Mar 4, 2012

J460. Brandon Pierce x Nike. Writing Pop Culture.

I met Brandon Drew Jordan Pierce at Wieden + Kennedy about five years ago while I was competing for an internship there. Back then, he was fresh to WK after time at Y&R New York and before that he was prepped and primed at The Creative Circus (from here on out, we will be going in chronological order, I promise).


This is Brandon (then):
This is Brandon (now):

...Standing next to Kanye. Basically, I know cool people who know cool people.

Currently, Brandon works at Wieden as a Senior Copywriter, mostly on the Nike account, but is willing to help out wherever he's needed. He lives and breathes Nike and is a full on sneaker head. When I asked him what he collected, he carried his computer over to the corner to show me: 

Then he brought over his favorite pair that he is waiting to wear when he opens a concert (we'll talk about his love of music later) for Kanye (hopefully):
They have glow-in-the-dark soles. Too cool. 

It's easy for him to write ads for Nike because he has an appreciation for the athlete and he is able to understand the athlete's mindset. He told me that a Nike spot should feel like a piece of pop culture, not an ad, making them timeless and beautiful. He's not selling shoes, he's selling a mindset and an experience. He explained that "there's nothing better, as a 15 year-old boy, then feeling like a company understands you," and that's what Nike's commercials try to achieve.

Here are some examples of how Brandon's helping Nike Basketball achieve that goal:
  


(Nike x Foot Locker)

To write the ads, he keeps an ear to the street and is inspired by music, TV, movies, life, eavesdropping, creative briefs, and even his dreams. He believes that ideas can come from anywhere if you just relax and open your mind. Brandon wants us to pay attention to what's going on in the world of fashion, music, art... basically, stay tuned and good things will happen. 

Why we love him:
1. He loves his job because he sees it as an opportunity to expose people to something they wouldn't have seen otherwise.
2. When he sees other ads it's like listening to a joke that he wasn't in on (he knows the process well).
3. His sneaker collection (I think it's grown since he took that photo).
4. He's met Tyler, The Creator.
5. His day job is advertising, his night job is music. He's currently working on an album but you can hear what he's been up to at bdphiphop.com
Here's one of his videos (which he co-directed. It's old school, made from a VHS):


His advice to us:
Go where the people that make good work are.
Don't get watered down.
Pay attention.
Don't be afraid to hit up a lot of places when we start looking for jobs.
Tell people what you want and be confident when doing so.

Places he thinks are worth a look:

Thanks Brandon!

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