What was your first job in the industry? What did it teach you?
GORDY: I worked at Draft Worldwide (before merging with FCB) working on Kellogg’s CSM making localized wobblers and coupons. It taught me I didn’t want to do that.
BRIAN: I was an account guy at J. Walter Thompson. It taught me that I was terrible at being an account guy and I should probably switch to job I was less bad at.
What’s a creative risk you took recently? How did it turn out?
GORDY: We made a semi-fictional baseball statistic and algorithm centered around balls for SAXX underwear. And we’re not good at math.
BRIAN: Convincing the Kimberly Clark Corporation to do a whole campaign for Huggies centered around repeatedly using the word “butt.”
What project are you most proud to have worked on?
GORDY: I really enjoyed a couple recent projects that were non traditional-styled advertising and worked with independent artists. One, where canned the city of Chicago’s tap water and branded it “Chicagwa,” and another where we wrote and created a children’s book for Huggies called “The Alphabutt Book.”
BRIAN: So many. But looking back on our career, our campaign for MLB 12 The Show where we brought to life the city of Chicago if the Cubs had won the World Series (which at the time they hadn’t in like 112 years) will always be a special one for me as a lifelong Cubs fan.
What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging?
GORDY: The best part is working alongside like-minded humans who are often smarter than I am. The most challenging part is not being able to turn my brain off, especially at 2:37AM when I’m trying to sleep.
BRIAN: The best part is the feeling that we’re creating a culture and community centered around a bunch of really great, really talented people, where they can all be comfortable letting their amazing true selves shine by doing work they’re proud of. The worst part is the worry that it can collapse in a miserable failure (but that’s mainly because I’m a highly anxious neurotic human being).
What do you look forward to most as a new Judging Council member?
GORDY: Connecting with new humans, who are probably smarter than me, and seeing great creative work that I may have missed over the past year.
BRIAN: Being part of a thing called a “Judging Council.” That’s got a nice ring to it.
How do you unwind from work mode?
GORDY: Either mindlessly watching television or going for a run.
BRIAN: Eating foods. Drinking drinks. Exercising to not feel too bad about those things. Turning off my brain by staring at a TV screen. And spending time with my family.
How do you stay up-to-date in your industry?
GORDY: I try to look at all of the ad trades on the daily, and if I don’t, my LinkedIn feed will make sure I take notice.
BRIAN: Gandering at the ad trades & scrolling the socials.
What inspired you to join the field and create the kind of work you do?
GORDY: I just always had a creative itch to scratch, and this seemed like a way I could do that while still having insurance and a 401K.
BRIAN: I was always into music and theater and comedy and performing. But didn’t really want to live the lifestyle of a performing artist. And I had a business degree. So this whole shebang seemed like a nice way to combine the two. And then just try to make the kind of work that I’d be jealous of if someone else made it.
When did you realize your worth?
GORDY: I’m not sure to be honest, but I try to prove it every day.
BRIAN: I try not to think too much about that, and just feel very grateful to make a living doing this kind of work.
What’s a work tool you use every day and what’s one that is obsolete that you wish still existed?
GORDY: Google. Prodigy internet.
BRIAN: My brain. Those pens with the feather that you dip in the jar of ink, that’s always seemed like a classy timeless way of writing words.