Curiosity Is The First Step – Lessons From Our Creative Director, Paul Germain

Curiosity Is The First Step – Lessons From Our Creative Director, Paul Germain

[five-minute read]

As creative director at Oats Overnight, Paul Germain knows exactly what it takes to tell a story. You’ve likely seen his work in the wild, from his dazzling photo shoots showing off new flavors to crafty videos highlighting members of our team.

After many years working with different people and products, Paul is no stranger to facing creative challenges that offer no obvious solutions. Yet he’s learned to embrace these roadblocks by approaching them with a curiosity that allows him to think outside the box. 

“Early on I kind of shifted from that mindset of, ‘I'm making this thing for the purpose of making this thing’ to, ‘what problems or issues or challenges exist within a company and how can media potentially offer a solution?’”

“That, a lot of the time, requires innovation. There’s no real roadmap for what that is. It’s an idea that people haven’t thought of yet.” 

By reframing his approach to creative challenges, Paul is able to produce work that answers difficult questions and demystifies complicated products. But how does curiosity play into his innovative work? 

“There’s so much to be curious about. There’s so much to wonder about. I don’t know if that comes from being a kid or if that’s just a human thing, but I find that when you’re able to tap into that, and give yourself permission to be curious, it can lead to great journeys and great accomplishments.”

How Falling Short Opens New Doors

Three years ago when Paul first met Brian, our founder and CEO, the two set out to create an ad campaign to expose new customers to Oats Overnight. 

“The first thing we did was a series of basic ads that we thought were going to grab peoples’ attention.” Though they saw some success from the campaign, they weren’t satisfied with the results. “It kind of fell short in a way where people didn’t really have an understanding of the product.”

So they went back to the drawing board, with no obvious direction in sight other than to let their curiosity guide them in a radical new direction. 

“We leaned into this idea, What if people taste-tested it for the first time on camera and gave a genuine reaction? We pulled only the most genuine moments from that footage, including people who didn’t like the product or were skeptical about it.”

In the marketing world, showcasing negative reactions to your product might be considered a taboo approach. 

“That was different. I’ve worked for other companies before where they want to present the product only in the most positive light possible.”

So how did the new approach resonate with customers? 

“We made a campaign that we still use today. It turned out to be very successful.”

By framing their failure as an opportunity for growth, Paul and Brian were able to innovate a simple campaign into something powerful that spoke to new customers in a refreshing way. 

“What we wanted above all was for it to be honest and authentic.” Three years later, those same values still guide Paul as he takes on his everyday challenges as creative director. 

“I’m doing a lot of what I was doing with those initial shoots with Brian. Looking at how we want to grow and asking, What’s the mission that’s driving us?”

When we routinely challenge ourselves, we’re bound to come up short. It’s a fact of both life and business. But when we approach our failures, missteps, and roadblocks with curiosity and a desire for growth, we might just find a better way forward. 

Join Our R&D Team

Our company’s story began around our founder’s kitchen table when he asked himself a simple question, “Can overnight oats be even more convenient than the make-it-yourself version?” What emerged after many rounds of experimentation was our mold-breaking Overnight Oats Shake. This spirit of innovation infuses everything we do, especially our collaboration with customers who help us develop flavors. We’d love to have you on our team and fuel your personal innovation with a nutrient-dense breakfast, too.

If you need to restock your supply, check out some of our new flavors. 

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About Oats Overnight

Enjoy the benefits of eating breakfast with none of the work. Overnight oatmeal loaded with superfoods like flax, chia, maca root, and 20g+ of protein. No recipes needed. Life Is Hard, Make Breakfast Easy.