Creative Use of Seersucker

Adweek spoke with Richard Kirshenbaum, 46, about his agency and other pertinent matters.
On why he’s Cheif Creative Officer and Co-Chair:

I developed something called the Baskin-Robbins approach to creative directing. Instead of one cd who is expected to oversee everything, I have a number of senior-level cd’s who are different flavors. It’s a much more entrepreneurial model. Someone working on a beauty business account is very different from someone working on the Mohegan Sun account or financial business like Edward Jones. We like to match up creative talent with personal interests and passions. Those things go into who is running a specific piece of business.

On dressing the part:

Invest in a really good pair of shoes and a good haircut. Some creative people play at being creative and look like they rolled out of bed. We’re still in a client-service business. You have to put yourself together.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I recall being at a meeting and having somebody on the client side of the table observe in a friendly but disappointed way that I didn’t look like a designer. I took that pretty seriously. I mean, we want our doctors in white lab coats, our accountants to have poor posture and glasses, our disaster-surveying politicians in rolled up shirtsleeves. I thereafter deliberately modified my wardrobe and appearance to more closely resemble the more conventional, central-casting stereotype, i.e. somebody looking like they just rolled out of bed. And honestly, it wasn’t too long afterward that I was at a party and a stranger struck up a conversation with me by asking what sort of creative work I did.
    If a good deal of a client-service business involves building trust, we all do this by conforming to expectations in some way. Which is exactly what Richard is saying here. But I think people want their creatives to play at being creative just as much as they want somebody in Richard’s position to complain about it. So what he’s saying isn’t really advice; it’s role playing that reinforces a narrative and its characters which, apparently, is something he is quite good at. Or at least people are reassured by it, which in this case is the same thing.

  2. Gabriel Degrood Bendt in Minneapolis says this on their website-
    “There is an inverse relationship of creative appearance and actual creative ability.”

  3. Minnesota in da house! Salt of the earth, baby!