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 time-traveling 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?
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?
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?
Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?
If you could live for one day the life of another person, who would it be?
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?
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?
What is the one word you catch yourself saying too often?
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.