In dramatic fashion, the Cardinals won the World Series.
Then, they lost.
They lost Albert Pujols, the league’s best player, and Tony LaRussa, a first-ballot, hall-of-fame manager.
Rather than simply remind fans that the team won last year, we made it a point to show them that the Cardinals weren't merely defending a championship. They were out to prove themselves all over again.
They had a collective chip on their shoulder, and we were determined to share that with the rest of St. Louis.
Billboards and bus shelters around the city declared that the Redbirds were more than ready after a short off-season.
And television showcased the great (and fun) team that would take the field in the Spring.
As president of the St. Louis Ad Club, I've been fortunate enough to help introduce new programming to the local community. So far, my favorite thing that we've done is launch the first-ever "Internship Hop."
It's a chance for a pack of multi-disciplinary interns to work one-week stints at 8 different creative companies in St. Louis. They get to experience a variety of places where they can ply their skills right out of school. (And get paid.)
St. Louis is a unique community in its diversity of creative companies. With small agencies, big brands, production companies, event marketers, promotions shops, design firms and more, there's a true smorgasbord of opportunity.
Plus, it's a great chance for these companies to gain some notoriety through organic PR on social media. But above all, it shows off the vibrance and collaborative spirit of this amazing community.
A large group of people helped get this off the ground, including Gabriella Biasiotta, Sierra Thompson and Oliver Muenz-Winkler. Creative credit goes to Angela Bode, Jake Houska and Nate Kneezel. I even got in on the fun with a few of the lines. There are 8 posters in total that were sent to participating schools and companies in the region.
I think I might apply.
Purina launched the pet food industry over a century ago. And their unwavering dedication to people and their pets has made them the household name they are today.
However, in the realm of specialty diets, Purina lagged behind the competition.
In order to shed the image of a generic, “grocery store” brand, we needed to show them as the passionate pioneers they truly are. And as it turns out, all we had to do was tell the story through the eyes of their employees.
A rescue cat researcher in Colorado, a sprint dog racer in Alaska, an immunologist, product developers and veterinarians all display the passion of professionals at the tops of their fields who care deeply about what they do every day at work.
And we were privileged to map out and build an online experience that takes you through the very human side of research and development at Purina, where empirical data and genuine empathy combine to formulate their best-in-class products.
I dare you listen to Arleigh Reynolds talk about what he does, and try to resist the urge to move into a cabin and live with a team of sled dogs.
There's nothing more rewarding than witnessing your son or daughter engrossed in learning. Unless you're Kris Wright, my art director partner who got to witness his daughter acting like she was learning in this spot for The Magic House. (My son's in the very background of the last scene, too. Look for him.)
This assignment was a true joy, from the brief that stressed the importance of purposeful play to the final day of post production.
Business Circle by AT&T is an online platform designed to help small business owners learn from one another. In order to build awareness of this forum, we created a campaign to highlight the most agile small business owners from around the United States.
Chris Gardner, author of The Pursuit of Happyness, became our spokesman. His story of relentlessness provided the inspiration and the credibility to attract other small business owners to share their stories.
The campaign ran through online media only, with a heavy emphasis in social. In all, we created nearly 100 videos and saw a staggering amount of engagement and participation. And we had the chance to award five small business owners with grant money from The Agility Challenge.
It was an amazing journey to see this idea go from a piece of notebook paper to a multimedia organism.
$20,000 is a lot for a pair of speakers. Even for a writer.
So we created a benefit-driven brochure that translated nicely to spread ads that ran in multiple countries.
Fishermen don't retire. They graduate.
In a highly competitive market, the Reata by Ranger is a new kind of pontoon boat. Built on one of the most revered names in bass fishing, the "Quality of Life, Carefully Crafted" campaign launched in video, print and online media.
St. Louis is a pretty great place to visit, no matter how you get here.
Farmers are a self-reliant bunch. And when big-city electric companies decided it wasn’t worth the investment to run power all the way out to rural locations, they decided to pool their resources and create their own grid.
Decades later, the fruits of their labor are still being harvested by electric cooperatives and their constituents all across America.
And Touchstone Energy, the umbrella brand for over 800 of these co-ops, had occasion to recognize their quality-of-life-changing gumption that started it all.
For every writer, there comes a time to put his or her money where his or her mouth is. In my case, it was 'his' and while wasn’t much money, it was a fun experiment to see if creatively-driven advertising could generate some fervor around the extra stuff I needed to unload.
One empty basement and a happy girlfriend-turned-wife later, I’d say it worked. I’d also say that winning the “Best of Craigslist” was the most unexpected and flattering award I’ve received in my career.
In order to promote its affiliation with the MLB Reliever of the Year Award, The Hartford created these social videos profiling Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time. We showed how his upbringing in Puerto Caimito influenced his career on the mound.
Four days of footage from Panama and four hours with Mariano in New York led to these long-form pieces that we hope tie his mentality to The Hartford Small Business Insurance.
If you’re going to help out a charity these days, it seems like the next step is to tell everyone by posting about the experience on social media.
We decided to support this trend with some self-effacing facebook timeline images for those who served a worthy cause.
After all, they deserved it.
If you’ve never heard of this brand, don’t worry. It’s relatively new. In fact, I was fortunate enough to team up with the company before it was a brand.
Through a mutual friend, I agreed to help launch a doggy daycare in St. Louis. They had a business plan and a building. But above all, they had a philosophy.
They believed that dogs benefit from healthy socialization.
From there, we took off. Together. We named the company, created the identity and built a following that, five years later, sells out two locations (with more in the works).
We’ve done event marketing, billboards, banners, online contests, t-shirts, subsidiary brands, co-branded promotions, charity drives, social media, a TV spot, and we’re still coming up with new ways to separate The Watering Bowl from its competitors.
It’s been a labor of love and a wonderful testament to how shared values can take a company in a very crowded category and make them something people—and their dogs—line up to be a part of.
Every year around Lent, this menu item takes a more prominent role at McDonald's.
And evidently, Catholics aren’t the only ones looking forward to it.
Force isn’t necessarily the best way to encourage visits to your city. But when you add a little sense of humor and a teaser campaign that syncs with an online experience, it’s pretty fun.
We hired a (very willing) participant from Chicago and filmed him having a blast in St. Louis. We uploaded his experience and posted cryptic messages from an unnamed source all over the El in his hometown.
The responses we got were hilarious. And we had great time putting it all together.
Check out the campaign overview video to hear the story from the perspective of the kidnappee.
If you’ve ever bought furniture, you probably wanted to take a shower afterwards. Awkward salesmen, bad lighting, weird promotional efforts—it’s enough to make you want to keep your old couch.
Ashley Furniture acknowledged this all-too-common experience and poked a little fun at it with a slightly creepy, character-driven campaign.
McDonald’s does more than serve billions. It serves them quickly. And the few seconds they save their customers can come in handy from time to time.
Come to Bass Pro Shops for great advice and a decent sense of humor.
Baseball history is incomplete without understanding the contributions of the Negro Leagues. The state tourism department issued this set of posters to help a unique Kansas City attraction celebrate its anniversary.
Close one eye and squint if you want to read just how accurate these things are.
Working at a great agency means you get to help out on campaigns you didn't initiate. In this case, Peter Rodick and Kay Cochran came up with the "The Warehouse of The Unexpected" for The Hartford Insurance. Then, they invited me to throw in a few scripts. I was lucky enough to travel to Toronto for filming, and we even added a spot in the campaign geared toward baseball fans.
At St. Vincent, understanding how to treat a patient starts with understanding the person. This campaign showcased inspiring stories in all media, but the long-form versions that lived online were the ones that stuck with me.
Art has a way of connecting with people that can be hard to describe in an ad.
Unless you use humor. Then, it’s really easy.
When running an ad campaign in Star Trek Communicator magazine, one way to stand out is to embrace the nerdom of your audience.
This simple but true effort was pulled due to a couple complaints that emerged from a someone's mom's basement.
For these point-of-sale displays, we decided to highlight the pain gauge on each bottle of Original Juan’s Pain Is Good hot sauce.
And we wanted to describe the heat in terms even a guy at a grocery store could understand.
Growing up listening to Jack Buck on KMOX made this spot especially important to me. That and the fact that I wrote it with my own dad in mind.
My uncle owns a successful model train store. And his clientele are passionate to the point that they often don’t disclose to their spouses just how much they invest tiny locomotives and figurines.
So, we created a series of posters that Uncle Bob could give out to his loyalists to pin up near their train boards.
Maybe their wives liked them, too.