As Chief Communications Officer, John’s job is to help ensure that media, creative, and digital are working well together and to remind us all that we’re really working for the idea. John doesn’t think there’s anything agnostic about media because when the idea is boss, it tells us where it wants to go.
John believes the future is moving toward generous brands. Generous brands provide people with something of value. Increasingly, this value will come in the form of ideas, involvement, experiences, instead of messages, ads, and interruptions.
John has built a career out of asking what we can add beyond paid media messaging. In 1999, John was one of the founders of connection planning, a strategic discipline created in response to the digital disruptions in communications. Connection planning helps clients stand for something in the modern media landscape, which requires increased emphasis on brand behavior.
Leading media at Fallon, John wants the job description in the department to shift away from “buy stuff” toward “build stuff” because he believes the best ideas are usually not for sale. He feels the skill set of the best media people today (targeting experts fluent in all media with a major in pop-culture) looks strikingly similar to the recipe for tomorrow’s idea people. John is raising the bar for communications to extend beyond the niche of advertising. It’s no longer enough for advertisers to just convince a media partner to accommodate a “never-been-done-before” ad unit. Today instead, modern communications people are building ideas in the world.
A catalyst on select client business, John plays an active role in transforming the agency for the future. He has helped clients such as NBC Universal, Nestlé Purina, and General Mills walk their talk.
John also launched a sabbatical program at Fallon called Dream Catchers. In this program, Fallon employees save money to pursue their personal dreams. The agency then matches their savings up to $2,500 and gives them two extra weeks of vacation to accomplish those dreams.