BBH Hires Ex-Fallon CD Todd Riddle

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After five years at Fallon creative directing such notable work as the Bahamas Tourism "Bahamavention" campaign and Travelers' consistently strong TV spots, highly-awarded art director Todd Riddle is joining Kevin Roddy's merry band at BBH, New York to work on Miller Lite. We caught Todd while he was in New York house hunting for his start at BBH in the new year. Though it means the end of his trips to the Bahamas (42 times!), Riddle joins fellow ex-Falloners Pelle and Calle Sjonell in his new gig.

What's your new mandate?

I really just want to be part of the next wave of good work they've been doing for so long, continue the legacy. I've never worked on beer before; it's a great, competitive niche. Obviously everyone has their own outside views of beer marketing, but I'm really looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and understanding what's going on in that category right now, especially with the changing media landscape and the target audience. I'm sure it's probably a unique and great time to work on a brand like that, the people they're talking to are at a place where they're really exploring new mediums, different kinds of brands, and are more open-minded to messages, the different messaging vehicles. I guess it's more youthful than things I've been working on in the recent past. It's a whole new segment, a whole new category, a whole new medium. Whenever you can have the opportunity to work with an agency that has really good idea of great work a in a category that has an opportunity to build that legacy it's a great opportunity.

Everyone I've talked to at BBH, they really want to be leaders and create new ways of marketing and targeting people. They certainly understand these are the new, breakthrough areas to continue their growth. It's a great opportunity to be involved in something that's new and evolving and different, but the fundamentals of being a smart and focused agency with a history of great creative. There are only a handful of agencies like that; and BBH is one of the few. They're certainly a powerhouse.

Who would you consider mentors?

I'm an avid reader and a history buff, and I really look to that for inspiration. Of course I've worked for David Lubars, who's amazing, and Bruce Bildsten, who's amazing. I've also worked for Bob Berry, who's just brilliant and calm and mature and amazing, but I'm really most inspired by people outside of advertising, people who have changed the world, or changed the things that they've done and view the world as positive and full of opportunity. I was just reading a quote, I'm going to see if I can remember it exactly but to truly be great at anything the trick is to be quick on your feet and evolve in real-time and create as you go forward. I'm totally paraphrasing, but that was something that John Adams actually said. I think that any person or group of people or company that really achieves anything great is working with that kind of thinking, to live in the moment and understand the landscape around them, and be really focused and determined. Adjust quickly and invent the future rather than mimic or mime it. I think the folks that I talk to at BBH, that's the way they talk.

What's your favorite recent project?

I would say a couple favorite things I've done in the past, I like the "Noses" commercial I did for Holiday Inn, I'm really proud of the Bahamavention campaign, that Scott O'Leary and Ryan Peck worked on; I guess I'm kind of in the era of trying to check off all the boxes, being creative, smart, different, standing out, going through different mediums. For me it was one of those things, it was really different for the category. So I'm very proud of that. I think the Travelers work for the last four years I've been working on it has been very consistent. The print got in the Kellys and that's not easy for an insurance company. Dean Hanson and Dean Buckhorn are two of the best creatives in the business. I had the incredible pleasure and good fortune to work with them. They're just masters. It's been a lot of fun.

If you weren't in advertising, what would you be doing?

I paint all the time, I paint every weekend, and I've written a lot of screenplays and directed a short film, Electric Guitar, so I think I was able to find a business that will pay me to be around people who do all of those things. I get to work with great musicians who work with famous rock stars and I get to work with great film people who win Oscars and do great films. Its really the perfect business for someone who has eclectic creative interests, because you get to surround yourself with people like Tony Kaye and Noam Murro, all those people are they're so inspiring because you always learn something. I think if I wasn't in advertising I'd just be doing what I'm doing but not in advertising during the day. To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.
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