What was your motivation in moving to the talent agency side of things?
JG: I have been spending inordinate amounts of late night and weekend time concentrating on this type of activity at Riney, and this seemed like a great opportunity to do it fulltime for CAA's corporate clients. As co-ECD of a big agency we have a lot of responsibilities across a lot of media, like it or not, that starts with traditional media. Increasingly there's this importance on strategic content and branded entertainment, but it's after we do the heavy lifting of their traditional expectations. This flips the scripts and puts the bulk of my efforts with the clients creating strategic content.
What do you see your role being?
JG: It's wonderfully ambiguous and open to wild collaboration. I could collaborate with an ad agency, a production company, a publishing company, a concert promoter, a music artist, all to create something new, a new connection between consumers and the brand we represent. CAA has a great team of executives now, great creative minds, and they represent, kind of what I've been calling it myself, the biggest creative department in the world. All of a sudden the world of possibilities is blown wide open for clients.
You won't be doing ads anymore, but it seems like you'd be becoming a Johnny Appleseed of content.
JG: That's a good way of putting it. Definitely no ads, I think there's a wonderful industry that's doing a great job of it, but it's about helping those agencies and brands extend those forms of marketing. I'll picture myself with a little pouch over my shoulder.
How do you intend to use your new post to become agent for change?
JG: A big shot across everyone's bow is David Droga, with Droga5, stepping out from the pinnacle to something that is smaller, that concentrates across the big media spectrum. I'm not going to go on record and say this is the future for all ECDs, or this is the trend, but it's fair to say there is a macrotrend of people who care about finding new ways for brands to connect with consumers going to do it.
How do you see your day-to-day morphing?
JG: I think it'll be, at its core, looking at any corporate client's basic brand proposition, the way they're executing it now. At a really high level, let's say a brand is all about happiness. There happens to be a concert tour that is being put together that is about having a great day, there is an obvious serendipity there, and you start playing that down to less obvious connections, that's how I'll be spending my days. I think there'll be some matchmaking involved that's among projects and people just out there in entertainment land.