John Patroulis is worldwide chief creative officer at Grey. The 102-year-old agency has worked with many of the biggest brands in the world, most recently Walgreens, using a UV camera to show hidden skin damage, and ads for Gillette reframe masculinity for the grooming brand.
In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, Patroulis talks about a host of niche and counterculture topics that have captured his attention over the years. “I can dive pretty quickly into things that feel like interesting subcultures, or people who are literally living and expressing themselves free of any kind of cultural pressure or interest in fitting in,” he says.
While living on a friend’s couch after college, he picked up hypnosis as a party trick. And his time as a DJ at his college radio station led him to discover music outside the mainstream, like the atonal creations of Jandek.
“I become more interested sometimes in the process and the person than I am in the output,” which is why he can admit maybe Jandek’s music isn’t very good, he adds. “It’s the purity of creative purpose that’s interesting to me. He was just going to make it, and he wasn’t following anybody else’s rules.”