10 Dream Jobs for Creatives and How the People Who Have Them Got Them

September 27, 2015

Adweek, by Gabriel Beltrone

A career in advertising can be a notorious slog, especially at the beginning. Working grueling hours on dog's-breakfast accounts, watching 99 percent of your ideas—often the best ones—die on the vine, then swallowing your rage when clients insist on mangling the few gems that actually survived the meeting. But for the creatives who have the talent and ambition—or maybe just the stomach—to stick it out for long enough, there can also be great opportunities, running campaigns for brands that are big enough, and brave enough, to influence pop culture, maybe even make the world a better place. Here, a handful of jobs a driven young creative might wish he or she could someday have, and how the people who actually got them did.

Steve Bassett and Wade Alger

Steve Bassett and Wade Alger

The Martin Agency, group creative directors, Geico

At least since the time of the caveman (2004) and lizard (1999), Geico has served up some of the most consistently funny ads in the business. The insurance company has been a client at the agency since 1994; Bassett has run it since 2000, when former agency president and creative leader Mike Hughes brought him back from a hiatus at DDB, Dallas, where Bassett and Alger first worked together. Eight years later, Alger joined the agency (after stints at GSD&M on BMW and TM Advertising on Nationwide Insurance). He has worked on Geico ever since, moving up to handle the account alongside Bassett two years ago. Recent highlights include “Unskippable” as well as “Whisper” (featuring a kraken monster) and “Countdown” (with the band Europe). As for how they keep the work fresh, Bassett credits three factors, in this order: “[vp, marketing] Ted Ward at Geico and his team are smart as hell, Geico’s basic brand promise hasn’t changed in 20 years, [and] the last thing people want to see is just another car insurance ad, so we don’t give them one.”

Schooling (S.B.): University of Georgia, “I switched my major from Psychology to Advertising to avoid flunking out.” (W.A.): Southern Methodist University for communications

Chose Advertising When: “Junior year in high school in my psychology class,” says Alger. “We studied the effects of advertising. I was intrigued how 30- and 60-second stories could impact people.” For Bassett, “When I read the Lemon ad for Volkswagen.”

Key Advice for Young Creatives: “Always remember this, somewhere in this world, there’s a doctor who has his/her hand in someone’s chest, massaging their heart to keep them alive,” says Alger. “Who cares if the talent is wearing a red or blue shirt, it really doesn’t matter." Adds Bassett, “if your boss asks if you want to work on a direct marketing account with almost no brand awareness or money, say yes.”

Continue to Adweek.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Richmond 2015: A Guide to the Races

September 22, 2015

From spectator spots to need-to-know cycling terms, we have you covered with this Richmond 2015 Guide to the Races.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

GEICO Mobile Wins in 2015 [app] design awards USA

September 18, 2015

The Design 100: 2015 [app] design awards USA: GEICO / The Martin Agency | Best Expanded Service or Application

Project Overview

Insurance. Everybody needs it. But nobody wants to deal with it.

This called for an app that could help people help themselves in those mobile moments, while delivering the same functionality they've come to like on the website. So, we reinvented GEICO Mobile. An app that is both welcoming and beautiful, with a fresh visual and architecture foundation, original iconography and unique animations that feel natural. Helping people feel the ever-helpful delight of GEICO.

Project Brief

Insurance is something everybody needs but nobody wants to deal with. We reinvented GEICO Mobile as a tool that helps people help themselves—reducing calls to GEICO agents. This meant reworking the app into something people would want to use.

Project Need

We created an entirely new GEICO digital identity. This included rethinking and redesigning the user experience to be simple and inviting. It began with the visual foundation, making iconography, colors and animations that feel natural and welcoming. After extensive testing we rethought and redesigned what the app does so can predict what you need before you even ask. Common sense stuff that’s uncommon in the insurance world. In the end, we made GEICO Mobile into a likeable tool that people can use to solve problems for themselves. No GEICO agent necessary.

User Experience

With a personalized experience, we went beyond pretty typefaces by simplifying what the app does and filled it to the brim with practicality:

Late for a payment?
GEICO Mobile will gently remind you. And you can pay from wherever you are with just a swipe.

In search of some cheap fuel?
Save money at the pump by using our real-time gas price locator.

Want to start a claim at the scene?
The Accident Checklist helps you out on the scene. And you can start the claim process when it is the most convenient for you.

Have a flat tire?
You can get Emergency Roadside Assistance right through the app. GPS lets help know right where you are. Automagically. You’re back on the road with a few taps of your finger.

Need your ID Card…fast?
You can conjure up your GEICO ID Cards with the tap of a finger. Happily ending frantic glove box searches.

Project Marketing

Launching our app was a celebration, indeed. With a huge improvement to our best-in-class customer service offering, a proper release was in order.

From leveraging the voices of our current customer service representatives and GEICO Field Representatives, to launching traditional marketing and email campaigns, we made sure to get the word out about GEICO Mobile.

And of course, supporting our product with constant feature enhancements, we strive to surpass the needs of our policyholders at every step.

Oh, and some other folks have had some nice things to say, too.
GEICO Mobile was chosen as Best Insurance App by Forrester Research.
GEICO Mobile was chosen as the #1 Insurance Mobile App & Site by Keynote’s 2015 Mobile Insurance Scorecard,
GEICO Mobile has a high customer rating (as of March 2nd): Apple App Store - 4.69 / Google Play - 4.59

Project Privacy

Protecting the privacy of our users is very important to us. Policyholders have trusted us with their insurance needs for over 75 years, and we take our obligation to safeguard and secure their personal information very seriously.

Here are the basics of our privacy commitment to our users — how we collect and use information, how we protect it, and who can see it. But, of course, you should read our entire privacy policy online for full details.

  • We obtain personal information from users directly, from transactions with us, and from third parties such as state motor vehicle departments.
  • We do not collect personally-identifying information from users when they visit our Web site or online services unless they affirmatively provide it to us.
  • We do not allow third parties to collect personally-identifying information from our users' computer or mobile device when they visit our Web site or use our online services.
  • We will not sell their information to third parties.
  • Any third parties who perform services for us are required to safeguard any customer information and may only use it in connection with performing those services.
  • We extensively secure and limit access to our users' information.
  • We protect information about potential, current, and former policyholders.


VP IT: Steve Smith
Director Mobile: Pete Meoli
Manager Mobile: Eran Rosenberg
Manager Mobile: Lwin Moe
Manager Digital Experience: Derek Switzer
Lead Digital Experience: Carolyn Tran
Designer: Kait Hines

The Martin Agency:
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
SVP/Group Creative Director: Steve Basset
VP/Group Creative Director: Wade Alger
VP/Creative Director: Jordi Martinez
Associate Creative Director: Lionel Bui
Associate Director, Design: Josh Corliss
Associate Designer: Rozella Jacobsen
Associate Designer: Lauren Erickson
Copywriter: Dave Ashton
VP/ Director of Digital Production: Darren Himebrook
Digital Producer: Charlie Humphries
Strategic Planner: Monisha Tripathi
UX Designer: Josh Markowitz
VP/ Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
Account Supervisor: Parker Collins
Senior Project Manager: Jason Ray
Business Affairs Supervisor: Karen Taylor
Senior Integrated Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz

Continue to app design awards.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

GEICO Unskippable Wins Two Gold CLIO Awards

September 18, 2015

GEICO Unskippable will be awarded with two Gold CLIO Awards on September 30th in New York; one in the Innovative Category and another in the Digital Category. Congratulations to the team!

Continue to clioawards.com for the full list of winners.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Geico Helps You Create Your Own Version of Europe's 'Final Countdown

September 11, 2015

Creativity-Online, By Alexandra Jardine

Geico marked the countdown to opening night of football season with another ad in its “It’s What You Do” series. This time, ’80s rock gods Europe sing their much-overplayed hit, “The Final Countdown,” as an office worker is waiting for his lunch to finish in the microwave. (Because if you’re Europe, you love final countdowns.)

Not only that, but Geico and The Martin Agency have launched an online “Countdown Generator” where you can create a personalized “countdown” with Europe as your backing singers, and send it to a friend. You can clock back to all kinds of events including weddings, parties or just the weekend.

Continue to Creativity

Posted By: The Martin Agency