College for Creative Studies I Advertising: Design
Advertising has evolved beyond simply creating desire in people for a particular service or product. Jack Douglas, art director/designer at international ad agency AKQA, says it’s now about offering an experience.
“We work together as a team to come up with campaigns that allow people to have an experience with a brand,” said Douglas. “This could include more traditional use of words, images and video, or more advanced technology and an interactive presence in stores.”
When Douglas first moved out to California to work at AKQA, he worked with an in-house team at Apple on several product and software launch sites. Now, he works primarily on campaigns for Levi’s. One of his recent projects for the brand’s commuter series of jeans involved an interactive display at the Macy’s in Herald Square. On a large transparent touch screen that was placed in front of a pair of jeans, shoppers could watch videos that highlighted the product’s unique features and also use the screen to map out a bike route in Manhattan that could be sent to his/her phone. Then, through a partnership Citi Bike, they could ride around the city in their new jeans.
“It was a really interesting project to work on,” said Douglas. “Especially since that particular store draws in so many tourists, there has to be a level of simplicity, otherwise people will get frustrated and walk away. I’m currently working on the social media side of the fall campaign for Levi’s that involves Alicia Keys and five other musicians.”
While Douglas enjoys the creativity and problem solving that advertising demands, it’s the people that he finds most interesting.
“There’s quite a mix of people at my agency and throughout the Bay Area,” Douglas said. “I’ve worked with people from Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, Sweden—quite a fun, international community!”
Prior to his job at AKQA, Douglas worked at Leo Burnett, where he worked on the Purple Roads campaign for Chevy Silverado trucks that aired during the Super Bowl (2014). The campaign received two D Awards.
“I was part of the digital team,” Douglas said. “For every user who turned their social media profile to purple, Chevy donated $1 to the American Cancer Society. It was really fulfilling to know that I was a part of that movement—really making a difference.”
In his spare time, Douglas enjoys music and cycling. He writes music (low key indie rock) and records himself playing drums, bass and guitar. He also recently completed the AIDS/Lifecycle, a weeklong 545-mile ride from San Francisco to LA.
“I love living in California!” Douglas exclaimed. “And I never dreamed I would be working at an ad agency doing what I’m passionate about… I probably wouldn’t be doing this without the preparation CCS gave me. My professors instilled a strong work ethic in us and offered invaluable guidance and support. The program was career focused and structured to resemble a real agency environment. We weren’t learning how to be better students; we learned how to be professionals.”
To view more of Douglas’s work, visit http://www.jackdoug.com.