Meet a BPDerrr: Jeff Goldman, Associate Creative Director
Welcome to an ongoing series profiling the people of BPD. BPDerrrs are a special breed, not only making our company a great place to work but providing unique value to our clients. In this post, we interview Jeff Goldman, a talented member of our creative department who once co-owned an ad agency in Texas. He came to us as a senior copywriter and quickly rose to Associate Creative Director, helping produce many effective and award-winning campaigns.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Houston, raised in Fort Worth and Dallas and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin.
Give me a brief summary of your career before BPD.
When I was in 8th grade, my homeroom teacher took the class on a tour of the Richards Group in Dallas. That was the day I decided I wanted to be an ad-agency copywriter. And it’s what I’ve spent my entire career doing. From my first day out of college until today I’ve worked in marketing agencies, in Florida, Texas, Ohio and California, including five years in which I co-owned my own in Austin, Texas.
What was the most successful project you’ve worked on and why?
From a standpoint of increased sales, client praise and national awards, the most successful project I’ve ever worked on was for Rheem (HVAC manufacturer).
Their situation: air conditioners are expensive. When homeowners are digging into their savings for an emergency purchase, spending a few thousand dollars on an AC unit, they would prefer a brand they’ve actually heard of. Brands like Carrier, Trane and York had invested in making their brands familiar with consumers. Rheem hadn’t. This meant that when an AC technician arrived at a home to replace an AC unit, even if he had a perfectly good Rheem unit on his truck, homeowners often requested he go back and get a different brand.
Their challenge: the client, and the industry, saw all AC units as being the same, with only the brand on the outside of the box being a differentiator. The Rheem brand didn’t have a story, and they felt it was a waste of time trying to find one; after all, all AC units shared the same guts, regardless of manufacturer.
Where I stepped in: I knew there had to be a differentiating story in there somewhere. The client indulged me a few weeks to search for it. And that’s when I discovered Rheem was the ONLY brand that featured the Copeland Compliant Scroll Compressor in every unit. Every brand featured this advanced compressor in their high-end units, but Rheem was unique in featuring it in every one, even the least expensive.
The Copeland Compliant Scroll Compressor makes every air conditioner featuring it more energy efficient and quieter. While energy efficiency is great, you can actually demonstrate and dramatize a quieter product on TV. And that’s what we did. Our commercials were silent; an “announcer” communicated to the camera with cue cards while a Rheem compressor ran completely quietly beside him.
Our campaign doubled the brand’s sales over a year, and caused them to run out of raw materials in their factory before the end of the year. This forced them to send their workers home for five weeks, until they could get more steel.
How does your educational and work experience make you an important asset for BPD and our clients?
I can take lessons learned from hundreds of different brands in dozens of different product and service categories to solve problems in ways that have never been considered in healthcare.
I also have the ability to think beyond the boardroom, to think beyond the brief, to occupy the mind of the actual target audience of the message and evaluate what THEY, the target, want to hear and how they want to hear it.
Why should a hospital marketing department hire an advertising/marketing agency rather than produce all their creative work in-house?
Some clients are able to do excellent work for themselves. Just as some doctors are able to effectively self-examine themselves. The trick comes in knowing when you’re too close to be completely objective. It’s easy for in-house agencies to fully buy into perceptions that aren’t completely in tune with what their primary targets are feeling. When that happens, the work they produce quickly becomes ineffective. This is where a good outside agency has the greatest value. If your agency truly has a feel for the consumer, they can offer ideas that may only be possible from a position of objectivity.
An outside agency is also like a honey bee, going from flower to flower, collecting pollen from each one. Agencies are always collecting new information and ideas as they serve each client in each region. We may have already solved challenges that healthcare marketers in your region haven’t started to consider.
We also make our clients’ lives easier by offering excellent project management. This is really hard to do well. An agency either does it almost completely right, or they don’t do it right at all. It’s a pass/fail type of thing. You either have hard-working, very dedicated people who are completely on top of every detail … or you don’t. We are one of those agencies that have those amazing people.
What’s the key to success in your position?
A mix of determination, humility, patience and a sense of humor.
I always try to keep in mind that we’re all professionals on the same team, whether we work directly for the agency or directly for the client. I may think a particular idea is great or terrible, but I could always be wrong. So I try to remain modest, and always be a positive part of the team.
What are your interests outside of work?
NFL, politics, hating Spirit Airlines, very small dogs, humor theory, alternative science theory. Not necessarily in that order. But probably in that order.
Humor theory has influenced a great deal of my career, but I don’t really use much of it here. My knowledge of the NFL has helped me immensely in the BPD fantasy football league.
Ward Parker is a Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Brown Parker & DeMarinis Advertising. His career has included stints at The Richards Group and McCann New York, with work appearing in the One Show, Communication Arts and the CLIO Healthcare Awards.