Ad Age: What's your background?
Mr. Johnson: I moved to Portland in 1996 and
got a job as a music director at the college radio station. While I
was there I got a random email from a girl who worked at Wieden
& Kennedy who wanted to pick my brain about an idea they had to
start an internal radio station. ... Eventually she was leaving
Wieden and said she thought I'd be a good fit. ... I didn't get the
job then but the position opened up again. And in January 2000 I
started at Wieden. It was never my intention to be in advertising.
... It sounded like an interesting place, but when I started I
didn't know what I was going to do. I realized they were working on
all these amazing projects, I've got all this expertise and context
of and passion for the music world and I thought, "I'm going to
start making partnerships here. I'll start putting music into Nike
or Coke commercials."
Ad Age: What are you doing at DDB that's
Mr. Johnson: I still run a little record label
and publish books and make art and blog -- and I know the language
of advertising. So I'm marrying those two things and trying to find
the space where those things connect. For me, that was my
intention: to come here and take what I love personally -- art,
music, creativity -- and marry it with the needs here and find the
space where those things live. Part of that is being in on the
creative process earlier than most music supervisors -- to expand
and produce any idea that we're working on. That's where it becomes
Ad Age: Where'd you get the name?
Mr. Johnson: I was doing a DJ show in Portland
and I picked the name because the venue needed a name for the
flier. Everyone seemed to like it so it just stuck. ... I liked the
idea of the bunny ears people make behind people in photos. But it
was more about being attuned to sound. Also, a lot of women liked