Agency work: Combine Art & Industry

In 2017, Deloitte acquired the internationally active, multidisciplinary creative consultancy Acne. Since this summer, Deloitte's Swiss clients have also benefited from the agency's expertise. m&k spoke with Marcin Skucz, Executive Creative Director at Acne Zurich.

Marcin Skucz, executive creative director of Acne Zurich. (Image: zVg.)

m&k: Marcin Skucz, you are the creative head of the Zurich branch and act as Executive Creative Director. What is your role?

Marcin Skucz: I consider myself first and foremost a visual designer. For more than 15 years, I've been building and leading creative teams with this perspective - and mostly in performance-oriented consulting firms. In everything I do, I always keep both sides of my brain active. At Acne, this formula helps me create that - in the words of Keith Richards - "neck-downwards" feeling people have before the head registers what's happening.


Why does Acne in particular fit so well into Deloitte's portfolio?

At Acne, we talk about combining "Art and Industry". In other words, emotion and reason, ideas and data, creativity and business - or Acne and Deloitte. Deloitte has an extremely diverse offering that helps our clients achieve successful end-to-end omnichannel transformations. This puts Acne on very fertile ground to develop big, bold and relevant advertising ideas. These can then be translated into the most diverse measures, in traditional and digital channels, supported by data-driven insights and measured against their contribution to the business.As ECD, you are responsible for the creative output of the agency. How open do you think Swiss clients are to creative, bold approaches?An interesting question. From my experience with Swiss CMOs in recent years, local brands are not only open to big and smart ideas. They virtually demand them. Big, that means different, bolder, standing out and winning the audience with emotional, novel brand experiences. And by smart, I mean ideas that both appeal to the masses and develop relevance for ever smaller and more individualized target groups. At the same time, as everywhere else, there is of course a growing desire for greater efficiency and effectiveness in Switzerland - and this is where the mental and physical proximity to Deloitte helps us to ensure that communication is also a revenue driver.


Where can creativity make the biggest difference?

At Acne, we firmly believe that creativity is the best answer to most of the world's problems. For us, creativity means inspiring, transformative ideas that are rooted in culture and have an impact on society. Most of the really big changes in our history have been driven by such ideas. And then we use technology, business modeling, experience design, data and insights as enablers to bring those ideas to life in smart, pragmatic and effective ways.


Where does your passion for creativity come from? Why are you in this industry?

I was born and raised on a lake in the northeast of Poland. Nature with its endless diversity has always fascinated me and serves as inspiration for many ideas. I've learned that you have to give some space to boredom and living in the moment to boost your creativity. Looking back over the last two decades of my career, I have always continued to practice this ritual. I also firmly believe that creativity needs a diversity of perspectives and ways of thinking to thrive. At Deloitte, we have access to such diversity. At the same time, of course, we must constantly prove internally that our creative output and ideas generate real value. This challenge drives us and enhances the quality of our work.


And do you know the cultural peculiarities of the Swiss?

Although Acne originates from Sweden, local talent is at the forefront in all our locations. We combine the best of two worlds: the breadth and power of a global creative network and the knowledge and empathy for the specifics of the Swiss market. These peculiarities are what attracted me personally as a creative. When I think of Switzerland, I see beauty, structure, design, nature and, on the other hand, openness to innovation and advanced technological possibilities. I believe it is a country that preserves its own tradition and culture and at the same time is extremely diverse - both are extremely important for creativity. And of course, Switzerland is a country with an incredible concentration of some of the most exciting brands in the world to work for as a creative.


Is it different as a creative to be part of a big company?

Above all, it's enriching. Being part of a global professional services organization has the advantage that we work with people with incredibly large and diverse expertise - from technology nerds to finance experts to management consultants. At the same time, Acne has the freedom within Deloitte to operate flexibly and independently almost like a start-up within a strong global network.


How do you plan to expand the Zurich office?

We are in growth mode with a strong creative team that we want to expand further. We are also massively expanding our network of partners and alliances. We are also leveraging the power of the Acne family and working very closely with other offices, for example Stockholm or London for branding and advertising, Milan where we have strong expertise in the luxury industry, or Hamburg for pioneering technologies like NFTs and the Metaverse. We can also build on a strong Content Factory, which I originally helped to develop in Poland - over 200 people providing content creation, adaptation, management and performance.


What does the future hold?

I'm cautious about making specific predictions - but my basic attitude in life is always optimistic. If you ask me about Acne's ambitions for the next few years- it's to continue to solve complex business, social and environmental challenges with creativity.

Deloitte is one of the world's leading audit and advisory firms, offering a broad range of services from Audit & Assurance, Risk Advisory, Tax & Legal, Financial Advisory and Consulting.

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