Much like the mysterious and elusive advertising God we know from the hit television series Mad Men, Donald Draper, Greg Ketchum is also a hard man to get to know…at least online, that is. Throw any combination of “Greg Ketchum”, “Ogilvy”, or “BBDO” into google and suddenly whatever concise wikipedia biography you might have pictured in your head is poof, gone. Greg Ketchum seems to be all over the place, and maybe that’s good in his profession of creative advertising.
However, it was clear that Greg Ketchum has and continues to work as part of a pair with Tom Godici. Both carry two decades of experience in the business of advertising as Executive Creative Directors at Ogilvy & Mather, David Ogilvy’s brainchild advertising agency, and now hold the same positions at BBDO, a worldwide advertising agency network formed by the merger of Barton, Durstine & Osborn and the Batten Company. They are best known for the launch of the “Smarter Planet” campaign for IBM during their time at Ogilvy. “Smarter Planet” is IBM’s creative business strategy to make the planet “smarter” through organization and distribution of data, the collaboration between systems, businesses, and technologies, and advancement of management to oversee the interconnection, intelligence, and instrumentation of our resources in a changing world. As you can see, advertising today has definitely expanded from those little drawing boards we see on Mad Men.
Ketchum returned to BBDO in December of last year after once working there between 1989 and 1997 at the West Coast branch. During those eight years Ketchum was the Creative Director on the Apple Computer account. He then moved to a Hal Riney & Partners (now Publicis & Hal Riney) serving as Creative Director for Saturn and Worldwide Creative Director for HP. This time at BBDO, Ketchum will be overseeing many different accounts and clients for the expansive agency. Ketchum stresses, “I’m a copy-writer first.” But he’s definitely a copy-writer with a whole lot of experience and power.
Also like Don Draper, Ketchum has established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the advertising and creative world, moving on up, making big creative director power moves. Except, I’m pretty sure he didn’t go through all that Korean War drama and isn’t harboring a secret past and a secret name. We can only hope that despite this distinction, he still sips whiskey straight in his office like it’s his job.
“When you’re an orchestrator sit by yourself in your apartment for three months. As a supervisor, you’re working with the cast”
Christopher Jahnke brings a different kind of expertise to the table. Boasting 25+ years of musical experience, Chris has worked behind the scenes as an orchestrator as well as directly with the cast as a Music producer and supervisor. Working in these roles has given Chris a unique perspective that has undoubtedly contributed to his proficiency in music. Chris, who has always been interested in the way music influences emotion, describes his role as orchestrator very simply, “You are essentially responsible to create the way a piece feels sonically”.
As an orchestrator, Chris has worked on several projects including: Les Misérables (2006), Grease (2007), Cry-Baby (2008), andcurrently, Porgy and Bess. Chris has international experience as well; he orchestrated Legally Blonde on the West End in London in 2010, 3 years after using the same orchestrations that were used for the Broadway showing. He has also worked with his mentor, William David Brohn (Wicked, Miss Saigon, Ragtime), in co-orchestrating the Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Dessa Rose and A Man of No Importance. Chris is grateful for his oppurtunities to work with Brohn, “I’ve learned more from him and I still continue to than I did in college”
In 2001, Chris worked directly with David Bryan on Memphis: A New Musical, a production that took over eight years to complete. Bryan, keyboard player and founding member of Bon Jovi, worked with Chris as his Musical Producer to create the musical hit. Their years of effort were well rewarded – Memphis won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical.
Chris believes that there needs to be some sort of bond between co-workers when collaborating in order to create the best music, “Working with every composer is a challenge, When you have a good friendship and a good working relationship you kind of help bring the best out of each person you work with”.
By Tony Saint Jean
Daniel Karslake: documentary producer, director, writer, and, most importantly, life changer. A New Yorker with a public policy degree from our very own Duke University, Mr. Karslake has tackled each production project with gusto, bringing awareness to problems native to the United States and abroad.
After attending USC film school, Mr. Karslake got his start in fundraising with City of Hope. He did this in New York, constantly traveling back and forth between there and the West coast. While in this position, he met the host of PBS’s newsmagazine In The Life. He took this opportunity to do some work with them while still at City of Hope, but soon took the leap to completely focus on producing for the program, which focuses on issues concerning homosexuality, religion, and where the two meet. It does not come at too large a surprise, then, that his first major film, For the Bible Tells Me So (2007), also zeroes down on this subject, following five separate American families on their journeys to reconcile their religious beliefs with their children’s sexual identities. This film won several awards and nominations in the film festival circuit, including gaining a spot at Sundance, and garnered much support with both religious and LGBT communities. Comments on Youtube called the film life changing and powerful.
After the success of his first film, Mr. Karslake began work on his second film, Every Three Seconds, which tackles the subject of world poverty and hunger. As a more dynamic approach to hunger, the film strives to focus on human motivation, or lack thereof, to help end hunger and many other world problems. It will focus on five people who all have experienced a hunger to change their world and how they accomplished such a seemingly large feat.
You can find Mr. Karslake on his LinkedIn profile and his Twitter, @dogooderdan. Read articles about Mr. Karslake from Duke Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Professional Destiny. Also watch interviews with him on his two films here and here.