Great things happen when worlds collide.
And since 1997, PopTech has been one of the leading places for it to happen. PopTech brings together a global community of innovators from many different fields—science, technology, design, corporate and civic leadership, public health, social and ecological innovation, and the arts and humanities, among others—to share insights and work together to create lasting change.
I was thrilled when the team at COLLINS asked me to help craft a film to kick off the 4-day conference and transform this audience of luminaries from “attendees” into “instigators” eager to have their world views and ideas collide with one another. Since then, it has become one of the most downloaded videos in PopTech’s history.
Before vitaminwater hit the scene in 1996, water was just water. But, by adding some color and vitamins to it, plus pharmaceutical-inspired graphics and an irreverent voice to the bottle, they made water something else—iconic.
Fast forward 20 some odd years, when COLLINS asked me to help capture their amazing brand revitalization as well as the story of vitaminwater in a brand book. It was an opportunity for us to take that witty, clever tone from the bottle and run with it for hundreds of pages. (296, to be exact.)
Part history, part strategy, and part guidelines, the vitaminwater brand book celebrates their bold persona as the champions of vibrancy they’ve always been—from their vivid design, to their unmistakable voice, and their endless variety of flavors.
London Design Week Awards — Best in Show/Print Communications
One Club — Silver Pencil
Bose Frames are more than sunglasses with a soundtrack—they’re a prime example of how Bose continues to innovate the way we listen (and look) at the world around us.
Each style is a classic silhouette with discreet Bluetooth speakers built-in, so you can stream music and take calls without tuning out of the world around you.
Working with COLLINS, we found inspiration between the tensions at play in the product—sight and sound, fashion and function, the explicit and the implied.
The result is language, type, and design that has fun with an experience you have to see (and hear) to believe—and product names, like Alto and Rondo, that marry musical vernacular to physical design styles.
Based on their mantra "We believe in doing," Mesa & Cadeira—one of Brazil's most innovative and sought after creative collectives—hand-picks professionals with various skills and gathers them around a single table (or Mesa in Portuguese).
There, we concept, develop, and make something great with clients in 5 days—not endlessly talk in circles for 5 months. As such, every mesa ends with a working prototype ready to be shared with the world.
To date, I've been asked to participate in two mesas for Fortune 50 clients as a storyteller and writer. While I'm currently not free to share work from those mesas, please visit www.mesa.do to get a feel for the projects and clients they have been involved with.
While many people know of Watson thanks to its now-famous Jeopardy appearance, very few understand how it's used by IBM clients across the planet.
Far from being the evil AI overlord we all bow down to, it turns out Watson’s cognitive capabilities are augmenting employee performance at companies—and locations—you might not expect.
Such is the case with Woodside, Australia’s largest energy company. Instead of being handled with kid gloves in some antiseptic server room, Watson works with engineers on a oil platform 70 miles off the coast of Western Australia. It’s a job where the elements are severe and human lives depend on understanding the data that surrounds them.
To document this, we shot a series of films accompanied by a long-form article on Medium and social media campaign to offer a more detailed case study to C-level decisions makers.
Agency: The Barbarian Group
Nationwide inked star NFL QB (and omnipresent advertising spokesperson) Peyton Manning and asked Ogilvy how best to use him.
Our answer? Have him pitch your brand, not your products.
That meant having one of the world's most recognizable jingles stuck in the head of one of the world's most recognizable athletes. Even when he's eating a chicken parm.
The campaign hit a chord with people across the country, including fans, players and celebrities, to the point where Peyton was being asked to autograph balls with his lines.
The next year, we followed Peyton around once again, as well as created specific ads to run during the three Thanksgiving Day NFL games and the holidays.
Featured in AdAge
Once Nationwide saw football fans around the country were coming up with their own versions of Peyton's Jingle, they asked us to work directly with NFL teams to capture the pre-season thoughts of super fans around the league.
For young guys, grooming is an easy way to gain confidence. When they nail their look (from eyebrows to ankles) they believe they can do anything.
However, most young guys didn't think Norelco could help. They assumed electric shavers were for poorly groomed AARP members.
At Ogilvy, we changed their view on electric shavers by demonstrating the ways Norelco—and the Click& Style in particular—helps guys achieve their perfect look and reach the ultimate level of self-confidence.
Thanks to a strong integrated push, we got young guys to clear the shelves at most major retailers—and got their their moms super pissed at us in the process.
Featured in Adweek, Creativity, Huffington Post, Archive, Mashable
FWA Site of the Day // FWA Mobile Site of the Day // Google Creative Sandbox Showcase
Boycotted by One Million Moms
Client: Philips Norelco
Coca Cola was looking for another way to make people smile, so we decided to make people put on a t-shirt.
"The Wearable Movie" sets out to thank some of Coke's fans around the world—from the concierge in their Atlanta office, to their millionth fan in Mumbai—using a movie. But not just any movie: we printed each frame on a t-shirt, then shipped them off to fans all over the globe with a note to wear the shirt and take a photo using a specially designed website.
Then we stitched all the frames together (spoiler: I'm frame #1) in a Psyop-directed film about about two friends trying to get a pair of lips to smile.
Shortlisted at Cannes
Featured in Creativity
After spending seven years under an umbrella campaign for all Holiday Inn properties, Holiday Inn Express was looking to return to the line it made famous.
We brought back "No... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night." in ways that were both familiar (film & TV) and new (OOH, guerrilla, in-hotel, experiential), to remind travelers they can Stay Smart even when they have to stay somewhere other than home.
Featured in Adweek, Creativity, The New York Times, USA Today
Progress is overrated. At least that's what Frank Druffel, the fictional Post Shredded Wheat CEO we created, likes to say.
We turned Post Shredded Wheat's perceived negative—the fact that it's been the same, dusty old cereal since 1892—into a positive by shining a light on modern life. So many innovations that were supposed to improve life, from food to finance, have actually mucked it up. But not Shredded Wheat. They got it right over 120 years ago and stuck with it.
Frank made the argument for Shredded Wheat putting the "no" in innovation wherever he could, including TV, major print publications, the web, social channels, and a 6-episode online series about a cereal company that does everything it can to do nothing.
Cannes Lion — Titanium & Integrated
Let's be honest. Between climate change and wars over oil, drinking a bottle of still water shipped from Italy is kind of a jerk move. Unless, of course, you're part of Acqua Panna's target audience—wealthy die-hard foodies.
Those also happen to be the people who appreciate Acqua Panna's (true) story: It's bottled from the Medici family's personal 400-year-old spring in Tuscany. The same Medici family that amassed boatloads of money and power in the middle ages, threw lavish dinner parties, and became patrons of the Renaissance.
In the second iteration of this campaign, we used print and online to sell the history of the water as much as the water itself (which is pretty good). Popes drank it. Royalty drank it. Hell, Michelangelo drank it.
We even consulted with a Columbia University professor of medieval art to ensure the paintings we used could be traced back to the Medici's collection or patronage.
Client: Nestlé Waters
KFC wanted their own version of "I'm Lovin' It"—a line with a positive, yet open-ended meaning—when they asked for their first-ever global tagline and positioning. That meant it had to make sense next to a fried drumstick in Shanghai or a grilled chicken breast in Sheboygan, WI.
We came back with "So Good." Two simple words that come to mind when you bite into the perfect piece of chicken… or describe KFC's secret recipe… or chose something healthy… or do something positive in your community… or...
The line and platform continue to be used by KFC's agencies across 6 continents and in dozens of languages.
Client: Yum! Brands
Chiclets is one of the few chewing gums left that doesn't do anything. It doesn't whiten, brighten, or freshen. It's flavored chewing gum. Period.
As a result, Chiclets asked us to make ads for people who still just chew gum for the fun of it—12-year-olds. We responded with a campaign that taps into tweens' general angst, raging hormones, love of toilet humor, and proclivity to doodle on anything to bring this gum to life.
Client: Cadbury Adams
On one side of the brief was the objective—show people using MasterCard PayPass. On the other was the list of people who should be using it. I drew NFL QB Vinny Testeverde and the Red Paperclip guy.
As a Jets fan, I was torn about writing for Vinny since he was on the Patriots backing up Tom Brady at the time—but the chance at a Super Bowl spot helped me put aside my allegiances. (Of course, as a Jets fan even that didn't go right. It ran during the AFC & NFC Championship games instead.)
The Cartoon Caption Contest is consistently the best creative brief out there: Be funny, be concise, and be unexpected.
Evidently, I nailed all three one week. (At least according to the cartoon editor and readers of The New Yorker.)