity means different things to different people. I recently listened to the biggest Swedish podcast Alex and Sigge, where they were discussing what they believed was the death of culture. Their take was that there are no new important artists with a contemporary impact around anymore. Art is dead. But I disagree. I think it’s very much alive, but you have to look elsewhere than traditionally to find it. Now, artists are creating amazing works on YouTube or in the gaming world, but the thresholds for accessing this kind of art are rather high for people outside of the communities. And it’s a different kind of art, that’s more volatile than a painting or a sculpture, which makes it even harder to understand if you don’t know how to crack the codes.
Where do you find your own creative inspiration?
– I’ve come to realize that my creativity is best utilized when I have a fixed framework to be creative within. If I know the boarders and limitations, I can move more quickly into the solution, and I love to solve problems. I’m fueled by an inner passion to do things differently and to think of ways to tackle a challenge that’s never been done before. And internet is my greatest source of inspiration. But not the standard applications such as Facebook, Google or Instagram. I actively seek out communities where people discuss and share new ways of doing things. Where you can find passionate people dedicated to executing the perfect tactics for a new product launch or a Kickstarter campaign. Once you find these forums and get accepted into them, my world opens up and that frees my own creativity.
What can we expect from you in the future?
– It’s my plan to become a Youtuber. I did a 29-episode tutorial on how to do a successful marketing campaign using data and I got so much energy out of that project that I decided to try my luck professionally. So next year will see the launch of my new project Marknadschefen, which is an online course on learning to master marketing digitally. I’ll still work as a consultant, but this is something I’ve been dreaming about doing for a long time, and now I think that the timing is right for me to see how far it can take me. Sky’s the limit, you know.