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Meet Huntington Beach Associate Creative Director and Art Director: Jose Eslinger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jose Eslinger.

Jose, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started 34 years ago in a small town in Mexico called Ensenada. But wait, I might be going too far back, so let me skip ahead a few years… So my advertising story began like most American dreams do: By watching a viral video. Yup, you read that right. I was in architecture school and was hitting a wall with it. I was just not inspired by it anymore. So one day I found myself in the computer lab browsing stuff and came across a Bud Light commercial called “Swear Jar.” I remember it vividly. As I watched the hilariousness unfold before my eyes, I thought to myself: “Wow, you can get paid to make stuff like this? I can do this stuff!” And my advertising journey began. I dropped out of architecture school that week and started looking into advertising schools. That made my mom SUPER happy btw… that was sarcasm. That was about 9 years ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. That decision brought me to Los Angeles in 2008 and gave me the opportunity to start my career at one of the biggest, bestest (it’s a word!) advertising agencies in the world: Chiat Day. Since then I’ve moved around to a handful of other amazing agencies around LA. I’m currently working as an Associate Creative Director at Innocean in Huntington Beach making some cool work for Hyundai and Finish Line. I work with my incredible copywriter partner Carissa Levine. We’ve been working as partners for about 6 years now and it’s been great. We spend more time with each other than with our significant others. No joke, so it’s important that we get along, and we do. My job consists of providing my clients with marketing solutions that will get them noticed and, hopefully, make them relevant in pop culture. I’ve gotten some of the best opportunities of my career while at Innocean and can honestly say it’s one of the best places I’ve been lucky enough to work at. Some highlights include: Leading the NFL sponsorship work for Hyundai the past couple of years with 4 amazing television commercials and some online initiatives. But the crowning achievement has been our 2016 Hyundai Super Bowl commercial featuring Kevin Hart. It was voted by the American public as the #1 commercial in the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter. For both Carissa and myself, this was an advertising dream come true. And hopefully just the first of many to come…

Has it been a smooth road?
Is it ever a smooth road? But you know what, the potholes along the way make it all so much more worthwhile. And you know what? Life ain’t easy. It’s filled with struggles. It’s chock full of people wanting to tell you “no” when all you want to hear is “yes.” But we just have to keep going. Like Dory said: Just keep swimming.

What’s the hardest part of your job?
I think the hardest part about being a creative is that you never know where your next idea is going to come from. Or when it’s gonna come. The scariest thing as a creative is a blank page. You know you have to fill it with ideas, but it starts off blank and there’s no clear path to success. There’s no starting point. It’s just a canvas. But the difficult thing is that it’s also the most exciting thing as a creative. There’s so much potential for that blank canvas to be filled with all your awesome ideas… You just have to somehow find them out there in the ether somewhere.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Hhhhmmm… How do I define success… This is a deep one… I view success differently with each project I’m involved in. But deep down inside, I always want to make the consumer/audience feel something. Anything. It’s so hard today to snap people out of their catatonic state and make them experience emotion. We’re all so busy and distracted that we tend to miss a lot of the things that are going on around us. Now multiply that by advertising, which is something people don’t actually seek out (in fact, they pretty much think it’s a nuisance)and people’s attention span shrinks considerably. So any time I can get some sort of a reaction out of someone makes it feel like a win. I naturally lean towards going funny as well… Not that I’m good at it, but I just lean that way. If I get someone to laugh at a joke or a stupid comment, then I feel a little jolt of adrenaline that makes it all the worthwhile. I believe that making people laugh is one of the best medicines we have in this world. Hope that made sense…

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Thankfully I LOVE advertising and I’m excited for the future of it. The industry is changing so much, that it makes it a bit scary… but I’m OK with that. It just means we have to change our thinking. We have to step out of our comfort zone. Advertising is feeling like that blank page I was talking about… There are no lines on it now. It’s wide open and the sky’s the limit as far as new technologies and ideas that we have at our disposal.

I’m also excited about having the opportunity to keep making people laugh. Like I mentioned before, that’s a big part of why I love what I do. I get to try to make people feel good. And that makes me feel good in return.

Most importantly though I want to continue to be a good dad to my two little dudes (Marko who is 3 and Nico who is 1), a good husband to my beautiful wife Erika and a good son to my momma. At the end of the day, when everything’s all said and done, they are who I wanna make laugh the most 😉

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