John sets the vision at 72andSunny and uses his wealth of experience to develop culturally impactful creative platforms for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Activision, adidas, Samsung, Google, Carl’s Jr. and Target. Previously Executive Creative Director of Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam, he is a Designer by trade. John strives to build a culture of collaboration and an ego-free environment at 72andSunny.
What's Your NativeAdVice:
How did you get into the Advertising industry?
I was hired as a designer out of college. Spent a lot of time cutting and pasting pictures of rakes and shovels for a lawn and garden company.
Tell us about 72andSunny. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
Even in the name, 72andSunny was born as an expression of optimism. In an industry that can sometimes become kind of ego driven and cynical, we wanted to build an environment that focuses on seeing the opportunity in things. So we focus all our creative fire power at creating huge impact in the world on behalf of our clients, and believe that doing that is what ultimately makes brands famous and drives crazy results.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to 72andSunny's success?
Our biggest strategy, if you can call it that, is to tell the truth. Our best work resonates with customers and culture because it’s based in some insightful nugget about the product and human behavior around it. Oh, and we like to work fast, believing in the power of iteration - collaborating with each other, partners and clients in real time to progress ideas quickly and keeping the creative spark alive throughout the development process.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
Advertising, technology and entertainment are converging faster than ever. The content we make and the way it’s delivered are sometimes the same thing. Showing up in surprising places and in innovative ways has become as important as the message.
Don’t become a cynic.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of 72andSunny?
Lucking my way into a great partnership with people who share a value for growing the best people in the belief that the best folks will do the best work.
Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
We lost 3 giant pieces of business in one month early enough in the company that it threatened our survival. We learned that we can’t attach ourselves to the outcomes of the business, only the things we can control, like the quality of our ideas, and the environment we create, and the way we treat one and other. So we focus on doing that the best we can, rather than worrying about external forces not going our way.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Don’t look down. Don’t look back.
Describe the ideal experience using 72andSunny.
72andSunny is best used on the beach.
How do you motivate your employees?
Investing in their personal growth with a steady pace of feedback, goal setting, coaching, job training, bonuses, hugs, high-fives and the occasional stern talking to. Oh, and we provide tuition for classes. Oh, and team sports. And free food friday. Monthly all company meetings where we share promotions and embarrassing stories. And group bonding and event budgets. And a maker lab to experiment in. And the free beef jerky, soda, and open wine and beer taps probably don’t hurt either.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Being a hedonist, I need choice and to have it all. I may choose to leave earth if there were only one food and one drink left on it.
What literature is on your bed stand?
The Works of Tennyson. Not that I read them. But they look good there.
Role model - business and personal?
Big fan of Honest Abe. Both for biz and personal.
Getting back into surfing. And architecture / interior design.
Favorite travel destination?
Oregon. My cabin on the Rogue.
What's next for 72andSunny?
Keep learning and getting better, taking our people and our clients higher, we hope.