People get into creative advertising for many different reasons. Some aspire to be creative, some crave fame, some think it sounds more fun or accessible or easier to get into than fields like architecture and engineering.
I got into advertising because I like challenges. For years, my personal mantra has been “Take the path of maximum resistance," which I openly stole from Deutsch CD and my former Chiat partner Jin Park. I loosely translate this to mean that the hardest way of doing something can often be the most rewarding, and at the very least there's more to learn along the way.
In advertising, every project presents a new and different set of challenges. Especially these days, between various platforms and channels, digital and social, mobile and experiential. The industry has never been more fragmented. When I went to portfolio school, there was print and there was TV. 99% of advertising was one of these two mediums. But in today's advertising environment, you can't just take what worked last time and apply it to the next brief. It's not just the piece of art that's different, it's the frame the art lives in.
A few years of doing traditional advertising taught me that I didn't find traditional challenging enough. I wanted to take on digital. So I freelanced on all sorts of digital projects for about a year, until I had the chops to join a strategic, tech-based agency that was all about ideas and innovations. That was over 4 years ago, which is just short of an eternity in advertising years.
After overcoming all types of digital challenges for the past 4 years, it’s time to take on a new challenge. One I think is my second biggest challenge yet, well behind baby. I’ve gone and joined Leo Burnett NY, a small and growing outpost of the storied global network that focuses on branded arts and entertainment. I couldn’t be more excited and scared.
I don't believe in ads, which is why I went digital in the first place. I believe in platforms that have a purpose and content that entertains. After having a hand in creating dozens of useful platforms, I'm ready to join a team that's all about producing amazing content that gets people talking.
After all, I didn’t get into advertising to be comfortable. And I’m certainly about to start taking the easy route now. Here’s to new things!
Here are some of the projects that made me want to join Leo Burnett NY in the first place:
Stage a Broadway play called 8 Million Protagonists.
Launch tech start-up FiLIP, a smartwatch for kids
Help the UN draw attention to World Humanitarian Day.
Collect the most interesting stories from people in the world's most interesting city.