Chuck Porter: The Man Who Makes Brands Famous

Share this post

After first joining the agency in the late 1980s as creative director and partner, Chuck Porter has since helped lead Crispin Porter + Bogusky to become one of the most awarded agencies in the world. We caught up with him about all things APAC.

AW: What are you going to be on stage talking about at Advertising Week APAC this year?
CP: I think I’ll be talking about a lot of things but most of them have to do with how to make brands famous in the world today. It’s mostly not going to be about advertising, but I hope there’s some stuff that advertising people ought to hear.

AW: What do you think the advertising industry is going to look like in 10 years’ time?
CP: I don’t know. I’d say read all the predictions by the experts and then forget them. If you do something really great today, tomorrow will take care of itself.

AW: What are some of the most important attributes of a creative culture?
CP: I think the strongest creative cultures tend to be fearless, inventive and very aware of the power of the unexpected. Also, I think more and more, clients are looking for partners who are nimble, fast and prolific. That means lots of ideas. They won’t all be winners, so I think the emerging creative cultures will be the ones who learn to fail fast and cheap rather than long and expensive.

AW: The APAC region, and Australia in particular is well known for punching above its weight creatively. What is it about a place/people/geography that can be more ‘creative’ than others?
CP: While it’s probably going to piss off a few people, I’ve come to believe more and more that small is good. I think smaller markets, smaller clients and probably smaller creative groups tend to be more experimental, less traditional and less risk averse. Also, I think smaller markets have something to prove. If you look at the innovative work that’s come out of the U.S. in the last 30 years, it hasn’t mostly come from New York. It’s come from places like Minneapolis, Portland and Boulder, Colorado. Like all generalisations, this is at least partly bullshit, so let me change my answer. Australia is more creative due to the abundant sunshine and the presence of kangaroos.

AW: Favourite campaign you’ve worked on and why?
CP: Probably the brand we developed to combat teen smoking in the U.S. It was called truth and, during the course of the campaign, high school smoking declined 35 percent and middle school smoking declined 50 percent. If any of us at the agency go to heaven, it will probably be because of this campaign.

AW: Advice to up and coming creative talent who want your job?

CP: Call me. You can have it.

Share this post