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John Trahar

Member since January 2018Contact John

John is a co-founder of Greatest Common Factory, he plays the role of Strategic & Creative Lead as well as Commercial Director — delivering fluid strategy and creative for clients then directing content as needed through shoot and post-production. John co-founded GCF to create a better marketing solution/environment for both brands and our employees after 20 years of experience as an advertising creative at Ogilvy & Mather NY and GSD&M in Austin, Texas. John has done award winning work for Southwest Airlines, Hershey’s, Land Rover, IBM, AT&T, American Legacy Foundation (EX® and truth®), AT&T, SafeAuto Insurance, and Nike. John has led creative on American Legacy Foundation, Cellular One, Goodyear, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Frito-Lay, Marshalls, LLBean, Macaroni Grill, Pennzoil, SBC Global/AT&T (including being creative lead on the work of 14 agencies through the launch of the new AT&T in 2006), and all creative at GCF. John loves to leverage universal truth and brand value to create engaging omni-channel content that solves a business problem, in other words, “work that that works.”

Articles by John All articles by John

  • D2C Issues A Creative Wakeup Call -- Can You Hear It? in MAD on 11/11/2019

    More than most retail brands, D2C brands rely on connecting with people on all kinds of platforms with messages that inspire immediate action.

  • We're Scaling Agencies the Wrong Way in MAD on 10/23/2019

    Advertising's future depends on output and impact. And agencies' future depends on delivering more and more answers for smaller and smaller margins. We can't get there by chasing big. We can by scaling the right kind of small.

  • Why Bud Light Won The Super Bowl in MediaDailyNews on 02/05/2019

    This year's ads mostly failed to inspire because they did not introduce or extend ideas connecting them to audiences every day. Bud Light did. And in doing so it not only won the night, it set up to win a lot of games in the months ahead. How they did it can serve as a big-events playbook for CMOs and CEOs alike.

  • Creatives Need To Lead The Data Charge in Marketing Insider on 10/05/2018

    The tremendous energy brands now put into tracking and intercepting prospective customers raises the stakes on relevant, compelling communication.

  • Brands Are Upside Down On Content in Marketing Insider on 01/29/2018

    A dangerous paradox threatens brands in the content age.

Comments by John All comments by John

  • We're Scaling Agencies the Wrong Way by John Trahar (MAD on 10/23/2019)

    What’s being said here, is that smaller existing models can scale up regionally and nationally if they have a plan for an end result that is smarter, faster and makes more sense for both client and agency than a giant conglomeration or the goal of filling a skyscraper with employees. Smaller organizations where all are involved in understanding the strategy, business goals, creative solutions, and produced work for a particular brand have greater accountability and faster reward for the work done.As you say, gone are the days “nine persons per million dollars of billings and still making a nice profit” in a large agency ecosystem. A million dollars go much farther in a small agency ecosystem. And if you can spread that ecosystem while maintaining smaller core groups you can scale up while staying nimble. Clients certainly do want it both ways — nimble service + the comfort of scale. Here is a way to achieve both.I do not propose that large systems break themselves up, as the above proposition does not work in reverse. I also don’t think your “small” portions of a larger entity is at all the same thing. Why pay a massive holding company millions of dollars to cover their understandably large overhead and then work with 5 people?From a media perspective, you bring up an interesting question about clout. If clout equals combined spend, do those combined large spends absolutely need to go through a giant agency organization or could they go through a more nimble and efficient entity?

  • Creatives Need To Lead The Data Charge by John Trahar (Marketing Insider on 10/05/2018)

    And by “Dan” I mean Ed, sincere apologies!

  • Creatives Need To Lead The Data Charge by John Trahar (Marketing Insider on 10/05/2018)

    Thanks Dan, To be clear, this was not a proposal to seek or advertise to “census level” individuals. Though I know many brands seek the holy grail of universal cross platform ID, I also believe most won’t know what to do  with it if/when they find it. My point is, that while most paid media is not fully transparent and not fully aware of the individual viewing it - there is plenty of data staring us in the face that is not being applied as well as it could. This includes the very simple dataset of the programming a brand chooses, presumably based on somewhat of a shared audience. Brands can choose to align with the programming chosen or interrupt it in a way that makes that brand appear clueless (as a broad example).

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