Six Things You Didn't Know About Mullen's Stephen Goldblatt

When He's Not on Vine, the Chief Digital Officer Pulls Practical Jokes

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Stephen Goldblatt, with his daughter
Stephen Goldblatt, with his daughter

Yesterday, Mullen San Francisco took Vine to a whole new level and launched the first-ever movie created through the six-second filmmaking app, for client Airbnb.

The "Hollywood and Vines" project is one of the first major campaigns out of the agency overseen by Chief Digital Officer Stephen Goldblatt, who joined earlier this year from Omnicom Group's EVB. There, he served as an executive creative director and was behind such campaigns as Zynga and Lady Gaga game "Gagaville," Juicy Fruit's "Serenading Unicorn" and Skittle's "Mob the Rainbow." Prior to that he worked at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, where he helped steer the memorable "The Computer is Personal" campaign that made stars out of celebrities' hands.

In his current role, along with AirBnB, Mr. Goldblatt oversees work for Google, iRobot, JetBlue and U.S. Cellular. He's also charged with boosting the digital creativity at both the Mullen S.F. and Boston offices. But he still keeps busy in many other ways -- some, more noble than others, as you'll see in this week's installment of "Six Things."

1. He obsessively documents -- through photography and sketchbooks -- productions he's been a part of. Eventually, Mr. Goldblatt hopes to make a book about the process of what advertising creatives do because it's different for every job and at the concepting phase and you have no idea how you'll get to the end product. Plus, it's fun to look back at old jobs and see how it all unfolded, he says.

2. He serves on the board at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, the largest and oldest art studio serving adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilties. For him, it's the most creatively inspiring place in the Bay Area. He's been collecting art work from the center for a dozen years and is proud to play a larger role in the organization.

Artist and his work at Creative Growth Center
Artist and his work at Creative Growth Center

3. He's quite the prankster. He once went to Twinsfest in Twinsburg, Ohio, the world's largest gathering of twins, and he walked around all day asking if anyone had seen his brother.

4. Mr. Goldblatt is a bit of a digital archaeologist. He gets satisfaction from scouring EBay and looking -- not buying-- for rare photo books and old posters. It's the hunt he likes. His favorite app is the Amazon search app. When he's at a used book store, he'll use it to find collectible photo books for cheap.

5. His first job in the industry was at BBDO in Prague in the early '90s. He was paid in oversized purple bills that roughly came out to $180 a month. There was a casino down the street where he supplemented his income. While he lived there, he did work for the Democratic National party at the time when the Communist and Socialist parties were still on the ballot. "The Wall fell in 1990 so capitalism wasn't a part of the Czech Republic until 1991 so it was the early days of marketing while I was there," he said. "I remember seeing an ad of TV in Prague that tried to explain what advertising was and how people had a choice of products they could buy. And how a marketing message could make a product more appealing to people. Fascinating. Even the ads we were doing or translating were very literal. They were very see/say - no creative leaps or pushing boundaries going on."

6. When he was younger, people used to tell him he looked like Patrick Dempsey. Not from the actor's McDreamy days of Grey's Anatomy, but from his scrawny, geeky "Can't Buy Me Love" days. They had matching puffy hair. Now, he gets JJ Abrams and that guy from "The Americans" (Matthew Rhys).

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