Monday, February 23, 2009

The David Group Welcomes….

Ken Novak

Ken is the one on the left.

As part of a feature designed to highlight the great staff here at The David Group, we’re kicking off the first in a series of interviews where we get to know everyone a little bit better. Generally, we’ll work within a 20 Questions framework, and we’ll mix it up a bit as time goes on, try a few other things.

But without any further ado, let me introduce to everyone Ken Novak who joins us as in the all-purpose, mega-multitasking role of Director, Client Strategy. Take it away, Ken, we’re all staring at you now.

1.) How did you get started in advertising?

Well, like most everyone else, I became interested in advertising during the Super Bowl. I had always been intrigued by agency life and landed my first agency gig not long after college. It was a great opportunity and gave me lots of experience.

2.) Have you always been such a social person?

Yes, always. I often tell people I have a dual personality: “Business Ken” and “Bar Kenny.” Different social environments determine which one comes out. For instance, you currently only know Business Ken.

3.) What do you see as the next great challenge for recruiters and for the advertising industry?

It’s no secret, but the retiring Baby Boomers are going to leave a lot of companies hurting in the coming years. Other than that obvious challenge, integrating an effective interactive marketing plan to communicate with Gen Y’ers will be imperative because THEY will be the ones companies will look to fill the void. Gen Y is a fascinating generation and they have been multitasking since they were born. If you don’t have a plan of how to attract Gen Y now, you will really feel the pinch later. It could be a game changer for your competitors.

4.) Internet Explorer or Firefox (or a third choice) and why?

Firefox! Customizations and the hackers aren’t as concerned with taking down Mozilla like they are Billy Gates.

5.) We know you have a Facebook account. Did you ever have a MySpace account? What do you think of the two platforms?

Gotta love Facebook. I did create a MySpace account when it first launched, but I never got into it like I did Facebook. Unsurprisingly, MySpace skews to a younger demo and since I am so worldly and mature…FB obviously spoke to me more.

6.) What’s your favorite movie?

Do I have to pick just one? While I would normally make some arcane joke and say something like Tootsie or Turk 182!, I am going to say Godfather 2. I think it’s important to note I have very strong opinions on movie series. Godfather 3 was an abomination and as far as I am concerned, never existed. Same goes for anything that happened after Rocky IV. How on Earth they thought there could ever be a more perfect ending than Rocky being the American ambassador who single handedly ended the Cold War is ridiculous. You know what movie has made serious strides up my virtual chart? The Dark Knight. Is it a bad idea for me to admit that I wish I was Batman?

7.) Favorite song?

Big fan of my music, so picking one is impossible…but some of my all time favorites are “A Day in the Life,” “Fake Plastic Trees,” “Ten years Gone,” “Sometimes Salvation” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Ask me the same question in 10 years and this list could very well change. Heck, ask me the same question in 10 days and it could be different.

8.) Favorite word? And why?

I don’t think that question is appropriate for this platform.

9.) Without necessarily naming names, what is the worst job you have ever had?

I don’t care about naming names, but I delivered the Sun Journal as a kid. Holy crap did that stink. I hated it. I had this crappy bike with broken handlebars. Eventually, the paper bag got so heavy it would twist the alignment of my front wheel so I always ended up in people’s front yards from being unable to accurately gauge the necessary amount of overcompensation on my turns.

10.) What’s the most memorable/embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you in a client situation?

Ugh, I had my car broken into the night before an amazingly large pitch. I was working very late in the office preparing the deck and materials, walked out to my car sometime after midnight and had to deal with the police until almost 5 a.m. Yeah…my pitch was at 8:30 that same morning.

11.) What accomplishment are you most proud of to date?

I procreated! Sorry world, but that officially means the apocalypse is near.

12.) Who or what inspires you?

See #11. Fear is the best motivator.

13.) What do you do to relieve stress? (Keep it clean… heh heh)

See #8. That is totally inappropriate and you should be ashamed of yourself for asking….sinner.

14.) What online gizmos, gadgets, and applications do you use most often?

I am a big fan of iGoogle and Google Labs.

15.) PC or Mac? And why?

I am ashamed to admit it, but I have only had PCs. I have made a pact with myself however to buy a MacBook by year’s end.

16.) Do you consider yourself more creative or more analytical?

Depends on which of my alter egos you are referring. My instances of “Bar Kenny” are definitely waning as I become an elder statesman, so I am more analytical the vast, vast majority of the time. I know… that’s boring.

17.) Do you have any pets? If so what kind and what are their names?

Have one dog named Moose. He is a rot/lab mix and also has 2 personalities. It’s very black and white with him. He is either a big lazy baby or a hyperactive rhino that needs tranquilizers.

18.) Do you spend more time emailing or text messaging or some other form electronic communication?

I definitely do more emailing, but texting has grown exponentially over the past couple years. Mobile is absolutely compelling to me. It’s amazing we are finally going to get to the point where we have one device to rule them all (kinda like that ring in Lord of the Rings. Yeah, I totally made a nerd reference to that movie. I don’t care how nerdy it makes me, I dig those movies. While I am in the mode of sharing personal thoughts, I also love Star Wars, Star Trek and most superhero flicks. Nothing gets the ladies more excited that a nerdy fella that experiences pure unadulterated joy from drawing obscure similarities between nerd movies and real life. My daughter is doomed with me as a father figure.)

19.) What was your favorite childhood toy?

That is EASY! I had an AWESOME Big Wheel. You should hear the story of how my brother borrowed it, believed he was Spider Man and tried to drive it up a tree.

20.) Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, or Freddy Krueger, who was the baddest of all?

I gotta admit…I am not much of a slasher flick guy. Freddy always freaked me out as a kid and I never understood why the other two did not sue each other. Seriously, what is the difference between Jason and Mike? I guess I always thought Mike was just a bad Jason knock off, capitalizing on a hit. Kinda like how Webster was to Gary Coleman. Anyways, Batman could totally beat all of them (Webster and Gary Coleman included).

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