"Why the hell would you want to travel around the world this summer when you could create things here and experience life here at an agency, on the streets or in an internship?" These were the first words of advice Rob had for me when I called him up on Monday night.
I met Rob Heppler at Wieden and Kennedy when he was a WK12er and while I was working there for a couple months creating a fake ad campaign for plumbing.
Side note: Visit the link to WK12. It's awesome. Then watch this video about what the WK staff thinks about the 12ers to understand what goes on after we graduate and hunt for jobs. It's not looking good. Ultimate message: don't steal other people's food.
Rob is a copywriter, trendsetter/influencer, knower of all things shoes, social media guru (though he probably wouldn't like me inflicting the word 'guru' on him), designer, pod caster, and blogger. He's worked with four global ad agencies and is currently starting work at Amusement Park, a brand new LA agency. Oh yea, he also spent the first part of his life in prison. Get to know him.
Why we like Rob: He's no bullshit and he's always on.
Why we don't like Rob: His hair looks like the 90s.
The Heppler Guide to navigating your way through the industry:
1. Know everybody. Make connections with people you know (think neighbors, Dad's coworkers) and use them to make more connections. Learn from everybody.
2. The more you do, the better you get. Everybody is creative, some people have more natural talent then others, but practice makes better. Write, do, read, listen, watch.
3. Photoshop will be your friend forever. It's the easiest and most efficient way to communicate your creative ideas with others. Refer to #2 if you haven't learned it yet.
4. Watch Art&Copy. Especially if you are interested in working at Wieden and Kennedy, the majority of the movie is filmed there. Great video about the work being done in agencies, the how and why.
5. Make something. Really, it could be anything. Rob filmed himself at the dentist and it's received over 9,000 hits. America must be bored.
6. Make sure people don't hate you. He believes this is essential. Don't be annoying and you will be liked and maybe promoted, or at least not fired. There should be a 'no asshole policy' at every agency.
7. Don't talk for your first 5 years. Spend your time observing and making connections (see #1). I think this also goes hand in hand with #6, people that are new probably don't know what they are talking about, hence, they are annoying.
Agencies he loves:
He also recommends checking in with Agency Spy for the latest agency news and gossip.
Check out the limited edition sneakers that Rob and Tinker Hatfield created for the Coraline movie. Amazing brand connections were made.
Rob writes: "Phil Knight directed me to 'market a movie in a way that has never been done before.' 3000 pairs of these custom made sneakers that I designed with Tinker Hatfield, were given away to movie goers. I created an influencer outreach strategy which made these sneakers the hottest footwear in 2009. Oh, and the bottom glows in the dark. Kanye West was upset about that."
Follow him @hepdog
Facebook him and check out his cool photos with celebs.