“It’s Never Bad To Be In Good Company”
I learned this first hand at OKRP, an advertising agency functioning out of Chicago and LA.
OKRP stands for:
But in all actuality, OKRP stands for O’Keefe Reinhard and Paul. These 3 guys (Tom O’Keefe, Matt Reinhard, Nick Paul) started an advertising agency you couldn’t aim to ignore. Their previous history of work together and independent ranges from Amazon’s singing Holiday Sweater Men, Taco Bell’s “Live Mas” and “Think outside of the bun” campaigns, EA Game’s Dead Space and Mercenaries 2 advertising, and much more.
I started up at OKRP right as I left California. Subsequently, I was more then ready to find something I could depend on, and I was ready to be the guy people could depend on. So with the cards in line, I contacted my Uncle, Tom O’keefe CEO and co-founder of Okeefe Reinhard and Paul. He told me they were looking for a person to manage the Social Media, work with I.T., cover Video Games and General Entertainment Research, run Errands, and work with the Professionals/clientele on whatever was needed/expected within the office. I said I could be the guy and he proceeded to give the contact information of Hattie Mcdonnell and Liz Williams. They setup an interview, and I was on my way to Chicago again in no time.
At first I was intimidated by the job, I didn’t really understand fully what it was going to be about, and I didn’t know how much would be asked of me. That intimidation was completely eliminated when I walked through the offices front doors, being greeted by Hattie and Liz right away. They sat me down and asked me about my work history, explained OKRP’s philosophy, and then took me out for a delicious meal at Salerno’s pizza. Following the interview, I met with the main guys to discuss what my title would be. I was dubbed “Creative Assistant”.
My initial responsibilities began with setting up the former OKRP office. It wasn’t too complicated; I began with fixing the infamous printing problem by changing the printer’s location. Supposedly it had problems printing for months, I simply changed where it was placed and voila! documents. Wi-fi has dead zones too it turns out. From there I setup the primary computers with the needed software and settings, and began managing the Social Media accounts. From the Blog to the Fortune Bananas, I loved every second of it. Reading the voice of OKRP helped me understand what it really was. It wasn’t any one person or thing, it’s an accumulative work of advertising art; an intricate lacing of characters, production, and brands. It really made me realize that advertising is not just the art of “selling”, but also the art of appeal. Something you can feel needs to be real, its just that simple, its not about complicating the product into some aficionado message, but finding that Seinfeld element. I believe this element is summed up by a quote about the shows production, “It was a show about nothing”. Nothing can be an every-day routine that you’d need another set of eyes to realize it’s funny, it’s the little intricate things we let slip through our brains because of a pre-conceived reality. OKRP taught me how to develop a filter to where I can escape that pre-conception and embrace something bigger, possibly better without really knowing what it is. Though I didn’t know, that never stopped me from wanting to find out.
One of the initial assignments of OKRP was addressing OKRP 4 Principles,
Here is what I feel about them:
Being prolific is about constantly innovating without bounds. The Most prolific individuals this Earth has ever been graced with will be always remembered not just for their work, but for who they are. From Jobs to Jackson we’ve lost some valuable assets to American entertainment, Business, Advertisement, and our overall culture in the past 10 years. It leaves a daunting question. Who will fill the shoes of these individuals? These Jobs-type individuals have the mojo to do this with the strike of a key; they define themselves, no pseudo will compare, no criticism will shake their stance. Apple executed the prolific element indefinitely with Jobs at the helm; he was the perfect choice to adapt technology into concept. isn’t all about the hard stuff though; it can come down to personal relations within a company as well. Sometimes to be prolific is to have the will to change your own views for the betterment of a company. You have to be willing to fall, to ever have the chance to get back up.
What intrigues me the most about The High Art of Selling is appeal. What really drives a person to like something? Why is it that certain things sell better then others? I feel as though this is driven by trends. Be it Digital, Physical, Viral, etc. trends can be identified anywhere and everywhere that a common choice occurs at an escalated rate. Many of these trends start by identifying sub conscious universals that we all see and experience on a daily basis, and then integrating that aspect with the product or idea at hand. It’s the “Seinfeld” philosophy in action; even the simplest aspects of our day could be gold in the eyes of a businessman trying to establish a parallel with the public. Its just about paying attention when you’d probably look away. You might be surprised by what you see.
To put the Agent in advertising agency is to connect your personal experience and connections to the agency itself. For the past 8 years I’ve owned and operated my self-run studio dubbed On Fire. Clientele has ranged from underground to signed. I was mentored by Brian Zieske and learned the art of audio engineering through the time I’ve spent in the On Fire cave. I believe that this experience and could benefit the audio facets of OKRP as well as visual since On Fire has now acquired a Canon xl1 as well as final cut pro for production use. On fire also has a mobile wheeled (power conditioned and LED/bulb lighted) rack mounted with a UA 610 preamp, Presonus Firestudio mixer, and a vintage DBX Pre amp modified with a Russian tube. The studio’s stock mics are generally Blue brand. Here is the current arsenal; Blue Dynamic Ball, Blue 8 Ball, Blue Nessie, Shure Boundary microphone, Electro Voice Cardinal. The Time I spent at Tribeca Academy greatly educated me on A/V operations, both general and complex. These skills and talents can easily transfer over into the advertising field, both physically and digitally.
Soul is what makes you wake up in the morning, laugh at a funny show, or cry when something strikes your heartstrings. It could be as simple as the chills that run through your spine when you resonate with art or as complex as the feeling you get when you are anticipating a personal release. The soul can be your friend or your worst enemy; it’s about accepting what you are, and projecting that through your personality, art, and work. At that point, you my friend, “Have soul”.
I find myself writing this just after I’ve helped setup the new space, and things have slowed down for me there. I really hope that someday I can see the city-life again. I write about it because I know if I ever forgot about it, it’d be more then a mistake, I want to etch it, personify it. It wasn’t just a job for me, it was an experience that I gained invaluable expertise from.
I hope to work again with you guys again in the near future
Thanks is the least I can say