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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Hipsher’

Op-Ed: Your Ads Are Not Art. Just As Your Shoes Are Not Gumbo

Houston-based freelance creative Chuck Hipsher, who you may remember from his ode to Chevy last month, is back with another column. This time, our scribe’s intent is to “challenge ad creatives to make certain that they are channeling their creative energy into the space they truly love. It can’t just be a paycheck.” We’ll let him take the floor from here. Read on and if you’d like, you can check out his blog here

Having come from a painter’s background  – and I don’t mean the painting of walls or ceilings – although I performed those jobs to make ends meet – I always viewed my ad work as very intimate and somewhat self-expressive. Nearly precious. Mostly because it eventually replaced my artwork, so I had to rationalize that decision.

Advertising became my passion. My obsession. My dedication. My joy.

To my old artiste friends, I sold out when I put down my brushes and picked up my magnifying glass. When I decided that advertising was far more interesting and sexy than sitting in a cold, lonely studio, staring at a canvas and wondering if it was worthwhile, reasonable, or even sane to want to try and top de Kooning or Pollock.

Early in my ad career, I developed a tendency to disagree. And while it was annoying to some, it was a healthy habit, carried over from my days of painting. The habit saw me questioning every step of the way in the creation of an advertisement for any of the clients I worked on. It became somewhat routine. It was the same argument I had with myself when contemplating a nearly finished painting and wondering, “Is it right? Is it done? Is it worthwhile? Will people like it – or even get it?”

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Op-Ed: Dear Chevy, Find New Ideas

We’re glad to welcome yet another monthly contributor to the fold in the form of Chuck Hipsher, currently a Houston-based freelance creative director who’s worked at the likes of Campbell Ewald, TBWA and what was FCB back in the day. If you wanted a story from the trenches, here you go. We should note that these opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of AgencySpy’s, but feel free to love or hate in the comments thread. By the way, you can read Chuck’s blog here.

I was fortunate enough to have worked on the Chevy Silverado brand from 2005 –2008 at then-Campbell Ewald in Warren, Michigan. I was the Creative Director who led the charge on the “Our Country. Our Truck” campaign.

John Mellencamp’s song, “Our Country” played a decisive role in that campaign’s birth because, frankly, then-CCO Bill Ludwig slid the studio demo cd across the table to me one day during creative development and said, “See what you can do with this, Chuck.”

Coming from the guy who was instrumental in the famous “Like A Rock” and “Heartbeat Of America” campaigns for Chevy, I was nothing – if not obligated, to listen and try.

Early on, we had terrific research and planning information at our disposal on what the Silverado brand meant to the people who cared. It was work extensively mined by one Ted Klauber (the greatest planner in America, btw) and his team months in advance of the creative start.

Ted and team had travelled to a half dozen or so locales throughout the country and interviewed countless truck owners of all brands, not just Chevy. They came back to Detroit and crunched their info and finally decided this: “Chevy truck drivers are everyday heroes. And the Chevy Silverado is their Big Metal Dog.”

That insight immediately sparked the minds of myself and the creatives working with me. We had an early war room with ideas on the wall that rivaled anything I’ve ever seen produced by ANY agency on ANY automotive brand. EVER.

But then there was that Mellencamp thing.

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Thursday Morning Stir

-Sixteen-year BBDO vet St. John Walshe has been promoted to EVP/managing director of the Omnicom agency’s European operations.

-Trollbäck + Company’s visually pleasing show open for the 2013 AICP Next Awards will be screening in major cities as part of the latter’s upcoming award tour. link

-Director Dean Blumberg has joined the roster of L.A.-based prodco TWC Films for exclusive representation in the US.

-Houston-based creative director/Campbell Ewald and FCB alum Chuck Hipsher comes to grips with being considered an “over the hill” ad guy. link

-Campbell Mithun addresses the Affordable Care Act in a new campaign called “Promises Matter” for Wellmark BlueCross BlueShield (one spot above, second spot here).

-London-based digital agency Metia designed the site for Microsoft CityNext, part of a global initiative rolled out by the Redmond, WA giant. link