At 27, January Vernon and Scott Ginsberg have grown up in the ad business together. They started collaborating as students at the University of Colorado because, as Ginsberg says, "the ad classes were really small," which is what led the pair to team up to enter the One Show's college competition and become interns at TDA Advertising in Boulder. Five years and two agencies later, they have hauled in their share of awards, and, as Vernon notes, they "know each other better than most couples."
When Vernon (art) and Ginsberg (copy) arrived in New York in 2004, it was to join DDB, where they worked on the bawdy "Shave Everywhere" online campaign for Philips' manscaping appliance, the Bodygroom. The racy campaign—featuring a man in a robe spouting euphemisms for his privates—created lots of buzz and won plenty of awards, including a Gold Cyber Lion in Cannes and pencils at The One Show and D&AD. Since migrating to Droga5 in 2006, they've created an amusing campaign for New Zealand beer Steinlager, which—via a series of online films—offered viewers a chance to take over the life of brewery employee Nick, who (the story went) was being shipped off to the States to oversee the launch of the Kiwi brew in the U.S. Since then, they have been working on the Rhapsody account and on some offbeat TV spots for The Tap Project, an annual fundraiser for UNICEF that asks diners to pay one dollar for tap water, with all the proceeds going to help supply clean drinking water around the world. The latter, directed by The Perlorian Brothers, shows how even losers can be morally vindicated—even one particularly disturbing boyfriend named Donnie—just by drinking tap water.
Asked why their partnership works, Vernon says, "Being both from Colorado, we have a similar outlook. And since we've gone through each step of the process together, I think it bonds us a little bit, and it helps us keep each other in check." Ginsberg agrees. "We don't really take advertising as seriously as a lot of people seem to, which is good," he says. "And we call each other on bullshit. We work really hard, and we know when it could have been better."
Correction: it was first reported that Vernon and Ginsberg worked at Tribal DDB, rather than DDB. The duo worked on the Bodygroom effort together with Tribal creatives. The campaign was a joint effort between the sibling shops.