5 Questions with Eva Heinzen

For this creative, keying into the incongruities and humor that can arise in most deadline-driven situations lets her maintain perspective.
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Title: VP, Creative, NYC Studio

Last Job: Content lead for IBM’s internal content team

#1. What would a friend say is “unmistakable” about you?

My laugh.

It’s loud. The sheer force of my joy used to set off The Clapper installed in my friend’s apartment—from a room away.

#2. Share one secret that reveals a lot about how you work.

It’s probably not a secret to anyone who has worked with me, but when the going gets tough, the funnier I find it.

Putting the absurdities, indignities and delights of our job in perspective helps me find the humor when I need it most.

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“After trying a few jobs in history on for size, I realized I was less interested in knowing what happened than I was in why.”


#3. What’s your favorite “no way!” moment?

“Favorite” is impossible to choose, so let’s go with a recent one: climbing a rickety metal staircase at sunset to see petroglyphs at the Valley of Fire in Nevada.

There’s something extra special about 2,000-year-old artwork an hour’s drive away from the masterpiece of American kitsch that is the Vegas Strip.

#4. What’s the best way to start a conversation?

Compliment someone’s shoes.

#5. What drew you to your profession?

My college history thesis was about a vaudeville performer who knew exactly what buttons to push in the culture around her, and I spent the beginning of my career chasing the high of that project.

After trying a few jobs in history on for size, I realized I was less interested in knowing what happened than I was in why.

If you understand why a cultural object is popular—whether it’s a vaudevillian, an ad or a political candidate—you understand the people who make it so.

At its best, advertising is a conversation with culture and the people who decide it, and the most democratic art form there is. I consider myself very lucky to have found this path.