Pop Culturalist As CEO

I don’t know how someone as irreverent as Steven Grasse of Gyro got past my radar, but he did. Until now. Now, I know there is at least one kook running a major agency today. There may be hope for our kind yet.
Here are some excerpts from an Adweek piece on Grasse that ran last fall:

In addition to doing ads for clients such as Puma, RJ Reynolds and Virgin Records, Grasse, 40, has turned his avocations into vocations. He has cashed in on the lad-mag appeal of rude clothing with his G-Mart and Sailor Jerry lines, and he directs the cult-film series Bikini Bandits.
What do you think is the most overrated campaign?
iPod. What is it? A bunch of silhouettes standing around? What the fuck is that? It’s kind of like my experience with MTV, making videos. If you’ve got a hit song, it doesn’t matter what the video is. The iPod is a hit product; it didn’t matter what the ads were.
Who do you despise most in advertising?
What’s his name-Bogusky? I think he’s a hypocrite. What’s up with the Burger King shit? You can’t do the “Truth” [anti-tobacco ads] and [handle a fast-food company like] Burger King at the same time.
What’s the smartest business decision you’ve ever made?
To not get bought out.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.