John came to Jackson Spalding first as a freelancer, but we quickly sealed the deal once we saw how he filled in our blanks. He’s an award-winning copywriter who brings a rigorous creative discipline honed from years of nailing it for major brands. And while that may make him sound intense, he’s actually more of a laid-back, soft-spoken, reflective kind of guy.
It was an English professor at the University of Kentucky who rescued John from life as an accountant. Once he pointed John toward the advertising department, things started to click. But it wasn’t until grad school at Atlanta’s Portfolio Center that John connected his way with words to the “why” required for memorable creative.
He began his career at the agency now known as FitzGerald + Co, where he fed lines to Fabio and Ray Charles for different spots he wrote. Next was a 5-year stint at BBDO Worldwide, leading a team of 18 art directors, writers and designers while running the Capitol One, Pizza Hut, ING and Georgia Lottery accounts. He rounded out his resume with seven years as VP and Group Creative Director at Ogilvy, producing clever print, television and radio campaigns for The Boy Scouts, Coca-Cola, Dollywood, IHG, the NFL and many more.
When communications entered the digital age, John turned to in-house assignments with Digitas North America and other major companies. Those gigs gave him practical experience with content and code and the chance to observe a range of corporate cultures.
Along the way, he’s devoted 15 years as an instructor at The Creative Circus, helping young copywriters learn how to think and persevere through cut-throat criticism. And now, we get first dibs on all his secrets- right here, around the JS water cooler.
John’s campaigns have aired coast-to-coast and his award shelf is laden with Clios, Effies, Radio Mercurys and the like. But one goal still eludes him: a private stash of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 Year.