Leo Q+A: David Kuta
Leo Q+A is back! And this time around it's a special edition, profiling 35 W Wacker local celebrity and birthday boy David Kuta. David is the kind of guy who takes fun seriously and we had the pleasure of chatting with our Director of Operations about creativity, his favorite campaigns and calling out Lebron James.
Name: David C. Kuta
Title: Director of Operations
Describe your role in one word: Conduit
If you weren’t in advertising, what would you be doing? Caddymaster
What’s on your to-do list this year? I’m looking to get some more use out of my tear-a-way outfit and nude suit from last year’s Breakfast. Any suggestions?
What's the first thing you do in the morning when you arrive? Smile and say “hello” or “good morning” to everyone, and then reminisce on how I was once able to eat free cereal every morning. Thanks, Starcom.
Where do you do your best thinking? Under pressure, the swimming pool, on the bike or while walking.
Do you have a personal motto? Improvise, overcome and celebrate. Sometimes I celebrate twice.
What creative talent would you most like to have? I’d love to be able to freestyle rap.
If you could be a character in any commercial, who would it be? This guy.
What’s your greatest advertising-related fear? I fear that one day boondoggles may not exist.
What’s your current state of mind about the advertising industry? We need to fight for the value of creative business solutions.
What living creative person do you most admire? Andre 3000.
How would you like to end your career? I’d like to end my career at Leo Burnett on the first Friday in December many, many, many years from now.
What do you consider your greatest creative achievement? Mike Girts and I had the idea to jump right into the middle of the Lebron James free agency hype back in 2010. Our goal was to create a campaign to get Lebron to choose Chicago over the other cities recruiting him. So, we got the agency brass to give us a few bucks and assembled a team of highly strategic and creative sports fans in the agency to create what became the 4-day long "We Dare Lebron" campaign. The campaign made news on a long list of national and local news affiliates and even led to calls from Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Bulls. But best of all… we were actually featured on Sportscenter. That was all pretty bad ass. Thanks to Kevin Richey, Kent Middleton, Patrick Rynell, George Apfelback, Wallis Osborn, Alan Nuzum, Bill Hatzinger and producer Anne Trout for making a couple of account guys dream a reality.
What’s your idea of advertising misery? Clients that schedule a pitch on a Monday morning or the day after a national holiday, it’s just rude.
What’s your idea of perfect advertising happiness? The final few minutes before a pitch, when the room is set, the players are prepped and it’s time to win!
What advertising lingo do you most overuse? “Wanna cup of ice?” (a.k.a., Whiskey? Cocktail? White wine spritzer?)
What’s your biggest advertising-related regret? That some of our best creative ideas that test well still prove to be too risky.
What trait do you value most of co-workers? I like co-workers that prefer having conversations rather than sending emails. I get that sometimes emails are perfectly acceptable but conversations lead to deeper understanding of each other’s ideas and reasoning, which lead to a better team dynamic.
What do you think most people misunderstand about the business? I think most people assume there is a lot of drinking and sex between co-workers in the office. It’s more than they think.
If you could change one thing about advertising, what would it be? I’d never let a client’s procurement team lead creative pitches.
What’s the quality you most like in a creative director? There are many qualities that I like creative directors to have: being creative, being accountable, completing work in a timely manner, a solid drinker but most of all I value a sense of humor. (Anne Beebe 8th grade funny)
What’s the quality you most like in an account executive? I like an AE that wants to understand our business from the 2nd floor to the 31st floor so that he/she can offer holistic solutions to hurdles instead of asking for direction.
And, finally, what’s your favorite ad/campaign ever? I love the Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” campaign.