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The A-List Podcast: Episode 012 with Dan Kelleher

In the latest episode of “The A-List” podcast, host and DiMassimo Goldstein Chief Creative Officer Tom Christmann sits down with creative maestro Dan Kelleher, Chief Creative Officer at Deutsch. Dan has worked at many of the world’s most renowned agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, Cliff Freeman & Partners, and DeVito/Verdi. His work for brands such as BMW, DIRECTV, General Mills, FedEx, and Guinness has earned some of the industry’s top awards. Bill Clinton once said that his favorite commercials were the “Cable Effects” spots for DIRECTV, which Kelleher helped bring to life. Dan was also responsible for bringing us the BMW Super Bowl ad, “Newfangled Idea,” which Ad Age ranked among the best Super Bowl ads of all time.

Tune in to hear Dan discuss how perseverance paved his path to success, what today’s creatives can learn from the “funny vs. not funny” wall, and why honesty is the key to great client relationships.

Show Notes

  • [0:00 – 1:35] Intro
  • [1:36 – 7:04] Growing up in Plainfield, New Jersey, being passionate about art and deciding that medical illustration wasn’t the right field for him
  • [7:05 – 11:35] The Rocky of advertising: how perseverance landed him his first job in the print production department of Ammirati & Puris
  • [11:36 – 20:39] Working on his portfolio, attending ad school, and learning the ropes from great bosses 
  • [20:40 – 29:32] Getting hired in his first creative role as junior art director at DeVito/Verdi
  • [29:33 – 34:36] Moving to Cliff Freeman & Partners and selling his first TV spot for Staples
  • [34:37 – 43:44] Lessons for young creatives from the “funny vs. not funny” wall
  • [43:45 – 49:14] Dan and Tom discuss their time at BBDO working for Gerry Graf
  • [49:15 – 54:32] Working at BBDO, getting more client interaction, and filming with Burt Reynolds
  • [54:33 – 59:50] The importance of honesty in developing great client relationships
  • [59:51 – 62:24] The value of building a strong agency culture
  • [62:25 – 69:20] What Dan looks for in a portfolio today and his one piece of advice for young creatives
  • [62:21 – 70:50] Outro

“The A-List” is a podcast produced by DiMassimo Goldstein, recorded at the Gramercy Post, and sponsored by the Adhouse Advertising School, New York’s newest, smallest, and hippest ad school. You can subscribe and rate the show on iTunes or listen along on SoundCloud. For updates on upcoming episodes and guests, be sure to like the A-List Podcast on Facebook and follow host Tom Christmann on Twitter. If you want to be interviewed for an upcoming episode, contact us at AdhouseNYC.com.