Heath Rudduck | The Innovator 25 Americas 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 Americas - Heath Rudduck PadillaThe Innovator 25:

Heath Rudduck

Padilla
Chief Creative Officer
Minneapolis

“Innovation separates and makes us unique as a species.”
The 2017 Innovation SABRE judges called #WhatTheFlush (a campaign Padilla did with Niagara Conservation) "the perfect campaign." #WhatTheFlush put the spotlight on Niagara Conservation’s Stealth toilet with a multi-faceted campaign that used online content to draw attention to the role of flushing in drought conditions. Rudduck was among the creative drivers of the campaign that was recognized with Gold and Innovation SABRE Awards. Earlier this year, Rudduck also led the company through a rebrand that included the launch of a new website and updated brand identity for Padilla.

How do you define innovation?
The creation of meaningful new ideas that rise above the expected. Innovation separates and makes us unique as a species. Our ability to draw on multiple known and new resources to solve a problem is what enables us to help achieve our purpose.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
The Swedish Number campaign for Swedish Tourism. Tourism is a tough category and we have seen some fun campaigns. The total integration of channels for this brilliant idea stole the show for me.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
It's easy to call out the big names here. There's a pretty healthy list of go-to brands today from Amazon to Zappos. In the big box innovation world, Amazon continues to show the world traditional boundaries are no longer. Their recent acquisition of Whole Foods was another proof point. But companies like Glossier in the cosmetics world and Slack in the digital space are true game changers.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
It was 1992. My mother was dying. The Australian building industry was collapsing and as a young architect, the future was not looking good. I looked at what I had and what I knew and sought advice from friends to help make a run at the advertising industry. My design training, creative process foundation, knowledge of the tech industry and insight into how digital had changed the world of architecture gave me the impetus to take a leap and build a new career path. That lead to developing an advertising career with a digital core.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Jeff Bezos is my innovator man crush. He flew in the face of a great deal of naysayers to establish Amazon and he continues to reshape the story.

How do you get out of a creativity or productivity rut? 
Play music. Ride my bikes. Hang out and talk with my amazing wife and kids. Travel. Cook.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Let go. Take all the learnings and brilliance of the past and rejoice in the fact that without innovation, your future is limited. Build digital into the core of your being and not an afterthought. Explore the world because you have as much to learn from Bob Ross and Bruce Lee as you do from any of your traditional sources and industry elders. Just go and do something different. The world is an amazing place and a source of endless inspiration.

In your opinion, what's the most innovative place in the world?
Japan, Scandinavia and as an Australian I have to admit, New Zealand. These cultures revere creativity and innovation. It is part of their DNA.

What's your favorite hobby that's not work-related? 
Building and riding bicycles. Snowboarding. Travel. Cooking.