Ad Chat - Adam Pierno

While those of you who went to Cannes are looking for liver transplants and watching your sunburnt skin start to peel, here's a little peek inside the brain of Adam Pierno, Creative Director at Off Madison Ave.

1. What's your favorite funny story about yourself?
In 2002, I was being recruited by JWT in NY from Boston, which was my goal because I was trying to live closer to my family. On the night before my interview, I asked a friend to meet for drinks and he brought his girlfriend and her friend, Amy. I did end up getting the job at JWT the next day and relocated to NY. Of course, Amy turned out to be the love of my life, and we were engaged 2 years later and on a plane to Scottsdale where she grew up. It taught me that things you think you want are usually worth going after, but not always what you actually wanted.

2. What piece of art (movie, book, music, painting, etc) has influenced you most? How or why?
Comic books had a huge impact on me. Most likely because I read them when I was a kid and I was able to pour over them, collect them, cherish them, really. Now things for me seems much more fluid and disposable. MP3s, or The Oatmeal don't get added to a collection in the same way.

3. Who was your favorite mentor and why?
I worked for a CD named Dave Gardiner at Hill Holliday. I don't know if I understood how much I learned from him at the time, but the man is an absolute workhorse. He would be in and working by 7:30 and would milk every minute out of his workday on coming up with ideas, improving ideas, testing ideas, or in my case - killing ideas. He was prolific and professional. But also, he wasn't a machine. I learned you can work really hard and have passion but still be a good person.

4. What's one thing that excites you about the future of advertising?
Not knowing what the future is what excites me. I know it's going to involve making more elements work really well together the way classic campaigns did, just using whatever new tools or media are on the horizon.

5. If you could meet with anyone in history (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
I'd like to have a few minutes with 22 year old me. I would talk some sense into that jerk.

6. What’s your favorite website/blog, and why?
Man, I read a lot. Right now, I check Ars Technica and Ain't It Cool News every day, even weekends. I want to see trends in pop culture, tech and gaming.

7. What's your trick to break out of a creative block?
Watch a movie. Listen to music. Read. Play with my kids. Throw the frisbee to my dog. Take out the trash. Trick myself into believing my mind is not working on the problem.

8. Who is your advertising hero and why?
Mr. Peanut? Homeboy pulls off spats. Give him credit.

9. Tell us one of the things on your bucket list.
Rubbing elbows with the folks you've already interviewed.

10. What piece of advice would you give someone starting out?
The grass is always, always greener on the other side. Or the other agency. Or the competitive brand.

Keep up with Adam at @apierno on Twitter.

Did you miss our past Ad Chats? Check them out:
Edward Boches of Mullen
Dirk Singer of Rabbit, UK
Gareth Kay of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners
Tim Brunelle of Hello Viking
Rob Schwartz of TBWA\Chiat\Day

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