Little did they know their inauspicious encounter would lead to an 11-year collaboration as co-creatives of innumerable ad campaigns.
Bob Welke, now chairman-chief creative officer of Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, first brought the two together.
Mr. Gallo "wandered into my office and I knew it would work," Mr. Welke said. "You'll be working with this guy and you'll like him," he then told Mr. Gayter.
"Of course, we hit it off straight away," Mr. Gayter said.
OFF TO TATHAM
And now it's Mr. Welke who's behind their recent move to Tatham. There, each holds the title of senior partner-creative director.
The creative team's credits include campaigns for Coca-Cola Co.'s Surge soft drink and for Reebok International, and that has led some to wonder why the two have joined a shop not traditionally associated with cutting-edge creative. That, however, is exactly why they joined Tatham.
"It's the challenge of helping to build an agency," said Mr. Gayter, 41. "This is an opportunity to really grow with a place; within an organization that really, really wants to become a creative force."
The 45-year-old Mr. Gallo added, "The notion of always moving to the best creative shop sometimes leaves people empty. Everything is already in place when you get there. Here there's no limit to what we can influence."
And that's the reason Mr. Welke wanted to hire the two again.
"The reason why I'm so up about having them here is the last two years things have really been changing at Tatham. We're upping the standards and changing direction," Mr. Welke said. "We're bringing in people with the creative talent and standards to provide the leadership for where we're going."
As for the duo, Mr. Gallo is the art director and Mr. Gayter the copywriter. Both say, however, that part of the reason for their success is that they have done each other's job at some point in their careers.
The two also insist on sharing an office-as they have done for 11 years. The reason: efficiency and better collaboration.
The duo has been working on new-business pitches as their first work for Tatham,