Interview #4 with our Creative Director Serge van Marion

It’s been a while since our last Initial Interview and in the meantime the Oxyma family has grown a lot. We now have the honor to introduce a creative genius with a heart for Rotterdam. Meet Serge van Marion, our new Creative Director.

Why did you choose Oxyma as your employer?

Well of course it was a mutual choice and I feel lucky that I could choose for Oxyma. After having worked at Emakina and then for a smaller agency (One-Oh-Five), I really wanted to work in a larger company again. I enjoy working with creatives who like data as much as I do, after all we are in this business to create the best results for our clients. Data driven creativity is all about combining our creativity with the right data to create inspirational and effective campaigns. To me, efficacy prizes are even more important than creativity prizes. Creativity can be found anywhere, but if you can make something work, that’s what sets you apart in this profession. So, that was very important for me in choosing Oxyma.

Consumers no longer go through a campaign flow in a linear way. People do not first see a TV commercial, then an ad, and then they go online to see what this brand stands for, and then maybe they will sign up for an email. I truly believe that omni-channel is all about being relevant in all channels at the same time, because consumers create their own customer journey. Oxyma is a real omni-channel agency in that sense. Our clients want to be in charge of their brand in all channels and we can provide that

Besides that, I chose Oxyma because there’s a real focus on personal development. It is not just about the position you’re in now, but on how you can develop further. On a professional level, but also on a personal level. Our Oxyma Fit program is great and the unforgettable parties…. well, let me not get into details about those, haha.

You’ve worked at Oxyma for half a year. How do you see Oxyma now?

I have to admit that I was taken by surprise by new things in the first month. The amount of new stimuli nearly made me go crazy. But I enjoy it more than I had expected, since my expectation was that at such a large company things would get impersonal pretty quickly. But that’s not at all how it turned out. Everyone is very concerned with the human dimension in what we do, which I find very, very special for a company working in the digital environment. I like that.

What I really like is that if you take the initiative, anything is possible at Oxyma. You can create your own path and there are lots of opportunities for you to grow. There are so many specialists working at Oxyma, that it is easier to move mountains here than if you were working in a small organization where you have to figure everything out for yourself.

What do you think sets Oxyma apart from other agencies?

I think we’re the only agency in the Netherlands that truly uses data to develop new propositions, and to take creativity to another level. An example that I always share with other creatives is this: before, you’d have three concepts and then you had discussions with the client about which concept would work best. But here we measure which concept is the best, and then implement that concept and continuously optimize it. We don’t just do that for a concept, but for entire campaigns too. Everything we do is based on the knowledge that we’re going to learn from it, which then makes it possible for us to improve. The greatest thing is that we can also make mistakes: we learn from them and turn it around. Because we do things this way, I see us as the only agency that has in-house data and creativity and is also backed by a good process.

What’s your favorite part of being Creative Director?

I have the privilege to work with the most geeky creatives around! We come with crazy ideas to collect data, use it in a creative way and optimize every campaign we create, isn’t that awesome? We love copywriting and designing, but also using smart technology to create new things. We love working with total concepts and the variety that that entails. One day or week we’ll be working on devising a loyalty concept and another week we’ll be working on an app, next we may be working with a complete CRM program, then on DM and so on. My team does a great job and we see new opportunities everywhere, so bringing these opportunities to life is the ultimate challenge, every day.

What’s your favorite place in Rotterdam?

In my spare time I’m on the hunt for the best burgers in Rotterdam. Right now, the best burger you can get is at The Burger Club on the Nieuwe Binnenweg. There’s also the Fenix Food Factory, which is one of my favorite places, and I really like the lobby of CitizenM. Sitting there makes me feel a bit like I’m on vacation. My favorite places for cocktails are The Suicide Club and Stirr.

The Oxyma Christmas party was held in December. High expectations, but what did you think about how it ultimately came off?

I thought it was brilliant. Everything about it was great. The food was great, the DJ was brilliant (we really had the best DJ) and the great thing is – and this isn’t just at Christmas time – that the other agencies were there too. With 300 people, we’re just one big family. Sounds a bit corny huh? But maybe that is what I was looking for: a family of likeminded professionals.

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