2 Minutes With .... Andy Spitzer, EVP & ECD at Fingerpaint

On 'Nature Calls' and jingle legend Peter Cofield

Andy went to college to become an illustrator. He even worked as a storyboard artist for a while, until he realized he liked being around other humans. So, he broke into advertising as an art director and spent the next two decades rising through the ranks at agencies large and small, including GSW and BBDO. For the last six years, he has been an executive creative director at Fingerpaint.

When he isn’t working, Andy loves to spend time writing and illustrating books with his kids, walking his Labrador Retriever and watching cartoons.

We spent two minutes with Andy to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Andy, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and I recently moved back there after living in London, NYC, Boston and Saratoga Springs. 

How you first got interested in health.

When I started at GSW back in 2002, Bruce Rooke had just been hired as CCO. He came from consumer advertising and he restructured the creative department and started championing real ideas. He showed everyone we could do amazing work in health and it got me really excited to be in this unique part of the advertising world.  

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on, and why.

The first campaign I worked on after joining Fingerpaint was an unbranded effort to make urologists aware of nocturia, a condition that makes you pee too often at night. The campaign was called "Nature Calls." The second I saw the creative team's sketch, I knew we needed to sell it. And we did. It was a creative turning point at the agency, and we have built on that momentum over the past six years. 

A recent project you're proud of, and why.

The campaign we did for Auryon really elevated our level of craft. 

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about.

When I first got into this business, people only talked about how restrictive healthcare advertising was and how there was no way to make anything truly great. There were all these caveats. Thankfully we’ve moved beyond that, and health-focused agencies are doing groundbreaking work.  

Someone else’s work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

I am a huge fan of everything Mischief does. 

A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.

I listen to a podcast called the Side Hustle Show. I love the intersection of business and creativity. Every episode reminds me how important it is to look at problems in different ways. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

My late father-in-law, Peter Cofield. He was one of the most prolific jingle writers of the 1980s. He wrote everything from "Big Red" to "You Got the Right One, Baby" with Ray Charles. He was brilliant and humble. He gave me the advice to just shut up and work and everything else will take care of itself. I miss him.  

Your favorite fictional character. 

Frederick from the Leo Leoni book of the same name. He is a field mouse. Rather than gathering all the seeds and sticks with the other mice, Frederick gathers sunrays, colors and words. When it gets cold and there is barely any food left, he tells the other mice the story of summer and warms them up. It feels like what creative is all about. 

Someone worth following on social media.

George Tannenbaum. He writes a blog called Ad Aged.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

I'm open to everything. 

Your biggest weakness.

I seek outside validation way too much. Please like me. 

One thing that always makes you happy.

Writing and illustrating books with my kids. 

One thing that always makes you sad.

Brilliant people who can't get out of their own way. 

Something people would find surprising about you.

Years ago, I ran a marathon. When it comes up in conversation, people are always shocked. I think it might be time to go on a diet. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in health.

I would buy a food truck and sell breakfast sandwiches. Then go on that diet.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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