Fast 15: Vincent Straszewski

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Vincent Straszewski still smiles when he remembers seeing Saatchi & Saatchi’s years-ago work regarding gun violence.

Straszewski was struck, he said, by “how clever the communication could be.”

“I wanted to do that. I wanted to create that,” he said. “That’s when I went from graphic design kind of thinking to ad design. I was sold on advertising.”

Since that day, Straszewski has graduated from the University of Delaware and come to work at Saatchi & Saatchi X, the company in the “business of getting people to fall in love with our clients’ products and services.”

Straszewski has been successful doing just that. His resume is littered with awards.

More than that, though, Straszewski strives to produce work that is “engaging, intelligent and inevitable.”

By “inevitable,” he means a solution that makes as much sense as “putting wheels on a car.”

“To me, what designing is fundamentally, is problem-solving,” Straszewski said. “So, no matter what my title might be in the future, it’ll always be the same responsibility to me. I’ll just get better at it, hopefully.”

Much of Straszewski’s work so far has centered on Procter & Gamble products. One example was a Vicks ad aimed at University of Arkansas students.

The ad consisted of two pages stuck together by what Straszewski described as “glue boogers.”

When pulled apart, the ad revealed a simple message: “You should’ve used Vicks.”

These days, Straszewski also is focused on digital mediums and how they can work in concert with more traditional forms of advertising. It appears to be a wise strategy in an intensely competitive industry.

“We have to adapt quickly,” Straszewski said. “Otherwise, the new talent’s coming up and it will overshadow us. That’s part of the reason I’m on the digital team right now. That’s the future.”

Straszewski said his future will be wherever his work takes him, but he’s enjoying Northwest Arkansas. Originally from a Delaware town about 30 minutes from Philadelphia, he enjoys working on his motorcycle — a 2007 Triumph — and his truck — a 1952 Chevrolet.

Straszewski also is a singer-songwriter who plays the occasional gig on Dickson Street.

“Since coming to Arkansas, my music has gotten a lot more twangy,” he said with a laugh.

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