The first time I realized that a great idea is only great if you can actually make it. Back in 2006, we built a see-through swimming pool on a truck so that people can see the magic of synchronized swimming like never before for Olay & the Canadian Olympic Synchronized Swim Team.
The first time I realized how insight and brand promise can drive incredible creativity was when I helped launch the Axe brand in the US, pushing the envelope of great experiential work and some off-the-wall and iconoclastic creativity from 2006 onward. Too many awards to count.
The first time I realized how new communications tools (in this case, text messaging!) can be harnessed for mass movements and experiential augmentation was for this Effie-winning campaign in 2009 for Orbitz.
The first time I truly realized the power of a great purpose-led idea was launching American Express Small Business Saturday in 2010. It was an honor to harness the intentional creativity on this multi-award-winning work that continues to this day.
2010 was also the year that I got a bit scared as a leader by the scale and complexity of a never-been-done-before experiential and concert tour for Jose Cuervo where we used lived video streaming, hashtags and SMS – almost 10 years ago! — to create a multi-city sensory extravaganza on a scale the brand had never attempted.
The first time I realized that brand purpose was going to be a hot topic was in 2013 when I uttered “purpose is the new digital” at the Forbes CMO conference. That was also when I launched School, one of the first brand purpose agencies in the country.
The first time that I worked with a friend as a client and we produced weird, zany and arresting work for a low-key brand like Tivo, including Adweek’s “Ad of the Week” that wasn’t an ad at all.
The first time I found it possible to shoot a short-form documentary in Armenia, make it compelling enough to help reinvigorate a 100-year-old non-profit and change lives – for the price of a low-end Toyota.
The first time I actually led a brand’s transformation from product-focused to purpose-focused and helped an entire island rebound after a hurricane, raising millions of dollars with a foundation we created and proving purpose marketing works.