One of the quirky things that's readily apparent about R/GA founder/chairman/CEO Bob Greenberg is the fact that he likes to dress in all black and wear his hair longish and unkempt, under a black fedora, beatnik-style. It makes sense given his creative roots, yet it's a curious ensemble for someone who, more fittingly, should be wearing a cowboy hat.
In the '70s and '80s Mr. Greenberg pioneered his way through the entertainment space creating memorable special effects and titles out of his company R/Greenberg Associates.
Now, his agency R/GA has brought digital to the forefront of advertising with groundbreaking work for Nike, including the Nike+ platform and the more recent Fuelband. The latter earned top honors this year at the One Show Interactive, where R/GA was also named Interactive Agency of the Year. In 2012 Fuelband also earned multiple Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where Mr. Greenberg will be serving as chair of the Cyber Lions Jury next week.
Surprisingly, Mr. Greenberg still has time for a life outside of adland, as you'll see in our latest Six Things.
1. He’s the world’s fastest 65-year-old
Bob’s ridden motorcycles for decades, and is probably the only 65-year-old you’ll ever see zipping by on a 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale S -- known as the fastest bike in the world. It boasts a 1:2 weight to horsepower ratio, the same found in F1 racecars.
2. He’s crazy about Yoga
Running a global agency places a lot of demands on Bob. Taking time out of his busy schedule to do yoga keeps his mind centered and relaxed. And it also keeps his body flexible enough to ride motorcycles for hours on end. In fact, he learned a new pose specifically designed to make him lithe enough to ride his Panigale S.
3. He hates phonies
One of Bob’s biggest influences is J.D. Salinger. He has always been inspired by "The Catcher in the Rye" protagonist Holden Caufield's desire to stay authentic in a world full of phonies -- which he found particularly helpful during the years when R/GA worked closely with Hollywood, creating movie titles and special effects.
4. He’s a serial collector
Bob’s long been one of the world’s preeminent collectors of Outsider Art, focusing on schizophrenic artists from the 1950’s. He also has begun collecting Chinese Buddhist Art from the Qi Dynasty (550-577 AD), and Bi-Discs from ancient China.
5. He’s a rabid fan of design and architecture
Bob was so enamored of the architecture and design of the Bauhaus that he used it as model for creating R/GA. His passion for architecture is driving his latest personal project—the construction of a weekend house (based on Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house), in Columbia County, New York.
6. He’s not Larry David
If you think Bob is a doppelganger for the famous comedian, you’re not the only one. He’s often stopped by people on the street and in airports who think he’s Larry David. One time, a customs officer in the airport insisted on an autograph, even though he was looking at Bob’s passport that clearly indicated he was someone else. Bob obliged by signing, “Have a great life, Larry.”