2 Minutes With ... Geoff Edwards, ECD at GALE
Geoff Edwards is executive creative director at GALE, driving a unified vision for creativity and innovation across all of the agency brands while fostering diverse cultures. In just one year he helped rebrand the organization while also winning key new business accounts: H&R Block and MilkPEP's iconic "Got Milk?"
Prior to GALE, Geoff was ECD at TBWA\Media Arts Lab, responsible for managing all global communications for the launch of Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Card and Apple AirPods Pro.
Geoff has also worked at R/GA Los Angeles and CAA, and he co-founded Saturday Morning, a nonprofit that leverages the power of creativity to help solve social injustice.
We spent two minutes with Geoff to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations, and recent work he's admired.
Geoff, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Detroit. And I live in Los Angeles.
How you first realized you were creative.
They say art is the first language. We can all draw before we can write our name. So when my mom gave me a Spider-Man coloring book and a turntable for my 5th birthday, the rest was history.
A person you idolized creatively early on.
One word, Prince.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
When my dad bought me a guitar.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Two words, the Beatles.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
It's important that we keep our eyes on how social media has become a divisive tool by some. It saddens me to see that this tool created to bring people together is actually doing the opposite in some cases.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
Covid-19 has changed the world. Personally, it's something that me and my family, like everyone else, are learning to live with. Professionally, it's marked a new era of digital transformation and speeded the adoption of digital technologies by at least 10 years. It's forced companies to adjust and rethink marketing. And challenged people to work together while being apart.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
The global launch of Xbox 360. The debate at the time was which video game console, Microsoft or Sony, would define "next gen." PlayStation opted for graphics and tech. Microsoft's strategic pivot was humanity and inclusion. We gambled. We won. The centerpiece of the campaign was the Halo 3 "Believe" campaign, where we took that humanity to the next level by reimagining the mythological character of Master Chief as a real war hero. And it changed the conversation from marketing a game character to honoring a hero. The result was the highest grossing and most popular game launch in history.
A recent project you're proud of.
The launch of our "You're Gonna Need Milk for That," campaign. The strategy was reconsideration. Milk has been in decline for decades, and clever marketing wasn't working. We repositioned milk by showing how it's not just a compliment to cookies but a performance fuel. A modern-day superfood. The campaign launched during the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, and later with four of the NFLs top athletes: Derrick Henry, Justin Herbert, Terry McLaurin and JuJu Smith-Schuster. And most recently with a host of female football players and high school hopefuls. We created ideas that show, not tell, how milk fuels athletes. This was different than anything they'd done before. We took a bold new approach, and early signs indicate that we're headed in the right direction.
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Two talented mixologists: Jimmy Smith, the author of the golden age of Nike basketball and the famous "Freestyle" commercial. And the talented designer John C. Jay. I admired his ability to unearth local art and music from Tokyo to Shanghai to London, and blend all those cosmopolitan sensibilities together to create work that feels new.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
Tom Kartsotis, the founder and designer at Shinola. He resurrected the auto assembly line workers by utilizing their skills to create handcrafted watches. The watches are amazing. The story is inspiring.
Your main strength as a creative person.
Your biggest weakness.
One thing that always makes you happy.
My family at Christmas.
One thing that always makes you sad.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
Running Saturday Morning, my nonprofit for social change.
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.