A few weeks ago, Dan Bruton, Director of PDX Executive Forums and host of the spinoff PDX Executive Podcast called up our own Partner and Client Services Director, Rob McCready to talk shop.
As is typical, Dan’s questions run the gamut, from inquiring about Rob’s professional journey to advertising trends and projections for the future. Their conversation paints a holistic picture of the marketing industry from Rob’s perspective, and, when aligned with past Blue Collar projects, current campaigns, and things coming down the pipeline, it lends a unique lens to everything we do here…and why.
Rob’s pivotal moment came—similar to most—while he was in a copywriting class taught by an adjunct professor whose lectures were peppered with “real world stories right from the kitchen; right from the grind,” Rob explains. But, years later, the strange serendipity of an ended relationship, a furlough notification from his job, and a call from a buddy suggesting he fly the coop to Hood River all within four days was the epiphanic moment that started him down the path that led to Blue Collar Agency.
During the interview, Rob reminisces on meeting his future business partners, April Donovan and Tom Lehmann at a different shop in Hood River, and how the 45-person creative house took on fun and refreshing work from Nike, Columbia Sportswear, Clif Bar, and Smith Optics—a client list that shed light on the prominence of the outdoor industry on the West Coast. Rob, Tom, and April’s opinion on the politics and red tape all-too prevalent at a mid-to-large sized agency was the driving force to break off and start out fresh.
And thus, Blue Collar was born. From there, Rob highlights Blue Collar’s own step into the sports and recreation industries with Nike Golf, CRKT, and more while expanding to incorporate consumer electronics with Sigma Photo, tourism with Mason County, WA and Snowbasin/Sun Valley, and healthcare with GoHealth Urgent Care.
The interview surmounts with Dan hefting several burning questions Rob’s way; about the ecosystem of agencies, thoughts on digital trends, and the place for consulting work within the DNA of an agency.
We’re proud to highlight this excellent feature—there’s quite a bit to unpack within the podcast. If you’d like to get in touch with Rob (maybe even ask for his autograph) hit us up on our contact page. For more Blue Collar goings on, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.