The little reptile crawled his way into America's hearts more than 15 years ago and more importantly got the phones ringing off the hook at GEICO. He sits proudly in the Advertising Hall of Fame next to icons like Mr Clean, Cap'n Crunch and The Burger King. Ad folklore tells of a legendary cocktail napkin that holds the original Gecko character sketch.
When my writing partner and I came up with the Gecko, we had no idea that an ad icon was being born. Here are the original 15 second television spots in all their standard def glory. I even found my original sketch and storyboards.
Also included are some of my favorite GEICO commercials. When we first got the account, all we did were 15 second spots. We packed a lot of story in those 15 seconds. The last two spots were animated by famed animator Bill Plympton. He is an animation hero of mine and it was a thrill to work with him. My collaboration with him and Aardman mark some of the personal highlights of my career.
I stuck some award winning Progressive work (before Flo) in here too.
The world famous Counting Sheep have a problem. Serta.
This award winning campaign has helped make Serta the number 1 mattress manufacturer in America and given Serta the highest brand awareness in the category. Advertising Age put Serta on the Marketer A-List for outstanding brand marketing and creativity. The "furious flock" have even landed a place on the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame.
The campaign is based on the simple premise that a Serta mattress is so comfortable, people don't need to count sheep to fall asleep anymore. As you can imagine, the Counting Sheep aren't too happy about it.
Aardman Animation (creators of Wallace and Gromit) have been animating the amazing flock from the very beginning.
These guys are so big, they worked with POTUS himself!
Last year, Pocky set some aggressive social media goals. Our audience is typically females 14 to 24 who were open to a different kind of snacking. One thing was clear: we needed to appeal to a wider audience.
We introduced an influencer program that recruited like-minded social media influencers to create stories that resonated with our fans. To expand our audience, we recruited influencers to create content for Do-It-Yourself, Lifestyle/Fashion and Food categories.
164 pieces of unique content
19.3M video views
32.3M potential impressions
People buy a mattress about every 15 years and despite sleeping on it every night, it's not something they think about too often. We needed an impactful way to help Serta's high-end memory foam mattress own "comfort." Not an easy assignment.
So we created a memorable couple in which the wife was so comfortable on her Serta iComfort, she was comfortable with just about anything. The "just about anything" took form in the crazy schemes her husband cooked up in each spot.
We created a social contest where Serta's Facebook fans submitted pictures of themselves exhibiting comfort in extreme situations. Testimonials were shot for web content where we gave couples the iComfort mattress to try for three weeks, documenting their sleep improvement and reactions when we told them they could keep the bed.
Lastly, we created geo-aware banners that alerted people on their mobile devices that they were close to an iComfort dealer and a comfortable night's sleep.
People snack. They always will. Instead of trying to break people of an unhealthy habit, we invited them to snack on something healthier – on Harvest Snaps. We did this by asking them to Munch Better.
Snacking is fun. Especially when it’s a guilt-free indulgence. Using online video, influencer content, print and in-store, we showed the joy of snacking while communicating a few reasons why Harvest Snaps is a Munch Better snack.
You can't work in Detroit for 15 years without doing a little automotive work. While a diverse client list is one of the great and unique things about Doner, we've done our fare share of car ads.
The Fiat print ad was featured in the draft issue of ESPN the Magazine and won a D-Show Award. The ad would activate a bone crushing, action video when scanned by a smart phone.
While Direct Mail has gone out of vogue, it did provide me with the opportunity to print beautiful Mazda brochures and posters.
Famed fashion designer Vera Wang designed a luxurious line of mattresses for Serta aimed at newly weds. A beautiful print ad and TV spot featured a romantic couple compelled to stay in bed all day.
Vera Wang insisted on using the same couple in both ads and having the spot culminate with the classic "wedding cake" pose. As usual, Vera was right. The spot also featured an incredible sound track by Austin based indie artist Kat Edmonson. The track is called "Lucky."
The Strahan Collection. We had a small budget and an even smaller time line, but with lots of hustle and working with one of the nicest talents we've ever worked with, this funky little gem was created. Pre-roll and in-store.
(The collection features suits, shirts, jackets, ties hand picked by football hall-of-famer, TV show host Michael Strahan. The clothing is carried exclusively at JC Penny.)
Most people think that organ and tissue donation is a good thing. For some reason millennial males in Arizona just weren’t signing up. We launched a campaign set out to talk to this target audience in a way they could appreciate- short, hilarious videos and digital radio spots that told them there are pointless ways to spend 38 seconds or you can sign up to save lives in the same amount of time. The easy and right choice came through loud and clear. After a few short months, enrollment increased 4X the previous year.
Restaurant work is fast paced, high pressure and fun! This Pita Jungle campaign went digital first, but migrated to TV, Radio and OOH. It performed like gangbusters at the award shows and even better at driving customers to the restaurant. Television ads still work for Peter Piper Pizza, but many restaurants are depending on social media more than ever. It's word of mouth advertising, but with potentially unlimited reach. Either way, the content has to be as good as (or better) than the food.
Here's some complex site work for Barro’s Pizza and the Anticus Art Gallery, plus some promotional sites for Pocky and Whole Cuts snacks. This quiz site for Acapulco Cantina pushed guacamole sales during Guacamole Month.
This Pita Jungle content camapign cleaned up at the Addys, but great content does more than win awards. When it’s strategic and targeted it gets results. Also included, award winning content for Serta, Barro’s, Cox Communications and El Torito Grill.
With the introduction of ride share companies like Uber and Lyft came big problems for the cab industry. Customers quickly began to prefer the ease of finding a ride and paying for it through an app. Enter Riide, an app based system that lets you call and pay for a cab just like the ride share guys. The big difference, Riide never charges surge pricing. Building on Riide’s strongest point of difference we created Surge, a memorable character who made sure customers got the point they’d never have to pay surge prices when they hitched a ride with Riide.
We created social content and pre-roll videos featuring Surge and all his hilarious/infuriating reasons for charging you surge pricing.
Over the last 20 years, enormous progress has been made with HIV prevention and care. Being infected is no longer a death sentence. Medications are readily available that prevent and suppress the virus. The eradication of HIV in Arizona in our lifetime is a real possibility. Even with all this good news, the conversation continues to include fear, prejudice and stigma.
Arizona Department of Health Services wanted help changing the tone of the conversation. They wanted to let everyone know that Arizona is making a collaborative effort to defeat HIV and any stigma associated with it.
We brought them Victory Over HIV incorporating an iconic two-finger victory sign. Our positive message was introduced with an inspiring video.
Rosetta Stone wanted us to show that learning a language was more meaningful than just being bilingual. It's about breaking the barriers of language and expanding the world you experience. We created an emotional Direct Response TV spot as well as emails to support the broadcast campaign with timely offers.
Every year thousands of sports fishermen flood Alaska and we needed to let them know that The UPS Store can ship fish to the mainland fresh and fast! We created banner ads for sites catering to fishermen and plenty of imapctful posters. Holy halibut, this was a fun little project!
Each year during March Madness, The UPS Store runs its biggest promotion. Since they cater to small businesses, we themed our starting five around five business building services. Mailboxes, Flyers, Discount Cards, Business Cards and House Accounts.
The models for the players had to be believable, so we put an audition call out to real ballers in the famous Joe Dumars Field House in Detroit.
Toys With Love.
Connecting with small business is the first priority of The UPS Store. Through a series of short webisodes we were able to use stories from real small businesses to show just how dedicated The UPS Store is to their success. We were so impressed with the store, my partner and I decided to do some pro bono posters for them.
Working with AHN, we get to feature real doctors and medical pros in our spots. It's hard not to get caught up in the emotion of healing people. AHN is a dynamic hospital system in Western Pennsylvania who've established themselves as locals that care about locals. Using popular sports icons of the beloved Pittsburg Pirates, we created a campaign highlighting their award winning orthopedic care. We also use a steady diet of print and out of home to market their first rate cancer and cardio care.
Sonoranology. It’s the science behind the beer that helps you find yourself.
You are what you drink. Especially true when enjoying an ice-cold Sonoran beer. That’s because each Sonoran brew has its own character – literally. The WHT CHCLT ALE is a monkey, The DFRNT IPA is an owl, the Smooth RBL DIPA is a raccoon and so on. To help beer lovers discover their spirit animal, we developed Sonoranology. Think Tarot cards with Sonoran Beer characters. While you and your friends enjoy pints of Sonoran, you can also “Find Yourself” by playing a few hands of Sonoranology. So, what’s your spirit animal? It’s in the cards.
I love to draw and I always have an active project on my art table. Sometimes for a real client, but usually for myself and my sanity.