How did this come about and what attracted you to the job?
I had been at Wieden, Portland for the last two years working as basically an EP on the Coke and Diet Coke account there. Of course, they do the same brands here but on a global level; different client but same type of work. I knew the Wieden system pretty well, and I think I've got a pretty solid background in creative advertising and I think already being at Wieden, knowing the process, was a big help. It was a best of all worlds opportunity for me, really. The chance to come live in Europe for a while, which I've never done, is amazing and of course being in charge of a production department as good as this one was hard to beat.
What do you see as Tom Dunlap's legacy in Amsterdam and how do you plan to build from there?
I think his legacy is the really solid broadcast production department here. Coming from the same agency I'm obviously familiar with most of the work, but I really sat down and looked at all the work done over the last few years here, particularly with the creative directors that are here, and that spoke volumes to me. The production department has done a great job so I think that's his legacy. Where we'll go from here is combining that department with the ever-growing digital interactive department. I think that's the next step here and part of the reason why I was brought in here. I was at Crispin when they made the transition from straight broadcast department to integrated broadcast department and was a part of that process, so I think that's a big reason why they've got me here. We'll be increasing the digital producers in the department and getting more creatives in here to really build that up.
You've said it's important to keep the department "ahead of the curve" in terms of the relationship between technology and advertising. How do you plan to do that?
It's about producers and creatives who have a progressive way of thinking. In terms of staying ahead of that curve, it's really a lot more than producing the next great website. Interactive is an interaction between the brands and the consumer so it's really about finding really new, interesting ways to reach our audience in engaging ways. I think right now, obviously the interactive aspect is exploding and every agency is very active trying to get people who will be viable in that field and that media realm. We're certainly doing the same thing here. I think we've got some really solid people already, so I think we're good in that respect. Now I think it's about finding new ways to reach an audience. Obviously creating great websites is part of what we're doing, but it's also about getting together people who can think outside the box and can find those new and interesting ways to reach consumers.