PLAYER PROFILE: Hale casts the Resistance as leader in entertainment

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David hale apologizes if he's not making sense. It's just that he's lacking in the sleep department.

"There've been a lot of all-nighters lately," he confessed; in fact, there've been two in the last three days before this interview.

Mr. Hale's last -- very awake -- 24 hours were taken up with back-to-back meetings, a dinner with MTV executives, a 2 a.m. phone conference from Tokyo and an early breakfast with his daughter. But he is lucid in describing his company, the Resistance, and its latest ventures.

There's the ad campaign for Carrabba's Italian Grill, concept work for a videogame company and the final touches on a new WB series he created.

Mr. Hale's endeavors are diverse, but one element strings them together: entertainment.

"Everything to me is about entertainment," he said. "You can't have strong brand development without strong character development, or else you'll have strategy without soul."

In 1992, he parlayed that attitude and a solid ad agency background into his own business: the Resistance, a creative boutique. Since then, Mr. Hale has done work for blue-chip companies on projects including ad campaigns and corporate road show videos. In 1996, he entered a joint venture with production agency Crossroads Films that allows clients one-stop shopping.


"We can do everything from concept to completion, and everything in between," Mr. Hale said. His company's list of services is long, but Mr. Hale is concise in his mission statement: "We sell ideas for money."

In addition to working for marketers, the Resistance also functions as a hired gun for ad agencies. Mr. Hale, a former creative director at J. Walter Thompson USA, Bozell Worldwide and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, has done numerous free-lance projects for agencies such as JWT and McCann Erickson Worldwide.

On the marketing front, Mr. Hale has been hired by companies such as DreamWorks Pictures, Taco Bell Corp., Walt Disney Co., Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's.

"He has a wonderful ability to communicate a brand's energy and personality," said Andy Jacobs, director of marketing at Carrabba's.


In 1992, Disney tapped Mr. Hale to create ads for the video sales of its movie "Aladdin."

"The ads caught the eye of Taco Bell," Mr. Hale said. "They were looking for someone who had entertainment experience and advertising experience."

Mr. Hale was soon creating ads for the Mexican fast-feeder. One of his most successful efforts was a series of humorous vignettes that featured a cat named Nacho and his pal, Dog.

Mr. Hale pitched two different cartoon concepts to Taco Bell: one was Nacho and Dog; the other, a campaign centered around a young girl who plays in a rock band: Isabel and the Bell Hops. Taco Bell chose the Nacho and Dog idea. Mr. Hale retained the rights to the rock band conception, which he sold to the WB. That ad concept just launched as a Saturday morning series dubbed "Generation O!"

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