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Joe Baratelli, executive vice president/executive creative director at Rubin Postaer and Associates, has spent decades working in all facets of marketing and communications across a range of products, from financial (Comerica Bank, Home Federal Bank, American Century Investments, Fidelity Federal Bank) to entertainment (VH1’s “Behind the Music,” Pioneer Electronics, Activision) to retail (La-Z-Boy, ampm, the Disney Store, SOYJOY). He also holds considerable expertise in the automotive world (and has developed campaigns for Lincoln-Mercury, Acura, ARCO and Yokohama tires) and currently oversees the national and regional advertising for Honda automobiles and the company’s “Power of Dreams” corporate campaign in the US.

At RPA since 1986, Joe spent time at Herman Design Group and Young & Rubicam and his broad portfolio has earned ANDYs, Effies and Beldings and Graphis and Communications Arts awards.


Creation or Collection

If you have a degree in what field is it? I have a BFA in graphic communications from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit. I also studied at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy.

If you could choose one person to work with (outside your own agency), who would it be? Dead or alive? Dead: Sergio Leone or Stanley Kubrick. Alive: Francis Ford Coppola.

Who was the client for your first advertising project? Motorcraft. The parts and service division for Ford and Lincoln/Mercury.

If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? Fine artist.

What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time? “Think Small.”

From where do your best ideas originate? From other (usually younger) folks.

How do you overcome a creative block? I try to get myself into a relaxed state away from the normal pressures of the office.

If you could choose any product to create an ad for, what would it be? The first self-driving car.

Do you have creative outlets other than advertising? I’m always thinking of the creation or collection of fine art... or some business idea that will build a fortune so I can collect art.

What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Time management: Work at the office. Unplug at night.

What product/gadget can you not live without? The satellite navigation system in my car.

What’s your favorite quote? “It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.” —Thomas Jefferson

Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Do what you love. Love what you do. Solve problems by doing what appeals to you.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? How to debate effectively.