DDB Chicago CCO John Maxham has been in his post for nearly a year and a half, since he came back to DDB after four years at Seattle's Cole & Weber. In Seattle he'd most recently been a managing partner and executive creative director overseeing work on clients including Microsoft. During his second stint at DDB, the agency has turned out a slew of funny work, including Milky Way's return to TV, an arm-farting-themed spot for Juicy Fruit and the State Farm commercial that brought back Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin to play their classic "SNL" characters, the Coneheads.
But the colorful exploits of Mr. Maxham's personal life rival those of his professional one, as you'll see in this week's edition of Six Things.
1. He was once run over by a New York City taxi while crossing the street. Luckily he went up and over instead of down and under. His bleeding lip did leave quite an impression on the windshield. Not a bucket-list item.
2. Despite being a writer, he's always been drawn to visual people. It has expanded his perspective immensely. As a result, he married a photographer/ photo producer. He proposed to her by convincing an employee at the gallery where she worked to hang a snapshot of the two of them mixed in with the rest of the photo show.
3. His parents find what he does an amusing curiosity, and come from very different backgrounds. His father, for example, holds degrees in naval architecture and marine engineering. He had a lot of brass ship's clocks in his house when he was growing up.
4. He harbors a persnickety and irrational bias against writing with any color ink other than black. To him, blue ink is the graphological equivalent of Comic Sans. He also doesn't like it when people older than the age of five drink things with a straw, but he's working through that.
5. His career has allowed him to live in six great American cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago. He has on-again, off-again plans to write a book about the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between them. For instance, in New York, the way to reveal yourself as an out-of-towner is to call 6th Avenue the Avenue of the Americas. In Seattle, it's using an umbrella.
6. When he's not working he likes to socialize with people who do not work in advertising. It allows him to A: Step outside our tiny little world. B: Feel like the luckiest person on earth for having a job in our tiny little world.