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Talking to Ourselves
by Omid Farhang
Category: Management
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by Omid Farhang
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March 09, 2021 02:34 PM PST

Ryan Reynolds and George Dewey are the co-founders of Maximum Effort, the subversive marketing company racking up viral hits, lighting up pop culture, and disrupting the industry.

Ryan Reynolds is best known for co-writing, producing and starring in the Deadpool franchise. He is the owner of Mint Mobile, as well as Aviation Gin, which was acquired last year by Diageo for $660 million dollars.

George Dewey spent 16 years at McCann, working up the ranks from intern to ECD. After stints at SpaceX, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna Pictures, George joined Ryan in 2018 as President of Maximum Effort.

Some of the agency’s greatest hits include the ad campaign for Deadpool 2 that defied every convention of entertainment marketing. The longstanding Ryan Reynolds vs Hugh Jackman feud to cross promote Aviation Gin and Laughing Man coffee. Reprising the infamous Peloton actress to star in an Aviation promo. And “Match Made in Hell,” an ad for Match.com depicting the whirlwind romance of the devil and the female personification of “2020.”

January 25, 2021 07:06 AM PST

Guy Shelmerdine is one of the most respected commercial directors of the past two decades, known for his inspiring focus on craft, performance, characters and concept with a comedic through line. He joined the production company SMUGGLER in 2003 shortly after winning Best New Director at Cannes. He has helmed award-winning spots for clients such as MINI Cooper, IKEA, Virgin Mobile, Coca-Cola, Honda, Range Rover, Skittles, Snickers, Volkswagen, Weetabix, and Barclays Bank. He’s a rare talent to find equal levels of success in the US and European markets. Recent notable work includes his campaign for UberEats featuring Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill, the Star Wars vs. Star Trek face-off we’ve all been waiting for. Other fan favorites include his inventive work for Starburst “Vertical Salon”, considered a technical feat of production design. Guy also created the pioneering VR genre experience, Catatonic, the first ever live-action virtual reality horror film, which was lauded at SXSW, Cannes and Comic Con. He’s a storyteller and comedy maker who has created one of the most original and distinctive bodies of work in advertising.

December 22, 2020 01:59 PM PST

Luke Sullivan is a professor of advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He is the author of "Hey Whipple Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads," considered one of the most iconic and valuable resources ever written on how to succeed in the ad industry.
Luke’s award winning career in the agency world spanned over 30 years, including stops at elite shops like Fallon and The Martin Agency. Today in addition to his work at SCAD, he is a public speaker who has presented talks around the world on building platforms not just campaigns, leveraging cultural tensions to improve creativity, and practical advice on how to get the most out of creative people.
Originally published in 1998, "Hey Whipple Squeeze This" is now in its 5th edition. For those interested in pursuing an advertising career, it is commonly thought of as a sacred text by both Amazon critics and industry leaders. It was voted #5 in AdAge’s list of best all time marketing books.
Additionally, Luke just released his second book, a memoir called “30 Rooms To Hide In,” which Luke describes as “The Shining, but funnier.”

November 25, 2020 06:32 AM PST

Charisse Hughes is SVP & Global CMO of Kellogg's. She has spent her career at some of the most iconic global companies, including Sara Lee, Avon, and Estee Lauder, where she served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing. Prior to joining Kellogg's, she was CMO at Pandora, the world’s largest jewelry brand. Charisse is a graduate of Howard University and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.

November 04, 2020 11:46 AM PST

Roger Camp is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Camp+King, the agency he created in 2011 with partner Jamie King that combines brand storytelling with expertise in digital, social and content development, built on a simple philosophy to make brands quote Conversationworthy. Over the past decade, Camp+King has won the Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Award four times. They were selected as one of Outside Magazine’s "Best Places to Work in America" in 2018. In Fall of 2020, Camp+King was acquired by Havas.

Roger has had a storied career. In 1996, he joined Cliff Freeman as an art director. In 2000, he founded Camp/Arbues in San Francisco. The following year he was lured to Wieden+Kennedy to work as a creative director. In 2006, he became CCO at Publicis & Hal Riney.

In his 20+ years in the business, Roger has won every major creative award numerous times. He is one of the most-awarded art directors in the history of the D&AD Awards and was voted top art director in the country. He was also elected to the One Club’s Board of Directors, has had work featured on The Greatest Commercials of All Time list, and Adweek chose his Holiday Inn campaign as one of the Top Ten Funniest Commercials ever.

September 23, 2020 07:55 AM PDT

Omar Johnson served as CMO of Beats by Dre, VP Marketing at Apple, and account lead at Nike. Today he is the founder of Opus United, which most recently launched the content series "We The People" to fight for social change.
Famously as CMO of Beats, Omar helped grow a $20 million company into a $1.6 billion dollar category leader, becoming the #1 premium headphone in 21 countries.
In 2013, Adweek named Omar a “Brand Genius.” In 2016, Business Insider named him one of the “Most Innovative CMOs” for social media branding efforts including the “Straight Outta Somewhere” campaign, which reached over a billion people worldwide. He also led groundbreaking campaigns including #ShowYourColor, Powerbeats starring LeBron James, and The Pills featuring Chris Rock and Eminem. His use of viral marketing and influencers helped expand Beats into venues like the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Cup and NBA Finals.
Omar’s success as CMO culminated in 2014, when Beats was purchased by Apple for $3 billion.
Prior to Beats, Omar was at Nike, where he produced memorable TV commercials like “Rise,” starring LeBron James, and “The Most Valuable Puppets”. He also built the Nike+ sports music platform, establishing Nike’s first revenue-generating relationship with record labels.
Today in addition to running Opus United, he is an investor, keynote speaker and marketing coach.
In June of 2020, with the nation facing a reckoning on race, Omar personally took out a full page ad in The New York Times titled “My Open Letter to White Corporate America.”

August 31, 2020 02:34 PM PDT

Kristen Cavallo is CEO of The Martin Agency. She is the first female CEO in the company’s 56 year history. She was named AdAge’s 2019 Executive Of The Year.

Kristen spent over a decade at The Martin Agency in various strategy roles beginning in the late 90s, where she had a front row seat for some of the industry’s most iconic campaigns for Geico.

In 2014 she moved to Mullen Lowe, where she held positions as President, Chief Growth and Strategy Officer. During her tenure, Mullen was named to the AdAge A-List four times, as well as Creativity's Innovator of the Year and Fast Company's Most Innovative List.

In 2017, Kristen returned to The Martin Agency in the role of CEO, quickly taking key issues head on — eliminated the wage gap, championing diversity, and carrying on the creative legacy made famous by Martin through the decades, while producing double-digit growth with new clients like Buffalo Wild Wings, Sling TV, UPS, Old Navy and DoorDash.

August 11, 2020 07:09 AM PDT

Paul Hunter is a legendary music video director, commercial director, screenwriter, and Co-Founder of the acclaimed production company PRETTYBIRD.
Spanning over two decades, Paul has directed over 100 music videos, helping to define and redefine the genre. Some of his greatest works include The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” (MTV Best Rap Video), D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel?" (MTV Best R&B Video) and Christina Aguilera’s “Lady Marmalade” (Video of the Year). He’s also done videos for Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Dr. Dre, TLC, Madonna, U2, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Manson, Lenny Kravitz, Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J. Recently his video for Pharrell’s “Freedom” was nominated for Best Music Video at the Grammy Awards.
In 2008, Paul co-founded PRETTYBIRD. The company has been responsible for some of the most high-profile and renowned work of the past decade, in the process earning Grammys, Emmys, D&AD Awards and Cannes Lions. Creativity named PRETTYBIRD its Production Company of the Year in 2015.
Some of Paul’s greatest hits as a commercial director including Nike "Freestyle," Burger King “Stuff of Legends," the Grammy Promo for "Straight Outta Compton" starring Dr Dre and Ice Cube, as well as global campaigns for Sony, Adidas, Apple, Audi and Microsoft.
Paul is an innovator, a groundbreaker, and an industry icon.

July 20, 2020 03:58 PM PDT

Jimmy Smith is the Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Amusement Park, the branded content, marketing, and entertainment agency he founded in 2011.
Over a nearly four decade career starting in 1985 at Burrell Communications, Jimmy has worked alongside legends like Dan Wieden, David Lubars and Lee Clow.
During his time at Wieden, his creations for Nike include "Book of Dimes" starring Lebron James and Bernie Mac; the hip-hop basketball classic, "Nike Freestyle"; and the transformation of Vince Carter into “Dr. Funk.” He also wrote a documentary entitled "Battlegrounds" for Nike, which went on to be the highest rated show in the history of MTV 2.
In addition to winning all the big marketing awards like Cannes and One Show, Jimmy’s work has been recognized by the Smithsonian, and won Time Magazine’s “Ad of the Year.” As Group Creative Director on Gatorade, he received an Emmy Nomination for Gatorade Replay.
He's also credited with helping develop the storyline and characters for the video game NBA Street.
Heʼs written two books, including the 1997 release "Soul of the Game", which was featured at the Chicago Field Museum, The Basketball Hall of Fame, and the International Center of Photography in New York City.
In 2016, his newly formed record label Amusement Park music debuted its first single “Bigger Than Us,” featuring Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla.
He has been named to Fast Company’s Creative 100. He is not only an industry icon, but a powerful voice in the fight for racial equality in advertising.

July 01, 2020 09:45 AM PDT

Anselmo Ramos is Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of GUT, the independent agency he built in 2018, with offices in Miami, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires.

Over his career, Anselmo has won 195 Cannes Lions, including 7 Grand Prix. He’s been named to AdAge’s “Creativity 50”, Business Insider’s “24 Most Creative People in Advertising,” and Adweek’s “100 Most Creative People.”

He first came to prominence as Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo, where he create "Dove Real Beauty Sketches," a film that garnered over 200 million total views online, helping Ogilvy São Paulo win “2013 Agency of The Year” at Cannes.

Shortly thereafter, Anselmo co-founded DAVID, the Miami-based offshoot of Ogilvy, where he made some of the most famous work of the past decade for Burger King, including “Proud Whopper,” “Scariest BK,” "Burnings Stores," “Google Home of The Whopper,” and “Whopper Neutrality.” In 2017, DAVID Miami became Ad Age's Agency Innovator of The Year, and Adweek's Breakthrough Agency of The Year. Recently, DAVID and Burger King won the Penta Pencil at The One Show, awarded for a 5-year partnership and winning streak.

Today, GUT services clients including Tim Hortons, Dominos, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Popeyes, Stella Artois and Nestlé.

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