In the autumn of 2009, Evan Fry joined John Winsor and Claudia Batten as chief creative officer at Victors & Spoils, the first creative advertising agency built on crowdsourcing principles. The agency launch was groundbreaking, changing crowdsourcing from a topic discussed as the future of advertising to a new reality that's opened doors for creatives around the world. Victors & Spoils works with a growing roster of clients that includes Dish Network, Virgin America, Oakley, General Mills and Harley-Davidson.
Before Victors & Spoils, Evan was VP/creative director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky where he worked with some of the most interesting brands in the US including Best Buy, Dominos, Alliance for Climate Protection, Shimano, Giro and Nike. He also worked as associate creative director at Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners West and as a copywriter at Woolward & Partners.
Keeping A List
If you have a degree in what field is it? I do. It’s in journalism with an emphasis in advertising/copywriting from University of Oregon.
If you could choose one person to work with (outside your own agency), who would it be? It’d still be Alex Bogusky. I’ve never met anyone whose opinions and approach I’ve respected more. That’s probably a boring answer, I know. I was gonna say Eddie Vedder, then Laird Hamilton, but those guys would probably just annoy me or I’d end up dead at the bottom of the ocean or some shit.
Who was the client for your first advertising project? G.I. Joe’s. It’s a regional sporting goods chain in the Northwest. They did a lot of radio. And ever since then, so have I.
If you were to change professions, what would you choose to do? I'd build hot rods. Or furniture. Or both. I’d do it in my own shop, with some dogs, on my own schedule, working with people who come to me to cooperate on building something killer, then leaving me alone to make it great, then paying me handsomely to let them take it with them once it’s finished.
What do you consider to be the greatest headline of all time? Will Work for Food. I guess. I don’t know. It’s all I could think of. But I guess I’ll stick with it. Yeah, that. There’s nothing so stripped-down to the craft of writing a headline as something you’ve got to fit on a piece of cardboard that will say it all and make people act immediately. I bet homeless folks know more about headline writing than probably 87 percent of copywriters.
From where do your best ideas originate? From stillness. From chilling with headphones on, alone, with a sketchpad, a pen that feels good and a brief to reference.
How do you overcome a creative block? I don’t really worry about it, for one. I also build in time so that it’s not so pressure-filled or last minute, and those things, mixed with confidence in myself, make it so I hardly ever experience it. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever really experienced it.
If you could choose any product to create an ad for, what would it be? Probably the Tour de France.
Do you have creative outlets other than advertising? Not at the moment. But we’re designing and building a new home, so that for sure is one. I also build a lot of bicycles.
What’s your approach to balancing work and life? Shutting email off regularly. And keeping a list going, always, so I know that things are on there and that I’ll eventually get to them.
What product/gadget can you not live without? Water.
What’s your favorite quote? “We're not human beings having a spiritual experience as much as we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Le Phénomène Humain
Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Oh boy. I sure do: Be humble. Try hard. Don’t assume that sending an email and not hearing anything means anything. You have to show you are right for the job by, guess what, exercising your creativity. Prove it. Then, if you’re lucky enough to get a job... Be cool. Be open. Your attitude is the most important thing—even more important than your talent. Only a douchebag will put up with another douchebag and even that is tenuous. Take notes. Always bring your notepad. Listen. Really listen. Trust. Know and believe and behave like the client is not the enemy. Because they’re not. I could go on and on and on...
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? If you know you’ve got the stuff, don’t settle for a job that isn’t full of like-minded individuals; you MUST respect who you work for or it won’t last long.