When Creatives Dress Alike: Four Questions with 'Partnerganger' Creator Lacey Waterman

How the Tumblr Started, and Why Threesomes Don't Cut It

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Linus Karlsson & Andreas Dahlqvist
Linus Karlsson & Andreas Dahlqvist

'Partnerganger,' the Tumblr that documents the eerie phenomenon of agency creative partners dressing alike, has been all over the agency world's radars over the past few days. Created by McCann-Erickson art director Lacey Waterman, the Tumblr includes pictures of partners like Linus Karlsson and Andreas Dahlqvist at McCann (they favor the black sweater-dress shirt combination) and former Mother N.Y. partners Rob Baird and Allon Tatarka (in flip-flops and loose pants with ragged hems).

Ad Age sibling publication Creativity checked in with Ms. Waterman to get some insight into the project.

Not a real threesome: Lacey Waterman, Katie Homer and friend (center)
Not a real threesome: Lacey Waterman, Katie Homer and friend (center)

Creativity : How did you come up with this idea?

Lacey Waterman: My partner, Katie Homer, and I have come to the office dressed alike on numerous occasions. People would ask if we had planned it. What are we, five? Even though it happens to Katie and I, I got the idea after seeing it happen to other teams. As I snapped more photos, I noticed the teams not only dressed alike, but they also started to look like each other.The first team photo I took at McCann was of Avi Azouz and Daniel Edelman. Not only were they both wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, but also matching brown shoes, black socks and even five-o'clock shadows. The first incoming submission was of my good friends from Art Center, Kathryn McFarlane and Brynn Malek at Secret Weapon. It's hard to believe their matching cargo shirts, leather boots and scarves were completely coincidental. But they were.

Creativity : Why do you think this happens with creative partners?

Rob Baird & Allon Tatarka
Ms. Waterman: Katie and I have completely different styles. Like other teams, we just have those days where we put everything together the same way. Our Partnerganger photo came from our trip to Sweden while we were on production this year. When you spend as much time together as we do, you tend to rub off on each other. Having a creative partner is like having a work husband or wife, and the same rules apply. Don't most couples look alike? I think so.

Creativity : How did you get people to send you pictures?

Ms. Waterman: I started taking photos on my own around the office of completely coincidental and unplanned matches. Then after telling just a few friends about it, they started sending me their own. And it took off from there.

I love it when the teams don't even realize they are dressed alike until I point it out, like in the case of Linus and Andreas, or Olga Vladova and Ledi Lalaj.

Creativity : Do you turn down submissions?

Ms. Waterman: I turned down a few submissions that involved threesomes. When it comes to Partnerganger, three's a crowd. I also received some PhotoShopped submissions, which I plan to post shortly. I love that people are taking the time to interact with the site and are having fun with it.

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