Sure, Disneyland’s the happiest place on Earth – ‘til you reach the age of 16 or so. Then, not so much. Is there a way to rekindle young adults’ childhood crush on the House of Mouse? Yes – by tapping into something they can’t get enough of: celebrities. This campaign, which was photographed by the brilliant and adorably quirky Annie Leibovitz, made Disneyland relevant again and will likely be appearing in magazines and online 'til I’m old and gray.
Nothing feels better than creating a campaign that effects positive social change. The work my team and I did for bewaterwise.com – which included billboards, TV commercials and a first-time-ever wrap of the iconic donut statue at Randy’s Donuts – persuaded Southern Californians to reduce their water use by a remarkable 31%. That’s positive change for you.
Web Video Randy's Donuts
Champion Sports Apparel wanted to get on the radar of young guys, but didn’t exactly have the budget to sign LeBron James. So I pitched a web series that celebrated a different kind of sports hero – the goofballs who invent their own sports, like mattress surfing and exercise ball jousting. The results? Millions of views – for about what Nike spends on paper clips.
Web Video Crazy Man Skills
Web Video Things that Bounce
Web Video Basketball
There's no gray area in the credit card business. If your ads persuade people to order the card, they're good. If they don't, they're not. Our campaign for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card helped generate 50,000 new cardholders a month. That's good.
Facebook Video Origami
I grew up in Ohio, where the only thing guys love more than their pickup trucks is football. So when Toyota needed to raise its profile in the Midwest, I asked for the ball. With my partner I wrote and directed “The Line of Scrimmage,” a branded entertainment series that follows two bros in a Tacoma on their quest to find the ultimate high school football game. It ran every week on NBC Sunday Night Football, and was so popular it got renewed for three seasons.
Television Maternity Ward
Television Haunted Endzone
Instead of asking people what they’d do for a Klondike bar, my team and I thought it’d be more fun to tell people what to do. Our campaign, the Klondike Celebrity Challenge, was hosted by Joel McHale and gave fans the opportunity to boss around “B” celebs (okay, “C” celebs) like Rowdy Roddy Piper and Tiffany. It was, in short, a chocolately, creamy success: hundreds of thousands of people participated, doubling the size of the brand’s Facebook fan base.
Web Video Joel McHale
Web Video Tiffany
Web Video Rowdy Roddy Piper
I never expected my childhood fascination with ancient Roman history - and my four years’ study of Latin - to come in handy on the job. But when Roman Meal came asking for an outdoor campaign, I knew just what to say: “Adplicabimus ea.”
The CA Lottery
First we asked CA Lottery players what they'd do with the money if they won. Then we took the funniest answers and brought them to life in our ad campaign. For example, the aspiring singer featured here not only starred in a TV commercial, he performed live at Lottery retailers throughout Southern California. (If you missed his concerts, consider yourself lucky.)
Television Howard Sings
Research showed that millennials were intrigued by BOTOX but wary of the commitment. Was it difficult to find the right dermatologist? Did it require a lot of sessions? Did those sessions take a long time? As the “Don’t Stop for Lines” campaign my partner and I developed made clear, the answers were no, no and no. Our videos, print ads, posters, web banners, mailers and in-office displays explained to 20-somethings everywhere that BOTOX is really effective - and really fast.
When McDonald’s announced it was moving into the smoothie business, Jamba Juice – the guys who practically invented the category – knew they had to strike back. But how? With an online spot that promotes a new flavor: the Cheeseburger Smoothie. This commercial generated millions of views and the story behind it got covered by everybody from Fast Company to the Wall Street Journal. And how’s this for an energy boost – Jamba Juice’s market share went up.
Web Video Cheeseburger Smoothie
Barnes & Noble
It’s an immutable law of physics: nothing makes people return to a website like compelling content. So when bn.com wanted to increase traffic, I gave them the scripted comedy series “Mr. Literary.” A new episode was featured each week during the fall shopping season– generating an average of 40,000 unique visits for the website, and a nice, shiny Webby for my trophy case.
Web Video The Check Up
Web Video The Cop
Web Video The Job Interview
This was by far the most popular commercial Suzuki produced during its ill-fated tenure in the North American car market, but it almost didn't happen. The wind conditions at our location - Moab - allowed our stuntman just one attempt at a jump. Thankfully, that was all he needed to nail it.
Television Base Jump
When I was a kid I always wondered what transpired behind the imposing steel doors of the Masonic Lodge in my neighborhood. Not long ago, my partner and I found out: once you get past the odd symbols and rituals, the Masons are pretty much about one thing: helping other people - and each other. Our “Write the Future” campaign - which included videos, print, posters, mailers and social media - helped the California Masons raise over 10 million dollars to enhance the retirement homes and mental health facilities they run for their elderly members. (We never got to learn to learn the secret handshake, but maybe next time.)
In a world growing more economically and politically uncertain by the day, Blue Shield felt the need to reassure all Californians that it had their backs. I was a member of the team that created the “Never Stop” campaign, which included TV, outdoor, print, digital, in-store and direct mail. Our work not only announced loudly and clearly that Blue Shield stood behind each of its four million members, it reminded everyone that when you feel great, you’re unstoppable.
When Ogilvy won the IBM business, it was the single biggest account win in ad history. Much high-fiving and champagne-drinking ensued. Then reality set in: our first batch of work had better be good. My “Solutions for a Small Planet” campaign was that and more. It won or was a finalist in every major award show, got me named an Adweek All-Star and my hand shaken by David Ogilvy, and became part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. And oh yeah – it sent IBM’s stock through the roof.
Television Buenos Aires
After ten years in advertising, I took a break to work for three seasons as a writing producer on the hit ABC sitcom “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” It was a like going to comedy college: I learned a ton about story telling and joke writing, laughed until my jaw muscles were sore every day, and got to hang out with a lot of my comedy idols - Dom Deluise, Martin Mull and Gary Owen, to name just a few. Of all the episodes I wrote, here are three of my favorites.