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The 25 Most Creative People In Advertising
from Business Insider
1. Gerry Graf, Founder/CCO of Barton F. Graf 9000
The entire advertising world is watching what BFG9000 is up to. Graf is known for his absurd, laugh out loud work. He created the "It's time for E*Trade" campaign (remember the monkey?), did the Skittles ad where everything a man touches turns to Skittles, and has done work for FedEx, Red Stripe Beer, Kayak, and Mayor Giuliana's "New York Miracle" campaign spot after 9/11.
2. Elvis Chau, Executive Creative Director of JWT Shanghai
Chau is known creating ads that are visually detailed and stunning. His print ad for Samsonite (next slide) called "Heaven and Hell" garnered wide critical acclaim and received a bevy of prizes, including the Grand Prix Lion. Chau also won awards for his Adidas Chinese Olympics campaign. Chau modestly told Campaign that "advertising has no value after one year...That’s the sad thing about it. It doesn’t have the longevity of movies, art or books.”
3. Mark Fitzloff and Susan Hoffman, Executive Creative Directors at Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Fitzloff and Hoffman helped push W+K Portland to be the critically aclaimed advertising house that it is today, reeling in some of its biggest clients yet.
We can all thank Fitzloff and Hoffman for one of the best known ad campaigns to date: Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Can Smell Like." They (along with Iain Tate, now at Google Creative Labs) are the reason why Isiah Mustafa was in the spots and is now a household name. "The executive management team in Portland oversees every piece of creative from our office," their colleagues say. That includes Chrysler's poignant "Imported from Detroit" Superbowl campaign as well as Levi's "Go Forth."
4. David Lubars, BBDO North America Chairman and CCO
According to Lubars' colleagues, "David has been, by far and away, the most successful creative leader in our industry whose name is NOT on a door." He helped build Monahan, Fallon, and BBDO, proving that he could adapt to small, medium, and large-sized shops.
Lubars has recently done highly recognizable work for the Superbowl: Betty White shilling Snickers, and the recent introduction of M&M's Ms. Brown. Furthermore, "his “BMW Films” series is legendary. But at BBDO, his HBO Voyeur multimedia program was the most awarded piece of work at Cannes in 2008. That was followed by another breakthrough effort for HBO, “Imagine,” which was similarly applauded at Cannes two years later. For Starbucks, he conceived the “Love Project,” which set a Guinness Book World Record for the single largest global live event." He has won multiple Cannes Grand Prix and Emmies.
5. Stephen Goldblatt, Executive Creative Director at EVB
While at Goodby, Sliverstein and Partners, Goldblatt did the creative for Subway, Comcast, Saturn, and HP—for which he co-created HP's award-winning "hands" campaign starring Jay-Z, Jerry Seinfeld, and Serena Williams. More recently, he has done particularly noteworthy social work for Skittles ("Mob the Rainbow"), Altoids ("Curiously Strong Awards"), and Juicy Fruit ("Serenading Unicorn"). These did well at Cannes as well as Facebook's inaugural advertising awards.
6. Nick Law, CCO of R/GA North America
Law blended the aesthetically pleasing and artistic with the technologically advanced when designing the Nike+ Fuelband, a social platform that allows users to track their fitness goals and progress on cool-looking wristband. This earned R/GA two Grand Prix at Cannes.
8. Mark Gross, executive creative director at DDB Chicago
Mark Gross started his career in 1990 designing movie titles and logos in New York City. He was a junior art director at Chiat/Day in 1991, creating work for MTV, Reebok, and American Express, and then landed a gig at DDB Chicago as an art director in 1994. Oh, and he flies a Cessna in his spare time.
Gross currently oversees the creative on Skittles (you know, those strange ads where kids have skittles growing off their bodies?), Starburst, Cars.com (he did the Superbowl ad that starred a guy with two heads), and Bud Light. The creative famously penned Bud Light's "Real Men of Genius" radio ad and has won almost every award in the book from Clios, to Grand Prix, to an Emmy for "Outstanding Commercial."
9. Jose Miguel Sokoloff, President and CCO of Lowe SSP3 Colombia
Sokoloff's colleagues told us that "Jose Miguel is of that rare breed – a creative leader who is also a great business leader. He is brave and constantly innovates." He goes beyond creating traditional ads and is dedicated to big picture campaigns to achieve social justice.
Sokoloff headed a campaign called "Operation Christmas" for the Colombian Ministry of Defense that aimed to fully demobilize the FARC guerrilla terrorists from a war that has was waged over 60 years). He got investment from the Colombian government to launch a clothing line called "Chance" that would be made and designed by former guerrilla fighter. The line launched at Bogota Fashion Week in May 2012. "Jose Miguel made Operation Christmas one of the most awarded campaigns in the world in 2011 and 2012, winning more Grand Prix in effectiveness and creativity than any other agency in the world," his colleagues said.
10. Jenny Nicholson, Associate Creative Director at McKinney
Nicholson joined McKinney as a proofreader in 2004—a year later, she was creating integrated campaigns for Travelocity and Sony. Her colleagues told us that Nicholson's work "often blurs the lines between campaign and conversation, whether she’s inviting consumers to sexy text with Virgin Mobile or challenging people to play a game about homelessness."
Nicholson is all about creative multimedia campaigns. She has put the Travelocity gnome on Chatroulette, created a Twitter enabled "Terrible Towel" that spun around whenever a fan tweeted #steelersnation, and created "promiscuous txt" training sessions called "Let's have Txt" for Virgin Mobile on Valentine's Day. Nicholson says, "Along with a team of trained operators, I personally spent 14 hours a day for almost two weeks posing as the fireman, the housewife, the nurse, the secretary, the plumber and the cowboy. As a result, I've got a vocabulary of euphemistic puns you wouldn't believe. Let's just say, it's quite sizable."
She most notably created a Clio award winning interactive game for the Urban Ministries of Durham called SPENT which tests users' abilities to survive homelessness and poverty.
11. Colin Jeffery, Executive Creative Director of David & Goliath
Jeffery has hopscotched from agencies around the world—Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore, King James Cape Town, TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg, Arnold in Boston—before settling in as executive creative director at David & Goliath.
If you've seen the ad with the Party Rocking hamsters driving Kias, then you're familiar with Jeffery's work. He's won a slew of Clios, Cannes Lions, One Show, and Effies. Jeffery's creative goes beyond traditional advertising and into user engagement. During NBA All-Star Weekend, he was responsible for Blake Griffin slam dunking over a Kia Optima.
12. Neil Heymann, group creative director, Droga5 New York
Formerly at CP+B, where he worked on award winning campaigns for Burger King (remember "Simpsonize Me" and the "Whopper Sacrifice"?), VW, and Coke Zero, Heymann moved to Droga5 in 2009 to do digital work.
Heymann was the creative director of Jay-Z's campaign for his book, Decoded. Heymann "hid" blown up pages from the book in cities across the U.S. and, with a cross-promotion with Bing, set up an interactive treasure hunt which led fans to the pages. The winner got a lifetime pass to Jay-Z concerts. Heymann's colleagues told us that "Neil's background in interactive and years spent at advertising agencies has made him an industry leader in cross-media integration. That, combined with his belief in the power of interactive media to connect emotionally with an audience, has seen him develop award-winning campaigns."
13. Lincoln Bjorkman, chief creative officer for Digitas North America
Bjorkman has developed work for clients including GM and Comcast, but one of his most recent claims to fame is his role as CCO (with Rob Reilly and Jeff Benjamin) on American Express' "Small Business Saturday" campaign, which effectively mobilized consumers to frequent stores owned by small businesses. "Small Business Saturday" won Facebook's inaugural advertising prize along with a Lions Grand Prix at Cannes.
14. Wade Alger, Creative Director at The Martin Agency
Alger co-created the "Life Comes At You Fast" campaign for Nationwide Insurance while at GSD&M and has created other award-winning campaigns at Martin, namely for Geico. His colleagues told us that "His comedy writing for GEICO is best showcased in the “Rhetorical Questions” TV campaign. Not only is the premise funny, but the punchlines are LOL. And his real-time re-creation of the 1969 moon landing for the JFK Presidential Library is considered one of the best digital experiences ever, winning more awards than any ad campaign in 2010."
15. Youna Chung, Yeonjoo Lee, Youbin Bang, and Misu Yi; copywriter and art directors at Cheil Worldwide
Together, these women made up a team that came out with "Tesco's Home Plus Subway Virtual Store" which swept the awards show circuit last year. Basically, the campaign brought the grocery store experience into a subway station by blowing up an image of a super market fridge along with QR codes where the prices should go so that people can make real purchases with their phones. If one buys the items, they will be delivered by the time they get home from the subway. This mixture of ambient design and mobile commerce increased the store's online sales by 130 percent from November 2010 to January 2011.
16. Rei Inamoto, Chief Creative Officer, AKQA
Since joining AKQA in 2004, Inamoto has worked for big-name clients including Google, Nike (featuring Lebron James), Kraft, Xbox, and Visa. But he has also made a name for himself by giving back to the community. He oversees the annual Future Lions global student advertising competition, was the driving force behind "Creatives Unite for Japan" (following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami), and did the creative for nonprofit Pencils of Promises' "Made with Pencils" campaign.
17. Doug Fallon and Steve Fogel, creative directors at Grey NY
This creative team is the brains behind the DirecTV ads in which everyone's lives goes completely to hell for not having ordered the television service (don't have a grandson with dog collars, reenacting scenes from "Platoon" with Charlie Sheen). Heck, they're even Bill Clinton's favorite ads on television. Fallon told Creativity Online, "The nice thing is we write pretty much everything together. And we both find the same shit funny. We'll feed off each other and keep working until we feel we've got it."
18. Jerome Austria, Freelance
Before Austria entered the advertising world, he fueled planes at an airport, collected carts in Costco's parking lot, and helmed the night shift at a security guard. Since then he has worked on award-winning campaigns at R/GA, AKQA, Wieden+Kennedy (building a 20 person interactive team from scratch), and most recently Deutsch LA. But a wild soul can never be tamed: Austria is currently on an advertising break and taking a four month surfing trip around the world. He'll be back in freelance capacity soon enough though.
Colleagues describe Austria as "easily the best hybrid creative in advertising... Jerome has been able to consistently and seamlessly integrate old school brand storytelling with cutting edge technology to produce some of the most original and innovative creative ideas that the industry has ever seen." He has worked on Coca-Cola's account, brought Dwayne Wade to Brand Jordan, created an interactive Nike commercial featuring Rihanna, and most recently created Volkswagen's 16 million view Superbowl teaser "The Bark Side" in which dogs bark the Imperial March. He continues to do great work for VW.
19. Carlo Cavallone, Creative Director/Writer for 72andSunny
In the words of his employers, "Cavallone's creativity lacks method. He keeps it quite stupid, naïve and follows his instincts. It is a very emotive process and never a rational one. He hates repetition and always approaches every project in an experimental way, not knowing what will happen at the end. He believes in taking risks and they usually pay off." His Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions for his work on Benetton's controversial UnHate campaign—featuring various politicians kissing—is proof that the risk is worth it.
20. Mark Lewis and Matt Fitch, creatives at BBH London
Lewis and Fitch are the creative force behind numerous big-client campaigns, like last year's outdoor ads for Google Voice Search that showed phonetic spellings of tube stops in stations throughout London. But they've most recently made headlines for the Cannes Lion-winning "Three Little Pigs" campaign for The Guardian. The epic two-minute spot shows how print, broadcast, online, and social media coverage might shape news coverage of a fairy tale if it occurred in real life.
21. Geoffrey Hantson and Katrien Bottez, executive creative directors at Duval Guillaume
Hantson and Bottez have been the creative directors of many of Duval Guillaume's best viral videos. They are the brains behind TNT's "Push to Add Drama" stunt (which got 3.3 million views days after it was posted), campaigns for a parenting hot line in which children sang profanity-filled carols in a shopping mall, and Carlsberg's "Bikers" videos.
22. Rhett McLaughlin and Charles "Link" Neal
Rhett and Link are famous for making hilarious local-style ads for real companies, like Ojai Valley Taxidermy and Red House Furniture, "Where black people and white people buy furniture." They seem to have found the key to creating viral videos, Rhett and Link currently have approximately 875,000 subscribers to their YouTube page and supplement their video-making by selling sponsorships on their page.
23. Jimmy Smith, CEO and CCO of Amusement Park Entertainment
After spending years working at Wieden & Kennedy, BBDO, and TBWA/Chiat/Day LA, Smith decided to break off and create his own agency. Smith now runs Amusement Park Entertainment, which has a mission to create branded content for everything from film to action figures. Oh, and he has a "No Assholes Allowed" policy—it's a sign on his door. He's scooped up incredible talent, including Donna Lamar. EXPLAIN
Smith has served as creative director for Motorola, Nike (he wrote the MTV documentary "Battlegrounds"), and is best known for his work for Gatorade. He oversaw "Replay," which allowed high school sports teams to "relive their glory days," and re-branded Gatorade as just "G." Even though his new company is still developing, Kraft and Nokia are interested