Russell Herder Copywriter Alex Greim on Creative Roots and the Value of Humor

A RH copywriter aus Deutschland explains his creative aesthetic and influential upbringing.

If it’s true that a company’s soul is comprised of the people who work there, then the part of Russell Herder’s soul that makes the firm irreverently clever is a man from Rheine, Germany, named Alex Greim.

He grew up in the sizeable city of about 80,000, which at the time had a German Army Air Force base. On the weekends he and his family would sometimes visit the nearby urban center of Münster, which was occupied by a peasant uprising in 1534.

Ironically enough, Greim says English is better than German for writing copy, and he mostly thinks in English while at work. “Things seem to fall into place easier in English,” he says.

When he began his copywriting career in 2008, there was a distinction between the German and American creative aesthetics, but the prevalence of the internet has caused that distinction to mostly be erased since then, he says. Asked to describe his own personal aesthetic, he says it’s “a little edgy.”

“Personally, I like in-your-face stuff which rarely makes [it past] the first round of edits,” he says.

Yet, playing the agent provocateur makes a useful starting point in the creative process; the edgy bits lay the groundwork for what swiftly transforms into a product that still has bite but is not boorish.

His career includes stints at such storied agencies as Leo Burnett, Publicis, and Flaechenbrand, where his work was featured in a groundbreaking campaign for Die Limo, a popular soft drink. His wry humor gave the multifaceted effort a unique twist.

One of Alex’s hobbies echoes his work as a copywriter: he refurbishes prewar fishing rods, normally examples produced in the factory more than 70 years ago. He takes something basic and played out, then gives it love and creative attention to transform into a beautiful and unique object.

He picked Russell Herder because it gave him a chance to do something specific and poignant with his marketing background rather than simply sell things. “Here, it feels like… we’re doing good stuff,” he says.

Alex has nurtured the firm’s projects on opioid awareness since the early stages, and says they have been his favorite project to date. He likes it because in his words “it might actually save a life or two.” To achieve that goal, Alex has used media that falls into less conventional territory, like TikTok and Snapchat.

In his six months so far at Russell Herder, his work has demonstrated that taking a stance and thinking big are fundamental for copy with impact — and there’s so much more to come.

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