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Unexpected Intros: Jesse Yowell and Dan Colburn

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DDB New York creative directors on how they ended up in advertising and creative work that inspires them

Unexpected Intros: Jesse Yowell and Dan Colburn

At DDB, we have a simple belief. That Unexpected Works. It means that the best idea is the one you never saw coming. The thing that catches you so off guard that you can‘t look away. And the only path to genuinely unexpected works is through creativity. 

And in order to create awesome works, you need awesome people. Because you can’t make the unexpected if you only work with the usual suspects. In this Unexpected Intros series, we take a peek behind the curtain at some of the diverse thinkers that make up our network, and validate Bill Bernbach’s notion that an idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. 


1. Name, Title, Office

Jesse> Jesse Yowell, creative director (art), DDB New York

Dan> Dan Colburn. creative director. DDB New York


2. Introduce yourself in three emojis. 

Jesse> 🤘🎉😂

Dan> The “shrugging and holding up hands” emoji – because I often have no idea what I’m doing. The redheaded merman emoji – because he’s my spiritual role model. And the exploding head emoji – because we live in mind blowing world. 


3. What was your very first job? 

Jesse> My first real job was at my local skate shop. On my first day opening the store I was greeted by a nice grandmother and her excited grandkids. They’d shown up right as I was unlocking the front doors. As soon as they walked in the speakers began blasting the intro to 2pac’s “Hit Em Up”. I’ve never seen anyone exit a store so quickly. 

Dan> When I was 16, I got my first job working as a busser at a small Mexican restaurant in my hometown. Sadly, I was fired for taking home chips and salsa, which taught me a valuable lesson about the dangers of stealing office supplies. This message was brought to you by DDB HR. 


4. How did you wind up in advertising? 

Jesse> My friend was an art director at a small shop in L.A. and he told me he didn’t have to go into the office until 10 a.m. each day. I decided right then that advertising was the job for me. 

Dan> Heading into college I wanted to become a journalist. At the time, CU Boulder’s advertising program was in the school of journalism, and I was beginning to dread life as an underpaid newshound constantly chasing down leads. So it was an easy switch over to advertising and I couldn’t be more thankful my 18-year-old self for doing that.  


5. Piece of creative that inspires you? 

Jesse>  I get inspired whenever I see work that makes me jealous. Most recently it’s been the Lime Skittles apology campaign. In theory it’s a simple idea, but the scale of having to apologize to literally hundreds of thousands of people made it awesome, and of course they executed it perfectly. V jeals. 

Dan> I’m a sucker for quick and hilarious spots. 15 seconds or less. The new Airheads Have More Fun campaign from Airheads is basically perfect. A cowboy riding a hippopotamus is an image that sticks with you in the best way possible.   


6. What are you currently reading, watching, and listening to? 

Jesse> I’m watching BARRY on HBO and I just learned how to read so I’m reading “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” because I’ve only seen the movie. 

Dan> Watching: Archive 81 and Under the Banner of Heaven, but I typically just default to old episodes of Bob’s Burgers. 

Reading: not nearly as much as I should. 

Listening: Marcus King, Childish Gambino and Josh Smith. 


7. What’s a goal/hope/dream of yours?

Jesse> I’ve always dreamed of becoming a big wave surfer. Buuuuuut I think I’ll have to pivot to getting platinum status on Delta. Seems slightly more achievable. 

Dan> I’ve always wanted to dance in front of a drumline. I can’t explain why, but most of what I do in life is in pursuit of this goal. 

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DDB North America, Wed, 25 May 2022 08:35:47 GMT