Ad, Close & Per­sonal

Walid Me­nassa

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Walid Me­nassa, the ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor at PUBLI­CIS Beirut has a motto in life: to keep play­ing. Per­fectly con­tent and al­ways on the prowl for more, this ar­chi­tect who dreams of ac­quir­ing time­trav­el­ing abil­i­ties is driven by the de­sire for bet­ter­ing the world in ev­ery con­ceiv­able way. Arabad wanted to learn about the man’s abil­i­ties and what fol­lows is a snap­shot of his ever-chang­ing re­al­ity.

What first sparked your in­ter­est in ad­ver­tis­ing?

Watch­ing Ogilvy ads and some for­eign ad­ver­tis­ing gems as a teenager.

What gets you up in the morn­ing?

My sleep cy­cle mainly; my two daugh­ters some­times, loudly leav­ing home for school.

What do you en­joy most about your job?

The yoyo side of it: now you’re up, now you’re down.

What would you say is your strong­est skill?

Keen judg­ment.

Who do you ul­ti­mately want to be­come?

My ab­so­lute self.

What is your great­est ex­trav­a­gance?

Noth­ing that “ex­plo­sive” worth men­tion­ing here.

What do you do to keep your ideas fresh?

See, hear, sense and sen­si­bil­ity.

What’s your motto in life?

Keep play­ing.

What keeps you in the game?

The hope of scor­ing.

What keeps you up at night?

What’s await­ing me in the morn­ing (or else a movie, a con­cert, a re­laxed so­cial gath­er­ing).

What would be your worst night­mare?

I’ve found so many while think­ing about the an­swer, that a spe­cial edi­tion might be needed.

What in­spires you most?

A nice mu­sic, im­pact­ful words, a good hu­man con­nec­tion.

What mu­sic have you been lis­ten­ing to lately?

A lot of pro­gres­sive rock from the 70’s.

What is the gad­get you can­not live with­out?

I am not re­ally a gad­get- ad­dict, but my mobile and my tablet are def­i­nitely part of my daily life.

What can we find on your phone?

Mainly bor­ing func­tional apps, a cou­ple of fit­ness and re­lax­ation apps that I’m not sure hav­ing ever used, plus some oth­ers, which are prob­a­bly vis­i­ble in the screen­shot.

What qual­ity do you most look up to in a woman?

To use the ad­ver­tis­ing jar­gon, it’s a holis­tic thing, an in­te­gra­tion of sev­eral fac­tors that en­gage the viewer / lis­tener / con­sumer.

What qual­ity do you most look up to in a friend?

Gen­uine­ness.

Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?

Char­l­ize Theron.

If you could live for one day the life of an­other per­son, who would it be? 007

If you could have din­ner with some­one, liv­ing or dead, who would it be and what ques­tion would you ask him/her?

Freud. Is it pos­si­ble to heal those who gov­ern us?

If you were to be rein­car­nated, what would you like to come back as?

An en­hanced hu­man.

If you were to change pro­fes­sion, what would you choose to do?

Any­thing that would help peo­ple move for­ward .

What do you con­sider to be the great­est head­line of all time?

Some things are price­less. For every­thing else there is Mastercard.

What busi­ness tip would you give the new­bies?

Long story.

What is your idea of per­fect hap­pi­ness?

Ac­cept­ing that there is none.

If you could choose one su­per­hero power, what would it be and why?

Travel through time: back­ward to fix what went wrong, and for­ward to check if things are get­ting bet­ter.

What would you do if you won the lot­tery?

Prob­a­bly scream.

What is the one word you catch your­self say­ing too of­ten?

Etc…

What would you like to be do­ing five years from now?

En­joy­ing more of what I like to en­joy.

If you could be any­where in the world right now, where would you be?

Ja­pan could be an op­tion.

What’s the last movie you saw?

‘Rough Road Ahead’, a Ger­man film, which per­fectly de­picts the ab­sur­dity of an ex­treme in­ter­pre­ta­tion of re­li­gion and moral­ity.

What is the one thing you wish you have de­signed?

As a frus­trated ar­chi­tect, I would say the Guggen­heim Mu­seum in Bil­bao.

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