Yrke: Chief Creative Officer
Tad Greenough is Chief Creative Officer at The Absolut Company in Stockholm. Tad is responsible for all the “creative” facets of the company – from ideas to content to experiences. He’s been at The Absolut Company since 2018, having previously worked as Senior Director, Global Marketing Director at Nike.
Why do you enjoy working with food and drink?
In essence, I love being a host – bringing people together and giving them unforgettable experiences – food and spirits, I think – are key ingredients in making those moments relaxed, enjoyable, memorable. So to work in a business that is constantly reinventing itself, finding new ways to surprise and delight consumers – that’s pretty rewarding.
What are the three things you like most about your job?
First, I joined The Absolut Company because I believe we share the same values, and to me, that’s critical – it gives me a lot of energy, and I’m able to give it back in return. I’ve been in positions where that has not been the case, and it simply wasn’t healthy. Second, I love that we obsess about our consumer – to truly understand their wants, and deliver on those unmet needs. That is very satisfying. Third, I’d say that these three brands have a legacy of creativity – having come from Nike, that was always at the core of the brand, too – and being in an organization where it thrives is exciting indeed.
“To work in a business that is constantly reinventing itself, finding new ways to surprise and delight consumers – that’s pretty rewarding.”
What traits are important to be good at your job?
Someone much wiser than me – Walt Whitman – once said “Be curious, not judgmental.” It’s quite common in our business to rate and judge. To come in with a bias, and reinforce that line of thinking. I hope that I bring in a genuine degree of curiosity, to see and understand the idea from almost any facet. I think it’s that degree of objectivity and interest that has made me modestly successful.
Describe a really great day at work.
When I see the team working in complete harmony, collaborating, communicating with radical candor, embracing each other’s achievements – that’s heaven.
Which is your best work-related memory?
When I was the creative lead for the Rio Olympics at Nike, I had the unusual privilege to have a 1 on 1 discussion with most of the brand’s tier one athletes – Serena Williams, Eliud Kipchoge, Simone Biles etc. – and I was extremely proud to see the result of those sessions translate to creative work that truly reflected their views, in a form of authentic athlete storytelling unseen from the brand before.
What do you appreciate most about your colleagues?
There’s a degree of radical candor – being candid with empathy – that I haven’t seen before. That’s something they should be proud of, and I do my best to remind them of how this is unique.
How did you end up being Chief Creative Officer at The Absolut Company?
For starters, The Absolut Company has been a vanguard – by being a cultural provocateur – so in many ways (oddly) it was a lot like Nike. Clearly, sports and spirits… not the same thing. But when you marry that vision – with the values that I’ve said we shared – it was an easy choice. And I was lucky they saw it that way, too.
What kind of education and experience is good to have to do what you do?
I’m a bit of a Frankenstein – I studied Pre-Law, worked for a Brewery, was a Whitewater Rafting Guide, went into copywriting, and then brand management creative direction – it goes back to my view on “curiosity.” I think that’s important. I’m not as concerned with the school you went to, or what direct category experience you have – I want someone that is passionately curious – in all facets of life. I think that’s important to me in this line of work.
Which is your favorite product from your assortment?
I’ve always been a fan of Absolut Original. It’s a product that has always transcended the category, and the story is unique. Most people know it from the advertising – but the provenance story is equally impressive.
What do you most like to eat and drink on a Friday night after a good work week?
I love weird combinations – sushi and an espresso martini – that’s my jam. Most people would say “no way!” – but hey, give it a try.
Why would you recommend someone to work in the food and drink industry?
I think “hosting, entertaining, conviviality” – it should be the core of your being. If it is, you will love it – it’s constantly changing based on consumer trends, needs – that’s pretty exciting. If you’re looking for something that’s more static, it might not be right for you.