Momchil Zakhariev: If advertising was predictable, I would be doing something else

Momchil Zakhariev is the Creative Director of NEXT-DC (creative agency of the year at FARA 2016). Over the years he's been also part of fun local projects as Trash Lovers, the "tennis court" on the closed "Ivan Vazov" Street and has dipped his toes into design to compliment his copywriting background. He doesn't like wordiness, and we appreciate the honesty and truthfulness in this laconic conversation, a bit about advertising and a bit more about the good things in life that we could read, listen to, taste and reflect on. Enjoy!

What are you up to these days?

I'm watching Sopranos for the very first time. I was saving it for emergencies like a very severe winter or a global pandemic.

How did you get into advertising?

For some reason, I've always wanted to be in advertising. When I was a 4th year student (2008), a friend who was working at McCann at that time told me that Ogilvy was looking for people. After several tests I was hired and naturally found a reason not to finish my degree.

How have the lockdowns affected you in the last year? Janet45 and Vij Magazine published a book a few months ago, inspired by the isolation, with works by 72 Bulgarian authors, and called it very well, When Outside is Inward So, how are you when outside is inward? I realized that I prefer not to be alone with my thoughts for long.

In this regard, a question that raised some debate - is work from home or in an office more suitable for advertising jobs, or some hybrid model maybe?

Continuing the previous answer - I don't think it's good for people to stay isolated long. It's nice to be able to work from home sometimes. But the process of generating and discussing ideas requires live communication.

I recently came across some well-worded insights by a British designer, co-founder of an interdisciplinary design studio in London. Their work is based on the so-called conscious creative. The whole thing sounds a bit pretentious, but they put an emphasis on the idea that in order to unlock creativity you have to leave room for play and chance. Is there a place in the advertising workflow for play and chance in your opinion?

If advertising was predictable, I would be doing something else. There is no exact recipe for creating advertising campaigns. There are only a certain few steps that you could follow. Everything beyond them is often the result of play and chance.

What is your personal criteria for a job well done? If after a few years I look at a completed project and I don't feel embarrassed.

What makes you happy lately? The time I spend with my 4-year old beagle Maybe.

And what makes you sad or angry?

Leaning to angry. The relentless desire of folks to come out more interesting online than they are.

What is the coolest advertising project you came across recently?

It's not an advertising project, but it's one of the most affecting idea and clear message that I've seen for the last few years. The pink seesaws on the border of USA and Mexico, by the architecture studio Rael San Fratello.

There is so much happening around us today that we often fail to navigate through everything and the recommendations of people we like are always a good compass. Would you recommend a movie, book, music and food to us?

Movie: Sound Of Metal (An - I answered before it was nominated for an Oscar)

Books: I haven't read anything new, that i would recommend, but from the archive — White Noise by Don DeLillo

Music: Yves Tumor — Gospel For A New Century


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Continue reading: You can also check Momchil's top 3 Bulgarian ads in our Top Three section.