To be successful in the advertising industry, professionals must face obstacles head-on. Mark Freeman utilizes his creative problem solving skills on a daily basis as a vice president, art supervisor at Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich.
“What I enjoy most about this career is that no two days are ever the same,” explained Freeman. “You meet people with incredible life experiences and talents that you would never meet in any other career. Of course, no job is without challenges. Having a great idea is easier than selling one.”
After gaining years of experience working as an art director at the company, Freeman now manages the inhouse studio group. He has worked on projects for Pontiac, AC Delco, Farmer’s Insurance, Mastercraft Ski Boats, Iams Pet Foods, BP (British Petroleum), AAA, Sovereign Bank and ChoiceCare HMO among others.
“My favorite project was a TV spot for Pontiac in which we took over four blocks in the financial district of San Francisco and built a Formula One track,” said Freeman. “It was a goofy spot about a guy daydreaming as he drives his car.
“Another one of my favorites was a spot for Farmer’s Insurance where everything went in reverse and a wrecked car became like new again. To achieve this effect, we actually hired a stunt driver to drive the car while inside the trunk. It was important to the concept that car appeared to roll down a hill while unmanned, so it was rigged with steering and a video camera—all operable from inside the car trunk.”
Freeman’s talent conceptualizing great ideas and finding clever ways to sell them was shaped in part through his experiences at CCS.
“After 21 years of hindsight, I would have to say that the John Broutin Scholarship was the best experience I had,” reminisced Freeman. “There was something at stake other than a grade and the opportunity to present an entire campaign to a group of advertising heavy hitters.
“The campaign idea I went with wasn’t the favorite with one CCS instructor (who was also a judge). At that time, I didn’t have it developed well enough for him to share my passion for it. Against his wise counsel, I went with my gut and spent the next several weeks fleshing out the idea.
“I became the first John Broutin Scholarship winner and had my entire senior year paid for. This was a huge blessing and learning experience. It taught me that when you are passionate about an idea, dig in—until the idea either blossoms or you hit a wall. I also learned how important it is to develop your concept to a point where others can see its merit. You can’t expect to show someone a seed and expect them to visualize a garden.”
- Graduation Year: 1987
- Employer: Campbell Ewald Advertising
- Title: Vice President, Art Supervisor
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