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.
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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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.