The brief was "put masculinity back into cocktails," and to make sure not to mention dads drink it. Canadian Club had an aging audience, and wanted to target a younger, hipper crowd who didn't have a "go to" cocktail. The last thing they wanted to do was associate their brand with an out-of-touch old guy. We thought wait, when dads were our age, they were picking up Pan Am stewardesses and getting in fights and winning. They were studs. Let's celebrate the man we see in old photos and think "I've never been as cool as that guy."
Photographs were enthusiastically supplied by client and agency employees, while the main images in the print were shot by the brilliant Robert Whitman.
Beam is the white hat no bullshit brand. They exhibit true character and do things the right way with a recipe handed down by Jacob Beam to his great, great, great grandson Freddy Noe, the current master distiller. Beam's an American icon, and bourbon – not whiskey – is our country's official spirit as voted by Congress in 1964.
How to launch Crunchy Nut, the UK's most popular cereal with adults, in the US? The strategy was not to talk about how great it tastes, but to target people who love sweet, nutty cereals and eat them in non-breakfast situations. This, apparently, is a lot of us. Give it a fun voice, and demonstrate it's a taste you just have to have. Not morning? Well that's not going to stop me.
My dad's first car was a Chevy and he drives a Chevy truck today. It was fun being able to work on such an American icon. Jon Eckman and I commuted back and forth to Goodby's Detroit office in 2012 before the whole Commonwealth partnership disbanded. It was awesome being able to work for Ralph Watson and Larry Frey.
At the time this campaign was produced, it was legal in 36 US States to fire someone just for being gay. We asked people who were fed up with being in the closet at work to "come out" to their bosses on camera, and risk their jobs, in an effort to raise awareness and change the law in States we had a chance of doing so. Nobody got fired, and the law changed to protect people from workplace discrimination in two States.
For gays and lesbians, American is 14 States that recognize our right to live free from job discrimination, and 36 States that don't.
One of the many thousands of now-defunct .com companies I worked on while at Butler, Shine & Stern in 2000. Most of the credit goes to Ryan Ebner and the photographer, who I'm not allowed to actually name. The brief, if there was one, was something about counter culture, talk value, and doing a tease. Our client couldn't have been cooler.
Kellogg's Hunger Bonds
You may not realize it, but we're in a food crisis. 1 in 6 US families depend upon food banks to feed their family. Kellogg's gives millions of dollars worth of cereal to Feeding America every year and they wanted to get the public involved in this effort. Instead of asking people for a one-time donation, let's solve the food crisis by fighting it like a crisis. Let's invest in Hunger Bonds. Buy any amount you want to, and in a few years' time, you get all your money back (should you opt to). Never has the country been asked to fight hunger by making money on it. We can do it!
Save money using Energy Star appliances. So much so you can treat yourself to other things you've always wanted but could never afford. And make it fun. So we hired an experienced improviser, Phil Morrison, and a tiny pony and shot in a New York apartment for two full days.
Energy Star "Pony"
Chateau Ste Michelle
Some of the best wine in the world comes from Washington State. Consistently winning awards but not getting credit for them, how do we brand Chateau Ste Michelle in a way that associates their wine with old world terroir, a burgundy-region parallel, and a product that rivals the best wines in France? Make them feel timeless and aspirational. Beautifully illustrated print, hand-drawn fonts, and posters that feel like they're 100 years old.
We wanted to posterize Jim Beam Black and make it aspirational. These had to run in Russia, as premium bourbon was going crazy over there, so the onus was on the visual. The brief was American, iconic, and simple. Telling a story through the lens of Beam Black we wanted it to feel timeless and cool as shit.
This was the first thing I worked on at DDB Seattle. I've never seen an agency put on a pitch like this. It was a coveted account, and the client wanted to get away from the humor Wongdoody had done (successfully) for so long. They wanted emotion, grit, and to reflect the values of the team. Since the Sonics didn't really have a winning record, we decided to talk about the truth of the bond. (Footnote: this was a few years before the Goodby "There Can Be Only One" NBA campaign.)
The North Face is worn by soccer moms and hip hop stars everywhere, but at their core they test their gear in the harshest places in the world by real athletes. How to remain relevant to their core audience? Show athletes using TNF gear to summit mountains, run ultramarathons, and climb the most extreme peaks with brilliant, beautiful doc photography.
Hilaree Nelson O'Neill
I find the sleet never stings nearly so much as the doubt.
I know that right now, somewhere, a water cooler is bubbling unattended.
You've got to be careful, the smallest step in the wrong direction and you could end up behind a desk somewhere.
Sears wanted to remind people they're the best place to get gifts for loved ones around the holidays. Your significant other dropping not-so-subtle hints about something they really want? We have that. So hire David Shane and Matt Walsh, step back and roll camera.
DDB Seattle did a Martin Luther King Jr awareness campaign for about 20 years. The year I worked on it, the brief was to never forget the civil rights struggle, so that we as a country continue on in the right direction. Eric Gutierrez and I had a thought about segregated advertising, which would immediately put readers back in time. How can you honor MLK without truly remembering segregation?
Having Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads as one of your clients is fun. Having your writer go around San Francisco with his Polaroid shooting garages and writing killer copy is also nice. Working on a dot com in 1999 who's about to go under wasn't so great. But 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
Some work that deserves to be on here, but not necessarily part of any big campaign.
A poster I did while at Pyro. Copy by Todd Tilford. Photos by Scott Harben.
More Pyro work. Copy by Todd Tilford.
Mineral Policy Center
A pro-bono project by Dave Loew and myself. These magnets were made and distributed in Congressional bathrooms throughout Washington D.C.
Mineral Policy Center
Postcards mailed to Congressmen and women throughout D.C. Copy by Dave Loew.
A project for DDB Seattle's Issues & Advocacy department. Copy by Eric Gutierrez.