Why the move to Deutsch in L.A. after all the success you've had at Wieden in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam was a great thing for me. It was a great situation for me and my family. We moved there at a time when it really made sense for us. My wife was looking to have another child and wasn't in a hurry to get back to her career, and we were looking to do something really unique and fun, so the whole Amsterdam move was really in response to that. It was never meant to be a long-term solution or arrangement. We always knew we'd be coming back. But when we were there we really fell in love with Amsterdam and Wieden was a really good place. But after a couple years, we had a second child and then my wife was getting antsy to get back to work. She's in occupational therapy and it's difficult to start doing that in a foreign country if you're not completely fluent in the language. So that's when I started poking around and came across this opportunity. Wieden Amsterdam is in such a good place that they really needed someone to come in and commit to their future and with my goals in life I couldn't give that to them. I've got such a fondness in my heart for them I wanted to be fair to them in the long term, so that was another consideration in making the decision to leave now.
What attracted you to Deutsch L.A., specifically?
I worked at Chiat L.A. before going to Amsterdam, Deutsch was always just down the road and I had always been impressed by their work. Their Mitsubishi stuff especially was held up at the time as a benchmark in the automotive world when I was working on Nissan and Infiniti. So I always held them in a high regard. So when the opportunity came, I wasn't sure if my time in Amsterdam was up but I knew I wanted to get back to L.A. After I met with the people here I was impressed. They've gone through some changes in the last few years and I think they're on the right track in terms of attacking the changing attitude of advertising and really putting the right people into play. They hired a lot of interesting planning people, who I like to really work close with, along with interesting creative and account people.
The agency's creative department seems to be very integrated. How would you like the production department set up?
That's what I'm working on right now. Every agency has a different way of working, especially when it comes to the interactive side and digital production. There's no one model for that right now, which is really exciting. One thing I'd like to do is really bring that interactive production side into my department and that's something I've been talking to the guys a lot about. I'm not exactly sure how I'll do that but what I'm thinking about is teaming interactive producers with traditional film producers. One thing I'm really looking to do is apply that fit and finish of the TV commercial into the interactive space. There are guys that have amazing technical skills and there's guys that can add a level of finesse and film to that technical side and that's what I'd like to try and do. That's the type of collaboration and integration I'd like to achieve at Deutsch.
How will your experience at Wieden in Amsterdam help inform what you do at Deutsch?