2019 One Show Branded Entertainment Jury
Chief Creative Officer, North America
Based in Kansas City, John is North American chief creative officer of VMLY&R and responsible for multiple offices across the region. His talent for pushing creative boundaries has been evident throughout his 25-year career. He spent his formative years at FCB Chicago, where his TV spots were parodied on “Saturday Night Live” and ESPN, featured in “Scary Movie 3” and demonized by Rush Limbaugh (a career highlight).
Seeing how advertising could cross over into pop culture, John went on to create the branded content group at Team Detroit and was among the first in the industry to create work that blurred the lines between advertising and entertainment. In 2010, John brought his storytelling and brand-building skills to VML, where he helped the agency win its first Cannes Lion with a branded content series for Gatorade. His documentary for the city of Nashville also garnered additional Cannes Lions and the agency’s first One Show Pencil in 2013 — a gold in One Show Entertainment.
Since then, John has helped lead the company’s creative evolution, winning nearly 50 more Cannes Lions and numerous One Show, Clio, and D&AD awards. This creative recognition also helped VML land on Ad Age’s A-List for three years in a row. His second film for Nashville, “It All Begins with a Song,” was recently honored as an official selection at the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam. This film — among other work under his leadership — resulted in VML being named 2018 Cannes Entertainment Agency of the Year (for the second year). In 2018, the VML Kansas City office also won more Lions than any office in the global WPP network.